STYLE GURU BIO: Amanda Riley

Bienvenida, Fashionistas/Fashionistos! My name is Amanda Riley and I’m a junior at Skidmore College, where I’m majoring in Business and Spanish with a minor in Art History. This semester, I will be taking a break from the rigor of an American lifestyle to explore the wonderful city of Madrid, Spain. Although I will spend the majority of my time abroad in Madrid, I hope to visit all of Europe’s various fashion capitols.

I’ll start by saying I’m an absolute art fanatic. My love of fashion stems from its ability to synthesize three of my favorite things: art, history and culture. I’m a visual learner who loves to roam museums, window shop an unhealthy amount and analyze styles around me (some may say this has induced a staring problem). In addition to my love of art, I also love to travel, photograph my travels, spend time with my family, read psychological thrillers and classic novels; watch Mad Men and listen to corny pop (Taylor Swift, One Direction, etc.).

Prior to my time at Skidmore, I attended an all-girls boarding school. Receiving a single-sex education greatly influenced my beliefs about women’s rights and societal image, especially regarding my personal style. In an almost entirely female environment, I felt that I could express and develop my style devoid of the pressures I had previously felt at co-ed school. More often than not, the media scrutinizes women for what they wear, rather than embracing their creativity or originality. I believe that with more powerful feminist voices in mass communications, we can rid of the common conception that fashion and the modeling industry negatively impact women. Fashion should be a source of joy and empowerment, and I applaud my fellow fashion writers and Style Gurus in their efforts to affect change!

That being said, my personal style fuses classical and preppy elements with one or two trendier pieces, such as detailed cuts or textures. Although you’ll usually catch me in Jack Rogers and Nike running shorts when I’m on the run, I always try to dress well for class. Here I’ve paired a pinstriped top with a mandarin collar from MANGO with a scalloped mini skirt from Topshop. My Steve Madden flats follow in suite with the scalloped trend, and I’ve accessorized with a kate spade bangle, and cream cross-body bag.

Although I may be another college girl entering her semester abroad, I’ll try to keep you intrigued with my perspective on European fashion. Check out my posts this every Tuesday on the latest trends I encounter on each of my adventures in new cities!