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Sweet

Hearst Digital Media launched Sweet, the first social-only publication on Snapchat’s Discover platform in 2015. Reaching 1.5 million unique visitors a day, Sweet focused on quality and originality for a young and highly engaged audience. Sophia J. Gonzalez produced fresh content for Sweet’s daily fashion section, from features about designer collaborations to the very best high-low market roundups.

 

The Key to Playing It Cool This Summer

Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | May 2016

Is one modest, beautiful fabric.

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

Crisp and fresh and perfect in a button-down or shirtdress silhouette, cotton poplin is nothing less than the foundation to any modern wardrobe. But there’s far more to this versatile fabric than utility. This season, labels from Temperley London to Tome are reimagining the potential of the material. They’re adding embroidery and pleats, ruffles, and flounces: if there is some embellishment to be done, they’ve done it. The result is a whole new range of styles in cotton poplin, ones that are as feminine as they are fashion-forward.

Here, we present all the cotton poplin pieces you could possibly need to see you through every summer mood. And when a heat wave does strike, you’ll be ready.

Romantic

Explore the feminine side of cotton poplin with a combination of sweetness and freshness.

Photograph courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Photograph courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Classic

Nothing says timeless like relaxed pieces that can be dressed up or down. Grab one and experiment!

Photograph courtesy of Everlane

Photograph courtesy of Everlane

Modern

This cutting-edge look radiates an air of understated cool. We particularly love the unexpected details and proportions.

Photograph courtesy of The Outnet

Photograph courtesy of The Outnet

Nautical

OK, so you don’t own a boat. Not to worry. Make a nautical splash in breezy sailor blouses and cropped culottes.

Photograph courtesy of Saks Off Fifth

Photograph courtesy of Saks Off Fifth

 

No Sweat: Summer Denim

Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | June 2016

It’s a year-round staple, but wearing it when temperatures rise can bring its own set of challenges. Here, we enlisted denim expert Scott Morrison for some much-needed denim advice.

Photograph courtesy of 3x1 Denim

Photograph courtesy of 3x1 Denim

“I think all denim is summer appropriate,” says Scott Morrison, the New York-based designer behind 3x1’s coveted WM3 crop fringe jeans. Given all the infinite possibilities in the denim world, it’s not a surprising statement from someone with more than 15 years in the business. Having launched Paper Denim, Earnest Sewn, and most recently, 3x1 in 2011, Morrison knows that there are no hard and fast rules to follow when it comes to wearing denim in the summer.

“What I will say is that basic denim is down,” continues Morrison, whose 3x1 label specializes in premium denim. This denim pro knows that what draws people most to denim is style. “It’s a sign of the times. Girls are looking for more of a fashion statement with their jeans, and guys are looking to find an amazing product,” he says.

When it all boils down to is that there are plenty of ways to make denim work for you this summer. Here, Morrison shows us how—with his expert-level tips on how to resolve one of summer’s biggest dilemmas.

Lose the Weight

Lightweight denim is a really simple solution. Any good denim store is going to have lots of it,” says Morrison. “To start, look for denim that’s 10 oz.—it’s terrific for summer.” If you want to go up in ounces, Morrison says that’s OK too. He adds that most people buy between 10-12 oz. denim, which is a mid- to all-year round weight.

Lighten Up

“It’s more obvious that a lighter wash is more appropriate for summer," says Morrison. “But it also goes hand-in-hand with the vintage denim trend, which has a well-worn feel.”

As for dark denim, it might be better to reserve those for special occasions. “A dark wash has a tendency to be dressier,” explains Morrison. “I’m not saying you can’t wear dark denim in the summer!”

Crop It Out

“Right now, anything above the ankle is in,” says Morrison. “That’s going to continue into fall and next spring.” In other words, now is the time to invest in an ankle-baring pair if you haven’t already. And guys, the same applies to you too. Morrison notes that cut-off hems are just as popular with men as with their female counterparts.

Keep It Professional

“There’s always a limit, right?” says Morrison. “I wouldn’t suggest wearing ripped and repaired jeans to work. And you probably don’t need to wear a pair of crisp raw denim either.” Instead, pick a simple jean that “looks appropriate for the environment you’re going into,” suggests Morrison.

Think Bigger Picture

“Jean jackets, cut-off shorts—these can be worn during the day and can be added on at night,” says Morrison. Versatility will save you in the long run. He also points out: “It makes a lot of sense.”

Photograph of Scott Morrison, courtesy of 3x1 Denim

Photograph of Scott Morrison, courtesy of 3x1 Denim

 

Wearing a Lot of Hats

Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | May 2016

Gigi Burris, the designer known for some of the prettiest toppers on the market, imparts some much-needed hat wisdom. We are taking notes.

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

“If you have the chance to go to a physical store that sells hats, just try them on and you’ll know if it’s the right hat—there’s an emotional reaction when you find it,” says Gigi Burris, a New York City-based designer who spends her days creating the perfect headwear for her clients.

After graduating from Parsons in 2009, she launched her own line of millinery which quickly inspired a flood of accolades and requests from celebrities and editors alike. Burris is this year’s CFDA nominee for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and it’s easy to see why her pieces are so in demand. Her most popular styles—from the Drake to the Nell—are feminine and insouciantly cool, and range from classic fedoras to barbed wire-inspired headbands in leather.

“It’s not like shoes, when you know a shoe is too big or too small,” explains Burris, who believes that finding a perfect hat (a priority mission for those of us already in vacation mode) is a personal experience. “Some people like the fit to be tight so it doesn’t fall off with the wind. Then there are people who are prone to headaches—they like their hats a little loose.”

And when it comes to hat trends, Burris says, “You’re not going to see a particular silhouette represent the last 15 years like the bucket hats and visors of the ‘90s.” But she does offer the following good news: “The overrall trend is that hats are being worn—and more,” she says.

So, that’s exciting. Here, Burris fills us in on what to look for when buying a hat and how to go about traveling with it this summer.

What are some good rules to consider when shopping for a hat?

Dress for your body type and face shape. Think of your stature—don’t put on a wide brim hat if you’re petite. A hat is one of the closest things to your face and hair. So think about color, too. It’s a good thing to ask yourself, “Will this bring out my eyes, or the redness in my face?”

How do you know when a hat fits properly?

It’s really all about preference.

What’s your personal hat style like?

Honestly, I love everything. The only thing that I tend to shy away from is anything in the beige family. I have blonde hair and pale skin—the color washes me out.

What comes first, the outfit or the hat?

Most people aren’t like me—I own hundreds of hats. So it’s about picking your outfit first, and then topping it off with a hat.

Are there any prized hats in your personal collection?

I have a really nice vintage hat collection that’s inspired trims for my own line. I don’t wear these hats out as much; I more cherish them.

Is there anyone from history who, in your opinion, wore hats particularly well?

Right now, I’m thinking about someone who looks effortless at the beach. Like a Brigitte Bardot, just chilling in a beautiful hat.

Speaking of the beach, what is the best way to travel with a hat?

Wear it. That way you know it won’t get ruined. Otherwise, leave a space in the middle of your carry-on luggage. Pack around it. Then put all the clothing your can roll up, like your sarongs and bikinis, inside the hat to create padding.

Photograph of Gigi Burris, courtesy of Gigi Burris

Photograph of Gigi Burris, courtesy of Gigi Burris

 

One Designer is Changing Fashion, One Jacket at a Time

Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | May 2016

With the launch of a new jacket collection, Jessie Willner is out to set the fashion world on the straight and narrow. Here, the Los Angeles designer talks about what it means to be honest in fashion.

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

Image courtesy of Hearst Digital Media: Sweet

You might think that starting a fashion company would be the furthest thing from the mind of a 24-year-old artist living in Los Angeles. But that’s exactly what Jessie Willner, the self-taught designer and founder of The Mighty Company, did last week when she launched a line of classic jackets re-worked in metallic leather and tweed.

As the energetic and bubbly Willner explains, her attraction to fashion was similar to art. “When done right, you can create this tangible, functional, 3-dimensional thing that can stir one’s emotions,” she says.

Willner’s “honest luxury” approach to fashion is what sets her apart from other budding designers. For one, she believes in selling directly to her customers online which is exactly what she’s doing, starting today, at a special shop-in-shop event at Curve, the women’s boutique in Los Angeles.

“One of my biggest life aspirations as an entrepreneur is to inspire others,” Willner says. “Whether it’s to paint for the first time or to say, ‘This crazy-ass, 24-year-old girl is completely self-taught and starting her own company. Hey, maybe I can, too.’”

Here, Willner tells us more about her “open company” policy and why jackets, more than dresses or T-shirts, are a keepsake item.

Why was an honest fashion approach important to you?

When I started creating the collection, the normal pricing structure was telling me to sell my jackets at a few thousand dollars. I didn’t agree with that. I wanted to fight harder in building my brand so I decided to knock out the middleman and reach our consumer directly.

Do your friends think that the approach is important?

I think so. As an artist, I’m a part of this larger artist community and that’s how we operate. We’re really transparent and open—that’s the kind of world I’m used to.

What is their reaction to The Mighty Company?

Actually, three of my friends are helping me build an art installation for a launch party. They’re happy for this to finally be out and available.

Before this, you hadn’t worked in fashion, had you?

Not at all. But my design background made the transition easier.

As a new designer, why start with jackets? Why not T-shirts or dresses?

There wasn’t an “Aha!” moment in deciding I would design jackets. I designed a number of other pieces. I kept going back to jackets because I didn’t want to create a passing thing. When you have an incredible jacket, you keep or hand it down.

What’s your advice to those who want to start their own company?

You have to say, “This is my vision. Some people may like it or not, but this is what I want to put out here in the world.” Honestly, that’s the biggest lesson that I’ve learned.

To view more of Willner’s jackets line, see The Mighty Company.

Photograph of Jessie Willner, courtesy of The Mighty Company

Photograph of Jessie Willner, courtesy of The Mighty Company