New College Fashion Archive vol. 2: clothing and identity on campus
First year Meera Razdan dressed in thrifted and small business goods.

New College Fashion Archive vol. 2: clothing and identity on campus

New College has fostered an environment of acceptance and freedom of expression for decades now, which, in turn, created a domain of various identities many times expressed outwardly through clothing. It’s hard to walk through campus without noticing all the dyed heads, Demonia platform shoes and Goodwill finds. 

The second edition of the New College Fashion Archive serves to show off the various identities expressed on campus through many mediums of fashion—makeup, clothing and hair. Each student adds their individual flair to the larger, creative community we see in New College.

Meera Razdan, first-year

“Fashion to me is freedom of expression, culture and learning,” Razdan explained. “I love that there are millions of different aesthetics and that people find comfort in choosing them. But, I think it’s even more interesting to embody more than one. Secondly, culture and learning has always been a part of my fashion journey. I have been trying more and more to learn about my desi culture but it is a dense area of knowledge. But, learning through fashion and historic or current trends has made it easier.”

“Clothes are just a different language and something that I can understand,” Razdan continued. “So, in a way it helps translate a lot of traditions that otherwise would be lost on me.”

Catalyst staff writer, Christine “Red” Wehner, second-year

“This [Picture 1, far left] is more vintage fashion,” Wehner said. “This dress is from a store in New Orleans called Dollz and Dames. I guess this would fall under kidcore as well, seeing as I look like I’m on my way to my first day of kindergarten.”

“This [Picture 2, center] is my rainbow take on rave fashion,” Wehner added. “I included a rainbow turtleneck, blue Jean shorts, rainbow fishnet tights that changed colors in the black light, a butterfly crown, a chest harness and some lights and jewelry to decorate the rest. Rave culture is crazy on fashion terms—you put on anything you want, just remember to bring your Kandi!”

This [Picture 3, far right] is my take on NuGoth,” Wehner pointed out. “NuGoth is a modern subculture of gothic fashion. I changed the way I do my eyebrows and contour heavy on the rest of my face.”

Shawna Itakura, first-year

“I don’t believe that clothes have a certain category sometimes, like I don’t believe that there are pajama shorts, any shorts can be pajama shorts if you make them pajama shorts,” Itakura explains. “In the same way, I don’t think clothing—they’re fucking pieces of fabric—I don’t think clothing has gender.”

“Today is really inspired by my shorts. I was like, I have purple shorts, what will go with those shorts? My worm-on-a-string earrings. What shirt do I wear? Ah, my new shirt from Hot Topic! It’s a very cool fairy, I love it. And then I wore tights underneath it so it would make the shorts pop more and I braided my hair on purpose so it would show my earrings more.”

“I think it started as a child, my mom and grandma would love dressing me up,” Itakura details. “And I was like, ‘Sure dress me up!’ And then from being like a dress up doll I slowly learned to become my own thing and do my own thing.”

Caroline Young, first-year

“Since I’m broke and my body has changed a lot in the past few years, I don’t have very many clothes that I really love, and I’ve been trying to build my wardrobe intentionally by only buying things that I genuinely love,” Young remarked. “Finding clothes that I like and that make me feel good is really important to me because fashion is a way for me to be more in tune with myself, both my body (how do I feel physically, how do these clothes feel on me, etc.) and my mind (do I feel confident in these things, do they reflect who I’m trying to be or who I feel I am, etc.).”

“Also, once I can afford it, I would love to be able to get more sustainable slow fashion items (linen, cotton blends, etc.), because I feel that fashion can be as much of a statement of your values as it is an aesthetic statement,” Young added.

This edition of New College Fashion Archive is meant to inspire self-proclaimed fashionistas, self-proclaimed unfashionable people and all that float somewhere in between. Fashion can be a daunting world to navigate, but no one said it better than Itakura: “They’re fucking pieces of fabric.”

The objective is to enjoy the process and the freedom of expression on campus. Itakura goes on to say, “I think New College has a good blend. I see someone and I go, ‘Oh shit I want to do that, that’s cool.’ New College is also very artsy fartsy. Art has a close place in everyone’s heart.”

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