STYLE ADVICE: Individualistic Innovation

Through the use of a stunning formal ensemble at a student-organized fashion gala on campus, this Fashionista challenges the notion that a creative “do-it-yourself” or D.I.Y.-inspired look couldn’t rival an expensive ready-to-wear formal gown. This look demonstrates her ability to stand out and earn recognition from the notable alumnae present at the annual networking event.

Boldly, subtle, creative initiatives define this look, most visibly striking first through the bodice of the gown. In this region, a white button-down blouse is cleverly wrapped around its wearer’s upper body, seamlessly collaborating with the floor-length skirt below to create the impression of a one-piece full-length gown. By ensuring the shades of white between the blouse and the skirt are the same, this Fashionista reflects her professional attention to design details. Finally, the curvature of the blouse supports and accentuates her natural figure to flatter and define her shape in a way that reflects her personal fashion skill and passion for design.

The D.I.Y. outlets of this design are not only present in her gown, however, but are still strikingly visible in the details. Small, silver studs and other earrings contrast the dreaminess of white lace with a simple, industrial, metallic appearance. Perhaps offering the most distinction among these is the dangling safety pins, which have historically served as an icon in fashion for solidarity among rebelling subcultures in opposition with major forms of government or accepted societal norms. Through the utilization of this signature piece, this Fashionista demonstrates a clear understanding of both deliberate fashion decisions and the aesthetic contradiction that makes an ensemble like this one as striking and compelling as it is.

The D.I.Y. elements of this look are paired with a voluminous two-textured skirt and elegant tan ankle-strap heels that sustain the ensemble’s overall warm tone. This Fashionista ultimately utilizes a combination of D.I.Y. and ready-to-wear pieces to create a finished ensemble that reflects the power of balance and opposition in the creation of a look that kills its competition. It reflects her individualized sense of style, flatters her figure, and demonstrates her attention to detail and knowledge of fashion.

Whether networking at a professional event like this one or heading out to a fun, formal event on campus with friends, this Fashionista recognizes her full potential—and makes sure you see it, too.