My name is Victoria Messina, and I’m a junior studying journalism at the University of Florida—can I get a “Go Gators?” I’m beyond thrilled to be back for another semester of photographing and writing about strangers all in the name of fashion. My time with CollegeFashionista began last summer when I was a Style Guru while studying abroad in Valencia, Spain. I fell in love with Spanish fashion while living there. The freely flowing skirts and chic strappy sandals (oh and the delicious food and good looking men, too) were enough to make me want to move back there in the future. But now, after a lovely fall semester of documenting the eccentric fashions of Gainesville, I’m ready to dive into the spring semester with my eyes peeled for more stylish Fashionista/os.
I’ll be the first to admit that Gainesville—a small college town basically comprised of UF and… well, that’s about it—isn’t packed with thousands of stylish model-like Fashionista/os like New York and Los Angeles are. Although there are more jorts-sporting males and oversized T-shirt-wearing females jammed into this 2,000-acre campus than there are glamorous fur coats or sleek leather skirts, there’s more to Gainesville than meets the eye.
This college town faces the ultimate challenge of making orange and blue somehow look fashionable when worn in the same outfit. Let’s just say orange and blue go together like small children and the dentist, meaning that they really just don’t. But somehow, guys and gals alike effortlessly pull off the combination in fresh, inspiring ways.
In addition to a pair of orange and blue striped overalls, a peek inside my closet will uncover a wide range of quirky items. A few of my go-to staples include patterned socks, crop tops, statement necklaces, fringe and all things army green. I also incorporate a lot of menswear-inspired pieces into my wardrobe, such as button-downs and structured jackets, and I admittedly shop in the men’s section from time to time. Actually, the flannel shirt I’m wearing in the photos above is from the men’s section of Tilly’s. When the sales associate asked me if I was shopping for my boyfriend while perusing the flannels, I had to explain that I just have an appreciation for men’s clothes and like to wear them myself.
This internship has given me the opportunity to meet some of the coolest people around campus. Plus, most of my guy friends now only refer to me as “Fashionista” and like to ask me for fashion advice. But hey, I’m not complaining. Here’s to another rad semester!