International Style

Emory University represents over 3,000 students and scholars from 120 different countries. This impressive statistic depicts the diverse nature of our college. It’s interesting to notice the different languages, religions and cultural norms, and I think the infiltration of international fashion trends often goes unnoticed and are somewhat taken for granted. Different cultures bring in different kinds of fashion trends that are fascinating to see and we are fortunate enough to experience these various trends throughout our campus.

This is Shifra Samuel, an economics major and junior in the College. Shifra is coincidently from the same place my parents were raised, Bangalore, India. Before delving into the heart of this article, I’d like to quickly discuss my previous knowledge of fashion in Bangalore.

From what I remember when I went to India seven years ago, fashion was not really something that was deemed important. I saw a lot of stagnation in trends and just a general carefree attitude towards style. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but rather insinuating that times have changed and fashion has finally become an important facet to South Indian culture and festivities. It wasn’t until 2009 that Bangalore really got their act together in the fashion world. They created “Bangalore Fashion Week,” an exclusive, international event which allows designers to broadcast their styles to buyers, the press and the general fashion industry that extends beyond India. This allowed Indians to finally make their mark in global fashion.

Shifra may not be able to speak my native language, Kannada, but her sense of style makes up for it. What really stood out to me when I first met her was how she combined some fashion norms of the states with her own tastes that originated in Bangalore. Her sense of style reminded me of the progressive nature of fashion as a whole. Shifra’s pink shaded, skinny pants were very impressive. Not only was she “pulling them off,” but she also reshaped a very common fall trend (colored pants) and made it her own. She defied the mainstream American trend of pastel-colored pants (i.e. mint green and soft pink) and added a kind of brightness to it.

Furthermore, her brightly colored pants worked well with her interestingly patterned black and white tank. Normally I see tribal prints and vertical stripes, but her shirt embodied Indian culture through its combination of different shapes. She completed her outfit with a dark-grey cardigan and lightly colored bow flats. Adding a different shaded cardigan really made her outfit come together (and obviously kept her warm in the cold library).

Considering the weather change, it seems as if sandals are no longer practical, especially during late nights at the Woodruff Library. Rather than going for the generic slippers, Shifra chose these cute flats to complete her outfit.

The infiltration of international fashion surrounds us. It’s important that we appreciate these students’ ability to bring their culture into the states. Without an appreciation of contrasting cultures we only see the trends that are given to us in American magazines like Vogue and Elle. We must expand our minds and not take for granted the various beauty that surrounds us.