STYLE GURU BIO: Austen Tosone

Style Guru Bio

My fourth grade self would be dying of laughter if you told her that I was interning as a Style Guru for a fashion website. As I think back to those grade school days, I remember the sartorial element of my life being summed up in three items: a sweatshirt, skinny jeans and sneakers. That was the uniform for as long as I could remember, complete with unbrushed, center-parted hair and goofy glasses. The thought of wearing any kind of clothing that prevented me from playing football or riding around on my skateboard was simply impossible. Somewhere along the line a switch flipped.

The last two years of high school began to solidify my theory that I wanted to be involved with fashion. I was surprised that it was a contender against my first passion, theater. After spending my first year of college at a small liberal arts school studying theater, I realized that I could no longer pretend that fashion was a secondary hobby. I made the decision to transfer to Barnard College and major in Art History, and I couldn’t be happier to be in the city and to be doing what I love.

The summer after my senior year of high school, I launched my personal style blog, Keep Calm and Chiffon, as a way to track the evolution of my style and share my experiences with others. The connectedness of the blogging community always amazes me, because at any moment we can see what people in Moscow or Florence are wearing on the street. The diversity creates a richness that is accessible to everyone. Some other notable fashion-related experiences include interning for designer Hunter Bell last summer, attending Teen Vogue’s Fashion University for the third year, working at Free People and directing a scene of Columbia’s Lunar Gala Fashion Show (coming to campus in February). My personal style now rests in a balance of edgy and bohemian (like here, where I’ve mixed some combat style boots with a more tribal and geometric necklace), but it can change at any point.

I am a firm believer that the journey is always more important than the destination, and that all of the little in-between moments are the ones that are going to make the difference. So take each day as an opportunity to dress however you’re feeling, no matter how crazy, eccentric or strange it might appear to anyone else. This attitude is definitely taken to heart on Columbia’s campus, and I can’t wait to share some of these awesome individuals with you all. Get ready for a semester of style— it’s just a click away.


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