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November 15, 2012 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-15

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4B - Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

BOLLY WOOD COLUMN
Alternative
& cinema is more
than its music

LSA sophomore Anna Fuller and 'U' alum Sarah Gibson coordinate the company's photo shoots.
Old styles reworked into
high fashio by Ella Sven

Detroit-based and "Sven" from her family's last Though Sv
name before arriving at Ellis spent more
company sells one- Island. clothes herse
Swenson attributes her more time de
of-a-kind creations inspiration for the company to ning the rew

Ells
"old
to fas
In
Sven,
launc
line in
Wh
in De
online
featui
vintag
dress
"an El
Tho
nates
"Ella"

her days of antiquing with her
ByLENA.FINKEL mother as.a child. "(My mother)
For theDaily always managed to find (her)
way to the vintage clothes and
a Swenson wants to bring gowns," and it wasn't long before
world craftsmanship" back she had amassed a collection.
hion. - Shesaid she realized as anadult
2010, Swenson started Ella that the vintage clothes "were
a clothing company, and totally useless and un-wearable."
hed a companion fashion So she pulled out her sewing
n the early spring of 2012. machine and went to work.
tile the company is based "There's something so incred-
troit, all clothes are sold ible about vintage - the details
e. The current. collection that are there you just can't find
res reworked and original today," Swenson said.
ge pieces with a focus on Today, Swenson continues to
es, which Swenson calls, shop at vintage and thrift stores,
lla Sven signature." as well as estate sales to find
e company name origi- clothes for her line. Additionally,
from Swenson's family. customers will ship clothes to be
being her grandmother revamped.

ment. Local
then contrac
ing, buttons,
on the garme
take a range o
depending o
Swenson said
than 15 hours
garment.
All of thec
a-kind due to
for the fashion
duction. Swen
unique clothi
something ve
that one piece
The dresse
$550. Despite
some of the pi
a college stud
great custome

wenson previously "I've been a college student
time sewing the before, I've been a career woman
If, she now spends where I've been making money
signing and plan- and can pick out whatever I
orking of each gar- wanted. I wanted to have some-
gown-makers are thing that was affordable for
ted to add bead- everyone," Swenson explained.
lace and sequins She relies on a growing staff
nts. Each item can to help run Ella Sven, which
f time to complete, includes gown makers, photog-
in its condition. raphers, models and interns.
she once did more LSA sophomore Anna Fuller
sof beadwork for a began interning with Ella Sven a
year ago. She mainly assists with
dresses are one-of- styling on photo shoots.
Swenson's distaste Fuller said through working
n world's mass pro- with Ella Sven she "has a whole
ison said she values new appreciation for reworked
ng because "that's art," adding that she enjoys
ry special to have, working with Swenson.
that reflects you." "You can really see her passion
s range from $55 to for it and it's really driven my pas-
the high prices of sion," Fuller said. "Seeing some-
eces, Swenson said one who's so genuinely interested
ent would still be a and dedicated to what she's doing
r for her. is really inspirational."
University alum Sarah Gibson
acts as creative director for Ella
Sven, which involves creating
the ideas for the photo shoots
and designing the sets.
Moreover, Gibson helped ini-
tiate Ella Sven's photo shoots in
unpopulated areas of Detroit.
"You see the abandoned
building, see the beautiful mold-
ing and you transform it to make
it beautiful," Gibson said.
Swenson added that the city
serves as a great background
for her garments because they
fit the "tousled glamour" of the
clothing line.
"There's something really
offbeat about the fact that we're
shooting in abandoned Detroit,
in buildings that are falling
apart," Swenson said. "There's
something disheveled and dis-
torted about that."
Though Swenson plans to
continue shooting her line in
Detroit, she doesn't plan to stay
in Michigan forever. Her long-
term goal is to open a store in
New York and eventually sup-
ply other stores with a similar
vision.
Hoping to build a "fashion
empire," she said: "You can have
good-quality merchandise that's
responsibly made for the same
price as clothes that aren't."
She calls this idea "fashion for a
cause."
Her more immediate plans are
to add nearly 1,000 new items
online, she said. While most cur-
rent garments are smaller sizes,
Swenson said that the new items
will range in size and style.
Whether it's in her impend-
ing collection or any future gar-
'"' _nents, Swenson explained she
will keep the clothes "at a high
fashion level where it doesn't
look recycled" Through her
use of old-world craftsmanship,
Swenson wants to redefine the
fashion industry.
"The fact that there could be a
company that offers everything,
and at the high fashion level with
COURTESY OF ILASVEs old world craftsmanship, that's
what I want," Swenson said.

Sv
ov
ho
romant
so the t
myself.
legitim
cinephi
Bollyw:
like Ho
lywood
a thrivi
indepei
film ge
though
tend to
"artisti
"altern:
excelle:
wood is
My f
terpiec
adaptat
speare'
visiona
Bhardw
Othello
Prades
rative o
itics th
more t
nal wor
ever re
comfor
the latt
entirely
adaptat
I
SI
Sp
Bhar
in his c
gifted
surpris
Khan. I
Bipash:
excusi
deliver
worthy
lents of
respect
lar, is a
to life D
and sub
her lov
Kha
evil as]
puppet
of ever]
utter ru
returne
leading
upset a
his rep:
makes I
more a
gettabl
film his
Beyo
is excel
I watch
filmma
recent
phyt ea
artistic
an audi
actuall
home l
of his d
The du
Prades
ern, bu
of dark
Shakes

Bhar
house t
the filn
score a
placed i

e made it pretty clear mally, it makes no earthly sense
er the past few weeks to have Bianca singing and danc-
'w much I adore cheesy ing amidst one of lago's plans,
ic Bollywood movies, but "Beedi Jalaile" was one of
ime is ripe to assert the surprise hit songs of 2006
as a and remains popular today.
ate Few cinematic moments can
le. compare to the haunting sound
sod, of "Jagja," ("Wake up") as sung
1- by Omkara to the lifeless body of
, has his lover just moments after he 4
ng . has killed her. A chilling musi-
ndent cal score accompanies almost all
nre, PROMA action in the film, contributing
we KHOSLA to the haunting feelingthat can't
call it be shaken even in the lightest
c" or moments.
ative." These films are as I could go on for hours about
nt as commercial Bolly- the gritty, artistic brilliance of
terrible. "Omkara," but there are dozens
avorite is the 2006 mas- of other films in this genre of
e "Omkara," a modern Indian film that deserve men-
ion of William Shake- tion. The reason they remain
s "Othello." Under the overlooked, however, is because
ry direction of Vishal many tackle complex social or
vaj, "Omkara" brings political subject matter that
to modern-day Uttar "mainstream" audiences do not
h, India, ina thrilling nar- take kindly to at the movies.
f love, deception and pol- Take, for example, Deepa
at resonated with me far Mehta's 1998 masterpiece
ian Shakespeare's origi- "Earth." Truthfully, I would
'k. I saw "Omkara" before hesitate to call this a "good"
ading "Othello," and my film, because that implies that it
t and understanding of can be viewed more than once. I
er text can be almost would not watch "Earth" again
ycredited to Bhardwaj's because I was so shaken by the
ion. ending. But it was an incontest-
ably well-made film, one I would
recommend everyone watch - if
Did y"onlyonce. It addresses the hor-
yOU rors of India's partition in 1947,
know that agruesomeconflict thattends
to get overlooked in historical
hakespeare context when juxtaposed with
the apparent thrill of Indian
)oke Hindi? independence t
I noticed a similar theme in
one of this summer's alterna-
tive films, "Ishqzaade," about
dwaj brings out the best a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl
ast, from the already- who fall in love against their
Ajay Devgan to the family's wishes. Apart from the
ingly villainous Saif Ali obvious parallel to "Romeo and
Even Kareena Kapoor and Juliet," the film focuses more on
a Basu, who star almost the religious conflict between
vely in worthless films, the households and the irratio-
quality performances nal stubbornness of both sides in
of the onscreen equiva- refusing to make amends.
'Desdemona and Bianca, At least the Montagues and
ively. Kapoor, in particu- Capulets see reason over their
revelation as she brings children's dead bodies; the
Dolly's tender innocence Qureshis and the Chauhans ,
isequent anguish when actually shoot down the young
er turns on her. lovers until Parma (Arjun
n is a revelation of pure Kapoor) and Zoya (Parineeti
Langda Tyagi (Iago), Chopra) have no choice but to
eering the destruction end things on their own terms. It
yone around him with leaves the audience with another
ithlessness. He has since unsettling message: All over
d to playing conventional India - and the world, no doubt
men, butI can't even be - people are punished for some-
t this lack of diversity in thing as benign as whom they
ertoire. If anything, it love. Like "Earth," "Ishaqzaade"
Langda stand out even left me shaken by the capacity
s one of the most unfor- of human beings to perpetrate
e performances in Hindi hatred based on arbitrary divi-
tory. sions.
nd that, the film itself At some point this discus-
lently made. Each time sion of excellent cinema took a
it, a new aspect of the turn for a human interest piece,
king stands out. Most but my point is this: Bollywood '
y, it was the cinematogra- is more than fun-filled musi-
ch shot is so carefully and cals and mindless entertain-
ally composed that from ment. Indian cinema happens
ence viewpoint it's like to house the films that have
y being there in Omkara's impacted me most significantly,
eading up to the events films with distinct social and
isastrous wedding night. political motifs that need to
ll, warm colors of Uttar be acknowledged. Alterna-
h tint the film like asWest- tive Indian films do not have
t it never loses that edge as large an audience as their
ness which underlies Hollywood counterparts, but
pearian tragedy. their artistic and cultural merit

dwaj, the artistic power- remains invaluable.

hat he is, also composed
n's brooding background
nd surprisingly well-.
musical numbers. Nor-

Khosla is livingthe
alternative life. To join her,
e-mail pkhosla@umich.edu.

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4

4

Swenson sees students as the ideal customer for her collection.

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