Students explore fashion for expression

Annette Leber and Ruby Mason

For many students, clothing is much more than just any old outfit thrown on before school. Gen-Z has quickly taken to fashion as a form of expression and entrepreneurship, and with the growth of social media, exploring new ideas and showcasing original creations have only become more accessible.

Over quarantine, Sophomore Amelia Gaston took inspiration from TikTok and decided to make her own jewelry. Gaston uses wire to wrap stones and crystals, turning them into necklaces and earrings. “I really just like jewelry and I like accessorizing and having things, so one day I just decided I was going to make jewelry so I could have a lot,” Gaston explained. She primarily uses her TikTok account to spread her knowledge on jewelry making and even to sell some of her work.  

Junior Hannah Bocian also took up making jewelry over quarantine by turning trash into art, crediting social media as an influence. “I saw something on social media about making renewable jewelry and I was interested in doing the same.” Bocian makes earrings out of used coffee pods and bottles. “I would wash [the pods] and flatten them to create a circle design. For the bottles I would cut, melt and twist them into shape.” Along with having new accessories to spice up an outfit, Bocian also makes an important environmental statement with her jewelry.

While accessories can help complete the final look, the base of the outfit is rooted in the style and design of the clothing. Seeing photos of clothing in magazines and other traditional pieces of art, junior Robin Handley was inspired to make his own apparel that combined the two. “I really wanted to learn how to sew … I was like why not try and make what I want to make, exactly what I want to wear, recreate things that I see and really like.” Handley recalls having watched a lot of YouTube videos while constantly sketching designs, trying to find ways to make clothing that is original, stylish, and gives people confidence. 

The unusual art form that is fashion is not lost on him. “Art usually comes with a canvas and frame that can be moved around the art, while fashion has to go around the body…so it’s kinda like you’re choosing the frame to be an art piece before you can paint it.” Fashion, Handley explains, is all about having the right volume and body proportions. “It’s time-consuming, but it’s also very relaxing in some ways and the final result, especially if you had troubles doing it, is so rewarding.”

 For people interested in fashion and making their own clothes, Handley encourages people to just go out and try it. Once you’ve got a vision, finding the resources and figuring out how to put the fabrics together is not that hard. “It doesn’t have to look perfect the first time because perfection in fashion is a paradox.” All you need is fabric, scissors, thread, and some inspiration.