This semester symbolizes a lot of lasts for me as a senior at Boston University, but also the start of something new with graduation a few short months away. This semester, apart from being a CollegeFashionista Style Guru, I will be leading my dance team at BU at competitions all over the East Coast. I will also be finishing off my last semester at BU, studying International Relations and English Literature.
I started this New Year off with my family in my native country of India. Coming to India with knowledge from my major and working with CollegeFashionista has made me scrutinize everything here, particularly the beauty and fashion industry. Models are increasingly subjected to the “thincentric” body image prevalent in the west and beauty standards are focused on having non-ethnic features. However, with the bad there is also an increasing amount of good. I have been exposed to a wide array of incredible Indian designers I had little knowledge about previously. These designers include Manisha Malhotra, who had a collection featuring sumptuous, full, ethnic A-line skirts; Surily Goel, who had Aztec-inspired prints and fresh, modern silhouettes; and Payal Pratap, who had a nomadic-inspired collection fused with punky mohawks for styling. Apart from this I discovered a hat designer called Little Shilpa, who designs eccentric, eco-friendly hats for Lady Gaga. What really struck me about all these designers is that they are all strong women. In India, the fashion industry, unlike the film industry, is dominated by women and this shows in the designs they produce. This is a fact that I feel is not necessarily played off as a positive here, but a negative.
Coming away from this eastern fashion experience, I think it is important to realize as women the kind of power we wield in the domain of fashion. CollegeFashionista has given me the chance to explore and enhance a fashion journalism voice I never knew I had. I thoroughly enjoyed researching the various styles, designers and products for the LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS section last semester. This semester my colleague Maya Jiménez and I are covering a new section on the CollegeFashionista website called WHAT TO WEAR. I want to continue to build on the informed and insightful posts I have been attempting to produce for CollegeFashionista with this new section this semester.
Every day at BU, as I see men and women who make statements about their confidence, style and personality through their clothes, I see that fashion is not for the faint of heart. The recognition of fashion as an art form should not be limited to the confines of women’s magazines, insider fashion blogs and the closeted conversations of editors. It needs to be expressed increasingly through mediums like CollegeFashionista, where fashion is presented from all perspectives without gender bias. This year I hope to see fashion continue to break away from stereotypes and present itself as a true art form. Look for my pieces as a Style Guru to be hung in the gallery that is CollegeFashionista this semester!