On a dreary September afternoon — the kind that mists the air, frizzes hair and foreshadows fall’s arrival — DePaul students congregated on the Quad for the Lincoln Park Involvement Fair. A time to explore the resources and organizations the university offers, the Involvement Fair also rings in the first weekend of the school year and acts as a space for students new and old to reshape their identity.
In style for the 2018-19 school season? Neutrals, statement jewelry and thrifted finds. These DePaul students put their personal flair on display, starting the year off fashion-foward.
Cheekily describing her style as “Brown goth girlfriend,” junior Monica Martinez looked feminine and fierce in all-black, chunky Mary Jane heels, opaque tights and an loose button up over a little black dress. She accented the outfit with a tooth necklace and rainbow floral earrings.“I was really inspired by a trip to Mexico… I went to Frida Kahlo’s house over there and I really liked all her stuff, but I still wanted to maintain some goth,” said junior Monica Martinez. “I’ve always been into mixing [outfits] with more feminine things, so something bordering feminine androgynous.”
Of her adorned braids, Martinez said she was inspired by the women in Oaxaca, Mexico, who would weave ribbons and flowers into braided hair. Martinez repurposed the look with dark, thrifted scarves that accent her industrial style.
Contrasting the gray, overcast day, senior Kayla Johnson opted for mixed prints and bold colors, with a bright bomber jacket, ripped jeans and chunky accessories.
“It’s ever-changing but it’s always groovy,” said senior Kayla Johnson of her personal style. “I’m just very fluid, very balanced. My fashion is balanced.”
Johnson has also embraced DIY fashion decor, making custom earrings since fifth grade. At the fair, she sported collage earrings inspired by ‘70s black culture and hair from print magazines.
Senior Moses Washington opted for a natural color palette, mixing hues of tan, navy and chocolate. Washington said his style blends American western, futuristic and tribal elements such as sophisticated pieces like printed polos paired with earthy accessories. His style icons include Kanye West, Pharrell, Virgil Abloh and N.E.R.D.
“I try to keep it pretty hip-hop,” said Washington. “What those guys really do value is American classic styles but they always branch out.”
He keeps his fashion close to home, as well, wearing his father’s Ayre western boots and a stone necklace made by his brother from a vacation to the Gulf of Mexico.
Freshman Dylan Becker likes to keep his style classic yet cool, mixing a basic grey t-shirt with a textured fur bomber.
“I bought it because I’m really into fur — faux, strictly,” said Dylan Becker. “I really like dressing in all black but not necessarily goth. Classic but with a modern twist.”
Becker completed the outfit with free involvement fair gear, including a DePaul Ray Meyer Fitness Center fanny pack and plastic Colgate clutch — complete with toothpaste.
At the Advocates for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) table, fashion and activism intersect. Senior and ASAP co-founder Brynn Frantz paired light wash flare jeans with a tied “Nevertheless She Persisted” graphic tee and “Break the Silence” button from DePaul’s Take Back the Night event this spring.
“I really love graphic tees because I think they make a statement,” said Frantz.
Great style minds think alike, such as the case with freshmen Kai Gerberick and Samantha Arechiga, who roamed the Involvement Fair in matching grey streetwear style looking cool and complimentary. The pairing was completely uncoordinated.
“I saw him and I was like, ‘b—ch,’” said Arechiga. “One of us has to go home and change.”
The two, friends before starting at DePaul, both sport baggy, high-wasted jeans with thick black belts and grey, oversized collared tees. Arechiga — who knotted her top at the waist and sported a black canvas bag and double gold hoop earrings — said she draws inspiration from the worker-wear style of the ‘60s Chicana Movement mixed with ‘80s minimalism. Gerberick completed his look with dangling bauble earrings and a jade and porcelain necklace.
Header photos by Madeline Happold, 14 East.