Category Archives: Student Life

Corey Fader: Observing the Trends at New York Fashion Week


Photography and Text by Corey Fader, Copyright 2017




In New York City every February and September there is one week dedicated solely to fashion. It is a time for clothing designers and models to show off the latest trends in the industry to potential buyers, media, and the public audience that lines the streets. This September I decided to make the trip to see up close the latest styles that are currently popular in our culture.

A trend that immediately stood out was the desire to wear vibrant pieces of clothing. Especially in the case of the women, the far majority of outfits were vivid with interesting color patterns and designs. In the situations where this was not the case, they most often had a flashy accessory in the form of a bright purse, reflective sunglasses, a gaudy hat, or anything of the like. Red in particular was heavily present in a large percentage of the overall outfits and accessories.

On a similar note, another prevalent fad was colorfully dyed hair, which was commonly observed for both men and women. Unlike many people who dye their hair regularly, the models participating in Fashion Week used colors that were totally unnatural. For example, green and purple were prominently featured throughout the week.


About the Author: Corey Fader is a Senior enrolled in the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Corey Fader, go here


Also posted in Blog, Documentary, Environment, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Lab Work: K Vaughn Scarves, Fall Collection 2017








Alexis Masino

Corey Fader

Elizabeth Beugg

Noa Baker

Amber Shi

Jinghong Cui

Joy Lewis

Karishma Sheth

Sharon Song

Rongrong Liu

Jessica Moh

Noel Zheng

Michael Heath

Linda Ruan


Makeup: Aysha Silagy


Models: Main Line Models & Talent

Cassie Fagan

Danielle Gauthier

Grace DelPizzo

Katty Pena

Kevin Robinson

Nick Nocella

Y’nya Maybank


To see additional articles about K Vaughn, scarf designer, go here


Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Gifts, Glamour, Men, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Women

Victoria Meng: Life at the Penn Museum


Photography, Video and Text by Victoria Meng, Copyright 2017




Sometimes on rainy afternoons in the Penn Museum, when the air is more musty than usual, and the light is just dim enough, I feel as if I can almost hear the alluring whisper of the past, the echo of music and laughter from a forgotten era.

On my first day of work at the Penn Museum, my boss took me on a tour. As we walked among the cool, darkened hallways that house over a million artifacts, I learned about the museum’s illustrious history.

At the end of the 19th century, Provost William Pepper commissioned the museum as a humble way to house artifacts. Through the course of the next few decades, the Penn Museum would evolve into a prestigious institution where Philadelphia’s elite could ascend to higher society.

From the exotic architectural motifs to the smallest details in building fixtures, the Penn Museum would’ve been an incredible marvel at the time that it was constructed. Complete with mosaics designed by Tiffanys, seemingly no expense was spared in creating an “eclectic Victorian extravaganza.”

Yet, as I recount my memory of the museum tour, I remember one detail in particular.

In 1929, Alexander Stirling Calder, was commissioned to create a statue for the European gallery. While his father was known for putting William Penn on top of City Hall and his son reached international acclaim for his mobiles, Stirling made his own statement with a depiction of a Greek maiden styled like a Roaring 20s flapper.

Ironically, it was this anachronistic detail that really became my inspiration. This proof that the museum had once been a backdrop for Gatsby-scale parties made history more real to me than ever before. In fact, the more I looked into the Museum during this era, the more true life became stranger than fiction.

At one point in the early 20th century, a glamorous reception attracted more than eight hundred guests. Two of these guests, perhaps under the influence of too much champagne, allegedly climbed on top of and eventually collapsed ancient Chinese tomb figures of camels. While the ruins were eventually restored to original condition, this raucous memory lives on in my imagination.

Ultimately, my inspiration for my portraits was derived from the Museum’s core mission: to help us remember who we are and where we came from. The more I learn about anthropology, the more I realize that although the way that we live has changed greatly, who we are as humans has hardly wavered.




Portrait of Victoria Meng by Simeon Ristic, Copyright 2017

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Matt Garber: Shades of Emotion


Photography, Text and Video Interview by Matt Garber, Copyright 2017




Countless psychological studies recognize the relationship between color and emotion. Restaurants are painted red to inspire hunger and love; green rooms are green to provoke calmness and happiness.

After the assignment was presented, I stumbled, almost accidentally, upon the effects of projecting color onto a subject. Seeing the results, I knew immediately that this method should be the centerpiece of my photoset.

Therefore, each emotion features a different color projected into the scene: green for happiness, blue for sadness, red for love. The only challenge was despair. Ultimately, I realized that despair is the kind of emotion that brings a feeling of helplessness, sadness, vulnerability, and emptiness. Despair is so overwhelming that it leaves an individual almost blank. Despair is a powerful lack of color, so those photographs are black and white.

The methods used in the process were varied. Sometimes, soft white light would come from tungsten lights and reflectors, while blue light was projected from a smartphone’s screen. Other times, colored light sources included everything from laptops to flashlights with homemade filters. Providing keylights on-location proved challenging, given the challenges to setting up tungsten lights, so often a flashlight and the camera flash were used.

The colored fill lights and keylights make for quite the challenge photographically, but the bouncing and rounding effects contribute to the emotionality of each photograph. Ultimately, the color projections help project emotion onto the subject, in the same way the colors of our surroundings can project emotions onto us.

The hardest emotion to produce is love. Love is possibly the most powerful emotion humans experience, and therefore to display it, the subject reflects on the people most meaningful to her in her life: family and friends. Where happiness and sadness and even despair can often be projected by outside influences, love is more internal. In that way, despite constituting the greatest challenge, it is also the most impactful for the subject to call upon these moments in her life.




Portrait of Matt Garber by Julia Chun, Copyright 2017

Portrait of Matt Garber by Julia Chun, Copyright 2017


About The Author: Matt Garber is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Karen Liao: Bare



Photography, Text and Video Interview by Karen Liao, Copyright 2017




The state of one’s mental health is never an easy topic to discuss. There may be fear of being easily dismissed or of burdening others. There may be an uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability. There may be conflict in not even personally being able to understand their own emotions. It’s true that these feelings exist across both the physical and emotional disease continuum for people. But unfortunately, a particularly strong stigma with mental health makes it more even more difficult for people struggling with this aspect of their health to voice their struggles. The veil of shame surrounding the topic also prevents many people from seeking care. Well-being is defined as health of both the mind and the body– we need to reevaluate and strive towards improving health in all aspects of a person.

These are all important lessons that I’ve learned from my college experience. As a nursing student, I’ve learned the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and treatments for mental illnesses. But the main factor in my life that has helped me come to much better understand mental health is my friend pictured in the portraitures. She struggles with a variety of mental health issues, and my friendship with her has taught me so much about what a person with mental illnesses struggle with in daily life. These four core human emotions of happiness, sadness, love, and despair manifest themselves so much more extremely in her than in any other person I’ve met. She describes herself as “feeling more deeply” than others.

Tackling mental health stigma can begin by starting conversations and opening up about what mental illnesses feels like. And so my portraitures, I hope, can exemplify the destruction of the pretenses and shame that surround mental illnesses. These pictures of my friend illustrate her actual emotional states at the time. The emotions are real, and they represent the fluctuations in her mental well-being that she constantly struggles with. Through these portraitures, she is willing to be vulnerable, baring it all.

I just wanted to add that these portraits are also a tribute to her strength. Despite all that she has been struggling through over the years—so many tears shed that there are none left, the feeling of utter hopelessness—she is brave enough to keep moving forward and find the happiness and love in life. And so those are the things that I wish for her to have more of– self-love and confidence, more time with her beloved pug, and a life that’s always filled with physically and emotionally beautiful things. 





Portrait of Karen Liao by Julia Chun, Copyright 2017


About The Author: Karen Liao is a Junior enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women