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Mark Tauriello's Fashion Column

Written by Mark Tauriello

Oppositte Photo: Aimee Echo

Fashion Icon in the Making: A Look at Aimee Echo from The Start
August 23, 2009
Photo Credit Mark Tauriello

Front woman Aimee Echo of The Start, an electro rock band from California, has been ruling the stage and dance floors everywhere she turns up with her strong sense of style and amazing stage presence. I was lucky enough not only to design a dress just for her, but also to see her perform twice and even land an interview with her after their show in Bordentown, NJ. When I told Echo I wanted to interview her about fashion, she was so excited and explained that fashion is her second passion in life. Guitarist Jaime Miller however jokingly disagreed, stating that music and fashion were both her number one passion in life. Often Aimee is seen sporting vintage one of a kind dresses that are reminiscent of the 60's mod look. Geometric prints, short hems, surprise pop elements paired with Nico's signature blonde hair and a killer pair of wedge boots is why she stands out both on and off stage.

I asked Aimee where she finds the clothing she performs in and she responded, "I am an Ebayer". She explained that she would go to the ends of the earth to find one of a kind fashion pieces because her worse nightmare is performing on stage and seeing someone in the crowd wearing the same outfit as her. To avoid this, Echo will seek out local thrift stores and small boutiques for something fitting her taste. From one fashion icon in the making to the next, I can honestly say I've had that nightmare my self! Aside from Ebay and small boutiques, Aimee Echo has gone to the other side of the world for not only her band's music but to check out the fashion scene as well. Echo talked to me about her experience and how she fell in love with the clothing featured at New Zealand's fashion week, which featured unique, and cutting edge clothing from designers such as Karen Walker. I didn't even know New Zealand had a fashion week!

However, it's not easy being stylish twenty four seven, fashion does have it's limitations. Echo explained that when it comes down to the pieces she wears on tour, she wishes that she could go bigger and have more wardrobe changes in between sets. "I really can't do large scale avant-garde dresses just yet because there is only so much we can fit on our tour bus.” It's tough when you can't have a room dedicated to "just wigs" like Cher. Space however does not limit her from choosing pieces with personality. Aimee Echo and other members from The Start personally name each of her dresses! My favorite dress name was "Sleevie Nicks" which Aimee named due to the dramatic bell sleeves reminiscent to what legendary singer Stevie Nicks would wear on stage.

When it comes down to fashion, Aimee Echo is very specific for what she is looking for. "What I like about this purple dress I’m wearing right now is that it’s short and flowy, and most importantly has excellent movement, which is perfect for when you're on stage" Echo explained while wearing a sheer purple pleated mini dress with puffy shoulders sequined at the tips in gold. Quite often during The Start’s performance she would strike poses that dramatically displayed the movement and the shapes the dress could take on. Echo is smart when choosing what to perform in. She thinks about how functional the dress is on stage and how breathable the fabrics are while also staying true to her aesthetic: vintage dresses with good movement and bold contrasts. When I asked Echo what is one thing she would never wear she answered “fur” because of her strong beliefs in animal rights. Besides, I don’t see how anyone would want to perform on stage in fur. Rare individualized pieces match her fun personality and sound. You can catch Aimee wearing edgy accessories from White Trash Charms, with a pair of fierce black wedge boots, and a dress fit for the queen of the dance floor. Aimee takes on the music scene - dressed to kill.

Swimwear Surfs Toward a New Wave
August 10, 2009

Swimsuit Photos Courtesy of Rosa Cha

One thing I normally dread about summer fashion is all things swimsuits. Year after year I am often bored with what has been presented on the runways (and in local town pools for that matter) when it comes down to swim suits. This could possibly be due to the fact that I am a gay male and don’t find any interest in women wearing scantly clad bikinis…so it’s quite difficult for me to find any interest in swimwear. This summer, however, I was in for a big surprise.

Brazilian swimsuit designer Rosa Cha splashed the runway with her futuristically elegant one piece bathing suits which often featured a thick frontal strip which connected the bikini top to the bottom of the bathing suit, some being embroidered with gems of all shapes colors and sizes! What impressed me most aside from the structural components of her swimwear pieces was the very angular cut out shapes featured in many of her designs. One simple white bathing suit featured three horizontally diamond cut shapes down the front of the torso, a must have for any woman of color going to the beach! My favorite swimsuit from the collection featured overlapping orange strips of which criss-crossed over a white band not only creating a bold color contrast and a clean minimalist design, but also fused three separate pieces (a bikini top, bottom, and band around the torso) together creating a completely perfect design. It was very Milla Jovovich from the movie The Fifth Element. Could this futuristic orange haired character be setting the standards for swimwear this season? I think so! For the first time I really felt inspired by swimwear and I am glad to see that Rosa Cha proved that swimwear can be just as interesting as high fashion couture. Maybe I will pay more attention to swimwear when it’s featured on the runway.



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