Category Archives: Fashion

What You Forgot to Pack

DSCN4348Nothing kicks off a fresh semester better than a pair of winter boots. That’s right Penn Staters, a pair of winter boots.

While they may not be on the top of your back-to-school packing list, winter boots have proven to be commonplace in dorm closets for years on end. The only problem? Students pack just a little too late.

According to, “the cold season’s first snow accumulations in State College materialize later in the month, between Oct. 20 and Oct. 31.”

For the students who venture home before the Thanksgiving holiday, it is possible you will dodge the snow without frozen piggies. Those who stay on campus until the holiday hits, however, may experience a slightly different forecast.

One of the earliest snowfalls on record in State College, Pa. took place on Oct. 2, 2011, reports

Moral of the story: have your winter boots at the ready in Happy Valley. If not, your feet may not be so happy.

Photo by Amelia Friedrichs

Behind the Scenes at New York Fashion Week

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 12.32.29 PMWhy are February and September the best months out of the entire year? Because that’s when New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is held. This year, NYFW lasted 10 days, September 3-11. Fashion designers from all over the world come to NYC to showcase their spring and summer 2015 (SS15) collections to potential buyers, press and the general public. Although some fashion shows do allow general public to purchase tickets to their shows, most of the time these shows are invite only consisting of VIPs, celebrities, press and typically close friends of the designer that is showcasing their new collection.

This year for the September showing, I had the privilege of working for Korean designer, Yuna Yang, who showed her SS15 collection on Thursday evening. Upon arriving at the Yuna Yang office in NYC early Thursday morning, I immediately got to work helping with the seating arrangements of the guests who had previously RSVPd to the event. The seating arrangement is in fact a pivotal part of the show. Typically, the VIPs, celebrities and magazine reps get the ever so coveted front row seats. Each seat at the show is carefully calculated and thought out as to who will sit there, hoping to eliminate any discrepancies.

Before leaving the office to set up for the show at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I had one last job to do: dressing two celebrity fashion bloggers, which I have to say was definitely one of the major highlights of my day. Often times, celebrities will wear the designers clothes to the shows to promote the designer, and depending on who is wearing the clothes, the value of the garments may go up even more. For example, big name fashion powerhouses such as Dior will actually pay celebrities to wear their gowns to red carpet events. Every big name designer fights for his or her designs to be worn by A-listers at major events.

When it came time for the fashion show to start, my job was to stay backstage and dress the models. Each dresser was given three models to dress throughout the show and every model had three different looks to show; for a total of nine looks that I was in charge of dressing the models for. The fashion show went off without a hitch and the designer was extremely pleased with how everything turned out; but that’s not to say that backstage wasn’t a crazy mass of chaos filled with dressers, photographers and hair and makeup people during the show.

Sadly, NYFW is over for me for this year. Hopefully I’ll see you in the spring NYC for the FW15 collections!

Photo by Katie Wall 

Alex and Ani: Penn State Logo Bangle

DSC_0036It all began when Carolyn Rafaelian would accompany her father, to work at Cinerama, a Cranston-based jewelry factory.  Little did she know, shortly after creating her own jewelry pieces, she would eventually become CEO of Alex and Ani, a positive energy company known for its signature expandable bangles.

The company, named after Rafaelian’s first two daughters, is rapidly becoming a top name in accessories, as the brand boasts an eco-friendly approach, using recycled metals from local vendor partners surrounding Cranston, RI. The brand has been regularly featured in magazines such as Vogue and Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

“A lot of girls wear them. They’re easy gifts to give and they look nice altogether with a watch or by itself,” says Dwellings sales associate Rebecca Bryden.

For Alex and Ani bangle lovers near and far, the Penn State University Mascot Charm Bangle has been added to the Alex and Ani collection and is available for purchase at Dwellings, located at 358 East College Ave. Continue reading

A Statement of Sweatpants

DSCN5850 2-2Any fashion groupie is bound to know Karl Lagerfeld’s famous quote: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

Guess he never saw this one coming.

You may know them as Joggers, maybe as fancy sweatpants, or maybe only as “the cool pants that stylish girl in my class was wearing last week.” Well either way you toss it, Joggers, otherwise known as the fashionable sweatpant, is a trend that has really taken hold, and with good reason.

Ever wish you could just leave the house in your favorite sweatpants? Sure, they’re ratty and certainly not form fitting, but they’re comfy, and comfy is key. So while that little devil on your shoulder is whispering that in your ear, the little angel is reciting Karl’s words, reminding you that you have to look presentable, and leading you to your closet. Continue reading

Sercy Celebrates Grand Opening in Downtown State College

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.57.27 AM“We’re opening with a fresh start,” says Sercy part-owner Christina Monzillo.

Christina, along with husband and co-owner Robert Monzillo, celebrated the official grand opening of Sercy (formerly known as Access), the newest gift and apparel boutique in downtown State College on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Former Access-lovers may ask, why the name change?

“The name Sercy comes from a southern tradition,” Christina says. A “sercy” is defined as a cute “just-because-you’re-cute-and-I-love-you-gift,” which easily relates to the feel and focus of the new store.

The store underwent a revitalization in late July due to constant requests and customer input indicating that more gift items and accessories should be added to their inventory.

“We listened to a lot of customers in past years, so we decided to make it happen,” Christina says.

The store boasts everything from cards, gifts, home décor, jewelry and handbags, to premium denim, accessories and going-out attire. With the concept of Sercy is set in motion, the affordable boutique caters to not just students, but people of all age brackets.

Between a hefty supply of white and ivory dresses for Greek life functions, and countless card and gift box options, it is clear Sercy has something for everyone. Renovations have been made to the inside store space as well as the addition of a second register to enhance costumer experience.

Who doesn’t want a “just-because-you’re-cute-and-I-love-you-gift?” At the very least, you deserve a gift.

Visit Sercy anytime Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo by Amelia Friedrichs

Origami Skirts: The Skort is Back

image-7Back in our middle school days, denim mini skirts were all the rage. Now, we look to the origami skirt, which is an updated version from the denim mini, or “the new mini skirt” if you will. From the runways to the streets, the origami skirt is a staple that is affordable for every type of budget.

The origami “skirt” is in fact a skort, with shorts in the back and an asymmetrical line in the front – giving the illusion of a skirt. Celebrities including the Jenner sisters, Rihanna and Olivia Palermo have all been spotted sporting the origami skirt, along with the industry’s most fashionable bloggers.

So, to whom can we credit for making this trend so popular? We can thank the Spanish clothing and accessories retailer, Zara, for hitting the nail on the head with this chic trend. Continue reading

Taking Your Closet From Drab to Fab

ClothesToPackForStudyAbroad_LaurenJohnsonFrom dorm rooms to apartments, many of us have become accustomed to the small closet life. Sure we all probably have high hopes of having a roomy walk-in closet one-day, but for now we must make use of what we have. Having a small closet means maximizing every inch of space. Organization is a key factor in successful space maximization.

Start off the Fall semester on the right foot with these several organizational tips that Valley put together just for you.

1. Some of us might find it hard to get rid of clothes and you may have taken clothes back to school with you that you think you’ll wear, but they’ll just sit in the back of your closet or in drawers all semester. Go through every article of clothing and ask yourself this question, “If I were shopping right now would I buy this item?” If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, donate it. Continue reading

Fall Denim: Sewing the Trends

IMG_6779The much-anticipated fall fashion season is quickly approaching, and this means it’s time to ditch the Levi’s high-waisted cutoffs for a fresh pair of chaps.

Move over, skinny jeans!  The mom jean (yes, that’s right), is a combination of your favorite high-waisted skinny jean and the comfy boyfriend jeans.  They are meant to fall a little bit below the belly button, unlike high-waisted jeans.  Mom jeans look best with a light or medium-light wash, and destroyed or vintage touches also help to define the trend.  Mom jeans can be dressed up, worn with a pointed toe pump and a blazer, or dressed down, with a cropped tank and loafers.

Boyfriend jeans are also on point this season.  The most flattering boyfriend fit should feature a tapered leg and be slouchy, but not falling-off-of-your-hips slouchy.  Wear a basic white tank top or tee with kitten heels to give the look a feminine finishing touch.

High-rise cigarette jeans instantly add inches to the leg.  The jeans should be skinny and as streamlined as possible to enhance the length of the leg.  Try wearing a crop top or a tight, tucked in tee with the high-rise cigarette jeans. Continue reading

Back-To-School Style: Campus Edition

c3853597ad0411031f1103fc99456f05To all my ladies (and any willing gentlemen) out there, it’s time to address the way you dress.

Whether you’re rolling out of bed just in time for class or waking up at the crack of dawn to primp and prep, the outfit you choose in the morning can make or break you later on (Yes, it’s that serious).

When you look good, you feel good. But if you’re looking so good you can’t walk to class in a skirt without a gust of wind flashing innocent onlookers, you’re gonna have a bad time – and you’re going to have to deal with it for the next five or six hours you’re stuck on campus far, far away from your closet.

For freshmen who thought walking from East Halls to Hammond would be like walking down the hall for class, or for the seniors who continue to be baffled by campus style year after year, this guide goes out to all the girls who want to look fabulous and feel comfortable.

Impossible, you say? We beg to differ. Continue reading

Ugly Chic: The Return of the Birk

88c2ce41e3fbf86077e1450097863a59The most comfortable sandal in the world has finally made a stylish comeback. Birkenstocks are no longer reserved only for your granola-crunching biology professor’s wardrobe.  The ‘ugly’ sandal features a cork footbed, roomy toe box and wide straps.

The 50-year-old company became famous in the 60′s, and the company prides itself on being vegan-friendly.  Each year, Birkenstock sales growth increases by 10-15 percent.

In the 1990′s, supermodel Kate Moss, who associated the Arizona sandals to the grunge movement, popularized the sandals.  Moss was photographed wearing the chunky sandals with a cropped top and cropped jeans, another trend that has reappeared from the 90’s-grunge vault. Continue reading