Fashionista Spotlight

A college girl needs to have certain things in her closet — things that can be reinvented day after day, for any occasion, event or situation. The idea of one piece ten ways is infinitely appealing when working on a budget. My black maxi dress is one of those wardrobe staples I love to play with for endless style scenarios. When I saw this Fashionista rocking her black maxi with a gorgeous statement necklace, I was struck by yet another way to style this wonder garment.

The black maxi can be worn a thousand ways, is always flattering and (lucky for me) keeps you cool for summer while hiding not-yet-tan-enough legs. Better yet, it can be worn to a thousand places. I spotted this Fashionista in class, snapped her picture on the green and later ran into her at a UDress Spring Edition magazine launch party. All day she wore this same outfit and looked fabulous. The black maxi owns the classroom, the campus and the evening.

Name: Mara Lindel

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What did you enjoy most about your study abroad experience and internship in Hong Kong?

Mara Lindel: The most enjoyable aspect about my study abroad experience was being able to partake in the local culture. I was able to make friends with locals, who then introduced me to new foods and took me shopping all over the island.  It was really cool to see how well-known international brands were able to adopt to the Hong Kong/Chinese consumer preferences.  As part of my editorial internship at Inside Fashion magazine, I interviewed shopkeepers and sales associates at various marketplaces and malls throughout Hong Kong. This was done in order to get a better understanding of local consumer preferences when shopping, specifically in the category of lingerie. The main difference that I found was that Asian consumers prefer garments that are more “cutesy” versus sexy.

CF: What is your fashion dream job?

ML: I actually just landed my fashion dream job!  I am extremely fortunate. Starting in June I will be the new assistant buyer for Ross Stores! I will be working for the dresses department in their corporate offices in New York City. My dream job is to be a fashion buyer, and I am so lucky that I now have my foot in the door to move in that direction.

CF: Where do you get your style inspiration from?

ML: I love people watching a lot, which maybe is a little creepy. On a nice day I like to sit outside and see what people are wearing, especially in NYC. I also love looking at fashion blogs. My favorite blog is probably Sea of Shoes. Jane Aldridge has such a unique sense of style, I love looking at all of her vintage clothes and amazing shoes!

CF: What’s one item in your wardrobe you’d never go without?

ML: One item in my wardrobe that I just couldn't give up are my pearl earrings, I wear them almost everyday. I think that they give a classy, polished look to any outfit. They are really special to me because they were a present from my grandmother — I would definitely be extremely upset if I had to give them up!

How To: This Fashionista’s Norma Kamali maxi dress is beautifully complemented by her statement necklace — a treasure found at a Cayetano Legacy Collection trunk show at Moxie Boutique on Main Street (oh, the perks of working in a boutique!). Still, since talking such a big game about the black maxi’s versatility, here are some style options to consider: a skinny seafoam belt, black sandals and a color blocked foldover clutch; a chunky knit sweater for fall; a ballerina bun and some great wedges for sky height; stacked bangles and textured cuffs. Do I really need to continue? I know what I’m wearing tomorrow.


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