Mall à la mode

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Elizabeth Kerin

Staff Writer

 

 

 

 

Mall a (Linda Smith) WEB

EK: You take a special interest in the arts. How does your passion for the arts come into play for your fashion sense?

LS: I intern at the Crow Collection, and we just had an exhibit on contemporary Japanese fashion. One of the featured designers was Issey Miyake, who said, “A great thing happening now in art is that artists are using the figure, the body, clothing, life.” Fashion is taking art and living it out daily. I see fashion as artistic expression tailored to the individual, pun slightly intended, and that shapes my approach to clothing. We get the chance to be a changing work of art everyday, and I think that’s something to take advantage of.

EK: Do you have any style icons?

LS: I don’t necessarily follow celebrities style-wise; sometimes I’ll copy looks with affordable pieces. I follow Buzzfeed Style closely, and especially check out plus-size bloggers’ posts through the site. I admire our very own music director Ms. Kristin Van Cleve’s sense of style as well. It is the perfect blend of professional and fun. Also, I have three fellow students who live fashion mantras that I try to incorporate into my style: seniors Catie McLain and Taylor Garcia, and junior Kristina Matias. Kristina teaches me that you can look beautiful and professional without wearing every color in the spectrum. Catie teaches me that a vintage dress and a killer shoe game, as well as the occasional awesome hat, is [sic] a wonderful style choice any time. Taylor teaches me to always aspire for a total look, complete with wonderful perfume, a killer smile and confidence. Taylor is also my roommate, so we borrow each other’s clothing all the time!

EK: How would you describe the aesthetic of your wardrobe of freshman year? How would you describe your current look?

LS: Freshman year was definitely the year I started coming into my fashion. Upon moving to Dallas from small-town East Texas, I was able to move from a wardrobe of average jeans, a small collection of moderately-cute tops and mediocre flats, to clothing more tailored to my interests and need for artistic expression. The people of Deep Ellum, the Arts District, and the University of Dallas have all influenced me in different ways toward my current style. Now, my look gravitates between ‘50s and ‘60s retro with a modern twist, or a “festival-esque” vibe of the ‘70s. Anyone who knows me well knows I have a large collection of tights, scarves, shoes and kimonos to accommodate my different looks. I love experimenting with different forms of clothing, and constantly challenge myself with the different shapes that clothing can bring. The ‘20s flapper dress, the ‘50s A-line skirt, the tunic dresses of the ‘70s, and the crop tops of the ‘90s: all look completely different, and have their own appeal.

EK: That being said, how would you continue to mold your look, especially as you’re entering the working world?

LS: My internship has definitely required me to buy more professional clothing already, which means a lot of structure and conformity where I would have hesitated before. However, I have since embraced those constructs because I can bring elements of my unique style into my work clothing through retro heels, statement jewelry and professional yet fun eye makeup.

EK: Do you have a fashion “mantra,” so to speak? Do you have any go-to stores that make formulating your wardrobe easier?

LS: I am a plus-size girl, and coming from a place where I had no confidence years ago, I now wear what I want, when I want. Everyone has the freedom to wear clothes that make them feel confident, and we should not only remember that more often but also incorporate that into our wardrobes. If you feel like the best you possible when wearing something, own it, in every sense of the word! As of late, I’ve been checking out Modcloth a lot. They have wonderful body image campaigns, including a recent one where their stunning employees modeled their swimsuit collection. Some of their clothing can be a splurge for students, but it’s well worth saving up for. Online shopping is my jam, and my favorite online stores are Nifty Thrifty, Vinted, Tobi, Look Twice and Nasty Gal. I love going to Target and Forever 21 for accessories including tights, leggings, socks and headbands. I also am a sucker for thrifting; Lula B’s, Elluments and The Rag Parlor in Deep Ellum have really added to my wardrobe and jewelry collection over the past year. And as I learned from my Rome semester, you never can go wrong with a trip to H&M.

EK: Do you have any fashion advice for the readers?

LS: Another quote from Miyake says, “I wanted the clothes to move when people moved. The clothes are also for people to dance or laugh.” I think we need to remember that we live in our clothes, and they are for truly living life. Oh, and be bold. Not many people are remembered for skating through life without making a statement.

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