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Too Cool for School

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(photograph by Christian Kaye, www.transitdesigns.com)

It’s pretty easy to pick out senior Heather Lumb among the throng of female students in Newark. Amid a sea of leggings and Uggs, Lumb is head-to-toe in anything but.

It comes with the territory. “I’m the president and editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine that is getting a lot of attention,” she says. “I’m conscious of that every day.”

That magazine is UDress, an outlet for fashion students to channel their creativity. The mag couldn’t find a better spokeswoman. Think of every to-die-for outfit you’ve ever seen that made you think, “I could never pull that off.” Now divvy up the pieces and pair them with something outrageous: look-at-me prints, a crocheted hat, wicked jewelry, a perfectly placed scarf and intense makeup. Add street flavor, underground music influence. Voila. Meet Lumb.

“I’m all about creating a new look every day and getting excited about it,” she says.

Not a “thrift-shopping girl,” Lumb’s fashion mecca is H&M. “They have the point-on trends right away.” She counts Zara among her faves, and will cop a T-shirt from any concert she sees.

Lumb draws energy and style from the shows. “The fashion of the underground is a lot like the runways, just a bit edgier, less discovered and way less expensive,” she says. “It’s fun, and it’s always new. It’s bad, and it’s all in the name of music. That kind of style is the most inspiring for me. It reminds me that this is why I’m doing this.”

Lumb stays up on the trends before they become passé. “I’m always checking out Vogue, searching Facebook for other university mags and contacting them,” she says. “I subscribe to DailyCandy to see what’s popping up locally, and in New York and LA.”

By the looks of things, Lumb has everything figured out. Except her hair. “I’m so self-conscious about my hair,” she says. “I will do anything to it. It was bright red, platinum, black, purple.”

Lumb counts on her friend Megan at Perry Anthony to keep her looking like no one else in class. For makeup, more is more. “I love Ulta,” Lumb says. “I always have black liner on, and I love the high-intensity pigment eye shadows from L’Oreal.”

Though the Newark invasion of leggings and Uggs may be at the top of Lumb’s “don’t” list, she’s really a fashion softie. “I’m never really disappointed by what I see. Fashion is always changing. Something recycled is always coming around,” she says. “So if a girl really feels like ‘this is me,’ then fine. I can accept that. In the end, it’s all about finding an identity.”

—Amy Kates

The Shopper

Pretty for Prom
Summer is made for soirees. Whether you’re preparing for a Sweet 16, quinceañera or theannual formal, local boutiques and salons have you covered. by Amy Kates

Writing this month’s column forced me to dig out old prom photos, and I realized two things: I shouldn’t have spilled soda all over myself minutes after I arrived (true story), and I should have gone short.

Thing is, when I was groovin’ to Vitamin C’s “Friends Forever,” short dresses weren’t so fab. But short dresses are fierce for this year’s prom, sweet 16 party or quinceañera. So if you and your daughter don’t agree on style, pop into Claire’s Fashions (1312 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, 798-1312) to see for yourself. Check out Alyce Designs and Faviana, lines short on fabric but tall on style. Taffeta, tulle, pick-up, bubble, chiffon—the possibilities are endless.

Short dresses are poppin’ for prom, but quinceañera is all about the big entrance. You can’t help but up the drama with a dress from web-based Christina Gowns (Magnolia, 335-0535, store.christinagowns.com). With floor-sweeping elegance, its quince gowns dazzle in bold colors and fabrics from hot designers such as Amy Lee, Tiffany Designs, Allure and DaVinci. Also check out the silk roses. Scatter them down the aisle so you and your chambelan can stroll in style.

You sweet 16ers need a dress, too. In my humble opinion, the quintessential frock for you is at Macy’s (Christiana, Concord and Dover malls). A De Laru gown, the short, bubble-skirted, baby pink stunner is trimmed in sequins, with an adorable satin bow on the hemline. At less than $110, it’s a steal.

Not satisfied? Check out the Calvin Klein collection. With their soft pastels and demure silhouettes, the dresses are perfect summer treats. My moment of zen: the jade and rhinestone Jessica McClintock minidress. Parading around Macy’s in it, I realized I needed a party invite, stat.

If you refuse to have another merrymaker rocking the same duds as you, call Wendy at Wendy’s Dressmaking and Alterations (2105 W. Newport Pike, Wilmington, 993-0663). If you flipped for the glam red, one-shoulder number Katherine Hiegl donned at the Oscars, Wendy can make it happen.

The dress is only half the battle. You’ll need to bling it out, so go where everybody knows your aim: Tiger Lili (Christiana and Concord malls and Rehoboth Beach). You’ll find accessories of a decidedly urban persuasion. My fave was the rhinestone envelope necklace for $29. What’s inside? Perhaps the announcement that you just won prom queen.

Any belle of the ball needs essentials: lipgloss, blotting papers and a fragrant spritzer. Find it all and more at Houppette (3842 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 421-9036), a cosmetics diva’s haven. The Lucy B lipgloss is a must. Carry your stash in an über-chic bag from Blair Elizabeth (

110D Rehoboth Ave.

, Rehoboth Beach, 227-3363). The Audrey Rose clutch is, well, clutch.

Ditch the rigid up-do this party season. Instead, go to great lengths at Bad Hair Day? (101 N. Boardwalk, Atlantic Sands Hotel, Rehoboth Beach; 45 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-4247). During your free extension consultation, you’ll work with a stylist to choose the best texture and length for you.

Now that you’ve outfitted yourself, Fulton Paper and Party Supplies (Hockessin, Middletown, Newark and Wilmington) will outfit your fiesta. Ignore the Hannah Montana decor. There are fabulous finds for the teenage set. For quince, check out chic plates and napkins so swank, I’d consider them for my upcoming birthday bash.

There are also candies printed with mis quinces in sweet pink calligraphy, a cake topper, quince T-shirts and elegant stem wear: a glass engraved with “mis quince” for you, and one with chambelan for him.

Score a Sweet 16 tiara, disco ball, tropics-inspired inflatable decorations, and an array of goodies such as sweet 16 organza gift bags and photo albums. Guests who are lucky enough to score invites to the parties can wrap them up in style with leopard-print gift bags and tissue paper.

The thing is, no matter what you buy or what you wear, you have to feel gorgeous. Anything can ruin the big night. So roll out the red carpet and party it up. And avoid any dark-colored liquids—at least until your hands stop shaking.


John Meyer (left) and Ben Fournier
(photo by Thom Thompson,
www.thomthompson.com)

Holy Cow
Two locals aim to make a breed of bovine as big a brand as Ralph Lauren’s Polo.

Just over a year ago, friends Ben Fournier and John Meyer had an idea: design a shirt that represents the local lifestyle.

So Fournier and Meyer started the Brandywine Valley Life line of unisex polo shirts, which feature a Belted Galloway cow that they aspire to make as popular as the Lacoste alligator—at least in this area.

The cow was picked for its local symbolism; they’re prominent on the Sharp estate at Kennett Pike and Brinton Bridge Road. And if Fournier and Meyer have their way, the cow will come to represent such local activities as partying at Point-to-Point, eating at Buckley’s Tavern and paddling past Big Bend on the Brandywine.

“We wanted to show people what they can do here,” Fournier says. “John and I decided that this is what you do if you are from this area.”

Meyer hopes the shirts will help spread interest and knowledge of the Brandywine Valley. “Our mission is to promote the unique history and culture of this area of the country,” he says.

Look for the shirts soon at Trail Creek Outfitters in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, and at the Greenville Café. They are available in white, black, pink and blue. And if they sell well, Fournier and Meyer plan to expand the line to include hats and children’s sizes.

—Sara Kenney

Watch Out
Eye-catching timepieces for your favorite guy.

CYMA Navy Star, $1,095, at Bellinger’s Jewelers, Rehoboth Beach

TAG Carrera Automatic Chronograph Tachymetre, $3,200,
at A.R. Morris Jewelers, Wilmington and Greenville

Sayers Swiss-made chronograph, $405, at Sayers Jewelers and Gemologists, Smyrna

N.O.A. G001, $1,695, at Carl Doubét Jr. Jewelers, Greenville

Accutron Gemini, $1,295, at Jeweler’s Loupe, Dover

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