Before Jennie He ’16 wore it Wes, she wore it elsewhere: she transferred to Wesleyan in her sophomore spring from St. Lawrence University in northern New York state. Upon arriving in Middletown, He became involved with feminist activism and sexual assault prevention causes on campus. The Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and philosophy double major sat down with The Argus to discuss her fashion favorites as well as her personal take on the influx of “preppy” on the Wesleyan campus.
The Argus: To what extent do you consider yourself interested in fashion?
Jennie He: I’m extraordinarily interested in fashion, but I wouldn’t say it’s exactly who I am. I guess my sense of fashion is just a self expression, but it’s not what I revolve my entire identity around.
A: How long have you been interested in fashion?
JH: I didn’t really update my wardrobe as much until, like, a year ago. And I’ve always been very interested in fashion, but because, you know, being in high school, you didn’t really have any money, so you couldn’t really buy any clothes anyways, so you couldn’t really do anything. [But] I’ve always been really interested in fashion, like following up on Tumblr, Vogue, whatever. So, for a while!
A: Describe your personal style in three to five words.
JH: Badass, feminine, aggressive…unapologetic.
A: Does the fashion scene at Wes differ from that of St. Lawrence?
JH: Completely. Well, I shouldn’t say completely, because I feel like there’s a lot more preppy people here right now as of late. Yeah, I was helping on move-in day, and everyone was preppy, and I was like, “No, this is exactly what I wanted to get away from.” But at my previous school, everyone [wore] Ralph Lauren, Hunter boots, literally anything like J. Crew. You could name all the brands that they would ever wear in their entire life and what they would buy, and it’s all that. And compared to that, Wesleyan is a complete and utter utopia of fashion; it’s much better, more creative.
A: Where are your favorite places to get your clothes?
JH: Zara! Like one to five, Zara, and sometimes I’ll do Urban Outfitters, or find small stores online that I can just shop from.
A: So you don’t find it hard to shop from campus?
JH: Nope, not at all.
A: Do you have any favorite designers that you see are related to the Zara aesthetic?
JH: Shoes-wise, I am in love with Jeffrey Campbell, except I can’t afford Jeffrey Campbell. So that’s why I always find things that look alike. Clothing-wise, I love All Saints. Can’t afford them. And Rag and Bone. Can’t afford them, either.
A: From where do you draw style inspiration?
JH: There’s this great website called lookbook.nu. It has basically random people from across the world [who] add their photos in, and people can like hype it, [which is] basically like liking it on Instagram. So that place, mostly. It’s amazing; it’s beautiful.
A: Do you have any other favorite blogs that you look at fashion through?
JH: Yes, there’s this one girl, her [blog] is Feral Creature. I think her name is Eugenie. And so she is one of my biggest inspirations, because she’s also like very strong yet very feminine, the mix that I want to portray.
A: Is there a current trend on campus that you like?
JH: Birkenstocks! Birkenstocks everything every day.
A: Is there a current trend you hate?
JH: Those lace-up boots for women with a heel, like the old-maid boots. Like pilgrim [shoes], I don’t even know how to describe them.
A: Do you have an item of winter clothing that you can’t wait to wear?
JH: Not particularly. I like my Zara leggings and I like my boots [gestures to her outfit], and so I’m wearing both of these out of winter, anyway.
A: Do you feel more comfortable dressing for Wesleyan than Saint Lawrence?
JH: Yes. When I was at Saint Lawrence, I didn’t buy any new clothes, because I didn’t want to stand out any more than I already was, by just not wearing Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, and Vineyard Vines.