'Women's Wear Daily' visits IU
Prestigious fashion magazine Women's Wear Daily is currently conducting its annual college survey to find out what colleges are the most fashionable. This year WWD will focus on Big Ten colleges, unlike last year's Ivy League college issue. The magazine focused on the Big Ten colleges because of their diversity, said David Yassky, the fashion market editor at WWD, who conducted the survey at IU.
"We focused on the Ivy Leagues last year, but we wanted to mix it up," Yassky said. "There is the East Coast and the West and then there is everything in between. We wanted to get a feel for the heartland and fashion in the Midwest."
Yassky, who stayed in Bloomington for two days, said the fashion at IU was very homogenous but youthful. He said he was also impressed with IU's fashion design students.
"They were very pop-culture savvy and opinionated," he said. "When I asked them who their favorite designers were they didn't just say your typical run-of-the-mill designers. They had no qualms about answering questions."
Yassky walked around campus spotting fashion trends and stylish students, and he made a point to sit outside of Ballantine Hall waiting for students to switch classes.
"We want to know if the stereotypes about the Midwest are true," Yassky said. "It's all-American, and there are big athletic rivalries, and we wanted to know if that influenced fashion."
Yassky asked students about IU's style and how the University fashion compared to other Big Ten schools. During interviews, Yassky asked if the popularity of sports and the rivalry with Purdue had an effect.
IU freshman Melissa Burnett was interviewed by Yassky. Burnett, dressed in metallic slippers, cuffed jeans and a short-sleeve army-green collared shirt, said she does not think IU is a fashionable campus and people have trouble with personal style.
"I wouldn't call myself a fashionista," Burnett said. "But I would think I don't blend in with everyone."
Yassky thought Burnett's look was adorable and his photographer took several pictures of her.
After Yassky walked down Kirkwood Avenue and visited Urban Outfitters, Cactus Flower and Metro Wear, he said he was very impressed with Cactus Flower and it's selection of vintage clothes.
"In New York all this would be picked over so fast," He said.
On Wednesday he talked with seniors and winners of the 2004-2005 Bill Blass award, Geoffrey Coyle and Carol Coelho, about their thoughts of campus fashion. Coyle is a costume construction technology student, while Coelho recently presented her final project for an Individualized Major Program in fashion design.
"He asked us about the latest fashion trends, where we get our fashion inspiration, designers that inspire us and if they felt like they were at a disadvantage because Indiana doesn't have fashion resources." Coyle said.
Yassky said WWD wanted to know about the shopping habits of people in the Midwest, because it is so limited.
"We wanted to know where the kids shop and if the Internet shopping is as big as we thought," he said. "We are doing it for the buyers as well so they know where they shop."
Among other questions, Coyle said Yassky asked about the fashionable crowd being a minority on campus.
"I feel like a minority because I stick out when I walk across (campus)," Coyle said. "I talked about how I was the only male in my class and the only black person in my class."
Coyle also described fashion on campus as casual during the day but different at night.
"I feel like a lot of people here wear the yoga pants, T-shirts and flip flops; they look like they just rolled out of bed," Coyle said. "They accessorize with Christian Dior glasses and Coach bags and they think that represents their status."
Yassky also visited several sorority houses and went to different bars. He asked students about the nightlife at IU and if fashion is different at night.
"People dress up at night, but the fashions are (outdated)." Coyle said.
Sophomore Laura Steichen, who was also interviewed by Yassky, said she thinks the campus is fashionable because it's a party school.
"You have to look good when you go out," she said.
Though IU might be fashionable in its own right, no one will know which Big Ten university will receive the most fashionable title until early May.
-- Contact Asst. Arts
Editor Patrice Worthy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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