Tag Archives #fashion

Q&A: A Conversation with The Folklore’s Founder and CEO Amira Rasool

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Writer, stylist, and entrepreneur Amira Rasool. Photo credits: https://www.theBlackownedbusinesses.com/businesses/the-folklore

Amira Rasool is a freelance writer, stylist, and entrepreneur, who currently serves as the Founder and CEO of The Folklore, a multi-brand e-commerce platform that brings African luxury brands to the global marketplace.  She has written for various distinguished publications, from Women’s Wear Daily and Time to Vogue and Marie Claire. An avid historical scholar and social justice activist, much of her writing is centered around Black culture in fashion, art, and contemporary culture. Upon graduating from the University of Capetown, where she received a Master of Philosophy in African American studies, she founded The Folklore, fusing her passions for fashion and African American studies. The Folklore is an extension of her writing, as the brand functions as a storytelling platform that creates space for the voices of African designers. In less than two years, The Folklore has been featured in numerous prestigious magazines, such as Vogue and The Cut, and fashion blogs, such as Who What Wear.  

I was so excited to speak with Rasool about the inspiration behind her brand, the origins of The Folklore, and the highs and lows of her prolific career path. You can follow Rasool’s adventures around the world on her Youtube channel, #AmiraStayTripping, for a glance into her life, and learn more about her mission behind The Folklore through her podcast channel! 

1. At what point did you realize your passion lay in the intersection of African American studies and fashion writing? How did this niche interest come to fruition?  

It happened organically I had spent so much of my time in undergrad and also throughout high school preparing to have a career in fashion, specifically magazinesthat included interning every semester at a different glossy magazine and working as a stylist throughout college. I learned New York City because of how much I was running errands as an intern. I put in so much work, it was something I was so passionate about, I had a really good sense of style, and I was really good at thinking outside of the box. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. For example, I had an online e-commerce platform in college where I thrifted things for $5 that were worth far more, took pics in my dorm basement, and sold them for $45. When I graduated, I realized very quickly that the primary passion I had was Black history. I did not see myself making a difference through fashion, which seemed very vain, but I had put so much time and work into the fashion space. So I wanted to look at what I could do to use my knowledge and work in fashion to uplift my people. Today I love what I do because of the impact it has on my people.

Founder and CEO of The Folklore Amira Rasool. Photo credits: https://twitter.com/amirarasool/status/1132858831413874689https://twitter.com/amirarasool/status/1132858831413874689

2. How did your time in Cape Town influence your work?

My time in Cape Town allowed me to not just learn about different experiences on the continent or in South Africa specifically, but to actually be able to engage with communities there. The same thing happened when I was traveling in Nigeria during that time. It  gave me a sense of belonging because we were displaced and didn’t have that connection with the continent, so having the ability to return and be accepted by South Africa was a really uplifting experience. I realized just from conversations I had there that what I was doing was important. It solidified that what I was doing would help create a bridge between fashion and the African diaspora. I hadn’t known that much about colonial studies and thought, so having debates with people in class was a very rewarding situation. 

3. What inspired you to create The Folklore? 

I came up with the idea when I was working at V Magazine. My original idea was the opposite: to import European and American luxury brands to Africa and sell in Cape Town. I remember I was on a date with a guy from Cape Town who told me that was pretty harmful and that that wasn’t necessarily helpful to the country, and he actually suggested doing the opposite. I remember trying to justify it by saying people on the continent deserved luxury. I brushed his idea off, but then a few months later the idea stuck with me. I kept thinking about why he thought it would be harmful to Cape Town. That was one of the things that prompted me to look at this space that isn’t being filled. 

4. Please tell us a little bit more about the process of creating The Folklore.

I A M I S I G O S/S ’20 Collection on The Folklore. Photo credits: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4es8xpKydy/

At the beginning, I created a long, long business plan at the beginning that started with 150 questions that I needed to answer. It was a year and a half of planning. I intended to launch this a month after I left my job, so I spent that year and a half working towards my goals, setting more goals, and planning everything to a tee, though so much came up every day that I still needed to address, which is just a part of being in a business. The process includes identifying potential brands, communicating with designers, learning about how their business is set up, and what they need to reach an international audience. 

5. What were the hardest and most rewarding parts of setting up The Folklore?

The hardest part is the lack of proper funding that my white counterparts receive, even at the family and friends level, and even more so, on an institutional level. It’s also hard trying to change consumers’ mindset about what they associated with luxury and where they choose to spend their money. The most rewarding part has been seeing the opportunity the Folklore has provided for so many brands… not just being their retail partner but also setting them up with celebrities who wear their brand and creating a ripple effect as their first retail partner outside the country. 

6. How do you find your partner brands? 

When I was in Capetown, I would travel to local designers and email them or pop up in their shop and tell them what I was doing. It wasn’t incredibly hard to convince people since most of them didn’t have the opportunity to sell outside the country. 

7. How would you describe your personal aesthetic and style inspiration?

Rasool in Loza Maleombho top and Pichulik Earrings from The Folklore. Photo credits: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-SslUOgjyO/

It’s minimalist, but also contemporary- it embraces the quirkiness that comes from different styles all over the world. My personal style is Afro-Asian fusionI spend a lot of time traveling Asia and Africa, and I think my travels have also inspired my aesthetic a lot. I like to combine silhouettes from Asia and Africa. A lot of designers in Africa have similar aesthetics as those in Tai Pei or China. I have a lot of cool Black pants that I picked up when traveling around Asia and I pair them with something from South Africa, and it looks like they were purchased in the same place. The urban aesthetic that those places havethe youthfulness, the newnessis deeply inspiring. 

Sustainable accessories by The Folklore’s partner brand Shekudo. Photo credits: https://www.thefolklore.com/blogs/editorial/shekudo-shoes-creative-director-akudo-iheakanwa-interview

8. What role do environmentalism and sustainability play in your work?

Environmentalism and sustainability did not play too much of a role at the beginning, but they became a natural part of The Folklore. African designers have sustainable practices by necessity, such as not having access to big factories, so as their retail partner, my role was to feed off of their values. 

9. What do you see as the role of The Folklore in BLM?

The Folklore’s support of Black people is separate from BLM. BLM was a movement to show that Black people are human and that we have a lot of things working against us in the system. We can’t treat this as a fad. We need to look at how to continue to support Black people absent of Black Lives Matter. We ask ourselves, how do we elevate the Black people beyond a hashtag? The Folklore stands with the principles and missions of Black Lives Matter at its core and increases Black visibility on a deeper level by creating a space for Black designers. 

Read more fashion articles at Clichemag.com
Photo credits: Twitter, The Black Owned Businesses, The Folklore, and Instagram. 

Messenger Bag, the Unisex Fashion Accessory

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The messenger bag has developed over time from only being a working man’s necessity. To now being, the accessory for men. Mailmen used this style bag in order to carry loads of assorted mail door to door. Businessmen used this bag to carry all their papers and pens. Young men in a University studying to become a working man used this style bag to carry their school books. Now, the messenger bag is more than just a life necessity for men. It has evolved into a lifetime desire for both men and women.

Why has the purpose of a messenger bag changed?

Although the messenger bag is still dominant in the workplace for its work use. It has migrated into street style fashion and has become the main accessory piece for the fashion-forward. Since the bag has become so popular in street style, the original smooth leather bags are not the only styles out there anymore. They now come in multiple fabrics, colors, and sizes. Men want to be fashion-forward too, men want options for their accessories, men want to be fashionable. Men found a new way to style the messenger bag and because of the popularity the look created, this bag became more than just a work bag. It is now a fashion statement.

How should you style the messenger bag?

Styling the messenger bag is all up to the individual wearing the accessory. For a white-collar business style, the bag in dark brown with a tailored navy colored suit can easily create that work-ready outfit. If you want a relaxed business style, a white button-up with grey slacks and a black bag will give you a casual workday outfit. For street style, you could be mono-toned. A black T-shirt with ripped black jeans and a black bag. Or you could use the bag as your accent color, like pairing a red bag with red sneakers. You could even pair a small bag with a big over-sized sweater, a pair of skinny jeans, and skater shoes.

Weixier messenger bag

The future of the messenger bag.

This accessory is not going anywhere anytime soon. The overall function of the bag is what makes it essential in life. The size and how it sits on the body makes it comfortable for the customer to use. The never-ending style choices are what makes this bag universal to all genders and styles. This bag has grown into more than another work bag, it has become a fashion trend and will continue to grow and evolve accordingly.

Multipurpose Fashion A Company 2020 collection

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A Company has released its spring/summer 2020 collection. It is a carefully designed collection meant to enhance the bodies beauty. This collection is more than what meets the eye. A Company has used less tailoring and more draping detail to create minimalist fashion that you can wear as is or alter yourself into multipurpose fashion.

Multipurpose fashion

A Company spring/summer 2020 collection

What does the collection look like?

The garments created in this collection are meant to softly caress the body. Therefore emphasizing the bodies natural beauty. The colors used are black, white, and brown. The small pops of color that are used (like blue) are gentle and quiet. The deconstructed style in this collection is genius for those who are minimalist, you are presented with a garment that compliments your beauty and that compliments who you are naturally.

How can this collection be used as multipurpose fashion?

Although A Company collection caters to minimalist. They also cater to those who need multipurpose fashion. Being able to wear the same outfit with minimal change of accessories make for a seamless day full of looks. With a quick switch of shoes and a pair of sunglasses, you can go from making a fashion statement on the streets to a bold impression in the office.

Example of multipurpose fashion garment.

Also, one of the dresses featured in this collection is a reconstructed white shirt. This garment features a high low sheath silhouette with pleating and draping detail. Although this shirt was reconstructed to look like an effortlessly stylish dress. This style is what makes this dress perfect for day or night.

What their collection says as a whole. 

In conclusion, the new spring/summer 2020 collection from A Company reflects today’s fashion. Fashion is more than one look, it is a lifestyle and A Company made that prominent in their collection.

New York Fashion Week 2019: Unwonted Makes A Debut On The Runway

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This past Sunday, Nolcha Shows had a jam-packed New York Fashion Week kick off. Eight designers had their collections showcased to an eager audience in West Chelsea. One of those designers included was Lu Jin Zhang, who had her Fall/Winter 2019 collection of Unwonted finally unveiled. Members of the audience were given a pamphlet that described what we were about to see and the inspiration behind it. According to the pamphlet, the theme of this collection was: Balance. “Our designs embody balanced aspects of yin and yang in Taoism. Unwonted strives to create [a] harmonious design using the philosophy of balance”

As the show began, it was easy to see the clothes were intended for an inclusive demographic. The designs included clothing for women, men, and even children. Many of the pieces were asymmetrical and the dresses had a gorgeous A-line silhouette. Every so often a model would strut down the runway with a suitcase in hand, emphasizing that these pieces were meant for those who are ambitious and always on the go. The stunning hair was done by ECRU New York. The styling of the model’s hair and the bold pops of color from their makeup brought a futuristic aesthetic onto the runway. With the hair, makeup and clothing, all of the models looked ahead of their time. Even many of the pieces had a touch of grey and metallic colors, giving us a glimpse into a future fashion trend.

The collection was beautifully cohesive, with each piece having the same loose fit, which allowed the fabrics to take the main stage. The fabrics included wool, velvet, leather, silk, and corduroy. The Unwonted collection proved to accomplish what it set out to do which according to the designer was “finding balance between clothing and dresser themselves.” 

 

 

Read more Fashion articles at ClichéMag.com

New York Fashion Week 2019: Unwonted Makes A Debut On The Runway: Image courtesy of Paul Newland fashionstock.com

Leopard Print is the New Neutral

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The most anticipated trend is finally here, and we are so here for it! Leopard print is the new nude this season. You can spot leopard print clothing and shoes in almost every collection this season.  Every fashionista has been waiting their whole life for this moment in fashion, and now that’s it’s here, we are totally thriving. It was no surprise that leopard print is the new neutral; leopard print is a combination of the two most iconic neutral colors, black and brown. For years leopard print has always been looked at as a wild-print. If you’re wearing leopard print you know you’re going to a party, like did you even go out if you aren’t wearing some form of leopard print? Didn’t think so.

Leopard print has always been the cherry on top of the perfect outfit, whether you are using leopard print shoes as an accent piece or perhaps a leopard print clutch. But now, the tables have turned, it is now not only socially acceptable but also considered super trendy to wear a leopard print dress, coat, pants or shirt. Add a solid color accent piece to complete your look, like a bold red or pink purse with matching shoes, this will leave you looking chic, yet edgy.

There are two types of people in the fashion world, people who hate animal prints and people who love them. Leopard print is super bold, so when you’re wearing anything leopard print, wear it with confidence. While wearing anything leopard print, you are bound to turn heads and draw attention to yourself, but who’s complaining? Although leopard print is now considered a neutral, it is still considered a bold/loud print. With this being said, make sure you do not mix other patterns and prints while wearing leopard print, play it safe with solid colors.

Let’s talk accessories, there is a multitude of options you can do to spice up leopard print. Gold jewelry is always a safe option, but if you’re feeling a little riskier you can always turn to bold colors like hot pink and orange. Play up your leopard print outfit with red lipstick or play it down with nude lipstick. Being that leopard print is so bold on its own, there isn’t a need to add too many accessories to your outfit.

Channel your inner wild side and start adding some leopard print to your wardrobe! Neiman Marcus is your one stop-shop this season, you will literally leave a hole in your wallet after leaving Neiman Marcus, but trust me, it’s totally worth it. You can find the hottest leopard print trends from your favorite designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Alice + Olivia, Tom Ford and Alexander Wang. Browse through their website and check out their large variety of coats, shoes, shirts and pants, you’re bound to find the purrfect outfit.

 

Read more Fashion Articles on Clichemag.com 
Leopard Print is the New Neutral. Image credits: NeimanMarcus.com

5 Ways to Style Gingham

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Traditionally, wearing gingham was limited to summer, but now we are seeing this pattern appear all year long. It works well as a transition piece between seasons because it includes white and neutral colors like black or navy that can be paired with most solids. Any statement necklace or pair of tassel earrings are sure to stand out alongside checkered gingham items. From preppy to trendy looks, gingham is one of the most versatile pieces to style. Check out our 5 ways to style gingham! 

Classic Look

With so many cute looks in mind, choosing just ways to style gingham is difficult!  Preppy looks, one of the most classic, often include gingham patterns. From collared dresses to blazers, gingham makes many appearances in the preppy style including this look. A classic gingham shift dress paired with a navy blue cable knit sweater and Jack Rogers sandals is the perfect combination of elegant and stylish.

Photo Credit: www.belleoftheball45.blogspot.com  

 

Casual Look

Since gingham is a bold print, it doesn’t require many accessories. A pair of gingham pants can be paired with a scoop neck neutral sweater and oxford shoes for a simple, yet put together look. Adding a pair of sunglasses or a racerback bra can add extra touches to this casual outfit without taking away from the pants.

Photo Credit: www.vitasumarte.com

 

Bold Look

While this look may not be for everyone, print mixing with gingham is an option. The colors in the top compliment the pink gingham well and give this look a vintage vibe. This look is perfect for the spring and summer because it is so colorful and bright.

Photo Credit: www.messagesonanapkin.blogspot.com

 

Summer Look

Since summer is one of the most popular seasons to wear gingham, styling a colorful top like this one is celebrated. Besides dark navy and black, gingham also comes in pastel or bright colors. This pastel blue and white gingham off the shoulder top compliments a pair of white jeans nicely and requires minimal accessories, maybe just a simple necklace or bracelet.

Photo Credit: www.laurenjames.com

 

Layered Look

Styling gingham with several layers makes for a cozy fall or winter outfit. The navy and white gingham top pops underneath the tan sweater and alongside the matching purse. In this case, the monogrammed necklace, watch and bracelets work well as fun accessories and add to the ambiance of this outfit. Choosing white jeans versus regular blue jeans is another option to make the gingham top stand out more.

Photo Credit: www.asoutherndrawl.com

 

For more ways to style gingham, check out this piece!
Read more Fashion articles at Cliché Magazine
5 Ways to Style Gingham. Featured Image Credit: www.asoutherndrawl.com

The Fab Life of Bianca Espada

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This past season on Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, we all welcomed Bianca Espada onto the scene of figuring out life and success. She’s a fabulous addition, to say the least! Espada has not only taken over our televisions, but she is taking the blogging and fashion world to a whole new level. Assistant to celebrity fashion guru Sonja Benson, Espada can sure teach us a lot about being a successful working woman on the go. Here, we chat with Espada as she continues to make her mark on the world. 

Cliché: How has joining the cast of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills influenced your professional career?
Bianca Espada: It has influenced my career in many ways, such as brands wanting to promote through me and people sending me their products. That kind of stuff has gone up drastically since the show aired.

What was your biggest motivation for you to get into fashion design?
I’m most inspired by travel, street style, and different cultures and backgrounds. Traveling has opened my eyes to the way people dress in different places. Also, New York City is huge and very influential. There are so many creative outlets here so I think my day-to-day life is inspiring.

What is it like being the assistant to a celebrity stylist?
Being an assistant to Sonja is so much fun. It’s the first job I’ve ever had where I get up and I’m excited to go to work. We work with some really fun people and we work with the most beautiful clothes. It’s like playing dress up all day.

Who is your favorite designer?
Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent. He’s no longer with Saint Laurent, but I think he is amazing.

With tons of options in both New York and L.A., what is your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate career goal is to work on my blog full time and to be able to work with different companies and different brands to promote each other. I think that would be a really fun and exciting job.

Your blog is absolutely amazing and aesthetically pleasing. What are your inspirations?
What qualifies as a good post for me is something that people are asking about on social media—everything from skin care, fragrances, or even the outfits I’m wearing in an episode. I get a lot of feedback from my followers, so that’s the direction I tend to go in.

What are some tips you have for a working woman on the go like yourself?
Always keep a pair of flats in your purse, as well as a nice pressed powder in your cosmetics bag. Also, lip liner goes a long way.

Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Photographed by Solmaz Saberi

Wise Up and Boot Up

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Nothing says hello autumn like a solid, gusty down pour. Maybe you just can’t wait for the cozy excuse to curl up with a romantic novel, listen to the rain tapping on the window, and fall asleep to the faint howls of the storm. On the other hand, you may be dreading the trek to class, knowing your umbrella will inevitably turn all sorts of inside out, and your mascara will take a dreadful slide for the worst.

According to http://www.weather.com, in the Atlantic Basin (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea), hurricane season is typically most active between mid-August through October. The height of the season being mid-September, with about as many major hurricane landfalls as October and August combined, the NHC says.

So the challenge then this fall is how to pull off being both functionally adorable, and unnecessarily wet.

The Rain Boot

Oh glorious foot warming contraption. The rain boot will become your best friend this fall. On muggy days exiting summer, they will keep your feet out of puddles and in style. Pair your galoshes with shorts and a light-weight rain jacket to make transition in to September fun.
Found on matome.naver.jp

Once the chilly weather hits, the legging-boot combo will rule your weekly trek through the rain. You can’t go wrong here, with the versatility of tops to match: oversized sweaters, rain jackets, cardigans – welcome all things autumn.
Found on popcornandpandas.com

And finally, once the autumn rain subsides, turning to frosty snow in November and December, your rain boots will still be just as dependable. Layer up with jeans, wool socks, leg warmers, and your hand-dandy boots to conquer any storm that comes your way this season!
Found on cyndispivey.com

Do you have any suggestions of how to wise up and boot up this fall? Tweet us @ Clichemag now!

School Staples

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School Staples

The ringing sound of the bell marking our start to hurry up to class is right around the corner. July has left us, and as we move into August, we must prepare for the back-to-school season to begin. The preparation of moving into dorm rooms, finding the right (i.e. cute) stationery supplies, and making sure our schedules are up to par is all in full swing. Of course, what comforter we want, what notebooks we need, and what classes we take aren’t the only school related tasks on our minds. What is most important is what we will be wearing–duh! Looking good ultimately makes you feel good, and most of us can say that back-to-school shopping for clothes helps put that pep into our step. We can go to our classes feeling confident, comfortable, and stylish all with the help of a few school staples.

When shopping for clothes to return to school, you don’t have to stock up again on a whole new wardrobe–as much as we would love to! Instead you can invest in some basic quality pieces. You will be able to mix and match these pieces together to create more outfits than you would think you have. A stylish trick just for you! We’re here to break down the must-have items you are going to want and need in your closet this upcoming fall. You can thank us later for saving some cash in your wallets!

1. The Right Tote
Picking out a bag to carry all that we need during the day can be just as hard as picking out the perfect, little black dress. Our go-to bag for this fall is able to provide all that you need–comfort, space, and style: the tote. You’ll be able to keep everything you must have on hand, including your books, lunch, and feminine needs, all in tow. It will all be organized and a quick hand grab away.

 

tote.jpg

(Tote’s Amaze Bag, $49.99, Modcloth.com)

2. The Trench Coat
Go neutral and purchase a taupe or nude coat. Be bold with color and go for a bright red or royal blue. You can’t go wrong with a versatile coat that can take on almost any weather. Whether it’s raining or is a cool enough day for another layer to compliment your outfit, the trench coat is a light and simple addition to any look.

trenchcoat.jpg

(Silence + Noise Drapey Trench Coat, $149, Urbanoutfitters.com)

3. The Rain Boots
One thing is for certain during the fall season: it will rain come sun or clouds. You really never know when those droplets will fall so be prepared. Rain boots can be a super shoe when you don’t want to ruin your precious shoes on puddle-filled days. Now rain boots have become a style piece all on their own. They’re available in adorable prints, fine textures, and basic colors for everyday wear.

 

rainboots.jpg

(Packable Puddletons, $39.99, Puddletons.com)

4. The Black Denim
Black will always be the new black–point blank. A pair of black denim jeans can go with absolutely any top and can be your grab-and-go bottoms when you can’t decide what to wear. They’re an easy way to stay stylish while looking cool and effortless. Purchasing ripped jeans or adding some cuts at the knees of a pair you already own can give you a more urban and distressed look.

blackdenim.jpg

(Bullhead Denim Co High Rise Skinniest Slit Knee Black Jeans, $45, Pacsun.com)

5. The Panama Hat
Other than the basic beanie, the panama hat can be your hair’s best friend. They’re mostly seen in black, but you can also be a bit risque by purchasing a wine, emerald, or blue one. At this point in fashion, anything can become a neutral. So why not a panama hat? The fact that it makes you look chic on any given day is just an added bonus.

 

panama hat.jpg

(Jordan Panama Hat, $58, Nastygal.com)

6. The Printed Blouse
Prints are not budging in the trend reports. No one blames them either. They’re absolutely fun to experiment with and can be surprisingly sexy, like the snakeskin print. At first prints may seem a bit intimidating, but all you need to remember is a print with a basic is the way to go. Toss on a printed blouse, and pair it with a basic colored skirt or even some black denim–outfit complete.

printedblouse.jpg

(Carven Printed Blouse, $470, Shopbop.com)

7. The Midi Skirt
It looks like the mini and maxi skirts aren’t the top favorites anymore. The midi skirt has made it clear that there is a new style in town ever since its appearance this past year. With its comfortable length, you won’t have to check if your skirt is too short or have to keep lifting up the hem. Instead, you can walk easily in one of these numbers without any worries!

midiskirt.jpg

(Knife Pleat Midi Skirt, $67.71, Asos.com)

8. The Leopard Belt
Speaking of neutrals like the panama hat, let’s face it–leopard print has certainly become a neutral. Some fashion experts may disagree, but we adore this spicy touch of animal print on looks. A leopard belt is the perfect accessory. Add it around a skirt or with some skinny jeans.

 

leopardbelt.jpg

(Skinny Printed Calf Hair Belt, $68, Jcrew.com)

9. The Oxfords
Menswear always seems to come along as the number one trend for fall. Oxfords provide that masculine yet feminine touch to an outfit. Slide them on, and you’ll be set all day. You’ll be fashion forward and comfortable going to classes, work, and all other activities you super women do.

oxfords.jpg

(Metallic Brogue $49.90, Express.com)

10. The Sweater
Sweater weather is better weather. Are we right? Fall is the epitome of just that, and we can’t go through this season without having our favorite sweater in tow. Whether it’s loose, varsity inspired, oversized, or Cosby-esque, a sweater is super easy to layer with. We’re guilty of wearing them just for their extra comfy and snuggly factor.

sweater.jpg

(Hinge Short Sleeve Pullover, $44.90, Nordstrom.com)

Oda’s Castle in the Clouds Collection

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We’ve all had our own clothing fantasies: being lavished only in the finest of fabrics and organic fibers or wearing highly-detailed garments, made from planet–friendly dyes. The Oda founders have managed to make our clothing dreams a reality.

Sisters Angie Kim and Maggie Kim met Mandalyn Begay as undergraduates studying at Dartmouth College. Later, studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, the three women created their fashion company, Oda. Their newest collection for spring/summer, titled Castle in the Clouds, is an “ode to the dreamer.”

The collection, influenced by Oda founders’ love of art, fashion, history, and nature, appears to draw inspiration from fairy tales, including such archetypal characters as the brave warrior and the evil mistress. Each of the featured looks, made from environmentally sustainable materials, embodies classic fairy tale themes like dark versus light and the good versus evil. The pieces, though fantastical, take form in modern-day apparel that women (and men) can wear both day and night.

Cliché: What inspired this collection?
Angie Kim, Maggie Kim, and Mandalyn Begay: We were inspired by a few different elements. One was old school candy that we all love to eat late at night while working, things like Fun Dip, Nerds, Lemon Heads, and Starbursts from when we were kids. We were also inspired by the circus and some of the darker, dreamier elements. Lastly, we were inspired by the trio of books Sabriel, Liriel, and Abhorsen by Garth Nix about a necromancer who can raise the dead by playing a bandolier of bells.

2014_008_Oda_Shot1_603-2

What are some favorite pieces?
We love the Forgotten Kisses meringue dress (the white asymmetrical dress), and the bubblegum pink frothy dress.

What do you hope for in this collection?
We hope it brings a smile to people’s faces, and we hope they buy this collection.

Anything interesting you can tell us about the collection or one of the pieces that we wouldn’t know?
All of the colors were hand-dyed, usually at least 5-6 times to get the colors right, and often in small strips of fabric individually dip-dyed or squeeze-dyed. On the Forgotten Kisses meringue dress, we burned over 100 yards of silk gauze to get the “meringued” look on the edges of the ruffles.

Just like a dream, the pieces in the collection will be gone before you know it—they are only available for a limited time! So before this dream slips away, take a look at the collection, splurge a little, and create a story all your own. Any of the pieces can be purchased from Odafashion.com. For wholesale orders, contact orders@odafashion.com.

Photographs for Oda’s Castle in the Clouds Collection by Sarah Kehoe.

Swimsuit Cover-Ups

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Swimsuit cover-ups have undergone a much-needed update. We bid adieu to drab, unflattering cover-ups, and welcome new ones in trendy prints and crocheted and sheer fabric.

vscoverup

(Linen Beaded Cover-Up Sweater $94, Victoriassecret.com)

Be a little sultry in this cover-up by showing some skin and a peek at your bikini. A bright swimsuit is a colorful surprise underneath the white cover-up. You’ll feel glamorous and a little daring by having your swimsuit boldly show through.

asoskimono

(Seafolly Summer Garden Eden Kimono $241.99, Asos.com)

Kimonos have become a summer staple. This tropical floral-printed kimono is a stand-out piece, hands-down. At the bottom of this cover-up, the electrifying colors change into a beautiful ombre of yellow and pink. You’re going to want to show off this kimono to everyone!

emiliosarong

(Emilio Pucci Cotton Sarong $485, Stylebop.com)

Instead of a covering your entire body, a sarong can be tied around your waist. It’s an easy tie-on, tie-off piece for those quick beach visits when you’re ready to swim or tan. It adds a bit of sophistication to a swimsuit, and if you’re wearing a solid colored suit, it gives some extra color. Wear it with a sun hat, and you’ll look like as if you just came from the French Riviera.

nastygalcover

(Minimale Animale Johnny Utah Swimsuit Cover Up $185, Nastygal.com)

Take a look at this more urban spin on a swimsuit cover-up. An oversized baseball-style tee, this cover-up can easily be transformed into a beachy look. Just add a cap, slip on some sandals, and take a stroll down your favorite beach spot. You’ll feel comfortable, cool, and chic.

f21cover

(Floral Swim Cover Up $15.80, Forever21.com)

For an easy day look, try this summer dress-inspired take. While still following the fashionable floral print trend, you’ll be set to take a walk, go out to lunch, and even run errands with your swimsuit underneath. No need to have to run home and change. Just wear this cover-up, and go where you please.

macyscover

(Raviya Ombre Chiffon Maxi Dress Cover Up $24, Macys.com)

Often there are times where a day at the beach continues into the night. This maxi dress cover-up allows you to have that sexy midnight feel. Rock it with your swimsuit showing from beneath its sheer fabric, and strap on some sandals or wedges. You’ll blend into the gorgeous, summer night with this cover-up’s cool blue ombre fabric.

Perfect Summer Clutches

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The idea of lugging around an oversized handbag during these summer months is definitely something we don’t want to be sweating over. Of course, being in style and appearing fashionable can come with a cost, but there is an easy solution: the clutch. The clutch is this summer’s must-have item for carrying all of your summer essentials without the weight or burden of a heavy purse. Its small, compact size–yet roomy-enough interior–allows you to effortlessly organize your must-need essentials.

These easy-to-carry accessories can be styled with any outfit, and Cliché has compiled a list of some fashionable clutches in trending styles that you can use for your many summer looks. Check out these perfect summer clutches ready to be shown off in your hands.

Havana Clutch In Natural Gold $50, JCrew.com

Havana Clutch In Natural Gold $50, JCrew.com

Woven Neutral
A constant summer trend each year–much like the crochet trend– is woven texture. It provides that beachy feel, reminiscent of traveling to a sunny destination. Available mostly in neutral, wicker colors, woven clutches can be paired with any summer get-up to give it that chic touch. The metallic, leather details and rectangular structure allow it to be an easy, stylish carry-on, wherever you may go.

klearklutch

Klear Klutch Small Clear Transparent Clutch Bag $77, Asos.com

Transparent
Take on a fearless trend with this transparent style. The see-all bag makes it easier to know where everything is in your clutch. It’s a much more futuristic style, but it allows you to be a bit a more risqué and bold. To catch more attention, add pops of color by filling it with any of your bright summer must-needs. Or you could keep it neutral and allow your stellar outfit to be seen through it.

Roxiana Envelope Clutch Bag with Floral Print $27, Missguidedus.com

Tropical Print
What else is more summer-themed than a tropical print? Soak up the sun with this printed stunner, whether it be dangling on your shoulder by a thin chain or held in your hand. In the trendy envelope style that’s popular today, tropical print clutches would be the center of attention paired with a neutral outfit. Despite it being a little bit bigger than the average clutch size, its thin style allows for a weightless feel.

beadedclutch

Aspiga Full Beaded Clutch $210, Wolfandbadger.com

Bead It
Another larger statement clutch comes in this all-over beaded style. With an intricately detailed Aztec pattern formed by different, vibrantly-colored beads, this accessory is a standout piece for sure. This look is one that you’ll always want to show off in of your wardrobe. This clutch will be a perfect combination when added to any of your summer dresses. You’ll have compliments galore!