New College Fashion Archive: inspirations, aestheticism and expression at NCF
Third-year Rocío Ramirez Castro fully decked out in an outfit complete with stylized makeup, Steampunk-esque goggles, statement jewelry and a wig.

New College Fashion Archive: inspirations, aestheticism and expression at NCF

“Why do New College students dress like… that?”

New College students are surely no stranger to this question. As a campus that seems to allure those who identify with the offbeat, fringe and unconventional, New College has a long and rich history of eccentric fashion. 

For our first edition of the New College Fashion Archive, we wanted to highlight the strong and diverse senses of aestheticism that students bring to campus. This week, students from across years submitted photographs of them in the outfits that they felt best encompassed their sense of style and flair. 

From barefoot-lifestyle devotees, to drag queens and kings, to those who look like they could just as easily be a student at Ringling, New College is home to a plethora of forms of expression through fashion. The New College Fashion Archive is here to catalog it all!

Ellie Elliot, first-year

“I would say a lot of my style inspiration comes from the subculture kindercore, which is taking dainty’s vintage things and giving them a grunge twist,” Elliot said. “A few staples in my wardrobe include silk dresses and skirts, platforms and ripped tights. I also take a lot of inspiration from my hair. If my hair is lighter I like to dress more feminine with lots of dainty accessories but when my hair is darker I like dressing more grunge and edgy.”

Shawna Itakura, first-year

“My sense of style had changed over time, but after trial, error and criticism I’ve realized that I really like to wear black,” Itakura explained. “Growing up, I’ve had people tell me that wearing all black makes me look depressed or that it was bad luck. I’m very happy to be able to ignore people with opinions as such and wear what I truly want.”

“I think the fit I chose today reflects me more than I thought,” Itakura continued. “For example, the choker made by Rocío [a fellow New College student] shows how I like to support small artists and how I like one-of-a-kind stuff. Similarly, the earrings are handmade from spiders I stole from a pumpkin patch. Oh, and my shoes. The shoes mean a lot to me. The shoes represent my commitment and newly-found confidence with dressing a certain way.”

Avery Myers, third-year

“For this outfit, I am wearing a multicolor neon shirt with a turtle on both sides and a silky, neon floral jacket, both from Sunshine Thrift,” Myers said. “The hot pink fishnet shorts are from and the blue fishnet tights are from sex shop called XTC. The pink and white air forces are from depop and I’ve had the socks and puka shell necklace as long as I can remember. The license plate necklace is the string from my orientation leader nametag, and the license plate itself was a gift from my friend Rocío.”

“I would call my style maximalist, and I select my clothes by determining how I can get the absolute most visual stimulation onto my body,” Myers continued. “I love taking up space, I love being looked at and most of all I love bright colors and clashing patterns. I try to dress in a way I feel excited about, and I don’t care if anyone else loves it or hates it, as long as they feel some type of way about it. I try not to repeat my outfits, but I did repeat this one with a different makeup look.”

Rocío Del Mar, third-year

 “I wouldn’t say I could define my style under one fell swoop but I’d definitely say it’s fun!” Del Mar said. “I like to be interesting to look at, for myself and for others! I think that I fluctuate between different styles for sure. Some days my outfits are more quirky, art teacher or cool aunt type outfits with my big glasses and flowy eccentric fabrics. And other days I wear darker clothes, bigger boots and tread a line somewhere in the realm of 90s grunge, goth and kinderwhore aesthetics. My self expression has always been important to me and that obviously translates to how I present myself physically.”

“Since middle school and high school I’ve played around with the way I’ve looked, and I think I’ve done so a lot more drastically since the first COVID-19 quarantine period,” Del Mar continued. “I’ve always expressed myself through my clothes, but I definitely started going a little crazier when I had less eyes on me during quarantine and continued that self expression as I’ve grown into myself and subsequently, my style.”

Bambi Lee, first-year

“As far as my aesthetic goes, I take full honor in the fact that a lot of my outfits are crafted or DIY and embrace it wholeheartedly,” Lee said. “While I do draw some concepts from high fashion. I ultimately do what makes me feel good and comfortable in my skin.”

“A lot of my fashion is oriented on the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Lee elaborated. “I firmly hold the belief that you don’t need money or fame to look good. Nor do you need to contribute to the unhealthy fast fashion industry. All you need is confidence, some pep in your step and some Dollar Tree crafting supplies. You also don’t have to conform to the heteronormative idea of fashion. It’s about what feels comfortable on you since you’re ultimately going to be the one wearing it.”

Natalie “Nat” Kornblum, third-year

“I would say my style is like, bimbo hippy with a little bit of butch flare from time to time!” Kornblum said.

Rae Thompson, second-year

“I love all aesthetics but, I especially love my top hats because I love the old gothic feeling behind them and gothic attire in general,” Thompson said. “I just wear whatever I want to because I like the feeling of embodying what it means to be an individual separated from what everyone else thinks of me. What I wear is my choice and mine alone and I think that type of freedom can be liberating.”

Jude Zelznak, third-year

“My fashion choice centers around comfort, practicality and sometimes flashy maximalism,” Zelznak said. “I love bright colors sometimes and neutrals other times, and I enjoy combining patterns and textures to make a visually interesting fit. I adore baggy clothes and haven’t worn pants that fit me since middle school, but I also love the occasional tight fitting, Y2K inspired shirt. I’m a big believer in accessories and will always have fun rings, necklaces and earrings on.”

“I feel most like myself when my outfit is funky and loud, or at least a little out there,” Zelznka explained. “I thrift a majority of my stuff and enjoy bleach washing, cutting, and altering pieces when I think I can make them fit my style.”

K. C. Casey, third-year

“My fashion sense is centered around flashy jackets and patterns that occasionally border on tacky,” Casey said. “I usually wear buttoned shirts with some form of dress pants and I also enjoy the ‘big pants small shirt’ fit with a belt to accentuate my waist. I’ve recently started to experiment more with makeup, skirts, dresses, and jewelry recently to expand my sense of style.”

To close this first edition of the New College Fashion Archive, Del Mar offers some words of wisdom: “Life can be shitty, so you might as well play dress up when you can.”

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you’re wearing, but how you carry yourself,” Del Mar said. “If you walk with confidence and your head held high, your fit is gonna be sexy, because you are.”

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