unchained fashion

Baylee

A huge misconception in society today is that sex trafficking is an issue that is only faced by foreign countries. In reality, people in our very own cities are being trafficked and thus contribute to an estimated $150 billion industry. The targeted age group is under 18, specifically between the ages of 11 and 14.

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unchained fashion show at the ohio state university

To help combat this growing industry, Unchained, a non-profit organization, was started in Columbus, OH. Their objective is to feature a fashion line designed by season 5 Project Runway designer, Korto Momolu, to educate the public on the extremity of sex slavery. They create abolitionists out of high schools, universities, local businesses and organizations and have demonstrated tremendous impact.

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backstage before the show

The fashion shows tell a story of a survivor from bondage to liberation through models and a narrator. The models are students. All women, despite her weight, height, and skin tone, are encouraged to take part in the show.

I had the opportunity to shadow the people that coordinate and direct the show, and it was incredibly eye-opening. Before the models took on the runway, one of the founders said, “There is so much more to you than your beautiful hair and makeup. You are worth it.” Not only is this an inspiring and transformative experience for the viewers, but also for the people who are directly involved in the organization.

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“beauty isn’t your currency, it is your truth”

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“no longer objectified but dignified”

Unchained also has a Survivor Scholarship fund that empowers individuals that have been removed from the sex trafficking industry. Education plays a pivotal role in empowering survivors and translates as an opportunity to be financially independent and to maintain a career in place of prostitution. It resembles a paramount shift in the lives of these individuals.

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founder, Stephanie Catani, giving closing remarks after the show

If you would like to learn more about Unchained and how you can get involved, I highly recommend you check out their website. This is only the beginning for this organization. Awareness and education are both so powerful, and it’s neat to see this organization using fashion to establish a purpose in advocating for such a prominent and important issue. It is imperative that we take advantage of the tools we have access to to change the lives of people all over the world – even those in our own backyards.

 

vans style guide

Baylee

One style of shoes that I’ve consistently been rocking since middle school are Vans. They are classic and extremely versatile. If you want a pair that match any outfit but are slightly edgier, black Old Skools are perfect. On the other hand, if you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and wear a pair of shoes that adds a bold pop to your outfit, the Checkerboard Slip-Ons are the way to go. I’m also a huge fan of Sk8-Hi’s.

Earlier this year, I braved the cold with one of my best friends, Avery Wilson, for this photoshoot and it was beyond worth it. We kept it simple but edgy with minimal lighting, band tees, ripped jeans, and leather.

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I love the androgyny of this coat. I think the leather pants really transform the outfit to something completely different and more interesting than a simple pair of jeans. I paired it with a navy top because who says you can’t mix navy and black?

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Avery is stunning and can pull off anything. For this night, she went with a very minimal color palette: black and white. You can never go wrong with a predominately black outfit and a fun pair of shoes, especially if there is a graphic tee involved. The fraying at the bottom of her pant leg makes her jeans way more fun than just a plain black pair and the white western inspired belt adds the perfect touch. Too cold for a t-shirt? Throw on a classic leather jacket.

ed is back

Baylee

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In 2012, I lived for Ed Sheeran and his music. I attended one of his shows in Indianapolis and it flipped my world upside down. From that moment on, concerts resonated with me differently and I discovered a raw appreciation for the art of live music. I was in a crowd hushed by Ed himself so that he could perform a few songs without a microphone; just him and his guitar. I walked away from that concert loving his music so much I was convinced that he could sing his grocery lists and I would still be in awe. The experience made me much more appreciative of artists who can entertain small audiences because the setting of the performance is much more intimate. His talent is so undeniable that he’s gone on to write music for major artists such including Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Tori Kelly, and Taylor Swift.

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my first instagram post

His first album, “+”, could be interpreted as adding a special person into your life. Songs that support this concept are: “This”, “Small Bump”, “Give Me Love”, and “Wake Me Up”.

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modern interpretation of Cupid in Ed’s “Give Me Love” music video

The most listened to album of 2014 was Sheeran’s second album, “x” or multiply, and is argued to represent multiplying the emotion you have for a person, either positive or negative. Supportive songs include “Thinking Out Loud”, “Photograph”, and “Tenerife Sea”.

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romantic dance scene in “Thinking Out Loud”

The buzz around this hit artist has been silenced in recent years. But Sheeran has returned to the music scene just as he promised. He announced his return with a simple tweet featuring a picture of a blue rectangle. Fans were in a complete frenzy.

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Sheeran released two songs, “Castle On The Hill” and “Shape of You”, that will both appear on his upcoming album, “÷”. Given all that’s happened in his personal life during his one year hiatus (break-ups and what not), I suspect this album will be focused on separating yourself from relationships and becoming yourself again.

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Whether you’ve been a fan for years or you’re just now being bombarded on social  media about this Ed Sheeran guy, I highly recommend that you listen to his music. His willingness to be completely honest and real with his lyrics makes you feel like you know him personally. His songs are the perfect combination of relatable and emotional. Ed is timeless.

 

winter playlist

Baylee

The reality of the most wonderful time of the year is that it can also be the most draining. Plotting surprises, purchasing presents and getting in the holiday spirit sure can take a lot out of you. There’s no better way to combat the blues than with some time to yourself, so kick back with a nice (peppermint) coffee and an even better playlist! We’ve got you covered.

Tonight I’m sharing a compilation of some of my favorite, relaxation inducing songs that I listen to when I need a break. Whether your drowning in work, counting down the days until the holiday break or all tied up in christmas shopping, always remember to treat yourself. Music can be the best therapy.

Happy listening!

v+v winter vibes

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columbus fashion week: cher gowns

Baylee

On the first day of Columbus Fashion Week, I traveled to Copious. Copious is a five star restaurant that was hosting Cher gowns by Bob Mackie. At this event, I got to view different intricate outfits worn by Cher herself. It was a very rare opportunity to witness Mackie’s talents alongside designers, professional photographers, and even fans wearing old Cher merchandise. The viewing was accompanied by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres fit for a queen.

The attention to detail on the mannequins were impeccable.The designs were derived from many different styles pulled from different time periods and cultures that individualized her personality. Her performances are recognizable even today because of her clothing choices. It was a true connection between music and fashion.

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70’s babe

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lots of crop tops!

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belly dancer vibes

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the original victoria’s secret angel?

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beautiful makeup and more conservative style

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love this color

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obsessed with these shoes and the reflection of the crystals

the inside scoop from an aspiring fashion designer

Baylee

V+V, meet Annie Backs.

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An artist at her core, Annie loves drawing, singing and designing apparel. Her passion for creating her own clothes developed as a result of a fashion design and construction course she took while in school. The course taught her the basics of sewing and sketching and the fundamental basics of fashion design. Acquiring this experience allowed the aspiring designer to delve deeper into the love of fashion and clothing she always had.

VV: What was your favorite project from your fashion class?

AB:  I most enjoyed the up-cycling project! It required us to take something old and make it new, so I bought an old gown from a thrift store for $3.50. I took it home, washed it, deconstructed it, and made it into a two-piece dress!

VV: What are five things that inspire your sense of style?

AB:

Bright colors

For me, clothing is a way to express yourself. I picture myself as a pretty happy person and typically gravitate towards bright colors. I think they’re really inviting and lively and that’s why I love them. I want to look happy, inviting and lively to other people, and a bright color palette conveys that.

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The 50’s

I absolutely love 50’s fashion. Skirts and off the shoulder tops are some of my favorites, and of course dresses too. I have a very girly sense of style.

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50’s style dress that annie wore in a prom fashion show

 

Shopping

I like to look on Pinterest and Instagram for outfit ideas, but I love finding unique clothing that you don’t see on many people. It could be something as little as finding a small boutique that not many people know about.

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mom’s old denim jacket

 

My friends

I’m a people person and I think fashion is a great conversation starter. People can comment on the things you wear and give you their input and vice versa.

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best friend, amanda

 

Instagram

I just made a fashion Instagram (@anniefashs) where I share my creations and different outfits that I love to wear. Not only do I like sharing these outfits, but I also love to look at other fashion blogger accounts to see what their personal style is. My favorites are @hellofashionblog and @thriftsandthreads. While my style is often girly, I appreciate so many other styles and I can do that by looking at other accounts.

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VV: Are you working on any exciting projects right now?

AB: Yes! I’m working on my cousin’s wedding dress skirt. She has an ivory, floral, tea length dress and I’m making an ivory floor length skirt to go over it for the ceremony. The cool thing about this is that she wants to be able to see some faint coloring from the flowers through the tulle skirt that I’m making.

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the tulle being used to make the skirt

VV: Where do you see your love of fashion taking you in the future?

AB: I’m very interested in design, architecture, art, and planning and want to professionally pursue fashion design. my dream job is to be a celebrity stylist or have my own clothing line.

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