From KU to KC: Girl Friday, Fabric, & Fashion

3.11.2015

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Photos and story by Aleah Milliner

Located at the historic Katz Drugstore building on the corner of Westport Road in Kansas City, vintage enthusiasts and design duo Lyndsey Helling and Lauren Tweedie spend their time dreaming up ideas and inspiration for their clothing line, Girl Friday.

They occupy two spaces out of the studio, a shared building for artists in the community, and have filled the walls with sketches, chalkboard wall quotes – “selling feelings from wall to ceiling “ – fabric samples, magazine cutouts (including a photo of delicious looking doughnuts), and various other materials. Silver and gold tinsel hang from the walls, and their hand painted fabric scraps are tucked away in a corner.

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Upon walking into their space, you get a sense strong sense of creativity and a fun, unique style that translates into Helling and Tweedie’s various clothing collections.

The girls met while working at Donna’s Dress Shop, a vintage clothing shop in Kansas City, MO. They worked together every Friday and bonded over their mutual interests in art and design, and especially of vintage clothing.

“The shapes are really striking. It is so much more unique than modern clothing. Vintage style is really unafraid,” said Tweedie, on why she gravitates toward the style.

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The pair began designing their line in their free time outside of their work at Donna’s. All of their clothing design has been a collaborative effort between the two, stemming from sketches and inspiration in the studio, and resulting in many hours and late nights of sewing.

Girl Friday debuted in June 2014 with a collection of shift dresses, circle skirts, and tunics, all constructed from vintage fabrics. They debuted their third line in September 2014, a dress collection using hand painted fabric, which included an eyeball-patterned dress.

Screenprinting was not an option for their designs, so they turned to hand painting.

“For the eyeball dress we painted yards at a time. Like a football field length of fabric. We just paint all of it, cut it up and assembled it. We wash all of the fabric first, paint it with textile pigment, let it dry, and then heat set the fabric. It is a very time consuming process,” said Tweedie, who worked with textiles in the Art and Design School while attending KU.

Both girls agree that they have grown creatively through designing Girl Friday.

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“I have gotten more confident. I don’t have the best sewing skills but I have learned a lot through this whole process. I jump at making the clothes instead of being hesitant about it,” said Helling.

Helling credits Finnish textile and fashion design company Marimekko as a major influence in her creativity. While her husband was conducting research in Finland, Helling had a lot of free time to explore, and there she discovered the company.

“I have this really amazing Marrimeko book that is so good and so inspiring. It talks about the company’s history, how it started, and how it evolved. I look at that book often for inspiration.”

As for Tweedie, she sparks her creativity through shopping, wandering through antique malls, and visiting The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. She also credits Instagram as a source of inspiration.

Helling and Tweedie are currently spending their time in the studio creating their new line.

The line will be a collection of 1970s Sportswear and will debut at the 18th Street Fashion show in Kansas City June 13th, an event open to the public.

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“We have a friend who can really rock a jumpsuit. We wanted to make a jumpsuit with a hood on it, and we designed it around her,” said Helling.

The newest Girl Friday line will include bold, graphic prints and their first men’s outfit. The collection will be for sale immediately after, however only five outfits will be created.

Looking to the future, the girls hope to be designing full time for Girl Friday and to sell their clothes in as many retail stores as possible.

“I feel honored when anyone expresses interest,” Tweedie said.

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

THE Definitive Guide to Leggings

3.10.2015

IMG_5473 By Audrey Danser

5 ways to wear ‘em

For many students, throwing on a pair of leggings is the warmest and most comfortable solution to the bitter Kansas wind this time of year. However, instead of using leggings as an excuse for dressing down, here are five simple ways that leggings can be worn to dress comfortably while also achieving a polished look. Pulling together a more fashion-oriented outfit does not have to take much effort.

1. Save the athletic wear for the gym.

Leggings that look like athletic wear (you know, the black ones with bright pink V’s at the calf) should be saved for working out. I understand that it is convenient and comfortable to throw on the ‘athletic’ outfit for those early morning classes and just stay dressed that way for the rest of the day until you do actually make it to the gym, but that’s no justification. The rec center has locker rooms for outfit changes.

2. Tunics cover more than a T-shirt.

Tunics are too short to wear with tights, yet they look odd when paired with jeans. However, with skin-hugging leggings, the proportion is perfect: not too revealing and not too conservative. Now throw on a thick knit scarf and riding boots and you’re ready to face the winter wind. Tunics also, ahem… cover your booty (see October’s article ‘Butt Why: the Return of the Backside’).

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3. Wear them like tights.

The thought of wearing a dress or skirt in the winter can be chilling. However, if you pair a dress or skirt with more densely knit leggings, the weather and coverage is no problem. Although traditionally black, just like tights, leggings come in all different patterns and colors. When paired with a simple, neutral outfit like a solid black or grey dress, colorful leg wear can be a fun detail.

4. Wear it with a blazer.

What’s more striking than juxtaposition? Full-length black leggings can actually be quite sleek if paired with the right combination. Try pairing your outfit with black booties, a fit-and-flair-blouse, statement necklace and top-knot for a polished look. Alternatively, continue with the theme of juxtaposition and replace the blouse for your favorite band’s vintage T-shirt.

5. Think Audrey Hepburn.

Go for simple, yet elegant. Try pairing your 3/4 length black leggings with a black and white striped long sleeve T-shirt and flats. Top off your look with bold red lips for a pop of color. Now, how is that any more difficult to throw on in the mornings than what you’re already wearing?

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 Photos by Hannah Mougel

Modeling by Bailey Degnan

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh and Erika Reals

Heard on the Hill: The Chaos Continues

3.09.2015

After a bit of a hiatus, our SOTH spies have continued listening to professors, students and campus randos for the funniest, weirdest and most out of context quotes. Each week we’ll be posting a compilation of the best ones. If you’d like to contribute to Heard on the Hill, email your overheard quips to styleonthehill@gmail.com.

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  • Girl to friend: “Full disclosure, you were in my dream last night and I was really mad at you, and now I’m trying to not be mad at you in real life.”

  • Stranger at bar: “Your roommate tells me that’s your Keith Langford jersey?”
    College senior: “Sure is.”
    Stranger at bar: “So, you must have bought that when I graduating from KU, then. That was also Bill Self’s first year.”
    College senior: “Uh, I gotta go.”

  • Girl: “Did you see the opened bottle of cooking wine by the bathroom sink? Wonder how that went over.”

  • Guy 1: “So sex is a sin? Does butt stuff still count?”
    Guy 2: “Nah, man. It’s the poophole loophole.”

  • Girl: Is it normal that I’m basically looking forward to getting drunk just so I can be hungover and get Chipotle the next day?

 

Slack lining: the new rock climbing?

3.06.2015

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By Riley Mortensen

“Just go up,” said the voice in my head as I stood in a gym, one foot perched on a plastic red crate used as a stepping stool and the other gripping a long nylon tight rope looking line. I was preparing to walk at what felt like skyscraper height, but was no more than 4 feet off the ground. My heart was racing and bare feet tingled. I wiggled my toes nervously, took a deep breath and pushed off the crate throwing my body up and onto the line. I wobbled like a baby doe learning to walk. One step, two step and down I went, but I had done it. I was slack lining.

In a rock climbing gym called The Cave, for $15, I had decided to give slack lining a go.

I giggled, as I got ready to give it another try.

“Did you ever dance or anything like that,” said Lyle Harte, a tall friendly fellow in a t-shirt, shorts and climbing shoes. “Did you do ballet? It helps if you pick a point to focus on and just go straight up.”

Harte is a senior at KU studying economics and political science. Harte is also a member of the KU rock-climbing club, which is where his interest in slack lining stemmed from, but it all began with a deep love of being outdoors.

Harte and Mitch Friedeman, the current president of KU’s rock-climbing club, are my instructors for the evening. The two prefer slack lining outdoors, but because it’s 17F, we opted for a trip to The Cave, the only gym in the area that offers slack lining.

You have probably seen Harte, Friedeman and other students wobbling on their slack lines in front of Frasier Hall and Watson library, or South Park on Mass. St. They also like to “duel” or meet in the middle to see who can knock the other off first.

Despite numerous tries, five steps was as far as I got. Friedeman and Harte insisted that it just takes practice and it’s all about having fun.

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“What I really love about slack lining is when we get a little community of people on campus, like in front of Frasier and you know there’s just a bunch of us friends hanging out,” said Friedeman who is a senior studying visual communication. “It’s a good social thing because most people talk while one person walks. You can duel each other and it’s just a fun pastime activity.”

According to slackline.com, the sport’s origins lie with a group of rock climbers experimenting in Yosemite National Park in the 1970s. Adam Grosowski and Jeff Ellington began practicing their balancing skills in the valleys and between trees. The two could do numerous tricks including juggling and handstands. Friends of the two soon brought the sport back to Pasadena, California and from there it slowly spread. Now it’s finally making it’s way to the Midwest.

Kansas native and recent KU graduate, Julia Yang first began slack lining after joining the KU rock-climbing club about a year ago. She’s now a regular at The Cave.

“At first I thought it was something college people did to get attention on campus and it wasn’t a real thing,” Yang said. “But then once I joined the climbing community, I saw how it was another way to take you cool places outdoors.”

Yang said she really likes the challenge of slack lining. It’s one activity that you want to try over and over until you master it, Yang said.

Want to try slack lining for yourself? Here are some of Friedeman and Harte’s top tips:
1. Keep your knees bent. Do not lock them.
2. Use your arms to counterbalance your body. Keep them above your head if it helps, like you’re directing a plane.
3. Keep your feet straight on the line. Don’t turn them and keep your toes facing forward.
4. Pick a point somewhere beyond the line to focus on.
5. Don’t rush it.
6. If you’re falling, just jump off. You don’t need to try and save it. That’s when things go bad.

Many rock climbers take up the sport because it’s a good way to relax and waste time at camp while on rock-climbing trips, Friedeman said. It’s also a good way to not use your arms, Harte added.

Slack lines can run anywhere from $60 to $200 depending on the brand, and they typically cone with a ratchet, which is used to tighten the line. The wider the line, the easier it is to balance, said Friedeman and Harte. Slack lining is also an approved on-campus activity according to KU’s website, as long as you pad the trees where the line wraps around it.

“It can be bad for the bark,” Harte said. “But its not just specific tree pads you can use; people use towels too.”

The next morning, I woke up to throbbing legs and a few scrapes on my ankles. I was thankful I hadn’t racked myself as the guys call it. That’s a kind of recreational hazard where you fall with one foot on each side of the line and smack your groin. I had my reservations about slack lining before, but conquering my battle with balance had left me wanting more.

Time for you to give it a try. We know you know you want to, so here’s where to go:

The Cave

(816) 569-5792 // info@thecavebouldering.com
3150 Mercier St., Suite 641A
Kansas City, MO 64108
Monday-Friday: 3pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Cost: $11 per visit, $4 to rent rock climbing shoes

 

KU Rock Climbing Club

KU Rock Climbing on Facebook
KUClimbing@gmail.com
Club hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:30pm-10:30pm, and Fridays 5:30pm-8:30pm at the “Chalk Rock” climbing wall in the rec. during the fall/spring semesters.

 

Photos by Axel Cornejo

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

The Tart Trend of Sour Beers

3.04.2015

By Alec Weaver

On a hot day last June my friend Corbin and I were spending some time at our favorite watering-hole. Trying to decide what to drink, the young woman behind the counter recommended we try the new “sour beer.” At first I was skeptical but after taking my first sip of the refreshing, lemony beverage I was sold. There is definitely something in the spectrum for everyone. From fruity Lambics to tart, crisp Berliner Weisses, Food and Wine has called the budding sour beer trend “the most exciting brewing trend right now.”

At first the phrase “sour beer ” might raise a few eyebrows, but the term is just a catch-all for five distinct styles of brew namely; Gose, Berliner Weisse, American Wild Ale, Lambic and Flanders Red Ale.

“Each style is going to have varying degrees of tartness and funkiness depending on the different strains of bacteria and yeast that are used” says Chris Cordero, who works for Cork & Barrel at 9th and Massachusetts.

Sour beers are by no means new, but there is a gathering interest in this style of beer. At Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, employee Kyle Wolfe says that he has seen this growing interest first hand. “I’ve definitely had more people asking about sour beers over the past year, it seems that more and more people want to try them.” Kansas Crown currently offers four different styles of sour beer; a Gose from Anderson Valley Brewing, a Berliner Weisse from Eviltwin, an American Wild ale from Boulevard and several Lambics.

Cork & Barrel offers the same beers in addition to a second Berliner Weisse from Eviltwin and several Flanders Reds and Cordero says that while there hasn’t been a sour beer boom in Lawrence, they have been getting more variety over the past year, with their popularity peaking last spring.

“We sold more sour beers during the warmer weather because they are really refreshing and work well as more of a session beer,” says Cordero.

So what gives sour beer that distinct taste? The secret lies in the bacteria. Geoff Deman, head of downtown brewing at Free State Brewing Co. says that sour beers get their distinct taste from two types of volatile bacteria which produce high amounts of acid during the brewing process. These yeasts can be added deliberately or can be cultivated from “wild” bacteria that occur when the beer is exposed to the open-air during the fermentation process. According to Deman these bacteria can be finicky and can even “infect” other beers, turning them sour.

“For this reason, breweries producing Sour Beers will dedicate specific fermenters, hosing, parts, and even entire packaging lines to the production of Sour Beers,” says Deman.

So are sour beers merely a fad among foodies or should you expect to see more cropping up?

“I think that sour beers are here to stay, but like all things food and beverage will likely see peaks and valleys with regards to popularity,” says Deman. “Classic beer styles that were popular over a decade ago, like Brown Ale, or Stouts, are less so now, with beer styles that push the envelope becoming more and more popular.”

 

If you’re curious about sour beers, you might want to give one of these brews a try, all of which are available locally.

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Name: Lovechild No.4
Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Style: American Wild
Sourness rating: 8
Purchase at: Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, $17.99, 750ml
Description: Man oh man, this beer is funkier than James Brown in a paisley cape. Aged in both whiskey and wine barrels, Lovechild No.4 is without a doubt the most complex beverage that will ever pass your lips. The aroma of this beer is reminiscent of a good white wine, similar in astringency to chardonnay. The taste opens with a pleasant tartness before giving way to a more pungent flavor, similar to Roquefort cheese. This quickly fades to a subtle fruity sweetness that begs you to take another sip.


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Name: Justin Blåbær
Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing
Style: Berliner Weisse
Sourness rating: 5
Purchase at: Cork & Barrel, $9.99, 22 FlOz
Description:
This offering from Evil Twin Brewing is exactly what you’d expect a sour beer to taste like. Pronounced tartness at first sip gives way to the familiar maltiness of a macro lager. The Label claims that this beer is brewed with blueberries, but that flavor didn’t really come through.

 

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Name: Blood Orange Gose
Brewery: Anderson Valley
Style: Gose
Sourness rating: 6
Purchase at: Kansas Crown Discount Liquor, $8.99, 6 cans
Description:
A very refreshing session beer for the impending heat of summer. This offering from Anderson valley has a very bright and crisp orange flavor throughout.

 

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Name: Duchesse De Bourgogne
Brewery: Verhaeghe
Style: Flanders Red
Sourness rating: 10
Purchase at: Cork & Barrel, $4.89, 11.2 Fl Oz
Description:
This is a very intense sour beer. The initial sip is a huge fruity affair with a grape and red berries being the most prominent flavors. This then fades into a very tart punch, much like expensive balsamic vinegar.

 

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Name: Kriek Lambic
Brewery: Lindemans
Style: Lambic
Sourness rating: 1
Where to buy: Alvin’s Wines & Spirits, $9.71, 750 ml
Description:
Kriek is Flemish for cherry, and this traditional Lambic doesn’t lack for cherry flavor. Think of an Italian soda with a splash of alcohol and you’ll have the just of what this beer tastes like. There are several other flavors of Lambics (Peach, Raspberry, Grape) and the Lindemans Lambics are fairly easy to find around town.

 

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Name: Nomader Weisse
Brewery: Eviltwin
Style: Berliner Weisse
Sourness rating: 8
Where to buy: Mass Liqour, $18.00, 6 cans
Description:
Eviltwin’s Nomader Weisse is a little too tart to be a true session beer, but nevertheless it has a very crisp, clean flavor. Don’t let the exorbitant price tag fool you, there was very little complexity to the flavor and absolutely zero maltiness. In other words buy something cheaper and more drinkable or spend your money on one of the better brews listed above.

 

Photos by Jordan Thompson

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Made for the Middle

3.02.2015

Kansas City’s fifth annual Middle of the Map Festival dominates the month of April to bring the best music, film, and discussions to the heart of the Midwest.

By Hannah Pierangelo

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Like with Oreos and sibling order, sometimes the middle is the best. For Kansas City, it’s never been better to be in the middle. Of the map, that is.

Kansas City has seen more than a little national attention over the last year. We can thank America’s favorite pastime and the Royals for its time in the spotlight, as well as The New York Times’ shout out to the city for a revitalized urban setting that’s attracted many millennial residents. Being right in the middle of the country, the city is able to draw from the biggest and best ideas in art, culture, and music. Kansas City is, simply put, the pulse of the Midwest.

                    KEEP IN TOUCH
Record Machine
Website: therecordmachine.net
Twitter: @lerecordmachine
Facebook: /therecordmachine
Tumblr: therecordmachine.tumblr.com
Middle of the Map
Twitter: @motmfest
Facebook: /motmfest
Tumblr: middleofthemapfest.tumblr.com

That’s where Middle of the Map Festival comes in. Now in its fifth year, the fest isn’t a toddler anymore; it’s finally hitting a growth spurt and standing on its own feet this year, having matured in more than a few big ways since its birth. What started as a music festival has expanded to add film and forum, much like the popular South by Southwest Festival held in Austin, Texas, each March. The music component has also added multiple days and venues to coincide with its ever-growing lineup, which passes 120 artists this year. To top it off, the festival expects to draw more than 10,000 people over three weekends to the beating heart of Kansas City.

“Music happens there 365 days a year,” said Nathan Reusch, co-founder and curator of the festival and founder of independent record label, The Record Machine. “It’s not like we’re entirely throwing this festival in a field in the middle of nowhere.”

For first-time attendees, this is a good year to introduce yourself to one of the more successful urban Midwest fests. The music weekend, held April 22-25, will span seven venues including the historic Uptown Theater, an outdoor stage in the district lot, and in smaller venues like The Riot Room, Record Bar, and Westport Saloon in Westport, said Reusch. Though fans must be 21 to attend shows at The Riot Room, Westport Saloon, and Ernie Biggs bar, Uptown Theater will be open to all ages and The Record Bar open to those 18 and older.

While the country’s most popular music festivals are hosting upwards of 50,000 people a day in empty fields, Middle of the Map is able to incorporate the best venues, restaurants, and the entirety of downtown Kansas City’s vibrant atmosphere into the event.

“That’s the thing about Kansas City,” Reusch says. “We’re not the largest market. We’re not New York, we’re not LA, we’re not Chicago. Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, and Coachella—those things exist. [Middle of the Map] is providing something that’s an alternative to that.”

The festival is also includes local acts on its bill as well as national ones. Iron and Wine will headline this year’s festival, but hardworking bands from Kansas City will share the stage with some of the festival’s bigger names in keeping with the festival’s local values.

Iron and Wine, pictured above, will be headlining this year's Middle of the Map Fest.

Iron and Wine, pictured above, will be headlining this year’s Middle of the Map Fest.

Hembree, an indie/alternative rock band based out of Kansas City, will play the third night of the festival before indie-folk artist Lord Huron at the outdoor stage.

“What’s unique about Middle of the Map is a lot of the local venues work together and you buy admission for the festival and you can walk in through anybody’s door,” says Matt Green, Hembree’s bassist. “It’s just cool because it’s a full city event, it’s not just grouped in one area like a normal festival would be. It creates a unique vibe. People can text each other and say, ‘You’re at the Jerusalem café? Well get down to The Riot Room, this band’s really good.’ It creates a lot of buzz really fast around the city.”

For more information and to buy tickets, visit middleofthemapfest.com.

 

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Photos provided by Nathan Reusch and Iron and Wine

Street Style: Spring Dreamin’

2.26.2015

Photos by Hannah Mougel

With spring quickly approaching (ignore the fact that there’s still snow on the ground) it’s time to dust off your favorite sandals and boyfriend jeans. Paired with a loose-fitting knit cardigan, simple tunic shirt and bold necklace, model Hannah Lieberman has created the perfect spring ensemble. The super cozy cardi still has an element of style when paired with gold accessories and black leather bag.

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Heard on the Hill: Second Edition

2.19.2015

Our SOTH spies have been listening to professors, students and campus randos for the funniest, weirdest and most out of context quotes. Each week we’ll be posting a compilation of the best ones. If you’d like to contribute to Heard on the Hill, email your overheard quips to styleonthehill@gmail.com.

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Street Style: Denim Daze

2.18.2015

Photos and interview by Aleah Milliner
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Molly Hennessy / Sophomore
Who & What Influences Your Personal Style?
I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram photos and Free People catalogues. I like to look at the outfits and make my own, cheaper version. My roommates are easy to draw style inspiration from. We all share clothes. Growing up, my mom taught me that fashion is a really important way of expressing yourself. I try to do that as much as I can.
What are you staple clothing items?
I wear my jean jacket a lot. I have a lot of them. I’m all about the jean jacket. I wear my short booties daily. I also really like flannels.
How do you feel about dressing up for school?
I think when you look good, you feel good. I feel better when I dress up.


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M.O.T.H Valentine’s Edition

2.16.2015

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Here’s some hot music
You should f*!k to

~Happy 50%-off candy week~

Created by Emily Donnell

Heard on the Hill

2.09.2015

Our SOTH spies have been listening to professors, students and campus randos for the funniest, weirdest and most out of context quotes. Each week we’ll be posting a compilation of the best ones. If you’d like to contribute to Heard on the Hill, email your overheard quips to styleonthehill@gmail.com.

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Life from a Suitcase: Tips for Study Abroad Packing

1.28.2015

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By Audrey Danser

Packing for a long-term trip is no easy ordeal, especially if you’re concerned with fashion. I was recently faced with this packing predicament (and might I add much fashion anxiety) when I prepared my luggage for a four-month long study abroad experience.

How was I going to do without my vintage gold beaded clutch with the delicate nearly-there strap or that perfectly structured LBD that makes me feel like Audrey at Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Or even my yellow snakeskin sandals that are completely impractical for city walking but are just too cute that the look themselves make up for the blisters that come later. As I tried to pick out what I was going to bring with a 50-pound limit, including all of my other essentials packed alongside, I couldn’t help but wonder, would I have to be unstylish in Europe?

I answered my own question in the first week on location. If you pack smartly, a minimized wardrobe can be quite versatile and a 20″ suitcase is more than enough room.

If you’re anything like me, I envisioned myself with a changed fashion style across the pond–perhaps a little more edgy and daring. Chances are, however, if you don’t wear it at home, you won’t have a sudden and drastic change in style while traveling. After the first few weeks, no matter how hard you try, you’ll revert back to what is most comfortable for you to attend class, study and play in.

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Sophomore Megan Reschke, who studied for a semester at University College Cork in Ireland, avoided packing frivolous statement pieces by receiving guidance from blogs of students who had studied abroad in Europe.

“I spent a significant amount of time looking into the general style of my particular country,” Reschke said. “I decided not to bring anything too trendy, just because I wasn’t certain that trends in Kansas were the same as trends in Ireland.”

Making a wardrobe feel new during several weeks and the same clothing is all about working with the composition–pairing unexpected materials, textures or subtle patterns to create a unique look.

Senior Mary Rose Scarpelli, who just returned from her second KU study abroad experience, advises that shoes are the best investment.

“Here I walk a lot, there I walked a lot,” she noted, and adding that an investment pair of versatile boots and walking sandals purchased specifically for these trips were worth the while.

Apart from smart shoe choices, neutral outer wear is important because a jacket is how you present yourself to the world: it is worn walking to class, worn out to the pub on chilly nights, and is seen in all of your tourist photos that you’ll post on your blog. It is key to keep the design, fit and color (camel or black) simple. A basic form can easily be transformed by a bold scarf, broach and statement bag.

Ultimately, when choosing the perfect travel wardrobe, keep in mind that the less you pack now, the more room in your luggage later for unique finds you’ll discover abroad. Those pieces will be introduced into your home wardrobe soon enough and will have a much more significant meaning to you than that extra pair of plum-colored Harlem pants you had once considered packing.

 

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Photos by Audrey Danser

Focusing On Nothing: First Steps To Meditation

12.11.2014

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By Austin Fisher

Sitting in the Kansas Zen Center in Lawrence, I try not to fidget. Six others have joined me in the dharma hall of the Center to meditate. We begin with vows and chants. No one speaks. Chalres Vitale, the abbot of the Center and leader of today’s practice, signals us to start and stop meditating by striking his hand with a wooden rod. The point of this focused-attention method is to let thoughts come and go. I count my breaths from one to 10 repeatedly and focus on the air entering and exiting my lungs and my body on the cushion. We sit in meditation for 25 minutes. We get up and walk single file around the zafus, black meditation cushions, arrayed in a square on the hardwood floor for 10 minutes. We sit again for another, much harder, 25 minutes.

This was my first try at group meditation. I had started on my own earlier that week, guided by a meditation app called Headspace. I don’t consider myself religious but I see value in traditional forms of self-contemplation, and I feel calm and a sense of relief every time I meditate. I’ve also been sleeping better since I started. The three types of meditation—focused-attention, mindfulness, and compassion—require no workout equipment or clothing. Meditation requires practice, but it can have enormous benefits. Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and many others suggest that meditation can help with depression, chronic pain, and general well-being. Compared to novice meditators, the brains of those with many hours of practice go through physical changes in parts of the brain associated with attention, pain, anxiety, compassion, and positive emotion through a process called neuroplasticity. But you can start to feel the effects in four to six weeks.

As I sit, thoughts of school, food, life, and how I’m going to write this come and go. Squirrels crawl on the roof above; leaves fall from the tree outside. A motorcycle tears through the neighborhood, its disruptive roar eventually fading away. Meditation practice is about examining thoughts and feelings without judgment.

“When you’re sitting in traffic, standing in line, or you’re late for class, you can either be aggravated, or you can use the time to tune in to your body,” says Sara Brenner, a psychiatric social worker from Massachusetts and former Harvard lecturer who meditates daily.

Meditation gives her the emotional space needed to respond more thoughtfully to events in her life. I got interested in meditation as a way of relieving stress from college.

“It can be amazingly helpful to have this mental place inside of yourself where you know you can drop into anytime and get some relief from the stress that you’re feeling from the outside world,” says Meghan Searl, a neuropsychologist at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts who is interested in how mindfulness and meditation can improve health, cognition, and even relationships. “You can pay attention better, and it can make you a better listener. It can make you more attentive to what’s happening with another person.”

Anyone can start meditation, but like my Zen experience it can be difficult at first.

“In the beginning, people can hardly hold themselves to keeping their eyes closed for five minutes because there are lots of thoughts coming into the mind,” says Krishna Ghimire, who is currently studying for a master’s in civil engineering at KU.

Ghimire is president of the KU branch of the Art of Living Foundation, a humanitarian organization associated with the United Nations. He has been meditating daily for three and a half years, and at this point he feels time move faster when he meditates. After doing some yoga postures in the morning he sits for 20 minutes, and again in the evening after class. He says meditation is a better way to get energized than napping because it doesn’t affect his sleep schedule.

The form of sitting meditation Ghimire practices has three main points. The first is to want nothing. The mind is constantly bombarded by desires, and seeks things from the outside world. You must fool your mind into giving them up. The second is more simple: Feel free to do nothing while you sit. The third is harder: You must be nothing; you have to give up your individual identity.

“You’re neither a student, nor a brother, sister, boyfriend. Just drop your identity. Letting go is the main principle,” he says.

While meditating, Ghimire experiences a state of mind that he can’t express through words. Sincere commitment and a gradual increase in practice time can make one habituated to dealing with busy, stressful situations. He recommends sitting in the same place at the same time each day, regularly. When he skips a day he just doesn’t feel right, like someone having nicotine withdrawal. You can’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t have time to meditate; the best times for it are the busiest moments of your life.

“To make yourself capable of doing many things in a short period of time, you need meditation,” Ghimire said. “That’s why it’s there.”

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Photo by Austin Fisher

The ABC’s of B.C.

12.04.2014

The pros and cons of birth control among college women

By Sex and Relationship Correspondent, Christine Stanwood

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As I sit in the gynecologist’s waiting room for my procedure to have an IUD inserted, I begin to wonder: Why is it my responsibility as a woman to be the one in charge of birth control? On that Friday afternoon, I awaited the pain of my cervix being stretched for the purpose of preventing a baby bump within the next five years. Meanwhile my male counterparts have already started drinking pitchers of Natty Light to kickoff the weekend.

While they don’t have to order birth control pills through their local CVS pharmacy or have an IUD procedure done, they do spend the occasional $14.99 for a 10-pack of Trojan condoms. But besides condoms, do collegiate men leave the pressure on women to prevent pregnancy? Professor Kim Warren of the Woman’s Studies Department at the University of Kansas believes sexual responsibility is inevitable.

The University of Kansas Watkins Student Health Services offers a free Women’s Health Clinic for those who need “confidential examinations, treatment, and information regarding all women’s health issues.” Multiple forms of contraception are available including: pill, ring, Depo-Provera, IUD, Necplanon, Patch, Diaphram, Condoms, and Emergency Contraception. Walk-In Hours are on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.

“I think there is added pressure, in general, for people to take an active role in the management of their health and their reproductive lives,” she says. “At the same time, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on women to manage their reproductive health, and then to manage childcare once children are in the picture.”

*Elizabeth, a senior at KU agrees with Professor Warren. “I think it is an added stress for women at times, but by no means do I think there is a sole individual to be held responsible.” However, she does go on to say that it would also be irresponsible for a guy to refuse to wear a condom and play the “blame game” within a pregnancy situation. The “P” word itself can make any college student shudder. According to a study conducted in 2011, the rate of unintended pregnancies among 20-24 year rose from 59% to 64%. Unfortunately, that means all dreams of a social life, potentially studying abroad, and a future career can flash before a woman’s eyes if faced with a pregnancy scare.

Thankfully, Sally, a senior at KU has not experienced a pregnancy scare but one member of her family had the unthinkable happen. “My sister actually got pregnant on birth control,” Sally recalls. “She wasn’t very good at taking the pill at the same time every day, which supposedly is a factor in how effective the pill is.”

There are many women like Elizabeth who live with a group of women. She knows that taking the daily pill can be forgotten with an ever-changing routine. “There have been a few instances where I’ll hear down the hall from my room, ‘Fuck, I forgot to take my birth control!’ she explains. “Because students’ schedules are typically more sporadic, I think we tend to be less responsible about it.”

Part of the reason why I chose to have an IUD (intrauterine contraceptive device) inserted was so I didn’t have to face the fear of having an accidental pregnancy during college. Too many times I forgot to take my birth control pill or went weeks without taking the pill because I didn’t have a sexual partner. By the off chance I wanted to have sex, I ran the risk of pregnancy. It was unfair and irresponsible to be unsafe, not only for myself but for the man I was having sex with.

After a poor experience with having multiple periods a month, bloating, and weight gain, *Sarah, a senior at KU decided to all together get off the pill. “I didn’t feel good about my body,” she adds. “I’ve been much happier since being off the pill.” Because Sarah isn’t on birth control, she is adamant that her partner wears a condom.

However, I was concerned when I found out that Sarah wasn’t using a second form of birth control. She explained to me: “There’s always the crazy story of a girl who was on the pill, or that used protection that got pregnant anyways,” she tells me. “It’s always a bit scary, but I don’t think not being on the pill is the reason for that.”

Sarah isn’t the only girl to run into problems with the pill. Several female college students have faced physical and mental obstacles with birth control in order to have sex. Elizabeth noticed an increase in hormones and emotions while taking the pill. “I’m typically not an emotional person,” she says. “But after getting on birth control I experienced extreme emotions over minuscule things and swift changes in my mood.”

Jamie, a senior at KU, also noticed a change within her emotions when first taking the pill as a junior in high school. “I got an Ovarian Cyst that ruptured and it was the most pain I’ve ever felt,” Jamie remembers. “The doctor said the cyst would return if I didn’t get on the pill.” Fortunately, because Jamie stayed on the pill, she no longer faces problems with her cysts.

But what if Jamie, like other women, wants to try an alternate form of birth control? Jamie tells me that she would consider trying another form but is reluctant to try something new with fear of the cysts returning. Turns out, other women aren’t opposed to the idea of switching but still prefer the pill. “An IUD would be ideal because of its lifespan and reliability but has its cons as well,” Elizabeth says. “Eventually I decided the pill was the best for me.” Based on data from the CDC, the pill is the leading contraceptive method among women from ages 15-29.

It wasn’t until I was laying legs apart in stirrups having the doctor buzz in another nurse when I knew this wasn’t a simple procedure. Getting an IUD was far from a simple procedure. The pain I felt within that 2-minute session felt like an hour. I gasped for air and screams came out of my body that I couldn’t control from what felt like a sharp cut inside me. “Hold her hand”, the doctor motioned the nurse toward me. With a swift step, she took my hand and didn’t break eye contact. She acted as a mother figure in a moment where all I wanted was my mom.

Reflecting back on that day, I’m glad I was able to make an adult decision for myself. I would encourage women to become familiar with all options for birth control. And men, continue to appreciate your condoms.

*These women chose to remain anonymous based on conversations about sexual and personal decisions

 

Photo by Christine Stanwood

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Lawrence Public Library: Modern Place and Campus Escape

11.22.2014

By Audrey Danser

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With the semester in full swing, the crowds have settled upon the campus libraries and you’ve started to realize the drab decor, musty odor of the resource books and desolate WWII bunker feel of the Watson stacks. Don’t get me wrong, I have a fondness for KU libraries, but I sometimes need a break from my study space.

For students not willing to sacrifice five bucks for a latte in order to “pay rent” at a coffee shop, and I sure don’t blame you, the newly renovated Lawrence Public Library (LPL) is the perfect off-campus study spot. With the modern but equally inviting atmosphere, a good study playlist, and a cup of joe, one can easily get what they need to get shit done.

“Sometimes you just need to get away from campus to get focused, and the public library is a great space to do that,” LPL Marketing Coordinator and recent KU grad Jeni Daley said in an email interview. “We have plenty of space for you to spread out and a good mix of conversation and quiet spaces that offer the best ambiance.”

LPL, which reopened July 26 after a several-month renovation, has all the modern amenities for technology, research and even artistic expression. A 20,000 square foot expansion around the core of the existing building adds an open floor space to accommodate additional shelving, a children’s space, and lounge areas for study or recreational reading. Students have access to any of the reservable study rooms, computers and wifi, and knowledgeable staff. Most importantly, for those who need a caffeine fix, there’s a coffee bar available from the Sconelady to satisfy all cravings.

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The downtown presence of the library, located at 7th and Vermont, now reflects the up-to-date resources the institute offers. The building, designed by Mass Street architecture firm Gould Evans, is a modern standout in comparison to the quaint feel of downtown.

Straying from the typical brick façade of the surrounding area, terra cotta panels wrap the library into a uniting shell. The continuous envelope of the structure creates a unique space with no “back façade” – the library faces the community from every direction, best viewed from the floor-to-ceiling windowed corners. Gould Evans paid special attention to these windows in its design, noting that it allows the public to peer into the building and engage with it prior to entering.

Despite the modern aesthetic of the building and the connotation that typically comes with “modern,” the library’s interior is cozy. The most prominent feature of the design, the different means of natural lighting, softly illuminates the interior space and brings warmth to the atmosphere. The open floor plan adds to the airy feel and allows one to flow easily in and out of the bookshelves searching for research materials or simply a new read. The light wood material, simplistic furniture and striking black typography add a final, clean touch.

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Apart from the new look, the renovation emphasizes that the library is no longer an ancient institution, rather a community gathering space that can accommodate all ages.

“You can now come to the library to not only discover your next favorite book, but to record an album [free of charge in the sound+vision studio], find out how to fix your car or your career, grab a latte and a spicy romance, or just sit in the sunny corners and contemplate life,” Daley explained.

These many roles of the library, both current and evolving, were all considered during the design process of the addition.

“Although there are many uncertainties about how the library will interact with changes in how books are consumed, there are many roles that the library will always maintain,” said a representative of the architecture firm in an email interview.

One of the most important and timeless roles of the library is the sense of community, which is now accurately complemented by the space.

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As you study in this new atmosphere, you will notice this sense of belonging. Children snuggle into picture books with their parents on the oversized reading staircase, your typical Lawrence grandfather rests into a comfortable chair reading the Journal World, and as you glance down the shelves of fiction novels, two trendy tweens gawk over the latest issue Vogue. LPL creates an atmosphere where it is easy to feel part of Lawrence community, not just campus.

 

Photos by Marlee Schuld

Edited by Hannah Swank

Street Style: Fall Hues

11.13.2014

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Teach Me To Fly

11.09.2014

By Kristen Polizzi

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Barefoot and bewildered, I hung upside down. My fingers tightly gripped a black, rubber-wrapped hoop that swung haphazardly from a wood-paneled ceiling.

I’d been instructed to move with control: to lift my legs and core off the ground, keeping my shoulders square with the padded mats below, hitching my knees into the hoop, before dropping one leg and the matching hand, allowing them to float fluidly through the air.

I drew a breath in one syllable and let it out in the next. Con-trol. And then I launched. Legs up, crotch to bar, I wrapped myself around the hoop with the speed and fury of a battered tetherball.

Sometime over the summer, I’d spotted the space from whose ceiling I currently swung. In north Lawrence, nestled between Johnny’s Tavern and The Village Witch, sits a stone-front that—having served as a martial arts studio, bicycle recyclery and art gallery infamous for its underage raves—is now home to The Last Carnival, the city’s first and only school for circus arts.

COME ONE, COME ALL

Interested in taking a class at The Last Carnival? Check out TLC’s calendar to find class dates and times. Then register online to save your spot! For questions, contact Sihka.
The circus school presents Spectacle de Cirque, a student showcase, Sunday, Dec. 21 at the Granada. Tickets are $10 on pre-sale and $15 at the door. For more things weird and wild, find The Last Carnival on Facebook.

It was there, in an exhibitionist’s Eden on a block broken by the river, that I enrolled in my first aerial dance class. Introduction to Aerial Arts, a $20, hour-long session and prerequisite for the beginner level course, was meant to teach the basic moves—mounts, descents, foot-locks and climbs—on the aerial silks, aerial hoop and static trapeze. The class was capped at four students, but I’d landed a private lesson.

I met my instructor at the door. Lavender hair framed a friendly face and trailed braided and blue down her back. In the studio she was Sihka and on the stage: Sihka Ann Destroy. Only her parents call her by her given name, which she never did tell me.

“My kids have performance names too,” she said, laughing. “They just happen to be their actual names.”

She spoke excitedly about her son, Wylder Animal, who at age 3 is no stranger to the silks; and her 9-year-old daughter, Willow Lotus, who practices her half flag on parking meters downtown.

Sihka wasn’t raised in three rings. She grew up in Florissant, Mo., a second-ring suburb of St. Louis, and saw aerial silks performed for the first time as a child at a flea market circus in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She hit the road at 18 and after more than a decade of walking, biking and hitchhiking across the country, studying dance and working as a street performer, she settled for the second time in Lawrence where she opened The Last Carnival in January.

I slipped off my sandals and followed her to the studio’s center, where she guided me through a series of stretches—a deep lunge, a deeper lunge. Could I call what came next a split? She assessed me as being “actually pretty flexible,” an appraisal I accepted with caution. I was, after all, intimately aware of the limits of my own athleticism.

“I can’t do that one either,” said Montana Hockenbury, about a stretch that forcedly introduced my elbows to the backs of my knees. The 18-year-old advanced aerial student from Lawrence, whose thin frame I’d seen flitting around the room to Paloma Faith’s “Upside Down,” sunk cross-legged onto the mat beside me.

Hockenbury graduated from Lawrence Free State last spring and has since taken on a new course load: eight acrobatic classes per week split among The Last Carnival and a few studios in Kansas City. She plans to apply to professional circus schools in Montreal and San Francisco. A traveling troupe, she said, would suit her just fine.

After that, it was time to fly.

Sihka demonstrated how to anchor the silks—two pieces of nylon fabric joined at top and suspended from the ceiling—by wrapping them twice around her calf and securing them in a loop under her heel. I followed along and, with my left foot, stepped through the sling I’d just created with my right.

Then came the “egg roll” (see unflattering picture below), which was—at least the way I did it—less of a roll and more of a flip backward into open air. With a silk in each fist, I slowly shifted my weight backward, drawing my left knee toward my chest until I could see out the open door behind me. Sihka, sensing that I might, at any moment, come catapulting into an upright position, held the silks steady as I completed the trick.

the egg roll

(My extremely graceful foray into the world of aerial arts.)

A few feet away, the purple, padded mats were being parted to accommodate one of two newly polished poles.

Stephanie McIntosh, a Kansas City native and The Last Carnival’s most recent hire, was preparing to teach the school’s first pole fitness class later that night. She spoke softly at first but grew increasingly animated, spewing details of how she—a swimmer and track star with no previous dance experience—had turned pole fitness into a passion and part-time career.

Four years ago, while studying at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, she’d taken her first pole dance class with her sorority sisters; six months later, she was teaching it.

“It’s not something you have to be born into,” she said, echoing the sentiments of nearly every instructor in the studio that day.

Next up: the aerial hoop.

We crossed the mats, weaving in and out among the talents of Sihka’s “bendy students.” A young girl in pigtails and striped tights reclined in mid-air—her spine shaped smoothly to the curve of a steel hoop that swung lazily past a large picture window. Sihka nodded at a nearby silk, a signal the girl must have interpreted as “Clear the area.” Because she dropped deftly to the ground, mounting a silk across the studio.

I flexed my fingers around the hoop’s rubber wrapping, bent my knees and inhaled deeply. My arms started to shake.

 

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Photos by Samantha Darling

Anal: The New Black?

11.09.2014

By Callan Reilly

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It seems anal sex is taking over, with articles being written everywhere about what was referred to as “the road less traveled.” But still, beliefs behind the popular sex trend are complicated.

GQ, Cosmo and even Huffington Post have all dabbled in the hot topic — whether it’s a how-to guide or persuasive essay.

“I think it’s the fact that we are getting a little older that it’s not such a weird thing,” said Annie*, a junior from Overland Park. “Even a year or so ago I had heard a friend of mine had done it, and I thought it was so weird,” she said. “Now it’s not such a big deal.”

According to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that polled people between the ages of 15 and 44, 36 percent of straight women and 44 percent of straight men admitted to having had anal sex at least once in their lives. Additionally, the Journal of Sexual Medicine announced in 2010 the number of 18 to 19 year-olds who’ve been anally penetrated rose by 20 percent between 1992 and 2010.

Though anal sex play seems increasingly popular, the topic is still holding onto some taboo stereotypes.

“From a girl’s point of view it’s looked down upon as slutty or trashy,” said Katie*, a senior from Leawood. “I also feel like guys like taking a new virginity from someone again. It’s almost like a game.”

This is what University of Kansas professor emeritus and sex therapist Dennis Dailey calls “sexual male bravado,” which he describes as men bragging or competing with sexual activity — whether it’s oral, vaginal or anal.

A Live Science study also reinforces Dailey’s point. One hundred thirty teens ages 16 to 18 from diverse backgrounds were interviewed on their opinions of sexual experiences in August. Males in the study appeared to perceive having anal as a competition. Even though not all the young men in the study said they wanted to have anal sex, many of them said men encourage one another to try the practice. The teens also expected men to find pleasure in anal sex, whereas women were mostly expected to endure the negative aspects of anal sex, such as pain or a damaged reputation.

So, does this make the increasingly-popular anal sex “degrading?”

“I think any sexual behavior if expressed in a certain way can be degrading,” Dailey said. “Even though there’s more openness about anal sex play, it’s still 30 or 40 percent of people who get involved with that with any kind of regularity. I think those who do it do so as part of a pleasurable experience with each other. I don’t think it’s naturally a degrading experience.”

Despite the conflicting reasons behind performing the act, it is happening.

“I think it has to do with a general level of comfort with sexuality,” Dailey said. “I think that what’s changed is not that there’s more of it, but more comfort or more openness in talking about it. Over the last several decades there’s been a small incremental change and openness about sexuality, even though there’s still a lot of people who struggle with issues and problems.”

Ben*, a senior from Kansas City, Kan., is open to anal sex. I asked him if a woman who is also open to anal sex play affects his opinion of her. “Absolutely not,” he said. “If anything it’s a bonus because it shows she’s open to different things. If the girl wants it I have no problem doing it every once in a while.”

Ben says he prefers vaginal sex over anal, but describes himself as always having an open mind.

“If my partner is really into it I’ll cater to her needs, but I personally won’t ask for it more than a couple times a month,” he said. “I am open to everything, who am I to judge? To me sex has never been just about doing a few select things.”

 

*Names changed

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

 

From Dreadlocks to Darth Maul, a Phone Call With Pat Seals of Flyleaf

10.23.2014

By Samantha Darling

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“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Pat Seals, bass player for the band Flyleaf, said. “But doesn’t Lawrence have the smartest people per capita or something like that?”

I told him I wasn’t sure, but that’s a reputation I’m sure the people of Lawrence, Kan. are happy to have. After further investigation, I found that Lawrence is ranked fourth on the 2014 list of “Most Educated Cities” in America by the financial website SmartAsset.com. So, close enough.

Pat Seals and the rest of the rock band Flyleaf were last in Lawrence about 10 years ago when they had a show at The Bottleneck, Seals said. Now the band is on tour for their newest album, “Between the Stars,” which was released September 16 of this year. When the band plays at The Granada on Friday, Oct. 24, Kansas will be the 12th state they’ve visited since the start of the tour at the beginning of October.

Since their last visit to Lawrence, the band has been busy. Their self-titled debut including the hit “All Around Me” went platinum.  The band’s next album, “Memento Mori,” hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200. Their single “I’m So Sick” is on the first Rock Band video game and the single “Tina” is on Guitar Hero III. In 2012, then-lead singer Lacey Strum stepped down after the release of the band’s third album, “New Horizons.” Without missing a beat, the band’s current lead vocalist, Kristen May, stepped in. When I spoke with Seals over the phone, the band was in Milwaukee preparing for their show that evening.

Seals said he looks forward to playing in Lawrence because it’s a college town and the crowd is more laid back. Everyone is just out to have a good time and as a result, the band feels more relaxed and has a good time too.

In that carefree spirit, we switched it up and I started sentences and had Seals finish them.

If I were an animal I’d be…
PS: a raccoon, because I’m always digging around in the refrigerator in the middle of the night.

My favorite part of Halloween is…
PS: oh man, the candy.

For Halloween I’m dressing up as…
PS: The band’s going to have a Star Wars theme. I think I might be the Darth Maul, maybe.

If I weren’t in a band I’d probably be…
PS: an art teacher… or a garbage man.

It’s embarrassing now, but in my early 20s…
PS: I had dreadlocks.

The best part of being on tour is…
PS: getting to do what I love.

But, the thing I miss most about home is…
PS: my wife.

The craziest thing to happen so far on this tour is…
PS: I got attacked by two German Shepherds while I was practicing outside the venue in Philadelphia! It reached 5 o’clock and the co-owner of the lot let them out to start watching it. I just happened to be standing on the inside of the fence, on the wrong side, and I had my headphones in. All the sudden I hear barking and I look over and they’re just right at my hand. I immediately yelled for help and the guy came over and called them off.

What we disagree about most within the band is…
PS: thermostat temperature, always.

If that’s the worst of their woes, I’d say the group has got it pretty easy. Lawrence awaits what is undoubtedly going to be a kick-ass show. We’ll even overlook the fact that you’re not a Royals fan and haven’t been following the World Series, Pat.

 

Edited by Katie Gilbaugh

Photos provided by Pat Seals

The 3 Investment Pieces to Get You Through Fall

10.20.2014

By Jordan MacGillivray

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Fall weather is sweeping in, and with the weather here in Lawrence, Kansas, I advise everyone to consider their outfits sooner than expected. This cold weather definitely calls for the fall necessities, which includes layers, layers, and, yes – more layers. However, figuring out what layers and, more specifically, which fall trends to spend your money on can be a challenge. I’m here to make that difficult decision easier.

1. Riding Boots

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The need for good footwear is imperative, especially when walking around campus and up the hill. A good, solid pair of riding boots is a pivotal factor in this season’s fall trends. Convincing yourself to spend the money on boots shouldn’t be too difficult since brown or black riding boots can go with everything from game-day dresses to skinny jeans and big sweaters. This is an ingenious way to make any outfit look that much more put together.

2. Outerwear

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The beginning of our fall season has brought many inches of rain with endless amounts of cold wind. A nice windbreaker or anorak is of the upmost importance, and the great thing is there are many affordable options – H&M has great ones! However, when it comes to a strong jacket that is primarily for warmth, I recommend investing in one that will last for many years to come. A jacket with an inside that can be taken out can also double as a raincoat or light top layer. For inexpensive trends, try outerwear in jewel tones or soft, romantic colors. I’m particularly interested in the pastel pink, faux fur coats.

3. Dark Wash Denim

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When it comes to jeans, I recommend investing in a good pair of dark wash skinny jeans. These jeans are essential for cold weather and are transitional into any approaching season. This fall, dark plum and emerald green colors are extremely popular, and what better way to incorporate these hues into your wardrobe than colored denim? Instead of investing in trendy high-end pieces, there are much more affordable places, like Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters, that have countless colored jeans that will be useful this season.

Any trends emerging this season can be found at assorted stores for an inexpensive fix. These 3 staples will get you through this season and many seasons to come.

 

Photos by Hannah Mougel

Model: Nikki Snyder

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