Fashion Week Cleveland 2010 kicks off

Fashion Week Cleveland 2010 kicked off on Saturday, June 5, with a series of speakers at the Western Reserve Historical Society. The topic: the influence of military on fashion.

Dr. Constance Korosec, professor and chair at Ursuline College, gave a rundown of the ways in which military uniforms have influenced the everyday outfits of average people. This includes the protesters of the Vietnam War wearing army suits and the American flag, the Beatles donning military-inspired outfits for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the punk look in the '70s, combat boots in the '80s, and Michael Jackson's red jacket in his Thriller video.

Korosec researched the Vietnam War's effects on fashion for her doctorate dissertation, so she's an expert on the subject.

"The military look creates sophistication," she said, citing examples seen in street wear today, such as pea coats, trench coats, epaulettes and mechanics' toolbags.

She offered advice to those looking to incorporate the military look into their wardrobes: take the trend and make it your own, whether this means wearing an olive color t-shirt, a parka with a hood or combat boots with jeans and a blazer.

Bryan A. Palaszewski, leader of advanced fuels at NASA Glenn Research Center, explained why astronauts wear what they wear when exploring the universe. Stepping up to the fashion-themed occasion, he said he "tried to dress in all the colors of the lunar surface."

Palaszewski told the audience that astronauts dress casually while in orbit, but when they're exploring outside of the shuttle, they wear suits of which every piece is designed to serve a specific function. Their suits are designed to protect them from forces threatening to their safety, like micrometeroids and radiation. The pants of some suits are made of stainless steel, "like chain mail for the astronaut," Palaszewski said. 

Later in the evening following the presentations, fashionistas gathered at the new Dragonfly Lounge in Ohio City to celebrate the beginning of this year's Fashion Week.

Sunday, June 6, 2010