Rosanna Hill discusses the stylisation of essentials
On any day when walking through the forum, whether curled over your fifteenth expresso in an exam panic or a leisurely meal deal on the Costa steps, the range of student style can seem like a list of; Fila stompers, black flares, gym shorts, Urban Outfitters puffer Jackets and sports stash. Those in the know have steered clear of the uber-skinny jean, despite the 90’s revival of tank tops and hair barrettes, and instead we see many girls (myself included) provide a useful public service by sweeping the floors of forum with their lengthy flares, but the basics of our modern university fashion can seem very ordinary.
the range of student style can seem like a list of; Fila stompers, black flares, gym shorts, Urban outfitters puffer Jackets and sports stash
In the late 20thcentury, sportswear became the fashion under Chanel and Ralph Lauren and now the trend for comfortable streetwear is everywhere from your 9.30 seminar to Jaquemus’ latest show. The rise of Normcore is persistent as a unisex fashion trend for uncomplicated clothing like plain hoodies, basketball shorts and classic mom jeans. Everyone here has more than enough to worry about without adhering to any complicated way of dressing, so the simplest of clothing becomes the best option. It is however the natural way of any young generation to try to express themselves, as this is the first time many of us have lived under their own authority causing strange and unusal trends to emerge.
University life is hard enough but thank God we don’t have the constraints of fashion of the past. Gone are the days where fashion meant being as overt as possible with ruffs and ribbons. Instead, the stylization of essentials has become the meaning of fashion. You only have to look at the brilliant colours of leggings or the rise of vintage clothes and trainers that have emerged to see how creativity overcomes the ordinary-ness of basic clothes like sportswear.
the modern university look has become practicality made unique
Fila stompers and work boots have gone from sesh essentials and embarrassing dad shoes, to statements of authenticity and can give some much needed height when trying to navigate the Forum in rush hour. As modern life becomes more inclusive and practical, new fashions are emerging that give the advantages of previous trends. A case study might be the death of high heels in favour of chucky trainers and heeled boots. The psychedelic patterns of the 80’s or the carefully cultured silhouettes of the 50’s are behind us, but what will be the distinguishing marks of the new 20’s? I look forward to ending the next decade with a healthy dose of embarrassment at whatever trends I am leaning into now, as the modern university look has become practicality made unique (at least until everyone else starts wearing it).