‘Nova fashionista faces world

Robin Withall

London, Paris, Milan, New York: the four fashion capitals of the world. On a whole, we Villanovans consider ourselves to be a pretty fashion-conscious bunch. London, Paris, Milan, New York, Villanova: well … not exactly. Over a spring break trip to London, it became clear that, while us ‘Novans have got the preppy look in the bag, we’re lacking in what this fashion capital considers to be “true style.” To them, it’s all about individuality.

According to Sarah, an 18-year-old English major at Imperial College in London, “Fashion is all about you. Yeah, you can wear what you see on the runway, but modify it to make it your own,” she says, showing off her boxing-style sneakers, all the rage at her school.

Truth be told, I saw tons of girls wearing those shoes when I was in the Baltic this summer (think Sweden, Norway and Finland). So while they may not be individual in Europe, they certainly would be on our shores. I have failed to see one of our students wearing such footwear in the past week that I have been searching, though admittedly, they would clash with our cords and polos.

Also very popular to the Brits in the bitterly cold March weather is wearing long coats filled with down feathers (think transforming your comforter into a jacket). While one or two of our students have picked up on the trend, for the most part we here at ‘Nova are comfortable in our North Face fleeces. When asked about her knowledge of the North Face fleece, Amelia, a down-jacket wearing student at Imperial, said “Yeah, I wore a North Face coat while I was on a skiing holiday in Switzerland. Isn’t that what they are for? Skiing?” Clearly, Amelia had no concept of the “true Villanova fashion.”

The ’80s are back with vengeance, in London at least. Many guys were sporting bomber jackets and vintage band T-shirts, advertising bands such as The Ramones. Many girls in the clubs were wearing bright colored fishnet stocking with their pump shoes, and a few even wore legwarmers a la Madonna in her “Like a Virgin” phase. Popular stores for university students include Urban Outfitters and Diesel, both found in the King of Prussia mall, and shops like Oasis, Miss Selfridge and TopShop (the largest fashion store in the world), found only in Europe.

For those of you who want to emulate European fashion, there is some good news. Uggs are still quite popular over there, worn over a pair of jeans or with a skirt and sweater. Dooney and Burke handbags are the girls’ book-bag of choice and all of them store their Chanel sunglasses in the side pocket, on the off-chance that there is a sunny day. While Villanova may not be a fashion capital of the world, we prove to be keeping up with the most important trends.