Greetings fellow fashaholics! My name is Hillary Puckett, and I am a senior studying communication studies and journalism at Christopher Newport University. This spring marks my fourth and last semester as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista, and while I will be sad to see my internship end after I graduate in May, I am excited as always to interview CNU’s most stylish for the weekly FASHIONISTA/O SPOTLIGHT category.
Over the past year of my internship I have truly appreciated all of the positive feedback and constructive suggestions from my peers and readers. However I have also been bothered by the misconceptions some of my friends have about the fashion industry I so desperately want to be a part of, so I want to use my bio to clear those up. Going back to my old fashion marketing notes from my senior year of high school, fashion is not just something dictated by designers and retailers or forced upon helpless customers. Fashion is also not limited to size-zero women with fat bank accounts. Rather, fashion deals with our values and attitudes, our needs and wants, our desires to stand out in the crowd or conform to the crowd, and my personal favorite, self-expression and personality.
Some people choose to believe that fashion is frivolous and unnecessary and that the industry itself is in need of, as one friend said, a “total renovation.” I refuse to believe that sentiment. Fashion not only protects us from the elements; it also satisfies our psychological and social needs to express our identities. In many ways, fashion can communicate where words fail. It’s difficult to separate certain decades from the clothes of the time, such as the flapper dresses of the 1920s or the mod miniskirts of the 1960s.
But the fact of the matter is that fashion is the most visible expression of who we are as individuals and who we want to be. I’ve seen this in the Fashionistas and Fashionistos of Christopher Newport University who constantly inspire me. I’ve seen the true definition of fashion in the glitter, pink hair, colorful sweaters and red dresses I saw all over Teen Vogue Fashion U. I’ve seen it in my sister’s signature red coat, my roommate’s shoe addiction, and even my dad’s insistence on wearing sleeveless shirts and fanny packs. Ultimately, clothes don’t have to be conventionally stylish to be fashion. Fashion is our commitment to stay true to ourselves without fear of scrutiny or any shadow of doubt. The late Gore Vidal said it best: “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.”
As I head into my final semester as an undergrad and as a Style Guru, I hope you can take these words to heart by staying true to yourself and your style. You won’t have the fashion freedom that comes with college forever, so now is the time to experiment, take sartorial risks and just have fun. Get ready fashaholics, the fiercest fashion year is about to begin.