“52 weeks of chic” captures campus fashions
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
As students enter college, they also enter a realm of independence in which fashion can help them come to a sense of who they are, says senior fashion merchandising major Chelsea Allen.
An emerging student-created site, 52 Weeks of Chic, highlights the styles that help students claim their identity.
Allen, who started the social media organization with senior fashion merchandising major Samantha Tocker, utilizes Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to showcase student style as well as provide students with tips and tricks for crafting “chic pieces.” With the tagline “Because great style shouldn’t go unnoticed,” the students behind 52 Weeks of Chic can be found on the streets photographing students who they think show an exceptional sense of style.
“College is when you identify yourself and when you are really are able to express yourself through clothes whether you like it or not,” Allen says.
52 Weeks of Chic was established last spring when Allen decided to create an interactive and instantaneous way to share student fashion. Allen approached Tocker in class one day, and the duo began brainstorming ideas on how to highlight trends on campus.
Since last spring, the group has expanded—five members now work behind the scenes and around campus to feature student style. Allen says the members work collaboratively to photograph students, update the social media accounts and post on the Facebook page “Chic Piece of the Week,” in which a student model is shown wearing a “chic piece” three different ways.
In one picture, sophomore and member of 52 Weeks of Chic Henley Cook is featured wearing a printed T-shirt by Missoni for Target “casually,” “professionally” and “glamorously.” The T-shirt is paired with clothes ranging from branded fashion like True Religion to clothes found in vintage shops.
“Fashion means taking inspiration from all over,” Tocker says. “Fashion is knowing everything that is available to create your own signature look.”
Though Allen and Tocker will graduate in the spring, both say they plan to pass the group down to the remaining members. They say they intend to stay active with the sites and hope to see 52 Weeks of Chic continue to grow as an active component of the university’s fashion bubble.
Tockers says she would like to see 52 Weeks of Chic become a legitimate Registered Student Organization.
Fashion professor Kelly Cobb says blogs have brought fashion down to a street level, and style has become more democratized.
“The style expert is now someone on the street,” Cobb says. “That’s one great thing about fashion blogging.”
Cobb says the popularity and importance of fashion blogs kicked off around 2007 when Internet users began blogging Fashion Week. In a matter of seconds, anyone could see what the models were wearing.
Fashion blogging has also spurred the popularity of the “trickle-up theory” of fashion, Cobb says. The theory states designers draw inspiration from what is being worn on the streets, and with more websites emerging that allow users to share what they are wearing, fashion companies are taking notice, Cobb says.
Allen adds that trends trickling up from the streets have helped globalize fashion, making it accessible to everyone.
“Designers are being inspired by what’s on the street and interpreting it into high fashion,” Allen says.
Tocker says she notices students primarily dress for comfort, but with a fashionable twist.
In addition, with the emergence of do-it-yourself fashion, students are mixing high fashion trends with more student-friendly fashions to craft together exceptionally trendy outfits, according to Tocker.
“You can buy a pair of Levi’s shorts for $200 or you can buy your own Levi’s for $7 at Salvation Army, buy studs and do it yourself,” Tocker says. “And with that, you get a little more satisfaction.”
Tocker says while members of 52 Weeks of Chic highlights students wearing trendy clothes, they also look for students adding an individualistic twist to their outfits.
“There are so many clothing options price wise and style wise,” Tocker says. “Everyone can find something they like and create a unique spin.”
And as college-aged students tend to experiment, Allen says students are no longer gravitating towards one trend. Instead, students are drawing inspiration from various sources, which therefore help students identify themselves.
“It’s not head-to-toe one designer anymore—it’s mixing and matching and putting your own twist on things” Allen says. “What you see on a college-level is the most expression you can have because it is the time in your life when you wear whatever you want to define yourself.”