Mall à la mode

Elizabeth Kerin, Staff Writer

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Name: Trang Crider
Position: Lead Circulation Coordinator of Blakely Library

EK: I’d like to start out asking a little bit more about your past — where you’re from and maybe some of your first recollections of fashion.
TC: I have always liked clothes, and I’m from Vietnam. I have four sisters and I am the oldest.  When I was younger, my mother would let me design and make clothes for my sisters at the start of the school year. So that’s how I started. I would come up with a design, pick the fabric and make the clothes myself. They weren’t that great, by any means, but my sisters wore them to school anyway.

EK: Do you design any of your clothes currently?
TC: I have a few things that are ready to be put together but I haven’t had the time.

EK: How closely would you say that you follow trends, or seasons or styles? And how important do you think that is?
TC: Well, I follow … a French blogger who lives in New York. She writes in two different languages and since I know a little bit of French, I like to practice my rusty French by reading her blog. Her name is Garance Dore. She’s very funny and she interviews many talented and fashionable people. It’s kind of New York-centric but that’s okay because I enjoy her sense of humor.

EK: What would you say to a person who identifies being fashionable or fashion as being petty or superficial?
TC: It’s not, really. I think clothes, whether you like it or not … make an impression on others. First impressions, though, those count. Clothes are a form of language in which you express yourself to others … I can’t speak for others but I work with the public daily and I like to look presentable. It is my way of telling others “I respect you.” So I try to dress in an aesthetically pleasing way. And I don’t think fashion is superficial. I think it’s a subject worthy of aesthetic deliberation, and you can even get into the ethics of fashion … there are many facets of fashion that you can talk about.  At least it’s a topic worthy of aesthetic study, contemplation and discussion over a cup of tea.

EK: Do you have any fashion advice for the UD community?
TC:  I can’t be presumptuous and give fashion advice to everyone because I only know what works for me. Style is individualistic. However , I would say that accessories will immediately elevate your outfit — even just a scarf, or a statement pair of earrings, or a belt … And while you are at it, throw in some confidence and an attitude as well. If you would like to experiment with different styles, share your clothes. Share your closet with your friends or your roommates and that’s one way to find out what you feel pretty in, what you feel most comfortable in. And sharing is a good thing. I have four sisters and we share clothes. I benefit from their clothes. People would say to me “You never wear the same thing twice” and my answer is “I have four sisters!” And luckily we wear the same sized clothes, even in shoes, so whenever we get together, we swap clothes. It’s great. Everybody’s happy.

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