This past week I was lucky enough to spend five days exploring Chicago and visiting my best friend at her school, the Art Institute of Chicago. Not only did I get to go on a tour of the most fabulous fashion closet I’ve ever seen, full of both vintage and modern couture runway pieces students get access to, but I also got the chance to meet a wide range of new people with unique outlooks and interpretations on what fashion is.
Arriving just days after classes started, I was immersed into a culture of fashion junkies whose love and passion for everything design, sewing, pattern construction etc. exploded right in front of my eyes. They eat, sleep and breath in their studios staying up into the early morning hours finishing pieces, which this week included learning how to design and construct a pair of fitted jeans.
As I got to explore the different areas of Chicago, it quickly became evident that Chicago street style is all about individualism for both students and residences alike. I bumped into today’s Fashionista in an area called Wicker Park wearing an outfit completely hand crafted at home, made of pieces from old thrift shops and craft stores that she altered to exude her own style and successfully make a stylish unique look for students on a dime.
She’s rocking a Jack Daniels T-shirt, cut into a cropped top with an oversized high-waisted skirt pinned to fit just right and a pair of cargo boots embellished with a small amount of pink fabric to add just a hint of personal flare. Today’s Fashionista illuminates a trend prevalent in a Iot of student's clothes that I found throughout Chicago in order find cheap ways to take fashion and make it your own – literally.
You too can achieve similar looks by exploring local vintage/thrift shops, or even your parents old closets from the '80s and taking oversize shirts or old pairs of shoes and cutting/altering them to fit your current style. The grungy look of homemade fashion can be seen on the fall 2012 Marc Jacobs runway and on celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Mary-Kate Olsen. Homemade clothes are not only extremely current and cool right now, but they’re also the best thing for students on a budget, giving you the chance to play with current trends in the fashion world and learn how to adapt and put twists on them to better coincide with your own unique style.
Take a break from your classes to check out Urban Outfitters' renewal department for some great inspiration and make some time to have fun with your fashion!