Characters behind the clothing

   
As an avid follower of fashion, I began to notice different styles on campus. Some students follow trends and others follow designers, keeping track of shows and events. To share these styles with the rest of UTM, I interviewed four students on their interest in fashion. Each has something different to say, demonstrating the diversity of style this campus has to offer.

Arianna Hoard wears an oversized green knit sweater with black pants.
Arianna Hoard wears an oversized green knit sweater with black pants.

Arianna Hoard is a first-year psychology student. When we met, she wore a forest green knit sweater, black jeans, and brown leather boots. She blends basic items together, creating an interesting outfit that allows her to stand out.

The Medium: What got you into fashion?

Arianna Hoard: I always loved playing dress-up, and I always liked being creative. I have a creative side, so being able to express myself through clothing is an interesting thing I figured out how to do throughout my life. I’m constantly changing my style.

TM: What influences your style?

AH: Honestly, the queer community. They usually have really good style. Being queer myself and having queer friends that are hipster, you can probably tell that I’m a little hipster too. Also, Tumblr.

TM: Do you have a favourite brand or designer?

AH: I actually prefer thrift shopping, because I usually find a lot of cool things. It’s like treasure hunting, so it’s more fun, and I save money. It’s also better for the environment, because I’m really against factories and products made outside Canada. I try to keep everything local.

TM: Do you have a favourite piece?

AH: This green sweater.

TM: How does the season affect your style?

AH: Autumn is my all-time favourite season. The fashion in autumn is my favourite, because I can dress with big, oversized knit sweaters, boots, and wool socks. I can be more free and comfy.

TM: What are your thoughts on fashion on campus?

AH: It’s very diverse, because the culture is very diverse. There are a lot of different people and styles coming in that I’ve never been exposed to before, because I’m from such a small town. Here, I feel like I can represent my own style more freely because it’s more accepted, whereas in my hometown, I had to dress a certain way or be ridiculed.


Jared Lund wears a black t-shirt and black jeans, complemented by several rings.
Jared Lund wears a black t-shirt and black jeans, complemented by several rings.

Jared Lund is a third-year DEM student. He demonstrates confidence through his clothing. Lund also accessorizes with rings; a Versace ring on his thumb grabs attention and complements his clothing choices.

The Medium: How did you get into fashion?

Jared Lund: Growing up, all my friends were into the latest Nikes. I think that’s where it began. I grew up between Toronto and Detroit, so those cities influenced me. [My interest] started with Nike, then moved onto Adidas, Air Jordan, and New Balance. My interest in shoes is what led to my general interest in fashion. Once I found out I had an interest, I started going out of my way to develop it by going online, reading magazines, and keeping up with runway shows.

TM: Who is your favourite designer or brand?

JL: That’s a tough one because I think certain brands are good for certain things. I can say I love Nike, because they make many models of shoes that I like. I’m not so much interested in couture fashion. That being said, I do follow some runway shows. I like where Gucci and Balenciaga are going right now. But as for brands that are applicable to me personally, I like Off-White and Adidas Y-3—more contemporary stuff.

TM: What is your favourite piece that you own right now?

JL: Probably my big wool Armani jacket. I like wearing it over my clothes in the winter.

TM: How do you see your style changing with the season changing?

JL: I look forward to winter from a style perspective, because I feel like I can wear more stuff. During the summer, it’s hard to wear more than shorts and a t-shirt. But when it gets colder, I’m more easily able to express myself. I prefer wearing jackets, hoodies, and scarves. I prefer that style.


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Oishi’s father made his own clothes in university. Oishi visited thrift stores before taking an interest in fashion.

When I met Yoshio Oishi, a second-year marketing and commerce student, he was wearing an Ebbets Field hat, a UNIQLO KAWS shirt tucked into a pair of black Levis, and a vintage U of T jacket. He wore Adidas Y-3 Boosts, setting him apart from the popular Adidas Ultra Boosts.

The Medium: What got you into fashion?

Yoshio Oishi: My mom briefly went to school for fashion design. My dad used to make his own clothes when he was in university, because fabrics were cheaper back then. They both inspired me. When thrifting was big back in 2012, I started going [to thrift stores], and that’s where I was finding some pretty good pieces, like a Supreme Camp hat. Before all this, I didn’t know anything [about fashion].

TM: Who are your favourite designers?

YO: Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto. Yamamoto’s stuff is not like other fashion houses, where you get one satin jacket that you can wear with one outfit and that’s it. With most of Yamamoto’s pieces, you can wear them with a lot of pants and a lot of shoes, and still look decent. You don’t have to be in fashion week to wear it, you can wear it around campus. It’s that low-key stuff.

TM: What are your favourite pieces that you own?

YO: This Ebbets Field hat. Other than that, I also like this vintage school jacket. You see lots of people on campus with U of T gear that you can get at the store, but I like this because it’s unique and you’re not going to see anyone else wearing it.


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Tang’s fashion interest was born out of a love for music videos and the occasional anime.

Elliot Tang, a second-year math and computer science student, has a very interesting approach to fashion. He allows music to guide his style. His many influences shape his style with both basic and avant-garde outfits.

The Medium: What got you into fashion?

Elliot Tang: First, I listened to music. I also watched music videos and some kinds of anime. I don’t watch a lot of anime, but I watch some, and some of [the characters] have interesting wardrobe styles and clothing choices. I thought, “Maybe I can dress like that as well.”

TM: What influences your style in particular?

ET: In grade eight, I listened to Justice a lot, and they wore leather jackets with hoodies. I liked it, so I started wearing stuff like that. In grade nine and 10, I started listening to more folk and indie music, and started wearing a bohemian style. [Bands] like Young the Giant—they’re beachy. So colours come in, kind of like your generic 2011 hipster style: cardigan, jeans, and a messenger bag. In grade 12, I was listening to Mac Demarco, so I started rolling up my jeans, wearing some sort of jacket over a hoodie—but not like the Justice style, this was more grungy. Then I came to Toronto and noticed that everyone dressed differently, and I felt really out of place. I started looking around and seeing what others wore and based my look off that. Then I was listening to Blank Banshee and playing Metal Gear Solid, so I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do. I wanted to wear something stealthy but also stylish. I found a grid-like aesthetic, which birthed my interest in black-and-white style.

TM: What is your favourite piece of clothing that you own?

ET: It’s got to be my poncho. There’s also this one grid/waffle-cut shirt that I own. It’s white and has four tassels on it. I also like my black trench coat from 5cm as well.

TM: What is your favourite brand?

ET: 5cm. I don’t see it in Canada, but it’s in Hong Kong. The overall style of their shop always attracts me. It’s a subdivision of a brand called I.T. House. [Their clothes are] always neutral colours. That’s where I got my grid shirt and the trench coat I talked about.

TM: How does the change in season affect your style?

ET: When the seasons change, the music I listen to also changes. And when the music I listen to changes, the way I dress changes. In the summer, I usually listen to more rock, Mac Demarco, Kishi Bashi, and wear more colourful stuff. In the winter, I listen to tech. I dress based on how I feel from the music.