Friday, 21 November 2014

Contrast in the Press

Check out these two articles recently written about our fashion show and our editor-in-chief!

Miscellany News: Art for fashion’s sake: Loeb becomes runway in Embodied

College Fashionista: Around Town: Contrast

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Contrast Presents: Embodied


Join Contrast in collaboration with the Student Advisory Committee of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center for our Fourth Annual Fashion Show.

Thursday, November 13th,
7 PM in the Loeb

Thursday, 30 October 2014

#ThrowBackThursday with Lil Kim

"October is almost over? November is almost here? We're at what point in the semester?!"

Then again, why would any of these details interest me when I'm reminded of the legacy of the one, the only, Lil' Kim. On this Throwback Thursday lets take it back to 1996 (what a great time to be in diapers), when life was on the cusp of a new millennium, the economy was relatively stable, and Lil' Kim was showcasing "Crush on You" off her debut album Hard Core. The song featured fellow Junior Mafia members Lil' Cease and Notorious B.I.G. This song peaked the UK Singles chart at 23 and number 6 on the Billboard Top 100, becoming Lil' Kim's second consecutive number 1 hit on the Rap Song chart.

See anything familiar? If you look closely in the vid you should be able to spot Luther Campbell, Aaliyah, and Sleek Touch from "The Lox." The music video for "Crush on you" began the featured colored wig look that Kim became known for. The theme of the video, seen in the vivid color changing of the outfits and the glowing floor was inspired from the movie The Wiz (1978). After deciding on the theme, Kim and her stylist thought to add changing colored outfits into the mix too (I mean, why not??). The video features bold and bright set ups of blue, yellow, green, and red.

Halloween is tomorrow friends! No idea what to be? Maybe take some inspo from this vid so you can be as legendary as my mom :+)

Later ghouls and gremblings!
Iyana <3

Monday, 20 October 2014

Welcome back!

What's the news all my stylish people! 
Welcome back to another year of stress, learning, but mostly a time to debut good looks even when you feel like a turd. Autumn is finally here and your Vassar contrast exec team is hard at work twisting and turning every gear possible to make sure our first semester back kicks off with a bang. Your Vassar contrast team is ready this year to take the larger Vassar community on a spin. We're more than just your simple ~style~ team, we're dedicated to keeping a keen eye on the greatest style, fashion, and art our eyes can spot.
Now, you may be wondering "Hey, what the use? How is any of this possible and who the hell is putting this all together?" 

Well my friend, meet your bombin' exec board dedicated to redefining mixed patterns and over starched crease lines.

Rachel Garbade, Editor-in-Chief

Rachel Garbade is the editor-in-chief of Contrast. She started out as a photographer in her first year with the magazine and later became photo editor, alongside Jacob Gorski. Rachel comes from Short Hills, New Jersey. She is a double major in Art History and French, currently writing her thesis on Georgia O'Keeffe's urbanscapes of New York City. This year, Rachel hopes to expand the content of Contrast to further capture the many lifestyles lived on Vassar's campus.

Kristell Taylor, Treasurer

Hi I'm Kristell and I am the Treasurer for Contrast this year. I'm currently a junior and a Neuroscience and Behavior major. Last year I was a part of the fashion show and I'm thrilled that I have the opportunity to be more involved with Contrast this year. I loved the "getting out of the Vassar bubble" theme from last semester's issue, so I'm really excited about our next issue since we have a very creative team putting it all together! I have a feeling you'll all love the ideas we're throwing around right now.

Olga Voyazides, Co-Head of Style Committee 

Hi! I'm Olga, I'm a junior, and one of the Contrast Style Editors thisyear. I've been working with Contrast ever since my freshman year,doing makeup and styling models for shoots. This is my second year onExec board for Style, and it's been amazing working with such great people to create such an awesome magazine. I'm so excited for this upcoming issue, with all the great shoots and articles we have planned thanks to our amazing committees!

Lydia Ciaputa, Co-Head of Style Committee

Lydia is a senior Art History major/Greek and Roman Studies correlate originally from Bronxville, NY.  She was a member of the style committee last year and modeled in the Fall 2013 issue.  Lydia loves magazines, fashion, photography, makeup, and most of all, the inevitable hoarding that goes along with all of those things.  She looks forward to Contrast’s first couple of photo shoots this year, one of which involves the juxtaposition of models with architectural features on campus.

Dion Kauffman, Co-Editorial Editor 

Dion Kauffman is an editorial editor of Contrast. He has been involved with Contrast through writing articles and being photographed. He studies Geography and Creative Writing. 

Taylor Pratt, Men's Style

“Townie Tay” was formed from brother Adam’s rib, raised in Poughkeepsie and will never leave until the demise of the post-grad apocalypse. An Urban Studies major with focuses in Geography & Architecture and a desire to debase the inherent colonizing/hegemonic nature of architecture. Tay’s commitment to Contrast aims to sharpen, question and articulate more clearly, the nuanced plurality of lifestyles and voices within the Vassar community. Fuck it though, I just want to change where this college is going and what it’s erasing while adding some minimalist layers along the way.

Jacqueline Krass, Co-Editorial Editor 

Jacqueline Krass is an English major and junior from Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-editor of Editorial and has been involved in Contrast since freshman year, steadily progressing from writing a weird creating thing on the blog to a less weird interview thing for the print magazine. She is excited to be on the board this year and looks forward to a great semester with Contrast!

Jacob Gorski, Co-Photo Editor

When he’s not training to be a Ryan Gosling impersonator, Jacob Gorski can be found taking photos for Contrast, where he is co-photo editor with Macrae Marran. Jacob is a senior psychology major and art history minor from New Haven, Connecticut. He began shooting for Contrast in his sophomore year and later became co-photo editor his junior year with Rachel Garbade. Jacob is excited to continue working with Contrast in capturing Vassar's people and spaces.

 Olivia Michalak, Head of Publicity 

Olivia Michalak manages publicity for Contrast. She started as a member of the style committee and modeled in Contrast’s annual fashion show last year. Olivia is from Chatham, New Jersey. She is planning on majoring in Media Studies when she actually gets up the nerve to declare.

 Lauren Garcia, Layout & Design Editor 

Lauren Garcia is kind. She is  smart. She is important. She is also from Omaha, likes to watch movies in her underwear, and is the Layout & Design Editor of this magazine.

Iyana Shelby, Blog Editor

And last, but not least, is me! My name is Iyana and I'm your blog editor this year. When I'm not obsessing over how my blacks don't match, I'm evoking a spooky persona as I travel through my science classes. "Nerd by day, goth girl by night" is the lifestyle I tend to lead. Throwing things together that magically work out is how I live (and more than likely) will be what this year's blog will follow.

Be sure to stay tuned for more wild Vassar year including our annual fashion show, TBTs of past shows, junior JYA special appearances, recipes, and more. We've got a lot in store for you all this year, so sit down, pop in some brewed coffee beans, and lets get to work!

Yours truly,
your Contrast 14-15 Exec Board 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The “ART” of the Internet

by Stephanie Muir         

For many college-aged students, surfing the web is both a veritable skill and treasured past time. While you can attempt to find the bottom of your News Feed (It doesn’t exist — I’ve tried!), you can also use these skills to “peruse” the collection of your favorite museum. Nothing compares to seeing a work of art in person, but some amazing initiatives exist that combine art and technology in ways revolutionizing how we access visual art. Far from your typical museum website, these projects demonstrate a commitment to public education by providing inventive opportunities for personal discovery. It doesn’t matter if you’re an art history expert or know nothing about the subject, the following websites promise hours of enjoyment to anyone with an Internet connection and a sense of curiosity:
Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute makes available online cultural exhibitions through its partnerships with a variety of arts institutions and heritage organizations. Within the institute, the Google Art Project publishes extremely high-resolution photographs organized for maximum browsing potential. Zoom in to see textures and brushstrokes not easily visible to the naked eye. You can also use the site’s compare feature to simultaneously contemplate works located in, say, Italy and Brazil (and basically defy the limitations of time and space, nbd).
Just as Google Maps’ Street View famously enables users to view panoramic images of streets around the world, the Google Cultural Institute employs similar technology to allow users to virtually visit a number of cultural sites and institutions. Check out the Taj Mahal in 360-degrees or use Museum View to virtually walk through the galleries of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. No longer must art viewed on the Internet be removed from its architectural context or separated from the surrounding works with which it converses.   

Source: Google Cultural Institute


With a collection of over 140,000 artworks, similarly commits to making art accessible to the masses. Partnered with over 1,800 galleries and over 250 museums/institutions, Artsy seamlessly brings together the cutting edge and the historical via fresh editorial content and extensive archives. You can even buy original works off the site and start your very own collection. The site’s real gem, however, is the Art Genome Project headed by Matthew Israel ’99. Often compared to Pandora Radio, the “recommendation engine” enables you to find art similar to what you already like by categorizing works and placing them in an easy-to-use format.



In my opinion, posts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram account can easily be considered works of art themselves. From #tbt posts depicting crowded, early 20th century gallery walls to their recent #emptymet campaign, technology is allowing users to see the museum in ways otherwise impossible. Better yet, since the posts automatically enter your feed, following @metmuseum ensures you have an art-filled day with little to no effort on your part.  

And the Met’s not alone; art museums, auction houses and artists alike now run Instagram accounts regularly giving followers behind-the-scenes information and updates. A highly visual medium, Instagram proves to be perfect for sharing visual art.

Source: @metmuseum on Instagram

So what do you think?  Does viewing art this way detract from the experience or do these projects mark an exciting new era of open access in the arts?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Kind of Girl

After being sent Pitchfork’s interview with Greta Kline there was a lot of me talking to myself saying, “Yes, okay so how do I be her? How do I be her best friend? She’s the coolest. That girl rules.” The final No-ViCE show answered my prayers and featured Frankie Cosmos, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Thea Ballard, and Del Water Gap. It was all happening.

I was initially magnetized to her because there was someone playing great music that looked like me. When I was little, I thought I would turn 20 and look like Beyoncé. I’m still little and will never look like Beyoncé. It’s comforting and encouraging looking up to someone I can relate to.

Frankie Cosmos vocalizes a lot of the Ping-Pong thoughts bouncing in our heads. Zentropy is delivered to us in a trinket box. Each bauble inside is something different to the listener. It’s like listening to the diary you wish you wrote.

I knew that Greta and her band would have a distinctive style with plenty of personal narrative. So I Facebook messaged Frankie Cosmos (as professionals do) and Greta charmingly accepted.

I met Greta and her band outside of the Mug on the backdoor steps. We sat down outside and after introducing ourselves we got serious about Frankie Cosmos’ passion for fashion.

Click below to see photos from the show.


“Ryan Holguin”
I feel like there is a certain point when you’re little and you realize you want to look a certain way. What point was that? When did you start dressing yourself?

Greta Kline
”Frankie Cosmos”
I actually was not little when that happened. I honestly just wanted to wear my brother’s clothes throughout high school and past that and then I made this friend. These two friends. Leonie and Joanna who are just really fashionable and they’re from Germany and they came to America with just like suitcases overflowing with amazing clothes. And my friend Joanna was like, “You could just wear a costume and be like a different person everyday. And I always think about that. That inspires my uh, my passion for fashion. Ron?

Aaron Maine
”Ronnie Mystery” or “Ron”
I guess I’ve always been picky. My mom said I used to just do this little finger test when I was younger for the material and say like “no” or “yes.” I mean, I don’t know when I started dressing myself. I don’t know. Maybe I was, I was in fourth grade or third grade or fourth grade or something.

Gabrielle Smith
”Gabby Teardrop”
I think I started dressing myself when I was in third grade. Because I got this like velour—no—ya, a crushed velvet like blue leopard print suit [laughs] that I wore like every day for the second half of third grade. So that’s when I started dressing myself.

Greta: That’s awesome.

David Maine
”David Mystery”
Um, I’d say like early college. I started buying my own clothes. Before my mom would just like take us to Kohl’s and I didn’t really care but then I had some cool new friends in college [Half-sarcastically] And I had to get skinny jeans to fit in with them. So…

Greta: Where’d you go to get the cloooothes, David?
David: Oh, was that the question?
Me: Ya, sure!
Greta: I wanna know
David: Dude, Levi’s all the way and then Uniqlo. And then Starbucks.
Greta: We’re sponsored by Starbucks by the way. If you could just add that.
Ron: Ya we have to plug
Greta: Ya we have to plug stuff in about how we’re sponsored
Me: Wait, are you guys serious?
Greta; No no
Ron: No
Ryan: Okay, I was just like “I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that”
Greta: We like to lie about sponsorship. If you could just put that we’re sponsored by [laughs] Starbucks.
Aaron: David gets his jeans from Starbucks.
Greta: David is inspired by the fashion scene surrounding Starbucks.
Me: Barista scene.
Greta: Ya totally.

Me: Okay, do you guys have any style influences? I know like being in the city you have fashion week and every day is like a fucking fashion show. Any style influences?

Greta: I would say the movie Clueless
Aaron: Ya, I would just say looking around in New York. Like all sorts of fashion.
Gabby: Uh, Starbucks… [laughs]
Greta: [laughs]
Gabby: I think… Actually, Greta is a big one
Greta: Shut. Up. Gabby.
Gabby: It’s, it’s true!
Greta: Come on! You’re my idol.
Gabby: And also, Susanna.
Greta: Yeah, Susanna honestly since I was like in eighth grade is my fashion icon probably
Gabby: Susanna is our friend who looks amazing even on days when she isn’t going to leave the house. She just looks so good.
Greta: When I laid eyes on her I was like, “I’d like to wear a dress sometime.” I saw her and I was like, “Maybe I could wear a dress one day!”
Gabby: Me too! That’s exactly what I thought.
Greta: And be cool. Yeah, she’s definitely an icon. I had a couple of friends like that.
David: I’d say my bro… Aaron.
Aaron: Oh, no. Don’t! Stop!
David: I dunno. My friends in college. Leon Fraun. Very fashionable guy. Starbucks. That’s it.
Me: Just Starbucks.
Greta: The Starbucks logo
Aaron: Such nice colors.

Me: So how has your style changed through touring? Are there any things that you gotta bring every day?

Gabby: On our last tour I brought so much clothing and I only wore like one shirt and one pair of pants like every single day.
Greta: I changed every day. Oh no I didn’t
Aaron: You wore tights every day.
Gabby: Ya you wore the same outfit.
Greta: No but I changed my shirt every—no actually what I did do I would wear an outfit two days in a row and then change.
Aaron: You wore the Scooby-Doo pants every single day.
Gabby: They were Joe-cool.
Greta: They were Joe-cool.
Aaron: I’m just sayin’
Greta: But I only own like one pair of pants. I just changed like my shirt. Cause it’s stinky to wear the same shirt.
Gabby: I always get shirts from the bands we play with and that replaces what I thought I would wear.
Greta: Yeah and you end up with a really heavy suitcase.
Gabby: Yeah!
Aaron: We go to like Salvation Army if we have hours to kill.
Greta: My go-to tour packing thing is just like definitely more underwear than days that we’re gonna be away and also I—I always wanna wear—I always bring three pajama shirts that I know I can also use as a face towel. Like that’s actually how I think of it like, “Oh I’ll bring this soft shirt so I can wipe my face with it every night.” It’s really weird but that’s how I pack. Ya it’s sort of a fashion influence. Ron? Ronnie picked up these glasses on tour.
Aaron: Yeah I like going to try to find a thrift store if there’s time to kill.
[. . .]
I just feel like on tour you have more of an excuse to be adventurous with what you’re wearing cause you are going to a new place every day and maybe finding new clothes and people expect to—you know, you already look kind of crazy cause you’re driving around and stuff. But it’s funny going back to New York. It’s like every piece of clothing has a different meaning in that context. There’s like such a weird unspoken code of what to wear whereas if you’re in Ohio you can like you know, wear absolutely anything and look totally crazy.
Greta: Also, you have no friends with expectations of what you’re gonna look like whereas when you’re in somewhere like Ohio. You’re not going to run into someone and them be like, “Whoa! Weird shirt,” which happened the day we got back to New York.
Gabby: But it also changes depending on whether it’s cold on tour. On the first tour we did, I only wore like those fleece leggings with those socks and this really huge t-shirt. That was like my whole outfit the entire time.
Greta: Cause you thought it was going to be warmer I feel like.
Gabby: Well because that’s like the best thing to put things on top of. So I just kept like—but then this tour I got to be a little bit—well I guess I did just say I wore one outfit for this tour too so maybe I should just own it.
Greta: Ya, I feel like I was trying to be like versatile, I was trying to bring versatile clothing. Because it was April I was like, “Well it could be freezing or it could be warm like burning hot so I’ll just bring shorts and like this long johnny type pants and wear them under the shorts on days when it’s not hot.” And then it was cold every day so I was very Joe-cool pants every day under shorts. That is true, okay I forgot. Anyway. Alright next question. Uh “my client will take the next question.”

Me: What is something you would never wear?

David: Uuhh, so many things. Colors, that aren’t grey or blue. Blue is pushing it. Shoes. I can’t wear most shoes. I’ve been trying to find a new pair of shoes, that I do not hate, for the past three months.
Me: What shoes are you wearing now?
David: These are—I borrowed these from Aaron cause I had my work sneakers on that I was too embarrassed to wear out. Cause I’m a freak! And I can’t pick out shoes so…
Greta: They’re a little too colorful for you David.
David: They’re black. Black on black. Too much color. So ya, just shoes. And colors.
Greta: Gabby? What would you never wear?
Gabby: Um, I would never wear a tube top. I like… That’s so freaky to me. [Laughs] I can’t deal with that. I think that’s it. I think I would wear most other things.
Aaron: I never wear yellow.
Gabby: Well, I wouldn’t wear fur either.
Aaron: Hmm.
Gabby: Cause that’s like… That’s gross.
Greta: I feel like for me it’s just like anything itchy. I would just never wear anything itchy. Ever. But especially not a feather boa. [Laughs] When you say “What would you not wear” like feather boa cause it’s not comfortable! And cause it’s creepy.
Me: I love when you can’t tell if a skirt is a tube top or a tube top is a skirt.
Greta: Oh I know. Oh my god.
Gabby: But then you put it on and then it’s obviously a tube top.
David: Also, a fedora.
Gabby: Ya, I would never.
Greta: None of us.
Me: Ya, all around.
Greta: The one thing none of us would ever wear: A yellow fedora.
Me: Fashion faux pas.
Greta: With fur.
Gabby: With feathers on the brim.

Me: Does anyone have any family heirlooms that are very dear to you that you wear or that you’re so scared to wear because they’re so important to you.

Greta: Honestly, I just found out today that my dad’s mom left me a gold bracelet and my mom’s friend borrowed it and has it still. And you know cause I never met her, “I want some day for Greta to have this chunky gold bracelet. Like from her grandma.” And I just never got it. My mom’s friend has it so we’re gonna try to get it back. That’s the only heirloom I can think of.
Gabby: My grandma tried to give me her wedding dress. And she was like, “You will never believe it but I used to be your size!”
Greta: That’s so cute.
Gabby: But then I tried to put it on when I was like fifteen and it was like, it was actually too small, which is so crazy! I feel like she must have been wearing the craziest corset ever to fit into that.
Greta: Do you still have it?
Gabby: No.
David: My mom gave me one of her wrist supports once. [laughs] I use that sometimes.

Me: What about like favorite pieces? Or good luck charm clothing? Or things that you find yourself wearing over and over.

Greta: I have a necklace that Aaron gave me for my 18th birthday that I wear almost every day but which I put on Gabby at a show a couple weeks ago and I keep forgetting to ask her to give it back.
Gabby: I look at it every day. And I’m like “Oh man, I have to give that back.”
Greta: It’s like a really good luck charm. Like my life is pretty much in shambles since I gave it to her since it’s like my Zen good luck charm.
Me: What does it look like?
Greta: It’s like a piece of quartz like a Zen quartz.
Gabby: It also has an opal or moonstone.
Greta: Yeah, it’s kind of is funny that whole thing.
Gabby: No, it’s really pretty.
Greta: It’s cool. Basically Ronnie made me this necklace when we were first dating that was just like an actual piece of quartz that he found in a wood pile that he glued to a chain and it was really beautiful but it broke a bunch of times and finally we lost it for good and then he got me a weird fancy version of it for my birthday and that’s the one that we share. It’s a good luck thing.
Aaron: I like your (Greta) dad’s green sweater a lot. It’s probably the thing that I wear the most. It’s a nice Scottish sweater company.
Gabby: I think that—Well I mean I wear this vest every day.
Greta: It’s true
Gabby: And it has all the pins from tours on it but it’s not really a good luck thing, it’s just a utility belt. It has my wallet in it.
David: I had a little packet of Frankincense that my teachers at massage school gave me that I kept in my pocket forever and then my pants went through the dryer. So it’s gone now. So my life has been spiraling out of control ever since.

Me: Alright last thing. What is something, anything, that’s got you really happy or excited lately?

Greta: I met my teacher’s baby today who is five months old and it made me so excited and I can’t stop thinking about him ever since I left their house.
Aaron: Emmmm, I need to think about it for a second.
Gabby: My puppy Frankie. Who is not named after Frankie Cosmos. [Laughs]
David: I was at work today and saw a baby and thought it was hysterical and locked eyes with it and I laughed cause I was like, “hah that’s a cute baby,” and it had the same thought as me and was like, “Hah!” and it started laughing back at me. It was so amazing.
Greta: So pretty much puppies and babies.
David: Puppies and babies.
Greta: Ron, what do you say? [sarcastically] Drugs? Cigarettes? It would be funny if Aaron was like  [drops voice] “I’m so excited to smoke weed later.”
David: We don’t do that!
Aaron: I’m just happy to be like making music constantly with Frankie Cosmos and Porches.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Vassar Eating Club (#3) Adds Some Heat to Kale and White Kidney Bean Salad

Whether you're in the thralls of final exams or just down right home sick, Sautéed Kale and Bean Salad  is a great meal to make when you've got a hankering for some home-style comfort food. Not only is it a quick and easy vegan-friendly dish, but it is also chalk-full of protein, iron, and other key nutrients!

Here's what you're gonna need:

  • 1/2 Cup White Onions
  • 3 Tb Garlic
  • 1 Cup Kale
  • 1/2 Cup Beans
  • Enough Olive Oil to Cover Pan
  • Red Pepper to Taste
  • Salt to Taste

  1. Heat olive oil in pan.
  2. After several minutes, add red pepper, garlic, onions on medium heat until onions are golden (Be care to NEVER EVER EVER EVER burn the garlic; from one chef to another, it will ruin your dish).
  3. Throw your beans in the pan and cook for about five minutes or until they become slightly browned.
  4. Add kale and cook until it becomes soft.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Empty your fry pan onto your plate, place pan on cleaning station, return to table and enjoy the fact that you have once again successfully avoided the Deece once again!

Peace, Love, and Bacon Grease,
VC Eating Club

Prepared by: Michael Gambardella, Amy Sullivan, and Saskia Comess
Photography: Michael Gambardella

Friday, 9 May 2014

Volume 7 Issue 2