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Street/Urban Wear Expert

The word on the street is... fashion! Our sassy Street Wear Expert Chako is the urban outfitter you need to sport serious threads, G.

Mall = Hell = Las Vegas!

Recently, I made the exodus from San Diego to my hometown and new shopping Mecca, Las Vegas (Lost Wages?). My amazement at this town never ceases! Every time I come home, it seems to have sprawled out that many more miles in each direction, but the biggest suprise was how much the shopping has expanded. It's funny, growing up in Las Vegas really sucked. There weren't many things geared towards families and towards kids. What we'd mainly do is go to the Forum at Caesar's Palace on the weekends and ogle the clothing at stores that we couldn't afford to buy from. Now, every casino has its own plethora of shops--many of them are names that are absent from your local malls.

Visiting the Aladdin, the Venetian, the Bellagio and the Forum at Caesar's gives you a taste of the high life. The kind of clothing that you see in magazines, you will also see on people strutting through the casinos and the shopping alleys! It's crazy and also a little scary that tourists and locals alike can afford and to drop over $100 for a tee-shirt at Versace or Gucci, Chanel or Prada. But along with all the ritzy and glamorous stores, you'll find lower priced stores for fashionistas of our age range: French Connection, Bebe and Bisou Bisou. The really intriguing thing about Las Vegas is that it holds an amalgam of little worlds. You've got ancient Rome, Paris and Egypt. You can go shop in all these places and pretend you're there without every leaving the country, which is a really unique experience and also a little strange--people don't have to travel far to go to exotic places---the only problem is is that they are devoid of a lot of the history, authenticity and space that are encapsulated in the *real* places.

Upon walking into BCBG, we met a girl that my sister used to go to High School with. She said to me, "If you need other sizes, we have them in the back. All we keep out here are size 0's and 2's." Now, ladies, this *really* struck a chord with me. I know I've been talking about Las Vegas, but this whole shopping trip brought about another problem I have with fashion. I casually replied to her, "Don't you find that a bit depressing and scary?" and she replied, "Welllllll, you're a size 0!" I just felt worse---Everytime I flip through women's magazines I become disgusted at the amount of anorexic and sickly women that they are using for their photo shoots. These are not the kind of women we need to be aiming to assimilate our bodies to. Where are the *real* women??

This trip to the casino mall was partly to look for a present for someone and partly to find myself a decent pair of jeans. I found out that the price range is between $80 and $150 (the latter being absolutely ridiculous). So I tried on about a million pairs and ended up leaving empty-handed. I think the thing is that jeans that are pricey aren't cut for girls that have any sort of booty or hips. That's really depressing under the assumption that all girls that can afford those types of jeans are a) anorexic (devoid of womanly curves) b) model height and c) really wealthy.

Anyway, I guess this whole article is just a little report of my trip. It really inspired me to 1) go to thrift stores to shop and 2) learn to make my own clothing. Things are just too expensive these days--I say we take a cue from Gandhi, rebel against corporate America taking advantage of 'developing countries' and sew our own clothes.

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