Campus chic

The scorching weather in New York City is finally beginning to die down, but rest assured that one of the most prominent fashion capitals of the world remains true to its reputation, regardless of seasons. A truly inspirational city that never stops exceeding expectations, its natives seem to take to the same mantra, dressing appropriately without compromising great looks, and incorporating their own senses of style and liveliness.

Fall and winter runway shows this year emphasized “costume dressing,” including exaggerated necklaces, heavy-lidded smoky eyes, and orange-infused lips. Even the apparel reflected the sensual, strong moods that designers were trying to convey. Designers Derek Lam and Oscar de la Renta paid great attention to pushing details, like using luxe fur trims and ravishing beads and sequins on glamorous gowns and brocade winter coats. Viktor & Rolf made an obvious statement by embossing the 3-D word “NO!” onto jackets, and at Christian Dior’s show, models’ makeup was inspired simultaneously by ’60s mod and modern drag.

As fall is the most anticipated season for fashion, this year’s autumnal hues and trends are now showing up in wardrobes everywhere, but the change is especially embraced in New York. Allison Brusati, wearing a Grecian style mini-frock with strappy minimalist sandals, was dressed perfectly for the breezy weather in New York. “I love Mischa Barton’s style, and my go-to stores are Anthropologie and Club Monaco,” Brusati, a senior at Johns Hopkins, said. Her easy, chic look is evidence of her having spent her life around New York City.

One of fall’s most showcased styles on runways was transparent and sheer, dainty pieces, like Brusati’s dress. Worn alone, the look may seem naked, but with ingenious layering and use of different fabrics, like edgy leather and zippers (as was done at Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang), the result is modern feminine: a mix of tough elegance, but still womanly. Taking inspiration from this is Gianni Lauren, an aspiring young fashion designer and stylist currently working at one of New York City’s most coveted stores, Henri Bendel.

“I watch lots of movies, and I am always inspired by their characters — I even start to dress like them sometimes,” Lauren said of her flawless style. Traveling to Tokyo soon, Lauren also takes notes of Japanese fashion, appreciating clothing’s symmetry and structures; even her favorite store, DDC Lab, houses pieces full of clever details and shapes. The ruffles and silkiness of Lauren’s cobalt blue, Lanvin-inspired dress give her the right amount of fluidity, but to keep the dress from being too effeminate, she wears wooden platform sandals, arguably the most popular style of shoe this season. Though platform shoes were first perfected at Marni and have been around for a few years, designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and Miu Miu have now engineered the most cutting-edge, brilliant platform heels of the season.

Platform shoes, intense makeup, and oversized baubles ruled the runways this fall; clothes seemed to merely play a secondary role in an overall look. Paying attention to unconventional looks and pairing conventionally different styles has now become the norm. Whatever the style, it is apparent that designers are fearlessly playing with strong ideas and embracing the upcoming seasons.