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Fashion by Felicia

Felicia Caponigri | Monday, August 29, 2011

I have always been inspired by the statue of Our Lady which sits proudly on the Golden Dome.  While visitors see her as an example of the aesthetic beauty inherent in Notre Dame’s campus, young student tour guides refer to her place in the “Jump, mama!” folklore and alumni photograph her on the Dome as part of the visual embodiment of the phrase “God, Country, Notre Dame”, I like to think I share a more personal bond with her than any other fan. High up in the sky, as she looks down upon our activities and preoccupations, she may be getting on in years, have her hands forever stretched out and battle birds and other weather elements without any protection, but she always presents a fashionable figure in her golden sheath.  Let’s face it, Mary knows how to grab her viewer’s attention, and it’s not by wearing black, gray or any other monotone color.

Embracing metallics has always been the road to fashion domination, historically and in contemporary times. From Cleopatra to Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa, whether entering the empire of Rome or walking the red carpet, the shimmer of this precious metal allows you to stand out from the crowd. Italian women consider gold a must of every outfit. A walk down any Italian street displays women of every age with gold touches everywhere in their overall style presentations.  Well, the last time I checked, Italian streets had nothing on our wide campus runways! How can we break out our own inner golden girls while keeping our minds on academic journals, papers, exams and overall intellectual world domination? Ladies, look no further than the gold accessory.

Gold accessories come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as inconspicuous as treasured, simple hoop earrings, or as loud and vivacious as a gold carry-all tote. The key to making gold work in your overall fashion ensemble is to go big or go home.  Now, please note, I’m not talking Snoop Dogg big (we are not going for the nouveaux-riche look), but statement pieces are key. You want people to know you mean accessory business. The best thing about gold as a color is that it goes with everything — black, red, white, tan, even gray! Gold instantly warms an outfit, giving your cheeks an extra radiant glow in the process.  Think of yourself as a canvas, and your accessories as the frame. If you’re wearing gold sandals, add a gold bag and gold cuffs. A gold belt will cinch any waist and give you an air of Belle Époque glamour in the process.  Brooches also work ¬— pin a gold one onto a white t-shirt and you’ll have new style savoir-faire.  For those of us enamored with layering, an easy way to up the ante on a simple jeans and t-shirt combo is by adding a gold camisole underneath. This hint of shimmer woven into your main piece will further stupefy your audience with wonder.  Start out your golden journey with a golden Zara bucket bag for $99.00 and a gold H&M cuff for $12.95. Who says only Midas had the golden touch?

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Felicia Caponigri at fcaponigri@nd.edu

 

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Fashion by Felicia

Felicia Caponigri | Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Well dearest fashionistas, it’s that time of the year again. And as we tearfully say goodbye to summer with its intoxicating adventures and turn our minds to the goals and ambitions we have set for our upcoming semester, one important question still remains: What are we going to wear?

Like any other young women of ambition and sophistication, we have each evolved over the summer. We have learned new languages, traveled to far off non-English speaking countries where we found fashion accessories the key to bartering for a coveted bottle of water (long story involving large hand gestures, Oscar-worthy acting and loud bohemian prints … inquire at your own peril). We’ve created bonfires on the beach, gotten fabulous tans and plumbed our emotional depths to discover the mature woman inside our girlish figures.

Some of us are saying farewell to our old selves and Bonjour to the new psyche we aim to create in the college environment. Others are keeping their designer selves, while those of us in our last year are already dreaming of the haute couture wardrobe we know to be part of our destiny after graduation (Darling Dior- J’arrive!!). We need back-to-school fashion choices that broadcast our summer accomplishments on visual loudspeakers while still leading us to conquer our own personal Rubicon in style.

Back in the 1940s, Katharine Hepburn made her own rules in Hollywood by challenging the establishment in pants instead of the traditional pencil skirt. Recently, our European counterparts have taken this female power-dressing to a new extreme by putting pants into a Technicolor setting of which even Scarlett O’Hara would be proud. It is this fashion choice that promises to unite summer and school: fellow fashion followers, I give you the bright pant!

Fitted, straight leg pants are a necessary part of a finished wardrobe. There is nothing more visually unappealing than observing a pair of pants that does not fit their owner properly. Pants should never be too baggy or too tight, too long or too short. Just as the fit through the hip area is crucially important, so is the length of the pant, which can either elongate your leg or abbreviate it. The classic trouser leg should end at the top of your ankle bone, whether you wear them with flats or heels.

For the petite among us, this elongates our gams, while the already statuesque remain in their goddess-like atmosphere. Do not be afraid to take your pants to a talented tailor for a good hemming (I, myself, am a huge fan of the lovely seamstress at our very own St. Michael’s Laundry). Frayed edges and street blackened pant ends will only frighten those dresses and blouses neighboring your pants in that sacred closet space.

In terms of color, the brighter the better. Italy has always been a fan of bright red (even on men), while trendy Londoners proclaim their groove in bright blues. The Spanish love classic sunset colors: orange, golden yellows and even green. Pair your bright pants with a classic oxford shirt to mellow the effect, or a wild print to call the spirits of bohemia to you. Use the pants’ color as a springboard for accessory matching: pair bright red pants with gold sandals and a gold bag, green pants with black sandals and your fabulous school satchel.

Think of your bright pants as a visual remembrance of summer that has evolved into your academic armor. As you step into that classroom, you’ll have your own source of inspirational light.

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer

Contact Felicia Caponigri at fcaponig@nd.edu