Walking down the halls of A-Wing, many students would turn and stare. It is inevitable though the petite brunette commands your attention with her retro style and little beret. Some giggle, some gawk, some ponder in confusion for a minute at how long it must take her to get ready. To the average observer, it’s strange, over the top. But to sophomore Erica Lynch, it’s just another day at school.
Fashion, too often, is something considered frivolous, wasteful, and insignificant in our society. However, to Erica Lynch, it is anything but this. An aspiring fashion mogul, Erica has been dubbed one of the most fashionable people of our school, but according to her, it goes much further than her interest in clothes.
Since middle school, Erica has expanded her style and developed a taste like no other. Her passion for all things under the umbrella of fashion, including art and interior design, are skills of hers that she has always been passionate about, thanks to the things she grew up watching.
“I think I would say from movies and TV shows like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Gossip Girl, just seeing the influence and impact the outfits in cinema, like Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly and big-screen production, had on the world has made me more prompted to dress and decorate well. It became an exciting hobby of mine, now I just live it.”
She’s not alone. The fashion world is so diverse and broad, many who utilize it take inspiration from what they see on the silver screen or in day to day life by celebrities or Hollywood icons. However, it branches even further, as many of those famous starlets dubbed as trendsetters have taken a lot of inspiration from actual artists from back in the baroque or Renaissance Era. Oddly enough, these periods that seem historically insignificant to say the average high school student learning about them in class have had more impact on everyday life than they think. This is one of the many reasons why Erica feels inclined to make herself look presentable, almost as a nod to those who worked so hard for modern society to have a fashion industry. However, when asked further about this, more specifically, her decisions to dress well for school, the very thing that causes so many people to do a double-take, that wasn’t all she had to say about getting “dolled up.”
“It’s not just a school thing. Wherever I go, I want to look put together. It seems frivolous, some might find it stupid, but if I have nice clothes I want to show them off. Some people just like bumming it when they leave the house, and that’s fine too. I just like the thrill of making myself look nice. A good outfit is a good day.”
In Erica’s eyes, fashion has no limits. And whether you take interest in it or not, there is no escaping it. It plays such a large role in the lives of everyone, no matter the age, gender, occupation, or social class. It is for these reasons that Erica sees fashion playing a part in the way we function in society, hence its significance.
“The bottom line is it is technology, it is all correlated to science. There is so much that goes into producing fashion, a lot of research and stats to decide what goes on the runway, and as a result, what you see in stores. It’s subtle, but it’s true.”
Similar to how engineers design desks made for students or the infrastructure of a school building, engineering goes into the making of uniforms and gear for construction workers, nurses, surgeons, and of course, the appropriate attire for people working corporate jobs where there is a formal dress code. Despite this importance, however, Erica says she often feels people downplay her passion as something that isn’t worth pursuing, that there is better money in other fields. Yet she doesn’t let this discourage her.
“I think you should work in the industry if that is what you’re passionate about. Money is minuscule when you love what you’re doing, that’s why we see so many unhappy people in high-paying jobs. I don’t think fashion will ever be a “dying” field, some people just are more into it than others. But there are always people like that and people on the other side who care a lot, like me. There is always new room for the industry to expand to, it’s not something that will ever die out.”
Furthermore, she goes on to say that there are more jobs in the industry than one might think. An example of these are buyers, for instance, in other words, people who analyze trends from the past and current day to predict what might come back and what brands should do to maximize profit by incorporating these trends into their new collections. Buyers exist even outside the fashion industry, with a demand for them in general retail when it comes to making average products, from houseware to tools. Yet with fashion, in Erica’s eyes, it is even more fun. She goes on to say, “It makes people happy and feel good about themselves, whether it be the person making or wearing the garments. It gives them an opportunity to love what they’re doing, and it’s so influential on our culture and history and makes it so cool to look back on.”
As for where she sees herself in the future, Erica has an apparent desire to get into her designated field, preferably a school like FIT or somewhere else in the city.
“Specifically, I’d like to do either or. I think modeling would be my first step, just because I’ll still be young and in my prime for that sort of thing, but I also want to model my own clothes, so I’d like to do both somehow.”