By Gavriella Wolf
Monica Kornis ’15 has tailored her style over her years at Wesleyan, borrowing ideas from the past and future to inspire her own. Though she doesn’t quite dress like a “country girl,” Kornis is a Missouri native who praises her hometown as a haven for thrift shopping. The English major (who also touts a film minor) looked critically at her own sources of inspiration and shared them with The Argus.
The Argus: To what extent you consider yourself interested in fashion?
Monica Kornis: I guess like as a mode of self-expression. I don’t, like, keep up with trends or anything; there’s people that inspire me that I see in movies, and pop culture, etc., but I don’t look up the latest trends or what was on the runway. I don’t keep track of any brands particularly.
A: How long have you been interested in the way you dress?
MK: As long as I can remember, I guess. I think like, when you’re younger, you look at clothes, and they’re all fanciful and you’re like, “Oh, I want this, I want this, I want this,” and so that’s always kind of what happens.
A: Describe your personal style in three to five words.
MK: I really like futuristic fashion, but I don’t really know if that’s my style. Things that are shiny, not things you would normally see. I guess I’m just attracted to shiny things. I like shiny things, I like leather. But I also like to be kind of minimalistic; I like wearing blacks, grays, whites. I don’t like my outfits being over-the-top. Okay, that’s three!
A: What do you like or dislike about style at Wesleyan?
MK: I think people follow, like there are people [who are] really trendy at Wesleyan, which can be a good and bad thing. I guess being trendy is like having others dictate what you wear, but also it says that you care what you look like, which is nice. So there [are] pros and cons of each, but I think that’s one of the things.
A: How has your style changed, if at all, since you came to Wesleyan?
MK: I think my style might be a little more mature, I guess, since I came to Wesleyan. Just because it comes with getting older. Like when I was first at Wesleyan, I wore a lot of floral stuff, I wore a lot of grandma sweaters. I think maybe I kind of found what I like, as opposed to when I came to Wesleyan, I’d just like wear anything that I found in the store that I thought was interesting. But now I try to match things more and piece outfits together more effectively.
A: Where are your favorite places to get your clothes?
MK: I usually do all my shopping online. I go to like Etsy, eBay; when I go back home to Missouri I go to thrift stores and they’re amazing. It’s beautiful, because all these old women give away their clothes, and people in Missouri have a very different sense of fashion than they do here, so no one wants them. But then you can get things at thrift stores in Missouri for like, a dollar, and it’s amazing.
A: Who would design your dream wardrobe?
MK: I guess I would like to design my dream wardrobe given that I had the appropriate skills, which I don’t. But I would like to design it myself and then have someone else implement that.
A: Where do you draw style inspiration from on campus?
MK: Pretty much everyone I see. Like, if I see someone wearing something really interesting, then I’ll catalogue in my mind. I think everyone does that, they just catalogue things they see online and on campus, and it all meshes together, and that’s how people create their own personal styles. I think everyone kind of makes their own style; I just draw inspiration from everything and
everyone I see.
A: Where do you draw style inspiration from off campus?
MK: I draw inspiration from old film actresses from the silent era. I guess that’s kind of opposite of futuristic but a lot of them have dramatic makeup, and dark eyebrows, and wear black gowns, and I think that’s really interesting. And then, I think, Nico from the Velvet Underground, I think she has great style. And then Bjork is one of the people that isn’t afraid to do whatever she wants and wear crazy outfits, and I feel like that’s commendable.
A: What would you like to see more of in the fashion scene at Wesleyan?
MK: I see people that create their own style but then again, they just like buy from Urban [Outfitters] and American Apparel, and I wish I’d see more people just like, break away from that, buy different things, and cultivate their style. I guess one of my pet peeves when it comes to fashion is you see something at an outfitters that really looks good on a mannequin, and people just buy a really similar outfit. Like, at least make something. I like it more when people have their own personal touch.
A: How do you think your style is going to change when you graduate and leave the Wesleyan bubble?
MK: I guess it’d become more minimalistic. I think we’re in the stage where we can experiment and do whatever we want, and people won’t really judge us. But once we leave Wesleyan, I feel like we’re gonna be forced to conform more, because we’ll have jobs and won’t be able to wear crazy makeup or like, do our hair in the kind of ways we do it now. And so this is like a stage where we can experiment, and then we [will] have to conform, and then when I’m old, I’ll just like go wild. Because people don’t really care, [they] can be like, “Oh she’s senile, it doesn’t really matter.”