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Winter 2016: Fashion

Fast fashion made greener

Above, an abundance of discount clothing retailers has led to increased low-cost options for consumers. Below, many retailers employ a practice called fast fashion, which started gaining popularity in the 1990s. It refers to the process of creating a garment and getting it into stores as quickly as possible. Textile recycling, or donating used clothes to thrift stores, has helped to eliminate thousands of pounds of clothing from the regional waste stream.

Above, an abundance of discount clothing retailers has led to increased low-cost options for consumers. Below, many retailers employ a practice called fast fashion, which started gaining popularity in the 1990s. It refers to the process of creating a garment and getting it into stores as quickly as possible. Textile recycling, or donating used clothes to thrift stores, has helped to eliminate thousands of pounds of clothing from the regional waste stream.

Textile recycling helps the north country manage an eco-friendly waste stream

By Katie Machia, NNY Living

Photos by AFM Photography

In 1990, the average American household spent approximately 5 percent of its overall budget on apparel. Today, that percentage has dropped to 3.5 percent, which amounts to an average of $1,700 a year, according to a recent article in Forbes magazine. [Read more…]

Holiday 2015: Fashion

Accessorize for the holidays

The fur stole is a trendy piece worn around one shoulder and wrapped across the stomach.

The fur stole is a trendy piece worn around one shoulder and wrapped across the stomach.

Text by Katie Machia  |  Photos by AFM Photography

One of the most important things you can do to create a perfect winter look is to accessorize. This is often the last step in the process of getting dressed, but can be one of the most important. The designers of this year’s Fashion Week 2015 collections have got you covered with the most up-to-date accessories for your closet. Whether it be boots, handbags or jewelry, there are many new styles and colors to try.

A good scarf is an essential winter item for anyone living in Northern New York, where it’s not uncommon for temperatures to drop below zero. Many different styles were shown on the runways this past season, and by far the most popular style was the fur stole. This trendy piece is worn around one shoulder and wrapped across the stomach. It works best over a thick sweater or a coat, and you can finish it off with a slim belt tied just above your stomach.

Another popular style is the slim scarf. Taking inspiration from the 1970s, this look emits a cool and confident feeling. Wrap it once around your neck, and tie it the second time around, letting it hang loose. This looks great with any V-neck blouses or thinner jackets. It’s the perfect scarf to wear under your coat as well.

If you want something more practical for the north country winters, go for a blanket scarf. This oversized accessory is meant to be worn around the neck, but can also be unfolded and thrown over the shoulders. These scarves usually come in warm fabrics and a variety of prints. Don’t be afraid to go for a bold print or pattern, but make sure your jacket is a neutral color. This scarf is perfect for those days when you don’t want to get out of bed and feel like you need to bring your blanket to the office.

Bandanas are one of the hottest trends for this season, as this accessory is making a huge comeback. There are two ways to wear a bandana. You can fold the two ends of a bandana together and tie around your neck, or you can roll it and tie it into a knot. Both looks are clean, classic, and very chic. This trend looks best with a V-neck sweater, basic long-sleeve t-shirt, or a light cardigan.

When it comes to jewelry, the trend this year can be described as “more is more.” Lots of layering, big bling, and sparkly things are all the rage. One of the major trends is the brooch, which is making a reappearance from the past. This piece of jewelry can make a huge statement on bags, jackets and blazers. The more the better, so mix multiple pins on a denim jacket for a retro look. For a classier and cleaner look, place a brooch on your handbag.

The next big thing is the cuff earring. This style started to slowly emerge a couple years ago, with only a few people jumping onto the band wagon. The popular style used to be small and subtle, but this year extravagant, wild, “out-there” cuffs have made an appearance. Wear one of these earrings that wraps all the way up your ear to make a statement at your next Christmas party. They can also be dressed down with more casual pieces like a plain T-shirt and jeans.

L_FAS_Winter_4_1115 WEBFancy pieces like pearls, diamonds, and floral are going to have a heavy presence this season. The feminine jewels are perfect for holiday parties and get-togethers. To ensure the perfect balance of pieces, mix the jewelry with solid colors, or more casual dresses. If you want to go all out, a perfect pair of diamond earrings or a gemstone statement necklace would be stunning paired with a gown.

Handbags are always a hot topic every time a new season comes around. They’re one of the most popular items, and designers are always introducing new styles, fabrics, and patterns. This season, furry bags are expected to be extremely popular. These started to make their appearance on the scene last year, but only recently have they been seen more on the streets. They’re perfect for Northern New York, because they are not only very practical for winter, but they can make any outfit look instantly chic. This must-have bag can go with everything from a basic T-shirt and jeans to a fancy gown.

Another popular accessory is the belt. This season’s motto is “the wilder, the better,” with bows, loops, and additional extravagant detail being extremely popular. The runway shows were filled with looks containing chains and metal belts. If you’re not that adventurous and want to stick to a more subtle look, take a plain black belt, loop the strap underneath the front, pull it through behind, and stick it through the loop. This is a very popular tying method, and looks great with sweaters, dresses, and even some light jackets. If you want to go for a bolder look, try a big buckle belt. This accessory looks best paired with a chunky sweater or mod-shift dress.

Shoes are usually every woman’s favorite accessory, and if not, they’re still pretty high up there on the list. Some re-occurring styles that will be popular this winter include thigh-high boots, slip on sandals with fur, and patent leather boots. One style that is very wearable and easy to find in Northern New York is the ankle boot. This trend has been popping back up from time to time, but it really had a hard-to-miss presence on the runway this year. These boots can be styled so many different ways, the versatility is unbelievable. My favorite way to wear them is with dark denim, a cute skirt with thick tights, or even a pair of culottes.

A style that people tend to have mixed opinions on is the “socks with sandals” trend. Whether or not you like this look, you’ll probably be seeing more of it this winter. It’s extremely practical for when you don’t feel like wearing boots all day at the workplace. Throw on a pair of colored socks, like gray, white, or black, and when you get indoors, take off your boots and put on a pair of slip on sandals, or strap on your favorite pair of wedge sandals. This looks great with a boyfriend jean or even a dress with tights.

There are so many great accessories to try this winter. The key is to keep a good balance, and not add everything at once. The golden rule is to always take off one accessory before you go out if you’re wearing a lot of them. This will ensure that you have the perfect combination of pieces. Remember to always have fun with your accessories and add some bold pieces every once in a while.

Katie Machia, 17, is a Watertown native and freshman at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She writes about fashion on her blog, theaisleofstyle.com, and is a regular contributor to NNY Living. She also models for print and runway shows.Contact her at theaisleofstyle@gmail.com.

Summer 2015: Fashion

Summer brings back the ’70s

Dresses, jewelry and orange handbag are from Finley’s Closet. Jean jacket and shoes belong to model. Sunglasses, hat and head wrap provided by stylist. Fashion styling by Katie Machia; hair and make-up by River Day Spa and Salon, Clayton; models from AMS Models and Talent, Syracuse.

Dresses, jewelry and orange handbag are from Finley’s Closet. Jean jacket and shoes belong to model. Sunglasses, hat and head wrap provided by stylist. Fashion styling by Katie Machia; hair and make-up by River Day Spa and Salon, Clayton.

This year’s summer fashion trends will see signs of ’70s-era style, stripes creep in popular looks

By Katie Machia | Photos by AFM Photography | Models from AMS Models and Talent [Read more…]

Spring 2015 Fashion Feature Story: Spring fashions

Spring brings new and familiar wares

A model from the Soia & Kyo show shows a beige floppy hat that can be worn in the spring. Photo by AFM Photography.

A model from the Soia & Kyo show shows a beige floppy hat that can be worn in the spring. Photo by AFM Photography.

Incorporate some suitable winter pieces into your spring wardrobe and save money this season

By Katie Machia, NNY Living

With warmer weather fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about spring clothing. In other words, pull out the dresses, shorts and sandals and put them to good use. People often think they have to go out and buy a completely new wardrobe for the changing weather, but this isn’t always the case. Knowing how to take your winter pieces and incorporate them into your spring wardrobe can save you money, time, and space in your closet. It’s actually much easier than you would think to accomplish. [Read more…]