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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

El Centro: Major fashion


While some students at Tufts pursue a single major from the 70 options they can choose from, many are passionate about a multitude of things and decide to add a minor, double or triple major. At times, people with a single major without a minor feel compelled to say that they’re “just” a computer science major or international relations major. This speaks to the extent to which Tufts students dedicate themselves to the pursuit of a breadth of knowledge. I discuss this topic of majors as an introduction to fashion, not because I have a far better grasp of majors than I do fashion, but because I felt almost a parallel between the way third-year Tufts-SMFA combined-degree student Lily Pisano and junior Alan Chen discussed their sense of style. 

Pisano, an emerging welder and International Literary and Visual Studies major, explained that sometimes she finds people aren’t receptive to welding as an art form. In hearing the way in which she appreciates the empowerment provided by her mentor and the transformation she experienced in her sense of belonging to the welding community, I noticed a parallel to how she shaped her style, having certain favorite shapes and materials and also being willing to dabble into new pieces and to love patterns and boldness consistently. Chen, a biology major on the pre-medical track, may to the ignorant eye blend in with the SMFA art-inclined culture. He has his distinct style in appreciating trends, predicting and crafting his own wardrobe and in working with the “box(es)” -- the confines presented by his future job and having to protect himself against discrimination. He described feeling as though he needs to dress masculine presenting not necessarily a mere obstacle but rather a part of his style, an avenue for his stylistic exploration.

What both Pisano and Chen have in common are not only their homes in Brooklyn but also their appreciation for comfort. They both said that they pick outfits which make them feel comfortable, and at ease with themselves.  They also shared that they are slowly cycling through clothing, or told stories of how their clothing has simultaneously stayed constant and evolved. They both maintain an attitude of exploration, of shifting through thrift stores and secondhand shops to find the piece that complements the way they want to present themselves. During the interviews, Pisano and Chen opened their Instagram to share passionately the designers who they followed. Both brought up that they are fans of fashion shows, so I asked which ones they were and what brands or designers they consisted of. In seeing the Instagram profiles of artful and unique designers such as Shrimps and skoot_apparel, I learned new ways of looking at the high-end fashion shows and “artsy” accounts, as works of art and as something that can be transformed into tangible belongings.