When I joined The Daily Campus as fashion editor in June 2008 I had some shoes to fill, some bedazzled, diamond-encrusted, all-star sneakers to be exact.
The then departing fashion editor, who now fittingly works for none other than famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin, was notorious for issuing humiliating yet hysterical fashion citations calling out classic SMU style offenses such as wearing leggings as pants, Nike shorts with flip-flops and a full face of make-up to the gym.
Unfortunately for readers, sartorial criticism, although extremely entertaining, has never really been my strength.
But let’s face it, I’m not Anna Wintour and The Daily Campus isn’t Vogue, and if that Gucci-book-bag-carrying former fashion editor were to catch a glimpse of some of the, let’s just say, “casual” outfits (who doesn’t wear a T-shirt and sweats in Fondren?) I wear to class on occasion, he would keel over quicker than Rachel Zoe could say “I die.”
But the reality is as style editor, my goal has never been to bash those unfortunate enough who do not own a mirror, instead my job is to mirror the extraordinarily stylish students that make SMU… well, S-M-U.
UrbanDictionary.com describes SMU as a university “filled with snobby, rich kids who base their life on their material possessions and obsess over their attire.” Although some people might be offended by this stereotype, I’d like to personally thank the student who gets a little over-dressed for their 8 a.m. class; I’d like to thank the student who carries a Birkin bag on the boulevard; I’d like to thank the student who thought it was appropriate to wear a cashmere crop top in February; and I’d like to thank an anonymous friend who stomped into my Meteorology class junior year wearing patent leather, thigh-high heeled boots. It’s the boldly adventurous students like these who have provided me with three years worth of editorial inspiration and content.
Content like my “Football Fashion” photo shoot, where my team and I were asked to leave Ford Stadium after my student models posing on the sidelines were deemed too distracting for the practicing Mustangs on the field. June Jones, can you really blame the players for being more interested in fashion than football?
Dressing for the weather is key. So this year when class was canceled due to dangerous winter weather conditions, I ignored President Turner’s recommendation to stay indoors and instead took advantage of our campus’ new
Antarctica-like backdrop for my story on fur. The result: slipping and sliding models making outfit changes on the ice-skating rink that was sorority park. FYI, heels on ice are not a good idea, but blue lips and pink noses can always be fixed in Photoshop!
I’ve interviewed celebrities like Nicole Richie and designers like Roberto Cavalli, but ironically the biggest story of my career was on cargo shorts. In March, my article on Sigma Chi’s decision to ban cargos went viral and I broke a Daily Campus online record for views. Trust me, I was just as surprised as my colleagues to find that the style section had upstaged their more serious subjects.
But the point is, fashion isn’t serious, and that’s why being editor of this section has been so much fun. Over the past several years I’ve done my best to engage Daily Campus readers with informative, entertaining, and hopefully sometimes comedic content. Whether you confusedly agreed when I recruited you to model for a photo shoot, interrupted your tailgating to ask you to smile for the camera, or perhaps solicited your opinion on a controversial new fashion craze, I have truly valued everyone’s comments and cooperation.
From interning at Vogue and The New York Times to attending New York Fashion Week, so many unbelievable opportunities have been possible because of my involvement with this publication. My coworkers and classmates like Taylor Adams, Michael Danser, Josh Parr, Meredith Shamburger and Lauren Smart have been devoted to this paper as long as I have and their contributions have shaped the Daily Campus into a solid publication.
I follow fashion trends because it’s what interests and entertains me, not because I think everyone should dress a certain way. Above all, style is about individuality and expression, not about what’s considered “cool” or what some style editor said was “in-style.” Be who you want to be and wear what you want to wear… except cargo shorts.
Sarah Bray is a senior journalism major. She can be reached for comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.