FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHT: Elisa Li

Fashionista Spotlight

I left Biochemistry lecture a little later than usual and had five minutes to make it to my film class across campus. I was literally jogging when I ran into this Fashionista. Her seamless sequins-for-day look stopped me dead in my tracks though. I shouldn’t be surprised though because since I first saw her last year when she entered the University of Chicago, she never fails to look fierce, flawless and confident.

Name: Elisa Li
Grade: 2nd year
Major: Economics with a potential Visual Arts minor

CollegeFashionista: I adore your outfit. Can you tell me about it?

Elisa Li: I'm wearing a grey Uniqlo wool men's V-neck, Zara gold sequin skirt, wool tights and chocolate Frye boots. My accessories are a necklace I bought in a flea market in Shanghai and my Movado watch. I really love minimalism…I think when your clothes are simple (but still special with creative and intricate small details) it creates a better canvas for bolder jewelry. This is a part of the mindset that went into this basic sweater/bold necklace combo. I like menswear sweaters because they have higher necklines, better for necklaces and they keep you warmer. My Movado watch has a blue face, which I love because it’s very unique.

CF: It seems like you have a pretty defined grasp on what you appreciate in style. How would you describe your personal style? Do you have any fashion muses or style icons?

EL: I've always liked very classic and feminine looks like Chanel's little black jacket and little black dress. I have way too much lace and bouclé in my closet. I'm also obsessed with blazers and shift dresses. Also, ever since I dyed my hair red and cut it short at the end of summer, I've been obsessed with wearing black. Zara (my favorite fast fashion brand) has been endlessly toting sequins, leather and studs and so I'm trying to balance the feminine classy look with my new edgy inclinations. My style icons are Cara Delevingne, Chiara Ferragani from the Blonde Salad and Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Vintage.

CF: What does fashion mean to you? Has it helped you define or discover yourself in any way?

EL: Fashion is self-expression. I used to think that some trends were weird (and I still do) but I've found that as people change, their tastes change. Time also changes people's styles. So in a way fashion teaches me how to accept people the way they are for who they are—it’s just a persona that people display more visually than other aspects of their personality.

CF: I love that! As your style is changing, what are you most excited to wear this fall? And I guess we all have some favorites that just don’t change; what three items in your closet that you can’t survive without?

EL: I'm most excited to wear my leather circle skirt and jacket this fall. My favorite pieces in my closet recently are this black shift dress with a ribbon lattice and bows I got at the flea market and my dark wash 7 For All Mankind jeans. As for my can’t live without pieces, I would choose my watch, my white silk blouse and my black leather flats.

How To: This Fashionista knows what she likes and definitely knows how to bring that into her outfit choices. I've always liked the casual sequins look but rarely see college students pulling it off. I'll admit, it seems a bit daunting to be sparkly in a sea of jeans and T-shirts. But don't fret! The look is totally doable for a weekday and this Fashionista looked equal parts glam yet understatedly cool. To pull the look off, pair your sequins with a basic sweater and cozy wool tights for fall. Balance the glitz on the bottom with a bold statement necklace on top. Throw on some classic leather boots to streamline everything and you're set. Go forth fellow Fashionistas and get ready to stop traffic (aka envious peers who will want to be just as confident and fierce as you)!

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