By: Bahar Orang


The Peplum Trend:

What does it look like? A peplum is a small strip of gathered or pleated fabric attached to the waistline of a garment (skirts, tops, blouses, and jackets) to create a frill effect. The word “peplum” comes from the Greek word for tunic – “peplos.” A peplum can be sewn horizontally or diagonally, and can be sleek and architectural or loose and flowy.

Where will you see it? On the catwalk (styled with an above-the-knee skirt and ankle boots), bright red or black formal H&M dresses, loose florals, velvet skirts, cream-coloured tops paired with pencil skirts or skinnies in pastel shades or chunky gold necklaces, Emma Watson, Blake Lively, bloggers opting for feminine-edgy wearing peplum tops in leather with stilettos and acid-wash jeans.

Where does it come from? The history of the peplum dates back to Ancient Greek clothing. Usually made from wool, both Greek men and women wore loosely-fitted “peplos.” During the Renaissance, the peplum took on a more structured form and extended outward like a short skirt. Peplums have since been cyclical, coming back in the ‘50s (following the war, when women went back to staying at home and more feminine designs re-entered the fashion industry), the ‘80s (big shoulders, big hips) and the ‘90s.

Yay? Mitigates the size of a food baby, creates the illusion of a more idealized hip-to-waist ratio, very feminine, adds a retro flavour to any outfit

Or Nay? Some peplums can look like frilly valances.

When will it end? The peplum is so terribly in right now, that there must eventually be some kind of a backlash – there’s a little bit of peplum on just about each article of clothing in every Zara store and a quick “peplum” search on the Forever 21 website produced sixty-two items. However, the peplum is always coming back – the flattering silhouette it creates is appealing to women of all body types.

By: Bahar Orang


I recently bought a pair of a high-wasted jean shorts from H&M that looked as though they had been worn by a car mechanic every day for at least a month. They were wrinkled, frayed, and faded. I picked them up and thought to myself, “these are perfect!” and proceeded towards the cash register. Later that week I accompanied a very stylish friend of mine to a local Goodwill, where he purchased a gigantic jean jacket of the same quality and took it home to hack off the sleeves. The store was filled with young, hip, student-types – with girls looking through the guy’s stuff and guys dressed in fairly expensive items, looking through racks and racks of used clothing. A couple of Google searches later, I discovered that the number of North American resale stores was increasing by about 7% every two years.

The Great Recession era is one obvious reason for why people (especially debt-heavy students!) are turning to cheaper alternatives. But I was especially intrigued by the phenomenon because not only are people buying more used clothing, but new clothes are also being designed to appear used! It seems that 90’s grunge fashion is back – with faded denim jackets, boyfriend T-shirts, flannels, beanies, and chunky lace-up shoes. And today’s thrift stores are filled with donated clothing from the 90’s. It’s hard to tell however, what exactly inspired this recent trend - it feels far too simplistic to owe it all to a struggling economy.

The 90’s fashion was “anti-fashion.” It was about an “I can’t be bothered attitude” that allowed each individual to have their own unique style, with effortless glam and sexuality.  The movement was born under Kurt Cobain’s “smells like teen spirit” anthem, with Kate Moss and Jonny Depp as its poster girl and boy. It was a way to detach from an uptight society and resist the status quo.

The style has been re-developing in downtown London for several years, and fashion designers are looking to street style for inspiration now more than ever. Thus, the difference between the 90’s and 2012 is that “grunge” can be seen in high fashion on the catwalks. Fortunately, it’s a style that’s about spending less and using personal creativity and individuality instead of money – which is why we’re turning to thrift stores. There’s often a twenty-year cycle that happens in fashion, and it appears that we’re in the midst of it – ripped panty hose, combat boots, maxi-floral dresses and all.










Katherine George


The concept of fashion is all about mixing and matching to create an artistic appearance that effectively reflects an individual’s personality. This concept often emits a superficial perspective which revolves solely around an individual’s external appearance

However, is it possible for fashion to fulfill a meaning beyond exterior appearances? Do-Won Chang and his wife Jin-Sook Chang, co-founders of the highly successful Forever 21, attempt to match their interest in fashion with their spiritual Christian beliefs.

The inspiration for creating Forever 21 was to provide consumers with attainable fashion pieces that are convenient, trendy and most importantly inexpensive. Forever 21 has made impressive progress since it was first founded in the United States during 1984. Today, Forever 21 has more than 480 stores worldwide and is planning on furthering their expansion into Europe within the upcoming years. Surprisingly, Do-Won Chang has built this incredible empire on two completely separate or seemingly separate ideals: fashion and religion.

Do-Won Chang successfully accomplishes the impossible task of harnessing his internal beliefs and values and promoting them in a highly fashionable way. The founder and co-founder expose their Christian beliefs by inscribing the biblical verse John 3:16 on the bottom of every merchandise bag.

Each customer walks away with not only their most recent wardrobe addition, but also a piece of Christian religion, whether they realize it or not.

This particular biblical reference is taken from the Christian Bible, more specifically chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John. It is one of the most frequently quoted verses from the Christian Bible and has even been referred to as the most famous Bible verse. More importantly, the message behind this popular biblical verse states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang state their intentions for emblazing this inscription on each and every merchandise bag is to show how their Christian belief has been highly influential while building their trendy fashion empire.

An interpretation into how this specific biblical reference pertains to the concept of fashion may perhaps imply that the clothing supplied by Forever 21 carries the strong spiritual belief of both Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang, and therefore is everlasting and sustains eternal life.

For some individuals Do-Won Chang’s proud and showy approach to expressing his religious beliefs is admirable. The fashion world is an incredibly cut-throat business world and it can be hard to sustain and maintain what is important.

However, there has been plenty of expected controversy over the use of a religious biblical reference for such a materialistic concept. It is incredible how something so small carries such enormous weight.

It may simply be a small accessory for Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang in comparison to their overall fashion outlook, but fashion is all about defining personality through appearance which Do-Won Chang and Jin-Sook Chang seem to accomplish quite fashionably.


Katherine George 

Silhouette Staff


Tribal fashion is an emerging trend within the fashion industry, consisting of an exotic mix of elements taken from different cultures around the globe. Cultures providing the inspiration for tribal fashion initially designed their clothing according to their environment, culture, belief and tradition. This particular style of fashion can vary from the standard articles of clothing worn on an everyday basis to the decorative ornaments covering their bodies.

Today, the practicality of tribal wear has changed, but the attractive appeal towards this exotic trend has continuously increased within Western society. As a result, tribal fashion has made the tremendous leap from being unique hand-made personal creations to becoming a trendy fashion statement intriguing not only public consumers, but also high-fashion designers.

The attention of many fashion designers is focused on women’s tribal wear and the intricate designs which it entails. Popular designs for tribal fashion include geometric shapes, along with bright colours and sometimes even vibrant dyes. These geometric designs are often stimulated from the personalized tattoos used by tribal people in order to differentiate their individuality.

Today, they have become the inspiration for design patterns to create mass-produced consumer culture. For example, Tahiti is a region from which the first tattoo of tribal people originated. Samoa tribal people used to wear traditional clothes and costumes to show their belief in good qualities. So these clothes represent the environment, culture, and style of a particular tribal group. In addition, stacking bracelets, big hoops, and feather necklaces are among some of the popular trends within tribal fashion jewellery.

One of the most commonly observed forms of tribal wear within the fashion industry, as well as everyday consumerism, is ethnically inspired elements of Native American culture. This is among one of the many controversial forms of tribal fashion within Western culture. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are a singular monolithic culture, when in reality there are 500+ uniquely separate tribes within the broad Native American culture.

The wearing of feathers and war bonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice, but rather symbols of honour and respect which are earned.

On October 2011, Urban Outfitters introduced several new items which resembled this particular style of tribal fashion. For example, the “Navajo Flask” and the “Navajo Hipster Panty” are among Urban Outfitter’s tribal inspired fashion trends.

The dilemma with advertising these products as an object of Native American fashion stems from the fact that the Navajo tribe owns a variety of trademarks under the term “Navajo,” including one covering clothing.

As a result, the Navajo Nation pursued legal action against Urban Outfitters for advertising these products. The liability within this situation was not the fact that the items were influenced by a Native American tribe, but more the unauthorized use of a registered trademark. However, it still raises the question surrounding culturally inspired tribal fashion. What are the moral ethics against consumerizing the culture of a minority group within North America for the profit of Western culture?


Chanèle Jordan

Silhouette Staff


It’s that wonderful time of year again. You know, when the weather plunges below zero degrees and we have to bundle up in a million layers in order to keep warm. During these extreme temperatures (though it has strangely started to warm up again), we tend to not focus so much on style and instead become more concerned with ensuring that we don’t freeze. Until this year, that is.

Accessorizing has become an important part of winter wear, a trend that’s quite noticeable both on and off campus.

From headbands to handwarmers, wintertime is not only about staying warm—it’s also about staying fashionable. Here are some of the season’s most popular accessories.

Turban Headbands: These knitted headbands can be found in a variety of colours and patterns at popular stores like Aldo and H&M.

They’re usually quite thick, perfect for keeping your ears warm. I find they are also great to throw on when you’re having a bad hair day.

Fur Handwarmers: Originally a winter staple for royalty, they have now become popular amongst us commoners. If you haven’t already seen one, it is a fur “tube” in which there is a place on each end for you to insert your hands. Although very warm, complete usage of your hands is lost.

Legwarmers: Females, pair legwarmers with your favourite boots to add a vintage look to your ensemble. Whether your boots are tall, short or mid-calf, legwarmers are sure to add that finishing touch you’re looking for.

Roots ‘Striped’ Socks: A popular trend lately has been to wear them all the way up so the colored stripe appears right above the top of your boot. If you’re in need of warm winter socks, I definitely recommend these ones.

Neck Tubes: They fit tight around your neck to ensure it is kept nice and toasty. It can also stretch up to around your nose when you need some extra coverage on those extra cold days.

If you are an avid fan of the ‘ski mask’, I’d try out a neck tube as it provides the same coverage but in a more fashionable way.

Circle Scarves: Also known as infinity scarves or wrap around scarves. There’s no denying that this item has taken over the fashion world by storm.

A favourite by females and males alike, the circle scarf is a great addition to practically any outfit. You can find one almost anywhere, in a variety of colors, patterns and textures.

Fingerless Gloves: The name says it all. Although quite trendy and allows for you to text with ease, they aren’t very useful in extreme temperatures as our fingertips are usually the first things to go numb!

So now that you’ve been educated on the top winter accessories this year, what are you waiting for? Try out one or more of these trends to get through this winter in style!

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