From Nada to Prada: Fashion Week in Milan

By: Alex Givens

MILAN (AP/UTC The Loop) — Designers are offering alternate realities for men next winter.

Yes, tailored suits and overcoats, the staples of any wardrobe, have their place on the runways on the second day of Milan Fashion Week on Sunday.

But designers also are recognizing men’s need to escape their urban work-a-day worlds and get in touch with nature. They don’t go so far as to offer outdoor clothing, per se. But there is more than a smattering of short, hooded parkas worn over suits and with backpacks that suggest some other destination after the office. And many collections incorporate active wear, including athletic trousers, often knit, with elastic or drawstring waistlines and gathered cuffs.

Milan Fashion Week runs through Tuesday.



Miuccia Prada is closing the book on her study of pop culture, choosing a more intimate look at fashion.

Prada set the stage by conjuring European avant-garde theater of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her materials: sheer and light-weight fabric. Her color scheme was mostly deep tones with purple, rust, teal and browns offset by cream, red and magenta.

The looks themselves had a theatrical appeal — men’s leisure suits in deep tones with contrasting piping along the outer seams were accented with silky scarves tied around their neck, instead of ties. Suits were paired with silky collared shirts, or super-sheer knit tops that put in clear evidence the wearer’s state of fitness.

Prada couldn’t say all she wanted with just men, so included women also in the show.

They wore paper-light leather dresses gathered at the waist and neckline or long sheer skirts with floor-skimming boas.



Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier’s details startle with their subtlety.

The quiet bronze plaid jacket appears to have had its hemline dipped in electric blue dye that gently fades at the edge. An argyle pattern is knitted on a bias. The asymmetrical neckline of a soft pullover hugs a shoulder, giving the effect of one-sided shrug.

Some of the details in the menswear collection for next fall and winter have feminine antecedents, like a broad scooped neckline on a sweater, but the overall feel of the collection was decidedly masculine, defined by an athletic silhouette.

“The collection is about versatility and ease,” Maier said in notes.

Many of the trousers taper to ribbed cuff, mimicking active wear, and worn often with a bomber jacket and heavy shoes. Two tone knit caps tucked under the ears finish the look with a bit of whimsy. Dark neutral colors dominate.

Bottega Veneta started as a leather goods company, and Maier exploits the tradition with a cross-body satchel that is clutched under the arm, as are large shoppers often in the fashion house’s trademark weave.



Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo’s menswear collection for fall took traditional male staples like jean jackets and trench coats and re-worked them in earthy colors blended with just a hint of ethnic or nomadic pattern.

Long wool trench coats in tan were splashed with bands of sesame and chocolate. Jackets and even suits were sprinkled with stripes or patterns lifted from Native American blankets, keeping things interesting. Peacoats and military jackets came in an unexpected pale mint green.

The collection by designer Massimiliano Giornetti made stunning use of leather, as befits a house which began as a shoemaker to the Hollywood stars in the 1920s.

Boots with thick soles and a strap around the ankle came in different color variations, including a deep blue, and looked great with both suits and less formal looks. Short little jean jackets came in leather or pony skin. But for a house that makes its bread and butter from accessories, there were few bags on the runway except for hefty-looking large totes perfect for a weekend getaway.



John Richmond has had skirts in his personal wardrobe since his youth, or as the designer put it, “before everyone started doing it.”

In fact, it is a skirt from Richmond’s own closet that was worn by a bare-chested male model on the 1984 cover of British magazine The Face, which has earned a place in fashion history.

Notice he doesn’t call them kilts. This is no Scottish fetish.

“It is more punk-associated,” Richmond said backstage after the premier of his winter 2015 collection, which included knee-length skirts with front pleats layered with a man’s suit in matching fabric, a novel variation of the three-piece suit.

Richmond concedes the skirt is not for everyone, but for the few who are willing to give it a go, he doesn’t see a risk to their masculinity.

“I don’t think that guys look feminine wearing a skirt. They look really cool,” he said.

The overall mood of the collection was decidedly masculine, with leather white-on-black bomber jackets, quilted jackets with leather pants, pullover sweatshirts with optical flair and sartorial suits in checks and stripes.

At the end of the show, Richmond’s 3-year-old son Lou joined him on the runway for a hug.



British designer Vivienne Westwood’s menswear collection for fall was full of baggy trousers referencing hip hop music, mixed up with environmentalist messages.

There were three versions of the tracksuit, a hip hop favorite: a tight, high tech zip-up in gray, a loose and baggy one accented in black trim, and a full-on gold version with a hood.

Westwood’s clothes have strong ties to music, so the nod to hip hop seemed only natural for the women who invented the safety-pin looks that defined punk rock in the 1970s.

Fond of splashing political messages across T-shirts, she sent several models out wearing shirts emblazoned with the words “+ 5 degrees,” in reference to global warming.

Her casual looks often featured low-waisted baggy trousers cut off at the knee, paired with a big sweater and oxfords, or a leather jacket, or just a T-shirt and sneakers. A raincoat as thin as tissue paper looked like just the thing to pop into a suitcase before a trip.



Calvin Klein’s looks for next winter suggest something of a futuristic global adventurer/man of mystery.

His outfits are monochromatic in tones of camel, olive and blue-gray that give the impression the wearer can mimetically conceal himself in any environment: desert, forest or sea.

Loose trousers shimmering in copper and silver are worn with bulky graphic or quilted satin sweatshirts that relay a sense of utility and strength. For outerwear, there’s a shiny hooded parka or woolen bomber.

Suits were closely tailored, with tapered cuffs worn over laced boots. Jackets had mildly contrasting lapels, and are worn over button-up shirts, tieless. The mystery comes in with the ample backpacks that require a cross body strap, and the oversized overcoat.

If he is just going to work, why all the gear? What could this apparently mild-mannered traveler with the slicked-back hair be really up to?



Moncler, the company that glammed up the down jacket, topped off its recent blockbuster stock market debut with a debut of another sort during Milan’s menswear shows — it added womenswear to its only-for-men Gamme Bleu fall-winter 2014-2015 line.

Designer Thom Browne has proved adept at Moncler at channeling the rich visual language of sports into city wear for fashionable urbanites. For his Milan Fashion Week preview, he turned a former factory in Milan into a wood-paneled library at a British country estate, and showed a collection that pulled its inspiration from the golf green circa 1920.

The collection was a riff on diamond-print argyle done in every way possible on jackets, pants, socks and even a full-length down skirt (shown on both male and female models). For the less bold, the Moncler gray quilted down jacket, cut like a blazer, ornamented with a stitched argyle pattern, will probably be enough to recall the summer greens.

Moncler pulled off Europe’s most successful IPO last year when its shares rose nearly 50 percent on their first day of trading. On Sunday, Moncler showed it is serious about continuing to broaden its product line.



London-based Italian designer Angelo Galasso is bullish on Milan.

Galasso sees so much potential in Milan’s retail market that he is moving his store this winter, tripling its size just 2 ½ years after opening in Milan and five years after launching the eponymous brand. While most shoppers at Galasso’s Milan store are foreign tourists, the designer says his Italian clientele is growing and often spends in equal measure to his foreign followers.

“Italians are tired, and it is not just because the economy is not doing well, but also of their wardrobes,” Galasso said. He senses Italian men are ready to burst beyond the classic blazer and find less repetitive looks.

Galasso’s collection for next winter includes tailored jackets with wide lapels made from printed tie fabric or velvet, and worn with ripped jeans — giving both a dandy and a 1970s vibe.



German designer Philipp Plein called his fall-winter 2014-2015 menswear collection “Noir Cowboy.”

The show started off with a bang with a real-life rodeo show complete with a bucking bronco. Overwhelmingly black, both matte and shiny, the only splashes of color in the entire collection were in the red checked shirts or the fringed scarves.

Versace also mined the western theme for its menswear show, but Plein’s take was more decadent and luxurious.

Plein’s collection made expert use of animal skins ranging from leather all the way through to crocodile and snakeskin. A buffalo skull motif was worked onto T-shirts and on cashmere blankets thrown across the torso and belted. Some of the jackets featured snakeskin lapels with Swarovski micro studs. That’s some sharp cowboy.



Fur highlights Marni’s menswear for next winter.

The centerpiece item is the fur collar accessory, replacing the scarf, which comes in green mink or dark Astrakan. Soft, hug-inviting vests are made from beaver. And goat fur is used in pants as well as caps.

As in other collections in Milan this season, Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni included athletic wear, knitted sweatpants and sweatshirts with a strategically concealed pocket.

Marni’s trademark prints also were on display, Castiglioni’s own floral designs as well as prints made from artworks from so-called outsider artists who achieve a level of mastery despite a lack of formal training.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tan at Your Own Risk

This is a basic indoor tanning bed that is used to catch dangerous  UV rays.

By Emily Brogdon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (The Loop) We have all heard that beauty is pain, but how many have heard beauty is death?

That statement may be a little extreme, but studies by show indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

Melanoma is the most dangerous and fatal form of skin cancer and is caused by intense and occasional exposure to UV rays.

With these risks, you must wonder why people still tan? Some say it makes you feel and look thinner, it relaxes you, it clears up skin blemishes, and you just feel more beautiful.

UTC Senior, Garrett Hall says, “ I think people look better with a tan, but there is a fine line between being tan and orange. Orange is not attractive.” Hall thinks that students and the general public continue to tan because they don’t know the truth or dangers of it.

Jessi Pittenger, a UTC student and Sun Tan City Employee, says that 85% of the tanning salon’s business is college students.

There are options for those who want to be tan without UV rays.  Pittenger says, “I currently work with a girl who had skin cancer on her nose and there are several others [who have skin cancer]. Some turn to spray tanning instead.”

Spring break is nearly a month away. If you want to have a sun-kissed glow when you step onto the beach, reach for the bottled tan. Experts say prevention is key to keeping your risk of melanoma low.

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Ultra Thin Models Obsolete

JERUSALEM (AP/The Loop) — When Margaux Stelman began modeling a few months ago, she always had her sister Simone in mind.

Simone was an ex-model who died three years ago after a long battle with anorexia, a common affliction of models trying to look thinner and thinner — and girls trying to look like them.

Now, thanks to a new Israeli law that prohibits the employment of underweight fashion models, Stelman says she feels protected from the traditional pressures of an industry notorious for encouraging extremes in thinness. The law sets weight minimums with the aim of discouraging anorexia and bulimia, eating disorders that affect mostly young women, who go on extreme diets and are unable to eat normally.

“This disease is something that’s very close to me,” the 21-year-old university student from Belgium said at a recent photo shoot, the country’s first since the law took effect last week. “Doing the exact opposite, showing girls that (they) can be healthy and be a model anyway, it’s really something I want to show.”

The Israeli law, passed by parliament last year, is the first of its kind. The United States and England have guidelines, but their fashion industry is self-regulated. Other governments have taken steps to prevent “size zero” medical problems but have shied away from legislation.

Israel, like other countries, is obsessed by models. International supermodel Bar Refaeli is considered a national hero. Refaeli, an Israeli who has graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, among others, is not unnaturally thin.

The new law requires models to produce a medical report no older than three months at every shoot for the Israeli market, stating that they are not malnourished by World Health Organization standards. The U.N. agency relies on the body mass index, calculated by factors of weight and height. WHO says a body mass index below 18.5 indicates malnutrition. According to that standard, a woman 1.72 meters tall (5-feet-8) should weigh no less than 54 kilograms (119 pounds).

Critics say the body mass index is flawed and cannot be applied equally to everyone. For example, many professional athletes fall outside the health boundaries set by the scale, because of their height or muscle mass.

Stelman is 1.7 meters tall (5-foot-7) and says she weighs around 60 kilograms (132 pounds) — but she isn’t quite sure.

“I never weigh myself. I don’t care. I don’t even have a scale,” she said. “Weight is just a number. As long as I feel good and healthy — that’s all that matters.”

One of the main supporters of the new legislation is Adi Barkan, one of Israel’s top model agents.

In 30 years of work, he says he has seen young women become skinnier and sicker while struggling to fit the shrinking mold of what the industry considers attractive.

He said Europe’s fashion has started shifting back. “They understand that something has to change,” said Barkan, noting the rampant use of Photoshop, the popular picture editing computer program, to make models look even skinnier.

The Israeli law requires that any advertisement published for the Israeli market must clearly disclose whether the models’ appearance was altered by digital manipulation.

Israeli designer Keren Saban said she prefers models who display her clothes to be “someone who looks like a woman.”

“A woman’s look is not something you need to be ashamed of, just the contrary,” said Saban. “That is what an item should look like when we sell clothes to women.”


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Fashion Police Hit UTC Campus

By: Stefanie Wittler

Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – – The fashion police have hit UTC’s campus. I spoke with students and a faculty member on their opinion of how people dress when they come to campus. Do students take pride in how they dress, or do they just do the “sniff test”?

As you walk around campus, you will see all types of fashion. Some students really dress up for class and others are just casual. So what really is the motive behind the choice of student’s clothing?

UTC Fashion Police

Communication major, Jordan Cox stood out today in his bright turquoise shirt and matching tie. Cox said, “My mom always told me to look the best I can when I leave the house, so this is an everyday look for me.” Cox also went on to say that he doesn’t have a problem with students who dress causal for class.


To get a different perspective of campus attire, UTC Fine Art Center Box Office supervisor Sue Carroll said that she thinks the students should dress casual. “I would like to see the professors dress a little more professional. Sometimes its hard to tell them from the students”, said Carroll.

So when it really comes down to it, choice of campus attire is all about personal preference. Whether you’re rocking shorts and a tee, or making a fashion statement in a three piece suit, the main factor is that you’re showing up for class and that’s what really matters.


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Royal Wedding Dress

By: Shawna O’Neal

LONDON (AP) — Only a handful of insiders know which designer Kate Middleton has chosen to create her top-secret wedding gown, but at least one person — dressmaker Elizabeth Emanuel — understands what that person is going through.

The woman who co-designed the taffeta confection that Princess Diana wore in 1981 when she walked down the aisle to marry Prince Charles believes Middleton’s mystery designer is probably more than a bit anxious as the April 29 royal wedding approaches.

“I’m sure they are nervous now,” said Emanuel, relaxed and chatty in her central London studio, surrounded by mannequins wearing dramatic handmade wedding gowns. “It’s such a big event, with billions watching, you cannot make mistakes. There is no second chance, it has to be perfect.”

Emanuel and her ex-husband David triumphed in their own pressure-packed moment, coming up with a showstopping gown that transformed Diana from a little-known nursery school teacher into a glamorous princess. The dress was groundbreaking for its tight bodice, cinched waist and what seemed like miles and miles of taffeta, silk and lace.

Rosemary Harden, director of the Fashion Museum in Bath, England, said the dress set trends throughout the globe.

“It definitely set the tone for 15 to 20 years,” said Harden. “It was something everyone remarked upon — it took people’s breath away. It was the archetypal fairy princess dress, with an incredible quantity of beautiful fabric and beautiful silk and that long train.”

Harden said the tight bodice, puffed sleeves and very full skirt Diana favored eventually fell out of style as strapless wedding gowns came in — and she believes styles will change again once Middleton’s dress is unveiled.

There have been leaks suggesting that Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen house, is designing the dress, but she has denied the reports — though some believe she may be covering up her involvement to maintain secrecy.

Middleton, with her long, lean figure, has likely chosen a classic design with some distinctive “edgy” detailing or feature to make the gown memorable, Emanuel predicted. She thinks Middleton may wear her long hair swept up, while other fashion figures have suggested Middleton should let it cascade to her shoulders as it usually does.

The designer, whose long career has encompassed making outfits for stage and screen, does not expect Middleton’s dress to resemble Diana’s. The two brides are very different: Diana was still in her teens when she married, and she had not yet plunged into the fashion world. Middleton is 29 and has developed her own style, which emphasizes her slender figure, pale skin, and dark brown hair.

Fashions have changed as well, with softer fabrics like tulle and organza more popular in gowns than the stiffer taffeta used in Diana’s dress. There also may be fewer frills, and less volume in the skirt.

“It was perfect for the ’80s, but not for today,” Emanuel said of her most famous work, which is often on public display at Althorp House, Diana’s ancestral home, or touring museums throughout the world.

Emanuel thinks Middleton’s designer has moved beyond the planning phase and is now cutting the actual fabric in a nerve-wracking, unforgiving process that can become quite expensive if an error is made and some of the pricey material ruined.

Emanuel remembers her own time in the spotlight as a blur. She and David worked around the clock, even making the bridesmaids’ dresses and backup gowns for emergency use by Diana in case the press discovered the real design ahead of time.

They were so worried that something might go wrong that they made an “overskirt” that could be worn on top of the real skirt in case someone accidentally spilled juice or coffee on Diana as she was dressing for the ceremony.

There were endless fittings with the incredible shrinking bride — Diana lost so much weight in the weeks before the ceremony that the designers had to make several successively smaller bodices. She had a 23-inch waist by her wedding day.

Emanuel, 57, said as the wedding date neared she started to worry that the gown’s 25-foot (7.6-meter) train would separate from the rest of the dress as Diana entered St. Paul’s Cathedral. She feared she would be remembered as the woman who designed the dress that fell apart.

Emanuel used safety pins, hooks and stitches to secure the train and make sure calamity didn’t strike.

“We made a parasol in case it rained,” she said. “Actually two: one ivory, one white, so the umbrella maker wouldn’t know the color of the dress.”

Sounds a bit paranoid? Not really. She remembers reporters constantly begging her for information, making up sob stories about how they would be fired if they didn’t find out details about the dress.

That was in the quaint, pre-Internet era. Today, Emanuel said, the pressure is even more intense and the need for secrecy even higher because anyone with a camera phone could flummox the palace’s best laid plans if they get a shot of Middleton entering a design salon for a gown fitting.

Regardless of the designer, Emanuel believes the fittings are taking place at one of the royal palaces in a secure environment, because the design studios are likely staked out by the ultra-competitive British press.

But why hasn’t the name leaked out? Why hasn’t the designer boasted to his or her partner, who told the dentist or the school teacher, with the whispered warning not to pass it on, starting a chain reaction that ends with the designer’s identity on the front page of tabloids?

Emanuel said it hasn’t happened because it’s in everyone’s interest to maintain secrecy so that Middleton can surprise fiance Prince William — and the world — on their wedding day. Keeping the design out of the news is an important part of the royal wedding gown commission, she said.

“It’s got to be a surprise, that’s the whole thing,” Emanuel said. “Bit by bit, all the details of the wedding are being released, and that’s the last thing, and everyone wants to know.”

She had faith that the designer — expected to be British — will engineer a showstopper.

“I’m sure it will be a fantastic surprise when she gets out of the car; that’s what everyone’s waiting for,” she said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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Gifts That Keep On Giving

‘Tis the season to be… generous? Explore your options to buy gifts that give back this holiday season.

By: Mary Smith

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) –With holiday shopping having already begun, it’s not too late to become more enlightened to buying gifts that benefit others in need.

Most college-aged students are pretty broke and are on an all too familiar diet of Ramen Noodles. How can college-aged students make a difference in the world on such a tight budget? Many organizations are benefiting others in need from their sales. TOMS, STOP THE NAKEDNESS, and other organizations offer fair priced gifts that appeal to trendy people.

Toms Shoes

UTC student, Aimee Irwin's pair of TOMS.

Several companies have flourished using the principal of giving back to underprivileged people. TOMS shoes created a one-for-one movement in the United States in 2006 when Blake Mycoskie founded his revolutionary company. When you purchase a pair of TOMS shoes, a pair of shoes are sent to a child in need. The traditional style shoe starts at $44. Gift cards, shirts, hoodies and other accessories are also available online. Since 2006, TOMS shoes has grown in popularity as well as product variety and will not be going out of style anytime soon.

Nashville business, the Mocha Club, also has it’s own line of scarves that profit women in Ethiopia. The line is called fashionABLE. Scarves are appropriately priced at $22 per scarf. FashionABLE hopes to produce jobs for women in impoverished nations. When women cannot find jobs to support their families, many are led to a life of prostitution. FashionABLE hopes to prevent this from happening by providing jobs to the women in Ethiopia. Check out the informational video from livefashionABLE.

STOP THE NAKEDNESS is a non-profit company that has the same motivation as TOMS shoes. STOP THE NAKEDNESS is a company directed at showing the world love by donating clothing to children in need. For every shirt that is purchased, they will send a shirt to a child in need; but it doesn’t stop there. They send the consumer (you) a shirt to give to a friend to help raise awareness. The graphic tee shirts start at $20. Find out more about STOP THE NAKEDNESS in this promotional video:

Looking for a great pair of pajama pants? Try Punjammies. Punjammies are pants that are made by women in India who have been rescued, released, or escaped from forced prostitution. The Punjammie Project hopes to empower women by giving them a marketable job skill, therapy, medical care, and an education. Every purchase goes to establishing a fair trade wage, financial savings, and medical treatment. Punjammie pants start at $30 each.

Seasons Greetings!

A very popular seller for UNICEF: greeting cards.

UNICEF, or the United Nations Children’s Fund, is an organization that has been aiding children since it’s beginning in 1946. UNICEF claims to be a “global humanitarian relief organization providing children with healthcare, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.” It is funded by contributions from individuals, groups, corporations, and several governments. Some of their financial support and awareness comes from their gift store. There is a wide range of gifts on the site for parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. Holiday cars, children’s toys, home decorations and jewelry are just a few things that UNICEF offers. UNICEF also says that, “…every UNICEF card and gift you buy helps children around the world.”

GreenShops is an eco-friendly organization that benefits people and animals in third world countries from their sales. The Green Shop website contains a multitude of enjoyable nick knacks as well as more sophisticated gifts. One of the items for sale is a bag that says, “Feed the children of the world.” When a person buys this bag, one child in Africa will be fed lunch everyday for a year.

Online shopping is an annoyance to some. It’s understandable. Luckily, Calvary Chapel, 3415 S. Broad Street, is hosting a fair trade market on Sunday December 5th. Fair trade coffee from Honduras, jewelry, bags, and more will be for sale. Holiday shopping before the dreaded finals will be a nice calm before the storm.

A lot of gifts that keep on giving can be very expensive. For instance, sponsoring a child through Compassion, Invisible Children or joining the Mocha Club can get expensive. College students don’t always have the money to commit to a monthly pledge. But, with gifts that keep on giving, it is a one time financial commitment to help people who need help.

Another way college students can give gifts that keep on giving is to serve in community kitchens over the holidays. The winter season is especially hard on families and volunteers are needed at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen in various areas. Helping out the staff and aiding people is a great way to give to the people Chattanooga who are in need.

Another college friendly approach to beneficial gifts is to participate in the Angel Tree Program through the Salvation Army. Angel Tree is a program where people buy a child gifts for during the Christmas season. They choose the child by picking their Angel off the Salvation Army Christmas tree. Volunteers are also needed to work the tree stations.

The last suggestion for buying gifts that benefit others is to ask people to donate to a certain cause for your holiday gift.

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Chattanooga Consignment Boutiques are THE Place for Great Deals

By Molly Farrell

With the holidays looming, shoppers are looking for ways to save money, especially college students. Consignment and resale shops are the answer to financial woes for those who are looking for an inexpensive way to wear the season’s hottest trends”

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC) — For many students and other bargain hunters, consignment and resale shops are the best place to find name brand clothes at a fraction of the selling price.

Chattanooga is home to a number of these popular places. Plato’s Closet, a young men and women’s store that sells gently worn items, is a popular place for students to find inexpensive steals on the latest styles.

Whether it’s a night out or a change of season, consignment clothing stores are a favorite for Alexandra Gellis, UTK junior. “I love Plato’s Closet because they have a little of everything; if I am in a hurry to find a dress or something to go out in, I always look there first.”

For the more designer-conscious, Encore Consignment, owned by Sherry Gravitt, has a plethora of top designer clothing at unbeatable prices.  Encore also has a great selection of women’s suits and dresses for those with a more subtle attire.

If vintage is what you’re looking for, Collective Clothing, located in the heart of St. Elmo, is the perfect place to find unique pieces.

Sondra Aten, owner of Collective Clothing, says her purpose for opening the store was to give Chattanoogan’s a unique shopping experience. ” I wanted to give people in Chattanooga an opportunity to be able to purchase [vintage clothing] without having to drive to Nashville or Atlanta.”

Sondra explains the driving force behind resale shops is availability. “I try to find more unique things that are timeless, rather than ‘fast fashion’, that just comes in and out.” Consignment shops thrive on customer participation like bringing in new items to sell.

Plato’s Closet, Encore Consignment, and Collective Clothing are just some of the resale shops Chattanooga has to offer.

Who: Plato’s Closet                                                                    

Where: 2200 Hamilton Place Blvd, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Gently used young men and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-10 pm, Sunday 12 pm-8 pm

Plato’s Closet of chattanooga offers consignment clothing at great prices.  The store is organized by racks of jeans, shirts, jackets, and dresses in a variety of colors and sizes.

They also sell a wide selection of gently used shoes and accessories for both men and women.

Plato’s takes name brand clothing items that are gently used (no tears, holes or stains) for a reasonable cash payout. Most stores take clothing year round, not just seasonal clothing.

Positives: Great selection of clothing for both genders, new merchandise arrives daily

Negatives: Pays customers only a fraction of the selling cost for consigned clothing, does not recognize designer brands

Who: Encore Consignment Boutique

Where: 11500 Hixson Pike, Suite C, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Upscale ladies apparel and accessories

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-4:30 pm, CLOSED Sunday and Monday

Encore Consignment carries primarily upscale ladies apparel, including dresses, suit pieces, and designer accessories. The store has been awarded by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as “readers choice” since 2002.

Encore only takes clothing that is of a designer brand and in excellent condition, and primarily buys from consignors.

Positives: Great selection of high fashion designer brands, pricing is very reasonable

Negatives: Store is very small and crammed, most clothing is geared towards an older crowd

Who: Collective Clothing                                                                

Where: 3933 St. Elmo Ave, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Vintage/Unique clothing and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday 11 am-8 pm, CLOSED Sunday

Collective Clothing has something for everyone. The small store is crammed with vintage pieces mixed with new, trendier clothing.

Collective offers a wide selection for both men and women, and the clothing is organized into type and size.

The back of the store features a small room of accessories, and shoes from every decade can be found along the walls. The vintage, thrifty feel of the establishment is a far cry from most clothing stores.

Positives: Great selection of vintage pieces/ unique styles

Negatives: The prices are on the high side for older pieces, some clothing shows signs of wear


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Chattanoogans Become Bassheads

By: Elizabeth Patterson


A packed venue, multicolor lights flashing, and people dancing this is the trademark of Bassnectar, one of the new DJ’s sweeping the nation.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn( AP/ The Loop)- Raving has become the most popular all night dance party in our generation. The synthesized and heavy bass attracts all kinds of people especially those of  teens and young adolescents.

The drug scene is presentable but most are there for the music.  Talking to ravers I noticed a specific lingo to describe their experience using words like rowdy, drug references and calling themselves Bassheads.

Chattanooga has become involved with the rave scene.  There are many raves held in the downtown area and welcome anyone who is willing to put on their dancing shoes.  Bangers Ball located on Market St.  is just one of the all night parties that Chattanooga holds for the price of five dollars.  Chattanooga also has its fair share of up and coming djs.

2009 Summer Camp - Afternoon Set Credit: Chad Smith

Bassnectar throwing down the bass

One of the most popular dj’s that has started the revolution of electronic/dubstep craziness is no other than Bassnectar.  Not only does Bassnectar allow you to let loose and dance the night away, his music also leaves the audience open minded with his socialist ideas.

Click here to listen to tracks of Bassnectar

Bassnectar a.k.a Lorin Ashton started off underground in the Bay Area with his insane parties and mixtapes that eventually led him worldwide. “What started back in the mid nineties as an experiment fusing youth culture and social action has turned into a multi-faceted, multi-faced creature called Bassnectar, “says bassnectar himself.

Bassnectar is very popular in Chattanooga, Nashville and Atlanta. “His shows are crazy as all get out, the atmosphere is incredible,” said UTC student Kara Livingston.  I also spoke to people who are extremely into the rave scene and create their own style of music. ” Bassnectar has been a huge inspiration towards making my own music,” said student Brent Murphy.

Bassnectar Family

I myself have had the experience of seeing Bassnectar live.  The crowd does get extremely rowdy by throwing glow sticks and water.  The atmosphere is like no other with people dressed in the most interesting outfits with hulu hoops.    It’s a very different scene but definitely one you will never forget.

Bassnectar next show is December 30 in Atlanta at the Tabernacle.  Come out and experience the craziness of the show and become a basshead( bassnectar fan).

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Chattanooga’s Essence of a Queen

When you hear the word pageant you think of Ms. U.S.A. or Ms. World. However, Chattanooga has their own pageant called Ms. Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant

By Bryson Simpson

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.(UTC/TheLoop)–Several different pageants take place around the world. From baby beauty pageants, teen pageants, gay pageants, and scholarship pageants. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated hosts scholarship pageants called Miss Black and Gold Pageants all over the United States.

The bylaws of Miss Black and Gold Pageant states, “That under the sponsorship of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., is an outgrowth of the long standing tradition of the Fraternity chapters recognizing outstanding young women, their achievements and talents. The Fraternity recognizes the valuable contributions of women scholars in the undergraduate community.

The first national Miss Black and Gold Pageant was held during Alpha’s 1976 General Convention in New York City where Miss Denise Smith, representing Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded the first prize.

The Eta Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha hosts a Annual Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant ever since they have been reactivated in 1998. The Eta Phi Chapter was chartered on the campus of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the campus is the usual location where the pageants are hosted. Phillip Rosser, The Chairman of The Miss Black and Gold Pageant, said,” The Pageant this year is separated into six sections which are dance, Introduction, swimwear, talent, formal, and question and answer.

This year the Eta Phi Chapter had their annual pageant on Oct. 27 in the University Centers Auditorium. The theme they chose for the nine contestants was “The Fruits of The Spirit” which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.Each of the contestants chose a spirit and had to pick out fruits that represented them.

The contestants of the pageant were

  • Shanee Driver
  • Kaila Warren
  •  Amanda Thompson
  • Ciera Conley
  •  Alyssia Morales
  •  Kayla Hyatte
  • Jessica Ornsby
  • Faith Henderson
  • Ashley Robles

After the Question and Answer section the judges were making their final tallies of the contestants so the new 2010 Miss Black and Gold could be announced. Ciera Conley was awarded Miss Congeniality, Kaila Warren was awarded Best Talent, Faith Henderson was awarded Miss Black and Gold Runner Up, and Jessica Ornsby was awarded 2010 Miss Black and Gold.

Jessica Ornsby, 2010 Miss Black and Gold, said,”I enjoyed myself throughout the whole process of the pageant. I have established great relationships with the other contestants and I am looking forward to progressing to districts.”

The winner of Miss Black and Gold will move on to the district, which is held in Chattanooga as well on Nov.22.

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I love Pink

By: Mariah Brooks

Ten-year-old Parker Salinas considers herself one lucky little girl and a lifelong believer in the power of pink.

Mom Jules was diagnosed two years ago with breast cancer, enduring weeks of radiation, chemotherapy and, finally, a double-mastectomy that saved her life. Parker — the oldest of three kids — begged to get involved in the search for a cure and got busy making and selling bracelets from soda can pull tabs. Her total: 600 bracelets and $600 to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“I’m doing something fun but I’m also doing something to help another family, or somebody else,” said the fourth-grader from suburban Atlanta. “It was the thought of helping others to feel better and not die from it.”

Parkers large and small are trying to push back the most common form of cancer in women in their own homegrown ways, from two teachers who putt-putted more than 2,700 miles on scooters in “Dumb and Dumber” getups to a Minnesota family’s cookbook that raised $30,000.

Many do it year-round with help from a bump in online giving and the rise of Facebook. Others find shorter-term projects to take advantage of October’s designation as breast cancer awareness month, when bubblegum pink takes center stage during walks, corporate drives and the sale of special products that raise millions for research, education and support for patients.

“Finding a good give-back project is like finding that perfect pair of jeans,” said Christy Eichers, who nearly lost her mother, Joan, to the disease. “To give to something you really believe in is a gift.”

Eichers hit on her “Mixing Up Memories” cookbook idea while driving one day in Minneapolis two years ago, listening to the “Wicked” tune “Defying Gravity”: “Some things I cannot change/ But ’til I try, I’ll never know!” She embellished each comfort, party-pleasing recipe (Cowboy Salsa, Annie’s Cajun Yams) with its distinct family history.

“My mom said, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re not going to have any family secrets left,'” Eichers said.

Like Parker and Eichers, Carter Hoff’s mom is a breast cancer survivor. Hoff’s good friend Alan Landers has survivors in his family, too. Both men were teachers on a U.S. military base in the Azores in Portugal when they decided on their scooter ride across the United States in late June.

“It was an easy choice,” Hoff said. “We decided we could be just two guys on scooters or we could do it wearing the orange and blue tuxedoes from ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ We had canes, too, but we lost them in Pennsylvania. They fell off the hogs,” Hoff joked.

Averaging about 300 miles a day at 60 mph or slower, it took them 16 days to go Washington to Washington and raise about $4,300. “We went for the everyday grassroots people you meet on the street,” Hoff said. “A few dollars here, a few dollars there could add up and make a big difference.”

Nobody knew more about the personal touch than Mel Simmons, a suburban Boston mother of two and a flight attendant for 38 years who died of breast cancer after a fierce, five-year battle.

Frequent flyers on Delta Air Lines planes asked for her by name. Her friends nominated her to carry the Olympic Torch, and she did with her trademark grin. During treatment for breast cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital, Simmons liked to give her nurses and others colorful bead bracelets on elastic bands that a friend found for her in Turkey.

When Simmons died in 2005, the recipients of her token gift wore them in her honor. Soon others wanted them, too, and friends found 1,000 more of the bracelets. The supply quickly sold out, with proceeds donated to cancer causes. Her loved ones realized the bracelets could raise even more money in the fight against all cancers and formed the Friends of Mel Foundation. The group had a bad turn of luck in 2007 when they voluntarily recalled the bracelets due to lead, but it found a new source in January 2008 and the tradition continues. More than $2 million in proceeds from the bracelets and other fundraisers has been distributed.

“We were missing her and trying to channel our grief in a positive way,” said Pauline Alighieri, a close friend. “At the time people started asking for the bracelets, so we put a basket down on a table and said take a bracelet, give us $10. We didn’t know what we were doing. The whole thing was done out of the back of my car.”

Greg Moore in Chattanooga, Tenn., lost his mother to breast cancer 18 years ago. The mother of his oldest daughter died of the disease two years ago.

Moore co-owns a Volvo Rents franchise, providing heavy equipment for construction work. He painted one of his 45 cherry pickers pink and began last October to donate 25 percent of its proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Moore has turned over a little more than $2,000 so far.

“At the very beginning everybody wanted to rent it for what it’s used for but a lot of times just to aggravate their workers,” he said. “On the job site it’s a big conversation piece.”

Corporate marketer Nick Mavrick at Volvo Rents headquarters in Asheville, N.C., said other stores have done the same with pink, along with red, white and blue American flag designs to support military veterans, purple for the March of Dimes and a jigsaw puzzle look for autism.

“There are a lot of big guys in this business with soft hearts,” Mavrick said. “A lot of what they do doesn’t fill their hearts. This does.”

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