Courtesy of Hannah BazarianWith the frighteningly early arrival of fall this year, I am turning over a new leaf. I want this column to swing the spotlight back to campus — to the students you see in Danforth, walking to the post office or class, and waiting for the bus.

While writing this type of column has been my intention all along, my best laid plans fell through. That is all about to change. The fashion world is all well and good, but it exists in a realm far, far away from our construction-riddled quads.

I aim to celebrate the students that dress themselves with pep, personal style and confidence that speaks to the creative, unique nature of our school.

High fashion is fun, interesting and juicy, but it’s theoretical. I could wax on about the problems in the industry for more word space than I am given on this page, but why waste the ink?

UR students are far more concerned with papers, parties, prices at Hillside and potential hook-ups to care about the latest designer at Dior.

To be completely honest, I fell out of the fashion loop over the summer. Not that I was ever in the fashion loop, but I stopped religiously tracking the news of the fashion world. Perhaps the one thing I kept in touch with was “The Sartorialist.”

I strongly believe in the cultural power of street style and its ability to drive the fashion industry, not vice versa. I think what people wear in reality should inform designers, rather than designers prescribing what people should wear in theory.

Rochester may not be a fashion capital –– it may not even be close –– but what people wear at this school is as relevant as any other college in the United States. We are a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds with a lot of ideas and very little money to show for them (yet).

We sleep when we can, and while awake we spend tireless hours bettering ourselves, our

peers and (ideally) our community. If you can manage to do all of that while still dressing sharp, then I want to commend you.

Call me crazy, but I think slipping into the pitfall of college-grunge this early in the year is almost psychologically damaging. We need to keep our spirits up.

Respect yourself, your body and the clothes you put on it. I can only speak from personal experience, but the days I channel more effort into what I wear are the days my self-esteem soars. I maintain a cheerier disposition, and I feel less overwhelmed about stressors A, B, C and D.

Fall is my favorite season, even in good ol’ Rochester. Not just for the unmistakable autumnal scent of bonfires and the turning color of the leaves, but for the amount of layering, pattern and texture mixing, tights-and-socks combining and general style experimentation the season allows.

I will be hitting the “streets” (or, more accurately, the paths) of UR weekly, scouting for those students who go above and beyond the norm.

Earlier this week I found Take Five Scholar Maya Dukmasova in Starbucks wearing a splendid early-fall ensemble. A warm, printed scarf she found in The Second Season (a thrift store on Mt. Hope) was fixed with a brooch her grandmother had given her. She backed up the statement pieces with basics from Old Navy (pants, only $1.97), H&M (shirt) and DSW (shoes).

It was nothing extravagant or showy, but loaded with personality and the fresh collegiate look you see in movies (Not pictured is her corduroy blazer, another quirky addition to her ensemble). The watch is subtle but classic, the kind of accessory I personally appreciate.

This rambling column is all to say: I want you in the Campus Times. I don’t care whether you consider yourself fashionable or not — that is irrelevant.

Try something new, throw on a shirt that hibernates in the back of your wardrobe and beckon the new academic year with verve and pert and other mind-sets that double as shampoo names.

Have fun with your clothes. Stop worrying about what so-and-so will think of you, what’s in or what’s out and just wear what you want to wear. There is no predicting style, so create it in the moment and each day will bring new surprises.

Do I sound like a fortune cookie yet? Because I am sensing a dawn of a new, trend-free fashion era on this campus.

Burritt is a member of the class of 2013.



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