Kate Spade’s fall campaign says it best — understated is overrated. In a city where nearly everything goes, it takes a lot to stand out, but there is no missing Malvina Kefalas. This Fashionista captures your attention from a crosswalk away, perfectly accessorizing a bold ensemble with key pieces almost as bright as her platinum-blonde hair. Building upon a solid base of a classic cable-knit sweater, khaki skirt combination, Malvina amps up the volume with pops of contrasting color and intricate detail. From the bright pink studded skinny belt and fringed floral neck scarf to the tan leather boots adorned with bows at the ankle, every component of this outfit is sure to make even the stiffest of New York City heads turn.
Name: Malvin Kefalas
CollgeFashionista: How has your style evolved since arriving at Columbia?
Malvina Kefalas: My style is definitely more practical now than it was when I was in high school. Since I was inside a small building all day, I wore whatever I felt like wearing, usually with heels. Because I am so involved on campus, I find that in college I'm always running around and have to be more conscious of weather, layering and comfort — that includes limiting myself to heels unless the outfit requires a lift! Trekking around in four-inch stilettos through a Monday evening downpour is not exactly glam! However, I don't think that this has made me suppress my fashion freedom at all – I've just evolved.
CF: What are your favorite classic, cold-weather trends?
MK: I'm digging all the faux fur jackets this season — obviously a classic, but they are everywhere right now! I think they're a great way to add a touch of Old Hollywood to a pair of jeans and pretty much any shoe (flats, boots, pumps)! I just bought one from Alice + Olivia that I'm in love with. I think it's important to find the right one for you, and remember that there are plenty of cuts and colors out that will suit any style and wardrobe. And let's be real, who doesn't want to walk out the door looking like the ever-fabulous Rachel Zoe, draped in miles of soft, plush faux fur? On another note, boots, boots and more boots. I am a boot fiend, and a firm believer that the right pair of boots can get you through anything!
CF: What are some of your tricks for accessorizing a bulkier fall wardrobe?
MK: Don't be afraid. I think it's so easy to get bogged down in wearing the appropriate fall colors, and sometimes it takes a little chutzpah to wear what you want when the entire city is wearing a boring palette in boring shapes and textures. Use some brighter colored pieces to give your outfit a little personality. Wear a bright sweater or belt, a fun scarf, or just some bold jewelry — or even all three! I love myself a statement ring, giant earrings or even an oversized cuff. My personal accessory philosophy is “staples, signature and stylish.” I wear certain pieces every day, like my watch and my evil eye bracelet, and those are my “staples”. When it comes to “signature”, I mean that it's important to wear pieces that are both unique and within your own style aesthetic. Finally, by “stylish,” I mean that it is fun to play with new trends — like I said, don't be afraid! Also, remember that utilitarian jackets don’t have to be pedestrian — invest in one special jacket or coat that you are happy to put on in the morning, and wear it to pieces. It will become your own neutral, no matter the style or color.
CF: If you could only wear one designer for the rest of the semester, who would it be? Why?
MK: This semester I'm beyond obsessed with Marc Jacobs' Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. If I could buy it all, I would. It has everything I've ever wanted in a collection — fun colors to punctuate fall neutrals, an innovative use of leopard print, functionality even in more unusual pieces and most importantly, it's so versatile! The close second would be Stacey Bendet's Alice + Olivia, because this season her looks are so flirty and fun.
How To: Accessories are a fashion cure-all. They can boost any outfit, tie any look together and transform any worn-out wardrobe staple into something entirely new. Don’t be afraid to mix and match like Malvina, who paired her grandmother’s chain link rose gold cuff with a silver Michele watch and sunshine-yellow Hermes bangle. But, in order to assure you don’t look like a Baroque statue,make sure the detail isn't so concentrated. If you choose to rock some stunning chandelier earrings, pass up the collar necklace, pick the over-the-knee boots, but forego the obscurely printed pants.