Jersey Kiss

Accessories Will Make Every Good Outfit Even Better

If you follow a slew of fashion girls on Instagram, chances are, you’ve likely already seen most of the season’s biggest trends (think: plaid boyfriend blazers, sparkly boots, and puff-sleeved blouses) in your feed a dozen times over. Now, don’t get us wrong: We, too, love cool, of-the-moment silhouettes and the endless style inspiration from the IG pros that wear them. But every now and again we could use a break from the same ol’ fashions (and filters). That’s why, when we come across a fresh face with an aesthetic that stands out in a sea of cookie-cutter #OOTDs, our hearts skip a beat.

Case in point: Lifestyle blogger Sunita V., whose trademark look is built on classic, comfortable staples and versatile accessories, like PANDORA Jewelry’s stunning gems, rather than anything too over-the-top. When it comes to style, the New York City transplant says, “I’ve always done my own thing. It’s all about what feels the most me.” Which is why her sense of style is ridiculously refreshing. Not only does she march — and dress — to the beat of her own drum, but she looks damn good while doing so (as her nearly 150K followers can attest).

Ahead, Sunita tells us all about how her easy, non-cliché outfits come together, her secret to adding just the right amount of flair to every look, and why individuality is the key to winning style. Talk about sartorial empowerment.

Fashion show to showcase local designers

The Shoals Designer Showcase, hosted by University of North Alabama fashion merchandising students, is 7 p.m. Thursday at Singin River Live venue on College Street. It’s the first fashion show hosted by the department in almost 10 years.

Laura McKee, an instructor in the Fashion Merchandising Department, said the show is a unique opportunity for students to learn about the fashion industry and see how a fashion show is put together.

It is also an opportunity for students to get to know fashion designers who have set up shop in the Shoals. Groups of students picked out clothes from acclaimed fashion designers Billy Reid and Alabama Chanin for the show.

Reid provided 10 women’s wear and 10 men’s wear ensembles, and 10 looks from Alabama Chanin will be showcased.

“I really enjoyed selecting the men’s pieces from Billy Reid,” said fashion merchandising student Carleigh Tally. “That surprised me because I thought I would enjoy the women’s clothing better.”

Fashion merchandising student Laura Scott said it is special to have designers of the caliber of Reid and Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin in the Shoals.

“Getting to see the beautifully done pieces at Alabama Chanin was pretty awesome,” she said.

The show will include a tribute to the late Marigail Mathis. McKee said they wanted to honor Mathis, who designed an original line of clothing for her stores in the 1990s. A longtime friend of Mathis provided some of those original pieces to be used in the show.

McKee said those pieces will be paired with new items from Marigail Mathis Fashion House to show a blend of the old and new.

“Initially, we thought about using the original designs just as they are, but a friend of Marigail’s told us she would have wanted to bring those looks up to date,” McKee said.

Colored denim, hand-painted jeans, tops and skirts from the 1990s Marigail Weekend collections were selected, and a group of three fashion merchandising students were at the store last week to pick the new pieces that will make up the outfits.

Store owner Amy Thomas said seeing the original pieces back in the store was a flashback to her childhood.

“What’s funny is I remember this stuff,” she said. “My mother shopped here so I grew up coming to the store and seeing these pieces.”

Cloth alternative to plastic

THE state government’s ban on single use plastic bags – and commitments by the big supermarkets to phase them out over the next few months – has highlighted the merit of alternatives, such as the free Boomerang Bags.

Rosebud Boomerang Bags was launched at the La Casa Nostra deli in July by Gwen Giudici, who picked up the idea from Shelle Hepburn, who had been sewing Boomerang Bags in Sorrento with the help of volunteers and school children.

Since then, another three Boomerang Bags communities have been established: Somers, Red Hill and Western Port, with more in the pipeline.

Ms Giudici and a group of keen women has taken the Boomerang Bags project to schools, scout groups and events (such as last Sunday’s Walk 4 Westernport and next weekend’s War of Waste forum) to spread the message on stopping the use of single use plastic bags and waste in general.

“The Mornington Peninsula Boomerang Bags groups have produced 1660 bags to date and you can add at least another 100 to that after Saturday,” Ms Giudici said. “It’s booming.”

The bags are also travelling the world, with Sorrento Community Centre manager Tracey Truman promoting them in the US at Charleston (South Carolina) and Savannah (Georgia) – just two of the stops she has made.

Ms Giudici said the group had started making its own Mornington Peninsula-branded bags by screen printing the pockets on the front of the bags.

“We are having regular sewing bees for everyone to join,” she said. “Lots of people are also sewing from home but, with the increased demand for schools and events, we are always on the lookout for more volunteers.”

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said banning single-use plastic bags would reduce litter and help protect marine life.

“We will work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban,” she said. “We’re proud that we’re doing our bit to reduce the impact plastic bags have on our environment.”

IGA Mt Martha co-owner Rod Allen said the store would “look to bring in a plastic bag ban as soon as practicable. We are having a meeting [of IGA management] on Tuesday and I will raise the issue and see when we are going to bring it in as a group.”

“We care for the environment and want people to bring in their own enviro bags, and I am more than happy to not provide plastic bags, but we would have to advertise that fact and encourage people to change their mindset,” Mr Allen said.

Blairgowrie IGA owner Sally Bernal said the store stopped issuing single use plastic bags three and a half years ago. “The local response has been great and I am glad we did it,” she said.

“Probably one shopper in a hundred moans about it; the response has been positive.”

Instead, the store supplies heavy duty paper bags at its own cost as well as top-end $10 bags which shoppers use over again.

Coles and Woolworths confirmed in July that single-use plastic bags would be phased out from all stores over the next 12 months “in favour of more sustainable options”.

Customers still wanting plastic bags will be charged 15 cents each.

“We’ve been working towards this announcement for some time now as part of our ongoing program to improve environmental outcomes throughout our business,” Coles chief customer officer Simon McDowell said.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the group “wants to play its part in reducing plastic bag usage and has taken this decision because it is the right thing to do as one of Australia’s largest retailers”.

The retail giant hands out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year.