Embracing Your Inner Self-Expression: How Attending Fashion School Can Influence The Development Of Personal Style

The buzz of her alarm clock goes off at precisely six-thirty in the morning. She jumps up and quickly makes her bed before preparing for a fashion-filled school day. She goes into the bathroom and immediately washes her face with her favorite cleanser – CeraVe Acne Control, then begins her makeup routine: starting with her Fit Me Maybelline foundation, following the matching concealer, then curling her lashes and applying Maybelline's Sky High mascara. She then checks the weather, determining her outfit for the day. She steps into her walk-in closet and rummages through the clothes on the hangers, which takes her about twenty minutes. When she finds the perfect outfit for the day, she dresses and sprays her Ariana Grande Cloud perfume before heading out the door for her 7:45 train. 

“I want my style to be known in our community,” says twenty-two-year-old Hannah Morrow. 

Hannah Morrow is a fashion student studying at LIM College. She is a merchandising major who developed a love for fashion throughout her high school years. She spent most of her free time watching Victoria’s Secret shows, which only made her love for fashion grow stronger. 

While fashion piqued her interest during her teenage years, she felt she became more invested in the industry after attending fashion school.

“I think I've always been into fashion, but going to fashion school has made me stay more focused and on top of that particular topic,” she says. “I didn't really pay attention to what the trends were, and I didn’t really have a good understanding of what was emerging,” she adds. 

Morrow began to grow into herself more during her college years, allowing her to branch out into her style, which she would describe as formal and mature. As a teenager in high school, Morrow would wear casual pieces such as sneakers, skinny jeans, and sweatshirts with her hair always tied up. After discovering a style that is personal to her, she now experiences more freedom and creativity when choosing her outfits. She often incorporates flared jeans, crop tops, and turtle necks with black or neutral tones into her everyday outfits. 

Source: Hannah Morrow

Morrow's current style draws inspiration from the 90s and late 2000s, as well as celebrities including Dua Lipa and Emily Ratajkowski. One of Morrow's favorite music videos is Welcome to Heartbreak by Kanye West. She finds herself drawn not only to the music but also to the story behind the music, and the patterns that are incorporated into the music video. 

While music and celebrity influence plays a significant role in Morrow's style, she is also inspired by her surroundings, whether that is people walking by on the streets of New York City or her peers.

Going to school in New York City, let alone a fashion school, has a significant role in the stylistic choices of students. New York City is the center of fashion and offers creative individuals numerous opportunities, whether that is a career or an education in the industry. 

“I would see [people wearing outgoing pieces] and then be like, oh, I like that, and then go find something similar at a thrift store,” she says. 

“I think getting inspiration from my peers makes more sense rather than competing with them because why would you wanna compete with anyone when you can be your own person and have your own sense of style?” says Morrow. 

One of the most common misconceptions about fashion school is that students’ peers judge them, and there is always constant competition with one another, which is so far from the truth. 

“I'd rather look at it in a way that is not a competition but more of a way of inspiration,” says Maharani Anigacz, a twenty-year-old fashion student at LIM College. 

Waking up about an hour before she needs to leave for class, Anigacz finds herself rushing out of bed to prepare a quick breakfast — typically the fruit of the season or a simple bagel. After breakfast, she does her makeup, leaving her messy blonde hair for later. She begins her makeup by filling in her brows with the Elf eyebrow pencil, then applies Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, a little bit of blush from TJMaxx, and Morphe highlighter for the finished look. She then brushes the knots out of her hair and straightens each section. When her hair is done, she makes her bed and grabs the outfit she chose the night before, which is placed neatly amongst the mess of the rest of her clothes. She then checks the transit app on her phone and leaves her house ten minutes before the train is scheduled to arrive at the station. 

Anigacz developed a love for fashion at a young age. She explains how she has been styling herself ever since she was a child. 

“I had this one specific skirt —my doggy skirt,” she says, “it was a bunch of different plaid designs, and it had a dog on it; it was my favorite — I put it on with almost every outfit, and that's when it all started. I’ve been dressing myself ever since,” she concludes. 

Growing up, Anigacz attended catholic school, so she was unable to express her creative side at school since she was expected to dress in uniform daily. She explained that they would have “dress down days” once a year, and she would have so much fun planning her outfits on Facetime with her friends. This love for fashion only grew stronger as she entered college. 

 “I've always been a girly girl, so I feel like fashion school brings out the best in me,” she says. 

Anigacz loves to express herself through her personal stylistic choices. She loves to experiment with different styles of clothing and has noticed a change in her style throughout her years at LIM College. 

“I feel like I have more freedom,” she says. “I can show off my personality a bit more in what I wear since [I now have] the ability to choose what I want to wear and express myself [in the way that I desire.]” 

Prior to attending fashion school, she found herself putting random garments together and trying to create an outfit from the items in her closet. She recalls a time when she wore sweatpants over a dress and topped it off with a flannel top. 

“This was a traumatizing time,” she laughs. Now, she knows what suits her better, so she can confidently say that her style has evolved while attending fashion school. 

“I had a styling class last semester, and it taught me how to wear certain [pieces] and what looks good together,” she says, “I also did my own research and looked up what colors [pair well] together, what fabrics [pair well] together, and things like that.”

Anigacz would describe her style as experimental. She likes to try new things, which helps her to understand a bit more about who she is. She likes to dress how she feels, so her mood plays a significant role in her style.

Source: Maharani Anigacz

Flashing back to Anigacz’s childhood, her primary source of inspiration has always been Lady Gaga. She vividly remembers listening to “The Fame” and “Money Honey” on her pink Hello Kitty radio. 

“Ever since I was young, I have always admired Lady Gaga for being so confident and not caring about what anybody else wears,” she says, “I believe she is the reason why I am the way that I am today.”

While Anigacz’s style has evolved throughout the years, her source of inspiration still remains the same. 

According to Psychology Today, fashion comes from outside, and style comes from within. It is essential to understand where individuals get their inspiration from because a person's style is a form of identity. It is their unique way of expressing their true self. 

“I believe using others as an inspiration teaches you new things and helps you become more exposed,” says eighteen-year-old Ashley Schinasi.

Schinasi has a more organized morning routine. She wakes up and immediately does her skin care, which consists of oil cleanser, foam cleanser, toner, serum drops, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Her room is modern— all white furniture, including a vanity for her makeup and two dressers to hold the majority of her clothes. Additionally, she has a clothes rack with shirts hanging down and shoes neatly placed at the bottom. Her closet is where she keeps all of her sweatshirts and dresses. She ensures that her outfit is chosen the night before, which saves her time in the morning. She dresses and then does her hair, which is either straight down, in two braids or slicked back with gel. When she is finished, she puts on her shoes and heads out the door for the start of her school day, which begins with her commute on the ferry. 

Schinasi is a freshman at FIT studying interior design. She developed her love for fashion when she realized how many different styles were out there. She drew inspiration from others and used them as a base to create her own sense of style. Seeing people's different approaches to art is something that excites Schinasi.

“For the few months that I’ve been in fashion school, I've seen styles that I never knew people would wear,” she says. 

Schinasi found her style shifted as soon as she entered fashion school. She explained how she immediately started to add to her outfits and “spice it up,” whether that was an accessory or a layer she loved to add to her outfits. 

“Confidence and willingness to try another style where you can improve and change is so important when it comes to fashion. Not only have my clothes changed, but I’ve been more into thrifting, mismatching, and adding things that wouldn't make sense with societal standards,” she says.

Schinasi would classify her style as modern. She typically finds herself wearing streetwear or classy pieces. She explains how she has a new perspective on fashion and is always finding a new way to look at fashion.

Source: Ashley Schinasi

Schinasi hopes to learn more about her creative side and meet people who are just as interested in fashion, art, and creativity as she is. 

“I really want to meet people who think differently [than I do] and are willing to teach me new things,” she says. “I have friends in different majors, so I am always learning new things; for example, my friend in textile design showed me her work, and I felt that being around her taught me things that I didn't even know were important — and how it affects people every day, so I get to be around people of my major (Interior Design) who work in the field, who can offer me opportunities to progress, and teach me new things.”

Schinasi has a good head on her shoulders and is determined to progress in the field of fashion. She is open to learning and improving, whether that is with her style, her workload, or the people she surrounds herself with. 

As each of these creative students finishes their day at school, they leave feeling more inspired each day, looking forward to what the future holds for them in the world of fashion. 

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