Sporty Chic: Vanessa Feder Talks Style in Claremont

Everyone has a certain style around which the majority of their
wardrobe revolves. My own is classically feminine—flowy
skirts, biased-cut dresses, colorful patterns and soft textures. I usually stick to my own fashion but often find myself admiring other women with completely
divergent styles—edgy, sporty or striking that perfect balance between traditional masculine
and feminine looks. Vanessa Feder PZ ’16 can do the latter, curating a cool array of sportswear-inspired outfits that, while they look amazing on her, would be an utter disaster on me. Sometimes we can’t help wanting what we know we can’t have. Even though I may not be able to copy her style, I learned a lot about the sociology and African studies major and her clothing essentials when I spoke to her. 

TSL: How would you describe your personal style?

Vanessa Feder: There a few essentials that define my style. The
first is the color black. It is my favorite color—and not just because it is
typically seen as ‘sexy.’ Black is bold, and I like that my outfits will always
have a sense of energy and intensity to
them. The second essential are hoop earrings. I’ve always worn them, since I
was little. The last essential for me would be my hair. While it has a style all
on its own, I use my hair to showcase a certain mood. Depending on how I am
feeling and how I would like to present myself, I change up my hair to fit that
idea. In general, I would say that my style revolves around the sporty aesthetic
because I’m very active. I often
incorporate sportswear, such as a pair of Nikes and sports-pants silhouettes into
my style.

TSL: What is one of your biggest fashion pet-peeves?

VF: I’m not a big fan of the pairing of the colors pink and
black together—or pink and brown, for that
matter. I don’t want to put an absolute ban on the mixing, because I have seen
it done right on a rare occasion; however, I think most people should stay away
from the combination. Boots, mainly fur boots paired with short shorts and tank
tops are also a big fashion no-no for me. The combination reminds me of high
school, where most girls would raid the mall stores and mix the most popular
brands together without thinking about true style.

TSL: Yes, I totally agree that the Ugg boot and jean shorts trend needs to go. I’ve noticed that here
on our campuses there are always a few trends that students get attached to.
Are there any current 5C trends that you think should be over and done?

VF: I think the easiest example would be high-waisted
shorts. I used to really like the cut, but they’re everywhere on campus, and the
trend just seems like overkill now. On the right person, high-waisted shorts can still work, but a lot of
people just wear them with crop tops, and it seems so basic and uncreative.

TSL: Do you have any embarrassing fashion mishaps?

VF: I can think of one example. It wasn’t a style mishap—just a bad judgment call. I turned my friend’s scarf into a really cute top, but I made the mistake of securing it with safety pins only. I went out that
night, dancing and having a good time. I
didn’t notice until later that the pins had come undone and had ripped gigantic
holes down the backside. The idea was cute, but the reality was that they just didn’t work
out. I also remember a pair of brown Skechers that I used to love, but when I
look back at pictures I realize they were definitely not okay!

TSL: If someone were to hand you a check for, say, 15 grand, what stores would you hit up to get a whole new wardrobe?

VF: Oh snap! Well, with that kind of money I could shop at
a lot of stores that are currently wish list-only, so this is a really hard decision. I would definitely buy
a lot of sportswear—items from Nike and Adidas that I would only get now as
gifts or on sale. I would also go to BCBG or any store with ridiculously nice
clothing that I can only buy at TJ Maxx. My favorite store currently is
Karmaloop, so I would also order all of my favorite items.

TSL: If your dorm room caught on fire and you only had time to
grab one item, what would it be?

VF: I would grab a pair of black heels with wooden
bottoms. They’re from American Apparel, and I treasure them. I think they’re
valuable because of their versatility.

TSL: Which school has the best overall style?

VF: Oh my god, that’s a hard question! I would definitely
skip over Harvey Mudd and CMC. Scripps definitely has stylish students. I’m
stuck between Scripps and Pomona. I think in the end I would have to split ranking between the women at Scripps and the
men at Pomona. I’m always amazed by the effort Scripps students put into their
outfit choices and often wonder what stores they’re buying their clothes from.

TSL: All right, now we’re going to do some rapid fire
questions—sort of like you have to chose between one thing or another to wear
for the rest of your life.

TSL: Red lipstick or nude lipstick?

VF: Red.

TSL: Birkenstocks or Chacos?

VF: Birkenstocks, if I have to.

TSL: Nikes or Converses?

VF: Oh goodness, I guess I’ll go with Nikes.

TSL: If you were able to switch closets with either Beyoncé or
Rihanna, who would you choose?

VF: Beyoncé.

Chabrina Bruno PO ’15 is a religious studies major with a minor in studio art. She loves to collect vintage clothing and jewelry.  

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