UH fashion taking cyber space by storm
Say the word "fashion," and people might think of Paris, London, Milan, New York and Los Angeles. A locally produced fashion blog thinks Houston should be at the top of that list.
"People tend to think Houston is not so much of a fashion scene," public relations senior and editor of Cougar Style blog Vanessa Hall said. "I want to let people know that UH and Houston has a fashion community."
Hall and long-time friend Jasmine Moses, advertising senior and co-editor of "Cougar Style" blog, have always had an affinity for fashion. After much discussion, they created a blog with the UH community in mind, modeled after their favorite fashion blog, "The Sartorialist."
"We had talked about having a fashion blog, but we never went through with it until (our) junior year," Moses said.
Since launching their blog in October 2006, their list of Houston fashionistas has grown. The site has also gained recognition from www.stylediary.stylehive.com as one of their "Top 50 Fashion Blogs."
With cameras ready for a quick shoot, Hall and Moses will stop a person whose style stops them in their tracks. They then ask them for permission to take a picture and their name, age, classification, favorite designer and a description of their style.
"Sometimes we’ll get people who say ‘no thanks,’ and I understand because they don’t want their picture posted on the Internet," Hall said.
Those who give permission also receive a link to their picture, posted online for the fashion world to see with a click of a button.
After uploading the pictures and information to the Web site, Moses and Hall also add their two cents about what they liked best about their latest fashion find.
Moses said they became aware of the popularity of the blog when people on campus started to recognize her and Hall.
"People would come up to us and say, ‘You’re the people who write the blog,’" she said.
Men and women on and off campus have been captured sporting their own unique style on the blog.
"It’s about having your own style no matter what anyone thinks," Hall said.
Moses said she believes fashion in Houston is a blend of culture, art and risk.
"Fashion is whatever looks good to you and having the confidence to wear it, and making it your own," Moses said.
Although the two have differences in their styles, they both believe creativity is the key to fashion.
"I like more classic, clean lines, neutral colors, but I think I’m slowly getting into more vibrant colors," Hall said. "I like styles that have the ethnic prints."
A blend of Urban Outfitters, Gap and clothes from small boutique stores in Houston fill Hall’s closet. She’s awed by Ashley Olsen’s fashion sense and says her list of designers include Rachel Roy, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen and Proenza Schouler.
Moses, an artist herself, likes to buy clothing and add accessories to her liking.
"I like to buy shirts and alter them," Moses said. "I’ll add buttons to shoes and a bow to a shirt, and get three individual necklaces and make it into one, creating my own style."
Her creativity has led to strangers complimenting her customized shoes, but there is one person who the shoes fail to draw praise from.
"I own some shoes from the ’80s, and I put a bow on them, and I have received many compliments," Moses said. "Except for Vanessa, she hates them and she literally screams."
It’s times like these when the two friends’ differences in style are evident. Hall turns away when people compliment Moses’ shoes.
"When people say they like them, I think they are living in ‘bizzaro land,’" Hall said jokingly. "They look like linoleum."
Moses’ favorite designers are Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Luca Luca and Tracy Reese.
"Even though we cannot afford (designer clothing), we still follow it," Hall said. "Dressing well on a college budget is hard."
One day, Moses would like to work for a fashion magazine in advertising and hopes to open a clothing store in Houston with Hall when the city reaches fashion flagship status.
"Houston is a big city with a small-town feel." Moses said. "It has a lot of potential."
Hall would like to be in the fashion industry working in public relations, but until then she has her eye set on the next round of fashionistas for April.
For more information, log on to cougarstyle.blogspot.com.