Campus chic

Carnival is arguably the most exciting time on campus — students, faculty, and residents throughout Pittsburgh gather together to celebrate spring festivities and student-hosted events. Besides visiting booths and watching Buggy races, it is also a great time for students to showcase their new spring clothing while keeping it practical, comfortable, and, most importantly, fun.

Tanya Bhavnani, a senior biology major, pays homage to her hometown in California, describing her style as “California chic.” Her floor-sweeping dress is one of this spring’s most coveted trends, as it effortlessly transitions from day to night — it’s the perfect kick-off to the first day of Carnival. Because it is strapless, the dress shows off her shoulders and neck, giving her an ultra-feminine glow. The empire-waist tie and the ruffled tier at the bottom of her dress also give her an extra boost. To keep the look from being too boring, Bhavnani makes a bold statement with chunky, colorful bracelets and a multi-layered pearl necklace.

Geometric swatches of color were also big on spring runways this year, and Sunny Qin, a sophomore bioengineering major at the University of Pittsburgh, wears the pattern on the perfect shift dress. To offset the rectangular blocks of color, her Oasis dress features a scooped neckline and puffed sleeves. Furthermore, her textured tights and white loafers give her extra dimension and complement the colors on her dress just right.

“It” bags are constantly redefined, reinvented, and recycled; Bhavnani carries a Marc Jacobs Collection “Stam” bag, which first debuted in 2005. However, every season, the bags are slightly altered, and new colors are added. The quilted leather and gold-painted chain exude an ultra-luxe feel, and the peachy color enhances Bhavnani’s skin tone and gray dress. Prada has long been known for its over-the-top yet classic handbags, and this season was no exception. Qin’s Prada clutch was one of many that the designer sent down the catwalk, with an assortment of colors and sizes. Qin’s clutch is the “it” bag for understated glamour. It’s also the perfect size for essentials — and to carry her into a fun night out.

Also at Prada this spring, the designer debuted a rich collection of full skirts that emphasized structure and the smallest part of the waist. The look was ultra-modern and extremely flattering — but for those of us who can’t get our hands on Prada, the structured skirts are available at virtually every price point. “For most of my clothes, I shop at Heritage by Forever 21,” said design first-year Nancy Lao. The Heritage line, Forever 21’s higher-end collection, is still extremely affordable and full of fashionable finds. Lao shows off her reinterpretation of the redefined spring skirt, a simple, white piece with pleat details to add volume and a slightly preppy appeal. Lao is a big fan of bows, and her skirt and blouse also have a bow detail that makes her look adorable and chic.

As Carnival kicks off spring in Pittsburgh, it is also the start of a fresh season that inspires everyone to have fun with his or her style. The key is to wear flattering pieces that are appropriate for enjoying the outdoors and activities, with comfortable, loose outfits. Bhavnani’s, Qin’s, and Lao’s looks have all been inspired by drastically different places, eras, and people, yet they all look equally stylish in their own ways.