As Seen on College Walk: Special Edition

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Bwog took a break this week from photographing eclectic students-about-campus to discuss fashion with the CU fashion experts: the editorial staff of Columbia’s new fashion magazine, Hoot Mag, and its associated blog.

Noel Duan, CC ’13, Low Steps

Where are you from? San Jose, California.

What are some style points? I’m the co-editor-in-chief of Hoot Magazine, the new fashion magazine I started with Jina Lim, CC ‘ 13. We got a grant from the Gatsby Foundation and the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue endorsed us. I hope people check it out.

What are some blogging points? I have a blog called Miss Couturable. I started it the summer before junior year of high school and I guess it got kind of big. It was on and received about 10,000 hits a day. There’s definitely personal stuff on my blog–anything I felt like I wanted to share with my readers. It’s alarming to know that editors are reading it, though. I’ve encountered a lot of mean comments, but you learn to fight that off. I’ve also had a lot of fun experiences as a blogger. I even got to go to Betsey Johnson’s fashion show. Sometimes around the city, people stop me to tell me that they know my blog. It’s really awkward.

Describe your style. Prim and proper, maybe a little quirky. I like structured shoulders, tights, and bows.

What was a recent excitement? [Two weeks ago] I went to fashion week and sat front row, a few seats away from Chloë Sevigny.

What’s your response to people who say being so passionate about fashion is just materialistic? People confuse fashion with shopping too much. I’m interested in the design, art, and writing side of fashion.

Tell me about your outfit. [The six-inch platform booties] are actually really comfortable because my heels are only raised two inches and the platform is four inches high. I’m 5′ 1″, so with these on I’m 5’7″. I’m wearing sheer leggings layered over other tights, and my friend made the bow. It’s kind of dorky, but I like it.

Helen Chen, SEAS ’13, Low Steps

Where are you from? Dallas, Texas.

Describe your style. Eclectic, maybe a little disheveled. I just wear clothes that I think look good on me.

What was a recent shenanigan? [Two Tuesdays ago], I wen to a fashion show and I sat front row next to this guy from Italian Vogue. We started talking and eventually exchanged contact info. I thought it would be this great business contact for an internship at Vogue, and then the next day he texted me and asked me out for a drink. So apparently I totally misunderstood the situation. Awkward. Well, I’m going tonight—that’s the scandalous part. I guess I’m just taking it as it goes. . .

Tell me about your outfit. Tights are fun. This is one of my crazier pairs. And my mom made the scarf. This winter I’m loving layered knits.

Update, 9/23/12:The final interview has been removed at the request of the subject.

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  1. Worthless  

    without pics!

  2. c'mon  

    Variety please, Bwog.

  3. Generally  

    some really cool outfits, I approve

  4. Anonymous  

    The outfits actually look well put-together! At least these people have a sense of style, and are interesting enough. Although, I have to say...hell no to those shoes on number 2.

    I'm sensing improvement, Bwog.

  5. Anonymouse  

    Noel looks like she's wearing cat ears; Helen's scarf makes her look like she's trying to drown herself off the Brooklyn Bridge, and Martin apparently belongs at NYU with all of the other hipsters.

  6. Awkward because  

    you totally found them all walking together and decided to interview all three at the same time. Please.

  7. Hey now  

    Why are these all freshman and asian?

  8. Electro House  

    Americans are not "just hearing about Tecktonik." Because of the ridiculous number of French eurotrash in NYC, I've seen tecktonik dancing since I was a freshman (I'm now a senior). The thing about tecktonik is that it's mostly confined to gay clubs, since the dancing is eccentric, ridiculous, and over the top... This kid is hardly a novelty.

  9. Three people,

    and the only one with a purse is a dude.

  10. Anonymous  

    noel, helen, and martin are all really great people with quirky styles. great choices, bwog!

  11. GG, you forgot an extra on claremont!!  

    Number 1 looks like a Gossip Girl extra leftover from a few weeks ago. Which is not a bad thing, I guess, if that's your style. Although I agree with a previous comment- the bow looks like cat ears. Very harajuku girl-ish.
    Number 3 really does look like a straight up NYU hipster. Nuthin' special. Then again, there's no real special guy fashion here.
    Overall, even if these people were planned (which defeats the purpose of spontaneously finding someone trendy on College Walk), GREAT JOB in comparison to last week's people (hipster trash).

  12. Anonymous  

    Martin's description of Parisians is so true!

  13. Eh  

    I've seen the Tecktonic dance. It's retarded. Paris is retarded. Let's just understand that nothing fabulous will come out of Europe in the 21st and we'll be so much better for it. But, we'll never let go of our Paris...meh

  14. poor Helen  

    going out with sketch European dudes. I guess I'll pick up some old doctors tonight because I want to someday work at a hospital.

  15. surfin' UWS  

    Just goes to prove that
    a) Asian girls are often the cutest and most alluring thing around
    b) I'm not creepy for thinking a) until I turn 45 and
    c) there hasn't been one straight guy featured on this thing yet. Just saying.

  16. Anonymous  

    these asian girls are ug. the one a few weeks ago was better.

  17. Martin is my hero  

    Martin's picture does not demonstrate the full range of his fashion virtuosity. I've seen the clear plastic jacket, the fishnet, the fur and leather and the obscene amount of gold jewelry. the man is truly a hero, willing to wear clothes that us, the anonymous hipster-phobic bwog-reading public, are afraid to wear. THREE CHEERS FOR MARTIN

  18. Really  

    "I have a blog called Miss Couturable. I started it the summer before junior year of high school and I guess it got kind of big."

    "I guess it got kind of big": You could cut the false "modesty" with a knife.

  19. My secret  

    I've got a crush on Martin.

  20. so...  

    you got better dressed people. but they are, in fact, bigger tools.

  21. Style Guide  

    Again with the opening quotation/apostrophe errors!

  22. yeesh  

    I'm sure all his friends will jump to his defense saying that it doesn't portray him well, but his answers here sure make him SEEM like the biggest douche on the planet.

  23. ...  

    children like this who come to new york so giddy with the "culture" of high fashion are absolutely nauseating. at least helen will learn early what this business boils down to: mindless banter, then cock-sucking. scandalous!

    • Oh my!  

      But it was only for an internship! Scandalous!

    • miranda priestly

      Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From mindless banter, then cock-sucking.

  24. No...  

    helen chen is a sweetheart. don't hate.

  25. urgh

    that guy looks simply horrible.... not all parisians have a sense of style. (coming from a parisian).

  26. Anonymous  

    I'm not really a fan of the first one. The proportions are all off. No clean lines. It seems like there's too much going on to make a real statement, so it ends up looking a bit dull. I'm not sure the tights accentuate the killer shoes either.

  27. Hey Bwog  

    I hope you stop me on my way home from the shop some time, wearing boots I got two years ago at WalMart for $25, mechanic's pants, an old cheap t-shirt, and covered in dirt and grease. Maybe get some REAL variety?

    But I agree that this thing is improving, although maybe you should try harder not to make people sound so stuck up.

  28. a senior  

    the quality of this post has been much better than in weeks past. the jackets for all three are very nice. girl 2's scarf is extraordinary in usage particularly because it is unique and has a simple great story behind it.

    just a thought: perhaps there should be a post that focuses on interesting pieces of clothing i.e. jackets, boots, watches, accessories, man purses, use of hair things...

    to me fashion is about finding a pleasing combination of aforementioned items that create a very particular aura, feeling, conviction... those who are most successful in fashion excel at finding emotion from the unsaid and not easily expressed.

    so to the person 2 spots up, unbunch your panties, there definitely is more to this business for the truly talented.

    of course, though, not to pass to harsh a judgment, it seems these kids seem to be of the less talented scandalous types. i mean, i suppose they are indeed whoring their sense of style, which kind of leaves a deadening taste in mouth.

    another suggestion for bwog: how about cutting the interview portion and upping the analysis side?

  29. bwog, you're killin me here  

    I'll probably read whatever gets posted until i graduate because i turn to you when i want to not do my work, but really ... i'm painfully sick of the fashion kick here.

    The people usually (if unintentionally) sound like arrogant pricks and a healthy fraction of the Columbia population (i.e. me) does not give 2 shits about fashion as either a display of personal identity or as an industry. I get that you can't please everyone all the time and you're going to write on stuff that bores me now and then - but for god sakes don't make fashion the only recurring feature these days ... there's so much more to write about. For example, if you're gonna be quizzing random students on the street, why not ask people their opinions about other shit like ya know, stuff that's relevant to the entire (or at least more of the) CU community ... off the top of my head: sports, endowment, Manhattanville, financial aid, winter break policy, potential spring concert headliners, graduation speakers, PrezBo's hair (actually I guess that's fashion .. but it gets a pass), Columbia's prestige, local NY politics, the h-care debate, ... and so on. Yeah spec covers that stuff, but they have little/no snark and you tend to be better at actually capturing student sentiments (those of the plurality of students), whereas spec is either straight news, or when opinionated, gets whoever is self-righteous enough to write an op-ed/have a column.

    Fashion can be a small piece of the student opinion/regular feature pie, but you're way overboard these days

    Much Luv,

    ... yes this is how badly I want to procrastinate right now

    • Oh do shut up.  

      You realize you don't HAVE to read these articles right? Free will and whatnot? If you're counting on Bwog for your objective news than you're just an idiot.

      There are Bwog's most popular articles if we go by sheer post number. Obviously there's an audience that extends beyond you.

      • Do you read the responses?  

        If we are going by "the sheer post number," we should look at how many are negative either against the people or the Bwog itself, which I would bet money is a large majority especially since some of the previous articles were almost entirely negative.

        Obviously there's a majority audience that extends beyond you, and is not happy with these articles for one reason or another.

  30. Anonymous  

    Helen is such a cutieeeeeeeeeeeee OMG

  31. At least  

    these three have found a way to use fashion as a means for creativity. Apparel has the potential to be art, and though we so often criticize people's sartorial choices, they've most likely chosen to put something on their bodies because they love it for one reason or another. It certainly doesn't mean that others have to approve of it or fall madly in love with it. It's just a means for expression, and I applaud them for following what they love even at columbia, where fashion as a venture is often looked down on as being too materialistic. It absolutely is, but it means much more to those that are into fashion. Whether we like it or not, appearances do mean a great deal and for fashionistas to boldly wear what they please is laudable.

  32. Kristen McCarthy  

    My my, BWOG! I'm a little offended that my comment was deleted. What ever happened to the freedom of speech?

  33. Anonymous  

    My comment was deleted as well. The second asian girl is fugly and should not be on here.

  34. Enough

    I'm sick and tired of the ironic plaid-wearing pestilence that has invaded this city. Euro-Kong kid looks like a blue castrato for Christ's sake.

  35. Anonymous  

    um i want martin. he's sexxxxxxxxxxxy

  36. blackhermes  

    Martin is fucking gorgeous. People who don't know fashion really should shut their mouths.

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