Jane Leslie & Co. Press | The Weekender: Julia Frakes, Intelligent Design

J.L. & Co. is mentioned [see text in caps below] in a profile of the Janie’s daughter, Julia Frakes.  We thank our local media, including The Times Leader and its weekly arts magazine The Weekender, for their loyal support!

 

by Stephanie DeBalko
Weekender Staff Writer

Fashion isn’t just shoes, baubles and the occasional chapeau coolly resting on the lithe frame of some beguiling young subject. Sure, that’s part of it, but the fashion industry wasn’t just built on fads and fedoras. And if you asked 21-year-old Julia Frakes, a University of Scranton student and regular contributor to some of the most esteemed fashion and culture magazines in the country, she’d tell you there’s more to the industry than meets the eye.

“Politics and history and art history and psychology are not disassociated,” the articulate Frakes explained. “For me, every collection is sort of a time capsule, and it’s always amazing how there’s just this interconnected nature betwixt all the collections. And I think that it’s so revealing of that point in time in which they’re displaying it, in terms of socioeconomic levels, in terms of whether we’re at war, whether we’re at peace.”

Frakes’ image graces the pages of the October 2011 issue of Vogue magazine, as a model and contributor for a story written by Lynn Yaeger and photographed by Patrick Demarchelier called “Sparkling Personalities.”

“When I moved to the city when I was 17, (Yaeger) really was just a wonderful role model of sorts, and really watched over me,” Frakes said. “So it was really fulfilling to be in a story written by Lynn Yaeger and obviously, being photographed by Patrick Demarchelier is an honor beyond words.”

For the young writer, stylist, model (though she’s quick to point out that modeling has never been her ambition) and psychology major, the story is another notch on a widening belt of career achievements. When she was just 17, Frakes moved to New York City in part to write for Paper magazine’s Fashion Schmashion blog after being contacted on Facebook by the editor-in-chief, David Hershkovits, who read her musings on her fashion blog, Bunny Bisous, and liked what he saw.

Since then, she’s been tweeting and posting on her personal Tumblr account, in addition to contributing to publications like Dossier Journal and Teen Vogue. She was part of the Gap China campaign, which was photographed by Annie Leibovitz in August 2010, and was featured in a March 2011 Teen Vogue retrospective celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Marc by Marc Jacobs line.

Frakes’ forte for textiles probably has something to do with her roots, dating from her late grandfather’s former business to her mother’s contemporary boutique in Kingston, Jane Leslie & Co.

“(My grandfather) owned Alperin, Inc. with his brothers, which was a manufacturing corporation,” Frakes said. “And they made pants, for Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Postal Service. So growing up, I sort of had this really tactile appreciation for the making of a garment.”

Frakes, who now resides primarily in Kingston, commuting to school and New York City when work beckons, also has a deep appreciation for NEPA.

“I’ve had a lot of really crazy wonderful moments, and I’m very thankful for them, but I really enjoy being in Pennsylvania,” she said.

Whether she’s discussing fashion, psychology (her self-declared true love), politics or Scranton, Frakes brings with each topic a palpable sense of enthusiasm. Her goal, someday, is to possibly bring all of her varying fascinations and occupations together.

“It’s almost daunting to even consider, but hopefully where I will be 10 years from now, if all goes well, is just to feel fulfilled,” she said.