Courtney Vander Linden

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Oscar de la Renta by day, Madison Square Garden by Night

 
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What is it like to live in New York City? Fascinating. You must be thinking how can one word be sufficient enough to describe living and learning fashion in one of the greatest cities in the world? Well, fascinating is the result of pigments of knowledge, moments of clarity or moments of wonder and discovery, of observation, and of little experiences that combine to give every day the chance to be captivating.

Oscar Fashion: A Fashion Student/Intern's Perspective

 
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Oscar worn at the Oscars! What could possibly be more fitting? Last Sunday, the 85th Annual Academy Awards graced my television set, as an incredible Oscar de la Renta creation graced the red carpet.

Amy Adams stunned in a silver-gray ethereal ball gown with a beaded bodice and a dramatic tulle embellishment skirt. In true Mr. de la Renta fashion, “Amy’s vision was brought to life in a carefully crafted manner—down to the smallest details” (WWD). On the skirt’s tiers, “every single eyelash was pulled by hand” (WWD).

I first became aware of Oscar de la Renta when I used to watch the red carpet coverage of awards season as a little girl, and I remember thinking that every gown made the lucky wearer look like a princess. Now, it is even clearer that Oscar has a way of striking the perfect balance—his gowns themselves are recognized as beautiful and detailed, but in the end, the woman wearing the gown is poised, graceful, and confident. She brings the look to life.

This year, I was really in-tune with awards season. From the Critic’s Choice Awards, to the SAG Awards, to the Golden Globes, I found it so interesting to be informed, to see a few of the films, and to really admire the stories being told and the artistic performances of the actors. I noticed that often times, one can be given a powerful role that has dimension, depth, and audience appeal—but in the end it is really up to the actor to shine light on those elements, and to truly connect the role with something inside them. This way, the audience will truly connect too. I think we can liken this to fashion! Fashion is all about the woman, and the lady is the vehicle to take the looks from the runway to the red carpet. From Jennifer Lawrence’s in Dior Haute Couture, to Jessica Chastain in Giorgio Armani, the women of the evening showcased powerful looks still enchanted with a touch of femininity. The art and detail of these gowns may seem out of this world, but it is the women who wear them that bring such realistic beauty to the overall presentation.  

I still experience the awe, inspiration, and excitement of a little girl when I see such beautiful gowns at such prestigious events, but now these moments are a little different. Having had experiences as an intern in the fashion world, I now have a deeper affinity for brands and what they can represent and create. Daily, I witness the details, the practicalities, and the many elements and decisions that combine to create a luxury lifestyle brand that represents an empowered, elegant woman.  Seeing Amy Adams in such a show-stopping creation reminds me that when the two worlds of creation and business meet, powerful brands form— and they grace our lives, reaching into the essence of who we are.









A Spectacular Fashion Week Moment

 
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It felt like I was seeing for the first time. I think my jaw was permanently on the floor, and I instantly took the concept of oohing and ahhing to a whole new level. The models were more like porcelain dolls in motion. The details of the garments perfectly represented Oscar’s dedication to ornamentation—his direct defiance of minimalism in any form. Each look stayed true to what is vintage de la Renta at his best—embroidery, silhouette, the woman at the center of it all, with furs and exaggerated prints never taken too far. For Oscar, extravagant, glamorous, and bold can still be feminine and refined.

New York Fashion Week has become a landmark of excitement and inspiration for fashion students everywhere. It is a destination for fashion industry professionals to discover and define the trends that will become the focal point of the near future.

As you can probably tell by now, my “intern status” at the Oscar de la Renta Showroom allowed me the extraordinary opportunity to attend the Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear show.  It was an incredible experience to be in the environment on the day of the show! I was hard at work downstairs at my desk, while upstairs, a transformation of the most extravagant sorts was taking place! The workspace went all white in a matter of hours. Our showroom, which is typically used for photo shoots, for market appointments where buyers come to view the collections, and for meetings or model fittings, was transformed into a pristine white runway that wrapped around the entire room. This day truly defined my idea of “the best of both worlds,” as I was able to experience the behind-the-scenes aspect of an incredible brand, and then witness the true external beauty and product of all the hard work.      

As many of you may know, Oscar de la Renta is a luxury fashion lifestyle brand with global retail and wholesale distribution. Since working at the store here in New York and now currently spending my time at the corporate location, I have come to truly understand the brand values of Oscar. ODLR is more than just beautiful creations that feature romantic silhouettes, impeccable tailoring, exquisite detail, and world-class embroidery. Each piece isn’t just a piece—it’s an opportunity to be transported to a place where you are the most beautiful woman in the room.

Oscar is dedicated to the woman—he always says that “fashion is only fashion once a woman puts it on.” His philosophy to make every woman feel beautiful and elegant has translated into every collection he has created—and this one did not disappoint. 2013 marked Mr. De la Renta’s 50th year of designing clothes. I think it is safe to say that we can all admire his contribution to fashion. I know I do.









Starting Spring with a Fashion Marketing Internship

 
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The Spring 2013 semester has been officially underway here at LIM College for a few weeks, and judging by the explosion of fluorescent highlighter colors  in my planner, those weeks have been a whirlwind only sufficiently described by 3 words—busy, busy, busy! The “city that never sleeps” phrase has now been altered to the “city where Courtney never sleeps!” Luckily, I am loving every minute!

Weekend Plans: A French Film in New York City

 
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The film opens as the Bon Iver lyrics, “Climb is all we know…” radiate throughout the theater to a spare, gently lifting piano progression. The lyrics proceed, evoking the search for comfort in familiarity, and the despair felt when it isn’t there.

As the stress of final projects and final tests has clearly arrived, a trip to see the newly-released French film Rust and Bone reminded me of the patient endurance we all have buried deep inside, and that profound creativity is still alive today.

LIM College students are in finals mode around here, and I am no exception! I was originally reluctant to spend a few hours this weekend seeing De Rouille et D’os (Rust and Bone), for required credit in my French class, due to my desire to focus on the upcoming busy week. However, I can tell you that I am more than satisfied with my decision to do so. I listened to the beauty of the French (and read English subtitles of course) and left the theatre refreshed, inspired, and utterly astounded by the beauty of this film.

I am so grateful to live in New York City and attend LIM College, as opportunities to experience some of life’s greatest treasures present themselves almost every day. If not for living in NYC, I would never have been able to view this film, which is only being released in NYC and LA.





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Being in New York City on Election Day

 
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I could feel it in the air. Not the sudden wind chill of the looming Nor’easter, but the spirit of opportunity, the spirit of Election Day, the spirit of America.

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An LIM College Student Reflects on Hurricane Sandy

 
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Hi Friends!

Fashion Insiders and Fashion: Now & Then - Stimulating Conversations

 
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One of my favorite phrases to remind myself of quite often is, “great minds discuss ideas.” No matter where we are or what we do, the opportunity to share thoughts and knowledge is one of the most fascinating elements of the world in which we live. Just think about it. Each of us is inherently unique, which means that we each have our own, individual vision of what is happening around us. We can share what we feel is important, and embrace what others deem significant.

Make a Wish for Your Future

 
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“Make a wish!” As children, these three short words meant tightly closed eyes, smiling faces, and endless possibilities. In our minds, the chance to hope created a world without boundaries or limitations. As we grew older, our wishes became dreams and hopes for the future. Today, along with this list of our wildest aspirations, come the responsibilities and realities of adulthood. Life happens, and in the process some happen to lose their childlike wonder.

Displaying Merchandise in the Fashion and Retail World

 
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They wear the clothes that we hope to buy. They display the products that we admire and desire to own. They fill a space, but more importantly they create an environment, our shopping environment, but are often overlooked. “They” are the mannequins, shelving structures, racks, and wall units that make displaying merchandise in the retail word possible. Without the aid of these visual displays, our shopping experience would feel like a foreign adventure.

I came to this realization after visiting two companies for my Field Trip class. In the past two weeks I was introduced to the paramount importance of businesses like ALU and Manex USA. Both are leaders in providing the mannequins or displays that are the foundation of the retail stores in which we shop. As we toured their offices I started to think—picture your favorite store without anything to display the merchandise! This was hard for me to fathom, because I truly take such elements of the shopping experience for granted. 



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