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As Seen on College Walk: Special Edition

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 teenvogue.com 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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65 Comments

  • hey says:

    @hey no pics!

    1. HURRAY! says:

      @HURRAY! good check guy ^^^

      first asian is sexy and cool style, french dude came off a bit like a douche… typical.

  • Worthless says:

    @Worthless without pics!

  • c'mon says:

    @c'mon Variety please, Bwog.

  • Generally says:

    @Generally some really cool outfits, I approve

  • Anonymous says:

    @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.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Yeah, the shoes were a bad idea especially when she knew she would be photographed. However, this is better than all the past weeks…

  • Anonymouse says:

    @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.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous And what on earth is wrong with cat ears?!

      1. Anonymouse says:

        @Anonymouse Nothing… if you’re a cat.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous lawlz

  • Awkward because says:

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

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Did you not read the first sentence? “THEY ALL WRITE FOR HOOT” don’t be such a dumbass. Please.

  • Hey now says:

    @Hey now Why are these all freshman and asian?

  • Electro House says:

    @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.

    1. :) says:

      @:) I’ve met Martin and he’s a nice fellow. But, dammit, he comes across as a bit pretentious here. How fucking dismissive of your fellow New Yorkers can you be? You’re kind of enough to deliver a dance to us that you’d never do at your pseudo-home?

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous All these people sound pretentious.

      2. dude... says:

        @dude... … I know Martin pretty well and I know with almost certainty that that’s not what he meant. He fucking loves New York.

      3. actually says:

        @actually it seems to me that he’s being more critical of parisians than dismissive of new yorkers…

  • Three people, says:

    @Three people, and the only one with a purse is a dude.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous GOOD ONE BRO

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous It’s not a purse……IT’S EUROPEAN!

      1. Hooah says:

        @Hooah I love you and your Seinfeld reference.

  • Anonymous says:

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

  • GG, you forgot an extra on claremont!! says:

    @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).

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Martin’s description of Parisians is so true!

  • Eh says:

    @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

  • poor Helen says:

    @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.

  • surfin' UWS says:

    @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.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous You are definitely creepy

      1. surfin' UWS says:

        @surfin' UWS Eh. I play in my ballpark.

  • Anonymous says:

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

  • Martin is my hero says:

    @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

    1. or... says:

      @or... it’s not fashionable and should never be seen by the public.

    2. yep yep says:

      @yep yep Amen. Man’s got ssstyle.

  • Really says:

    @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.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous too harshhh a reaction for something that has little to no bearing on your life whatsoever

      1. . says:

        @. Sorry to harshhh your mellow, bro. Forgive my lack of senssseee.

  • My secret says:

    @My secret I’ve got a crush on Martin.

  • so... says:

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

  • Style Guide says:

    @Style Guide Again with the opening quotation/apostrophe errors!

  • yeesh says:

    @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.

    1. TRUE THAT says:

      @TRUE THAT has it not occurred to anyone how morphed interviews answers are though? it’s not like these ppl sat down and wrote these answers word to word. whoever wrote this shit up probably made them all sound pretentious.

      1. surfin' UWS says:

        @surfin' UWS Hope you stretched before that leap.

      2. Martin is my hero says:

        @Martin is my hero Martin, stop responding to comments about you

  • ... says:

    @... 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!

    1. Oh my! says:

      @Oh my! But it was only for an internship! Scandalous!

    2. miranda priestly says:

      @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.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Copied and pasted that from the Devil Wears Prada?
        Good one, just why dont you put it in quotes

  • No... says:

    @No... helen chen is a sweetheart. don’t hate.

  • urgh says:

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

  • Anonymous says:

    @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.

  • Hey Bwog says:

    @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.

  • a senior says:

    @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?

  • bwog, you're killin me here says:

    @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,
    CC’10

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

    1. Oh do shut up. says:

      @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.

      1. Do you read the responses? says:

        @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.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Helen is such a cutieeeeeeeeeeeee OMG

  • At least says:

    @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.

  • Kristen McCarthy says:

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

  • Anonymous says:

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

  • Enough says:

    @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.

    1. wvill says:

      @wvill Blue castrato haha best comment on this story! so true…this city has too much kids like this.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous um i want martin. he’s sexxxxxxxxxxxy

  • blackhermes says:

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

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