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Back To School 2004 Fashion Trends

Back on the Saddle
By: Erin Keene
Jump on the horse Cowboy, traditional western looks are coming back this season. From worn ripped jeans to plaid button down shirts, the trendiest will be pulling on their stretch cords and stepping into their leather boots. Top off this look with a pair of chandelier earrings and a big belt to ride into the sunset with style.

A Killer Fashion Label
By: Sammantha Dewhurst
Stephan Bohle’s new label, Haeftlin means “inmate” in German, and it’s no wonder. Charging 32.50 Euros for a shirt, Bohle is producing prison-wear to be worn by the everyday public. These clothes are being designed and made by murderers, thieves and rapists. This workforce dominates at least twelve separate prisons in Europe. (New York Times)

Sloppy Sophisticate
By: Stephanie Menendez
Seems like the ladies may be out of luck if it’s a well-groomed gentleman they want to introduce to the folks. When it comes to the guys, sloppy is all the rage this season. From “just got outta bed” hair to untucked shirts, stylish men are dressing up by dressing down. Wanna go for some extra cool points? Wear that suit with a pair of Converse sneakers. (New York Times)

Goin’ Girly
By: Stephanie Menendez
Parents, principals and employers: Rejoice! Gone are the days of bare midriffs and thong-exposing jeans. The fashion pendulum has shifted and demure and dainty looks are in. So cover up with fitted blazers and tailored pants. Send those skintight jeans to Good Will ‘cause this season’s looks are all about conservative girly style.

Kabbalah Kraze
Religion Dominates the Red Carpet

By: Samantha Dewhurst

Within the later voices of Judaism, there is a profound story warning us that over-involvement with Jewish mysticism, known as the Kabbalah, was a dangerous thing. Well, it comes as no surprise that Madonna would touch upon something dangerous, but what about this whole Kabbalah thing becoming a global trend? To have a pop icon sporting the goods is one thing, but to have designers dedicating themselves to the trend is quite another. The words “Kabbalah Trend” are a contradiction in themselves.

Recently, these Jewish teachings have inspired new territory: the fashion industry. With the likes of Demi Moore, Britney Spears, and other renowned celebrities strutting the red carpets with red, simplistic bracelets better known as bendels on their arms, Judaism is taking on a whole new scene. These bendels, which are said to protect one from the evil eye, are priced as high as $45. Not only is Madonna sporting a t-shirt reading “Kabbalists Do It Better” throughout her worldwide Re-Invention tour, but Kabbala water is being sold in plastic bottles, Kabbalah candles are being sold for $20 at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus, and the New York Times recently referred to the Star of David as “a gleaming badge of cool.” Marketers are considering donating a percentage of the proceeds to different Kabbalah Centres, but does that justify the exposure that’s been placed on such a sacred religion?

The mysticism of the Kabbalah is meant to be received from master to disciple, knowing that the disciple possesses a certain maturity needed to endow such a spiritual practice. In time, it was even suggested that no one under the age of 40 could be permitted within the Kabbalistic studies (sorry Britney). So, when it comes down to it, is it disrespectful to allow a valued part in religion to become a passing fad? Regardless, the mysticism of Kabbala is taking the likes of Hollywood, Vogue, and then some, by storm.


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