by Deanna Reyes
Style. A simple word can sum up so much. With style comes a sense of individuality, uniqueness and self-definition. Style is how one perceives oneself and how an individual wants to be perceived by others. One’s innate qualities are revealed through the style one portrays. Style is more than fashion; it is a way of self expression.
“I think style depends on how the individual wants to express themselves,” said sophomore Sokhon Pok. “Style is a healthy form of expression.”
Over time, style and fashions have changed, evolved, and somehow have found their way back to debut in another era. Fashion is an ever-changing paradox – as soon as a style becomes popular it is then deemed “out of style” by the abundant designers, fashion writers and stytlists.
In past eras, a certain dominant style was always prevalent. The ’50s were about poodle skirts, saddle shoes and James Dean wannabes. Raging in the ’60s were clothes that made more than a fashion statement. Jeans were graffitied with slogans of the time like “make peace, not war” and “power to the people.”
“Saturday Night Fever” sparked the disco-inspired fashions of the ’70s. The bigger and more elaborate bell bottoms and platforms were the better. Preppy polo shirts and designer labels were seen on the runways of the ’80s. Out on the streets, some extreme teenagers donned the punk rocker look with neon clothing and spiked hair.
“If I could go back to revisit any era of the past, it would have to be the ’70s,” said senior Miriam Bueno. “I like the tight pants and bright shirts that people wore.”
In the ’90s, the defined styles of the past seemed to blur into a feeling of “anything goes.” The ’90s meant self expression and defining oneself as a true individual. People were no longer wearing the latest trend, but wearing what they felt most comfortable wearing.
Hollywood style is the perfect example of how diverse the fashion world has become.
According to VH1’s “The List,”Lenny Kravitz is the king of vintage. He can pull off mixing normally clashing colors, nose rings and retro style sunglasses and still manage to look good.
Blink 182 keeps it casual with t-shirts, ripped shorts and baseball hats, while Jennifer Lopez’s couture style involves attention-grabbing clothing by designers like Versace.
Students at the University of La Verne are much like these Hollywood stars. Although it is unlikely to see a girl sitting in Davenport wearing a $20,000 Chanel gown, the similarity is still present.
Each person possesses their own style which is an important aspect of who they are. For some, fashion sense is a matter of what clothes happen to be clean in the dresser that morning, but to others, style is a way to express creativity and individuality. Each generation defines its own style that reflects what time and culture they are they are exposed to.
For freshman Michael Haydel, style is more than just about clothes. “Style is not just something that you put on,” he said, “but it’s what’s inside of you.” Haydel describes his own personal style as “laid back but still classy.” When asked what his favorite fashion from the past was, he enthusiastically said “Parachute pants like MC Hammer wore!”
Bueno said her style depended on her particular mood that day. “Some days I like to be nice and comfortable, but other days I like to dress up,” she said. Bueno said she feels style is important because it shows everyone’s own unique self through their expression of style.
“I define my style as clean and comfortable,” said Pok. “My personality and my style matches one another.”
Whatever style each student chooses to portray, the quality of self image is always prevalent. So, what is next for the fashions of the millennium? Silver space suits? Biodegradable cargo pants? Who knows, anything is possible. As new trends and styles keep popping up each day, the feeling of expressing oneself through style will always be “in.”