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My so-called calling

Christina Kubiw Kalashnik | Interrobang | Lifestyles | February 13th, 2012

Something you need to know about Fashion Design students is that we have no lives. If any of them tell you differently, they're not working hard enough — FACT. We spend most of our nights seam ripping, sewing, thread marking and patternmaking; we're busy people. Recently, when I was in the design studio, the third-year Fashion students were playing a TV show called My So-Called Life, which features Claire Danes as the lead and Jared Leto as the boy she's crushing on.

Finally getting a copy of the show onto my laptop, I haven't been able to stop watching, and I'll tell you why — the fashion. The outfits in the show are great; they're not trendy and chic like Gossip Girl, given that they take place in different decades. But My So-Called Life shows us what the '80s and '90s were REALLY like. The '80s and '90s were comfortable and definitive. What I mean by definitive is that you could quite clearly tell who somebody was by their garment choice. During these years, people weren't scared to wear what they wanted: leggings, snap hairclips, braids, spaghetti strap everything, curly laces, etc.; the '90s were fun.

As design students, we're constantly being told to look for inspirations. These are great decades to look to for everyday inspirations; flannel shirts, high-waisted pants, shoulder pads and small, done-up collars. The '80s and '90s were great because of the quality of the clothes. These were effortless time periods, and that's the image you should convey if you want to channel the look. To dress with a little old-school inspiration, this is what you'll need.

Plaid Flannel Shirt: The '90s were all about comfort, and the plaid flannel shirt was easy to throw on. Kids loved that it was grungy and hip. And whether you see it in The Breakfast Club or a dozen other '80s movies, the flannel shirt is a staple grunge item.

Small Sneaks: Small sneakers were all the rage back in the day, whether you're rocking TOMS, Keds or Chucks, a small shoe is something you'll need to tie together your look.

Small Statement Jewelry: Statement jewelry doesn't always have to be overpowering, although this is how we currently define it. There are other ways to wear accessories that will get you equally noticed. Whether you wear different earrings on each ear or a matching necklace/earring set, you'll still be accessorizing in a noticeable fashion.

Patterns: Growing up, my mom used to dress in anything patterned. And now, when I look through her closet, I notice items with prints and graphics that can instantly be recognized from the '90s. The '90s were about self-expression and having fun, and prints and graphics convey this image. Mixing or matching or doing both, you are sure to channel a nonchalant mood with a fashion choice that will definitely stand out.

Sometimes a little time travel is necessary to find what we're most comfortable with, and I fully recommend looking to past time periods for inspirations. Whether you want to channel your inner hippie with bell cut sleeves and a headband or your inner punk rocker with a leather jacket, just remember to make it yours.
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