Archive | February, 2013

How I ended up backstage at Paris Fashion Week

27 Feb

My friend Kate and I decided we were going to see if we could wait in line and get standing room for the Nicolas Andreas Taralis show at 1:00 in the eighth arrondissement, near the Champs-Élysées. We just assumed that the earlier you got there, the better. We were wrong. We showed up, and no one was there except people who worked for the show. As we were awkwardly standing there deciding what our next move should be, a lady came up to us and asked if we were working. I told her that we weren’t working, but we were waiting to see if there would be standing room so we could see the show. To my surprise, she said “Yeah, come back at 1:00 and find me, and I can get you a seat.” WHAT.

So Kate and I got coffee and came back at 12:45, only to see a huge crowd of people lining up. I didn’t know what to do, so I just planned on getting in the line and hoping that the lady would remember us and let us in. My brilliant friend Kate made the executive decision to wait on the other side until 1:00 and then try to find the lady, like she had instructed us to do. Within three minutes of standing there, another girl, who had seen us earlier, walked out, turned to us and said, “Are you guys working for anyone? Because we need some more dressers backstage. Are you interested?” I’m pretty sure I said yes before Kate even realized what was going on. And just like that, we were brought backstage, assigned a model, and given directions.

I was a dresser backstage at the Nicolas Andreas Taralis show at Paris Fashion Week. PARIS FASHION WEEK. This isn’t just something that everyone gets to do, and I completely understand that. I just happened to have the right amount of luck and confidence, not to mention impeccable timing.

Below are some pictures I took. To see every look from the show, visit STYLE.

3Lining up for the finale.


Some of the male models striking a pose.


Obsessed with the hair at this show.

She is stunning.

2Me with my model, Jamily.


Leggings Gone Wild!!!

27 Feb

By Kara Harms

As we all experienced while making our wardrobe transitions from high school to college to real adult world, teens have very different styles from grown ups. I personally went through a strange emo/punk/scene period where I dyed my hair blue and thought wearing an entire pencil of eyeliner on my face looked attractive.

Teens do strange things. It is what defines us from the evil close-minded grown ups of the outside world.  It is what sets ourselves apart…and what fuels those stories we tell each other 5 years down the road. You know, the ones that you always end with “I don’t know what I was thinking”.

In Roma, the teens are no different. While you find the Italian woman dressed in dark colors, always running around in heels like champs and probably adorn in fur (and possibly a designer bag) the teens are completely different.  They like color. They like flat shoes. They like to POP.

While on a class tour today in a museum, we ran into a huge group of kids from a local high school. And every single girl looked like this:

Crazy colored leggings and tennis or high-tops.

I’m still not sure how I feel about this trend. While I’m intrigued by some of the tights-I saw a pair of sick milky way printed ones-I think they may be a little to much In Your Face while paired with the tennis shoes. A little too much funk going on here… or maybe it is because I’m in the “college” phase of my life and slowly entering the “real world adult” part and these edgy teenaged styles are way past my time? Who am I too judge.

Them. Actually I’m here to judge them.

As you all maybe have noticed, American women gravitate towards tall brown boots. In fact I think all of the girls in our class today had on either dark skinny jeans or leggings with brown boots. With my very adult looking outfit, I felt so mature and wise walking among these shinny rainbow legged kids.

And then I suddenly felt like I missed the memo of trendiness. Is this the style that is going to be hitting the Midwest in 2 years? Should I be grabbin’ up all the now cheap artsy leggings and be stocking up for when the wave hits?  Do these kids actually know something I don’t? I just don’t know.  I kind of hope not…just imagine these leggings against the blaring white Minnesota snow. We all may go blind.

You be the judge: Yay or Nay on this new Roman teenage trend? Is it just a “teen thing” or do you think it is going to be an upcoming mega style?

Doggy Couture

18 Feb


In Minnesota when the thermostat reaches over 40, we all jump for joy over the sudden wealth of warmth bestowed on us. Anything but 20 below walks to class could make us happy in the Midwest.

Here in Italy, they all bundle up in parkas, heavy-duty scarves and mittens and hats. They look like they are ready to walk out their front door and into a Minnesotan blizzard. In reality, most days hover around 45-50 degrees here in Roma, which means either I am a freak of nature for thinking that is pleasant weather, or these Romans need to grow a backbone.

Since they so strongly believe that 45 degrees is “freezing”, they like to make sure their dogs are happy and comfortable in these cold winter days by bundling their tiny pups up in sweaters and vests. It is honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen.  When growing up in rural Wisconsin, our family always had dogs and those suckers had to run around outside knee deep in snow without any sweaters or vests. Not even booties!

The Roman dogs have it good, you guys.

Why Not To Shop In Switzerland

11 Feb

By Kara Harms

I came to Switzerland to see mountains and eat chocolate and cheese. I also dreamt of buying an authentic Swiss watch for my boyfriend ,because, other than chocolate, watches are THE THING to get in Switzerland.

And then I saw the prices and I wanted to crawl up in a dark hole and cry.

I was warned that Switzerland was expensive, but I assumed it was the sort of “Rome Expensive” where most things hover around the 100 Euro mark.


Try 200 Francs for a simple shirt. And over 700 Francs for a simple watch, with the good ones more than 2,000. (A Franc is pretty close to the worth of a Dollar, if you need a reference point).

The short moral of this post is that Switzerland is Hella expensive with a capital H. You shouldn’t expect to shop or eat anything in that country unless you want to go bankrupt.  Stick to Rome or Paris or London for affordable shopping.

Unless, of course, one day you find yourself with an extra $2,000 hanging around and you have a sexy man with a wrist that  is just begging for a sexy watch. Then consider going to Switzerland.


Les Soldes

5 Feb

By Melanie Richtman


We all know Paris is considered the fashion capital of the world. Everyone can argue otherwise, but the French know a thing or two about fashion. A lot of the trends we have in the United States were brought over from France. Except one: Les Soldes. “Les Soldes” are giant markdowns in literally every store in Paris. It’s not like a semi-annual sale in the US where you get 30% off some of the store’s product. 90 percent of the store’s merchandise is marked down, usually somewhere between 50% and 70%.

It is literally all anyone talks about. Everyone in my program talks about les soldes. Obviously we are new in Paris, so this is exciting. But even my host mom was talking about les soldes. Her ten year old daughter gets excited about les soldes. Paris is a wonderful place. I have been shopping at least seven times since I’ve been here. That averages to about once every two days. Luckily (and unfortunately) les soldes end this week, so I may be able to have enough money to buy a plane ticket home in May. I hope this trend makes it to America as soon as possible.