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Scorching Hot, Stylishly Cool, or Extremely Questionable?

Trend Watch, Issue #1
Okay, we’ve seen it all. Things that crashed into our world and had us all hooked, whether it was because we were intrigued by its sheer awesomeness or disgusted by its plague-like spreading. As summer’s days get cooler and all us kids get back to school, we’re anxious to see the next phenomenon, whether it’s a new fashion, a brilliant invention, or a different outlook towards life.

10. Eco-homes
An environmental business based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has developed an impressive new way to live. Lanefab Design/Build makes custom homes with energy efficiency, impeccable design quality, and aesthetics in mind.


9. Juice Up
The Juice Up phone bumper created by designer Francois Rybarczk allows you to charge your phone from another. Just split it in half to reveal two Apple Lightning ports. Keep your eyes open for genius iPhone accessories like Juice Up.


8. Soft grunge
Tumblr addicts will understand. Soft grunge is an accurate term that typically describes the average teenage Tumblr users or bloggers who don’t see themselves as a hipster. By using pop culture and surface references to grunge in music, fashion, and imagery they seek to appear as unique and interesting as possible. It usually involves band tees, cigarettes (lit or unlit); pastel colored hair (girls) and frayed but cool clothes. There are no references to fedoras, Instagram, or horn rimmed glasses. Think of it as an independent Anti-hipster.

7. Polaroid
Fine, call me an old-fashioned weirdo, I don’t care. But there’s something about holding a Polaroid in your hand, pinning a memory to your wall. Do you remember waiting for the little pictures to develop?


6. Historical Fashion Inspiration
Fashion never dies. It may fade, but then inevitably bounce back. Fashion has always been inspired by the past, whether it’s four centuries ago, or seven years ago. No need to fear, girls – those painful corsets aren’t so hot this season. And no, Oscar de la Renta ball gowns aren’t going to be ruling the school hallways. I’m talking about the slight nod towards the Spanish Renaissance in black lace and gold brocade, cameo brooches that originated from ancient Greece, bustier tops and dresses with thin ribbon straps (a demure and elegant version of Madonna’s iconic Jean Paul Gaultier cone bustier), and stacks of bracelets with delicate Victorian roses, faux pearls and diamonds, and simple beads.

5. Ulric Collette Photography
Four words to sum up this Quebecois photographer’s work: Weird family mashup photography.


4. Exotic Ice Cream
Between all the organic soy, gelato, sherbet, sorbet, fro-yo… you’d think they’ve already came up with everything. Nope. Now there are flavors that challenge the traditional vanilla and chocolate. Flavors like roasted strawberry and black pepper with honey red wine sauce in a balsamic reduction. Or sweet corn custard ice cream. Ice creams with cheeses. Citrus ice creams with olive oil. Cinnamon toast ice cream, saffron pistachio and even a refreshing mint and melon sorbet are all readily available to the curious taste bud. Ice cream parlors think outside of the box. But are you ready for this? Black sesame ice cream – a pale gray colored confection featuring sweet fragrant black sesame seeds. It dodges the traditional flavor and consistency. It’s savory and sweet. While it’s less common in North America, it’s actually quite popular in Asian ice cream parlors. It’s said to taste like “black currant” or even “smoky vanilla.” With that in mind, it’s absolutely impossible not to imagine its taste on your palate.


3. Sunglasses: John Lennon would approve
Sunglasses are the best accessories. And every season there comes a new rush of the coolest designs and styles. So far we’ve seen the huge ones that cover up half of the face, the elegant Ray Ban aviators, and the horn rimmed hipster ones. So you ask: What’s next? Well, my friend – if you’re ready to take the challenge, John Lennon glasses. Spectacles, if you will. It’ll be difficult convincing everyone that you are not, in fact, Harry Potter. But if you have the right air of confidence wearing these bad boys, you’ll start to understand why we love them so much.

2. Vine
By now, you probably have heard of vine. At least a little bit. We move so fast at these social networking sites: MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… the list goes on and on. Now, we have Vine. Vine is an authentic app that creates simple, looping videos to share with people you know. The videos could be scripted or random, and are extremely fun to make. Knock yourself out.


1. The Fault in Our Stars
John Green is absolutely a genius. Just check out VlogBrothers on Youtube and you’ll know what I mean. President Obama gave him advice for naming his baby. Yeah. So it comes unsurprisingly that the greatest literary work of the century was written by him. It’s #1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list, #1 on the Indiebound bestseller’s list, and Time magazine listed it as #1 of all fiction books. It’s sweet, melancholic, and elegant. The Fault in Our Stars is about teenagers who happen to have cancer, but it’s not a cancer book, because as the narrator, 16-year-old Hazel Grace, bluntly puts it, “cancer books suck” — by which she means they’re full of clichés and sentiment that conceal hard truths. John Green writes his masterpiece with total emotional honesty to reveal the hardest possible truths. As Time magazine put it, “The Fault in Our Stars is a love story, one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction, but it’s also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence and courage and sadness.” Kudos, Mr. Green.


About Jerry Xu

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