January 19th, 2017 at 2:10am

Growing up, I attended private schools (where uniforms were required) up until high school. A strict color scheme of white polos and certain-length skirts allowed little room for creativity. We would roll our skirts up and don every color scarf, bracelet, and headband we could get our hands on. I remember looking at Teen Vogue throughout those years, longing for a time when my appearance could reflect the Girl I Wanted To Be, instead of the cardboard cut-out that I had to be.

Thrown into the halls of a public high school, I was suddenly overwhelmed with this newfound expressionism that I held. I could wear what I wanted. Within reason, of course (sorry high waisted underwear shorts, Leandra Medine and I share the same affinity for them). Within the first few days I realized that a uniform had, in fact, followed me. There were no American Apparel high waisted linen pants or wide-sleeved tops. Instead it was, at very best, a watered-down sea of unaware norm core with skinny jeans. Not confident of my newfound freedom just yet, I settled into a strange area of half-conformity. My senior year of high school, I started getting into street style blogs like The Sartorialist and The Blonde Salad.

My freshman year of college is when I finally had enough of a socially-conscious mindset and trained myself into sartorial confidence. The emergence of my plethora of mom jeans and flouncy shirt dresses had found the light of day.

As Blair Waldorf once said, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design, and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.” Through my personal experience I’ve found this to be such a true statement. Fashion is what we follow; style is our own. I stay deeply rooted in my love for fashion and self-expression, because for awhile, I wasn’t allowed it.

Some of my other passions include both film and digital photography, music (especially Radiohead and Glass Animals), modern art and all architecture, collecting vinyl, thrifting in weird places, playing piano, painting anything, and new wave films.

I’m vegetarian and have dabbled recently in veganism. My major is global studies with minors in both writing and computer science. Someday I hope to work in editorial for a publication. Currently, I am studying at John Cabot University in Rome until the end of the semester. The all-black outfit featured is essential for a simple Saturday. My essentials include the perfect fitting pair of black jeans, fun glasses so I can actually see when I take a break from my contacts, and a toasty coat to battle the chilly Rome air.