Your Wardrobe, Your World
Anjana Ashok (UG 22) and Aditi Dindorkar (UG 22)
The Monsoon Semester of 2019 saw the beginning of a few new clubs on the Ashoka campus. One of those is Allure, the fashion club. We were lucky enough to be able to speak to Preksha Mishra, the founder and head of the club, about what Allure- and fashion in general- is all about.
What is Allure about? What was the inspiration behind the club? The idea of Allure started from mere observation. Every day, when you walk around the campus, you see so many people with different styles. Whether their styles are bold or subtle, everybody puts some thought into what they wear. I felt that out of the prominent clubs of Ashoka, there’s nothing that really meshes all these people together. There’s no platform to showcase different styles of fashion in Ashoka. I wanted to create a platform where everybody can showcase their styles and even just discuss fashion. I also feel that the clothing industry has become synonymous with material waste. It’s unbelievably negative, and I didn’t want Allure to become a club that contributes to waste production. We believe in circular fashion and sustainability. We want to use clothes and minimize waste production as much as we can, which is why we started with the garage sale.
How was the idea received and brought to life? I came up with the idea last year, and all of my friends told me to go for it. But as a first-year, I was nervous about starting a club. During my second semester, I contacted one of my seniors and I asked him for advice. I also spoke to the head of the former fashion club, OJvita, about why their club didn’t work out and what I could do differently. Finally, I sent out an email gauging interest in the club and a couple of people responded. I then planned out the club over the summer and gathered a group of people who were interested.
How was your first event- the garage sale? What are some more events we can look forward to? We thought we’d start with a couple of fundraisers that show our objective and vision. The idea of the garage sale was to earn money- as a fashion club, we need a budget for good quality makeup, equipment and material. There had been a garage sale last year too and it was quite profitable. In fact, we added a twist to our garage sale: we altered a lot of clothes, mended them or restyled them. The sale was a huge hit. A lot of people came and they were very happy with it, especially the prices- everything was below 250. We had good jean material for 100! We also had a team of stylists, who were constantly available to help out, like the one friend you always take shopping. At the end of this academic year, we hope to hold a full-fledged fashion show featuring the clothes we have designed, through a theme. We also want to start a fashion blog.
Let’s talk a bit about the fashion on campus. If you could describe the fashion on campus in one word, what would you say? If I had to say one word, I would say diverse. Even if you look at a group of 3 people, all of them have unique styles.
Do you think there’s a current trend on campus? Actually, I think there is. I’ve seen a lot of people wearing knee-length kurtas on top of light blue ripped jeans, paired with kicks. It’s a great look. I definitely like it.
Do you think fashion on campus is constantly changing or are some looks evergreen? I think some looks are definitely evergreen. The Bohemian look never goes out of style. And then there are always conventional styles- in the summer we wear a loose T-shirt or a crop top with light blue shorts.
What is one must-have item for a college student? I think I’m a little biased when I say this, but a black shirt is a must-have. A lot of people say it is a white shirt- but I think black. Also, black jeans, because it goes with everything.
What are your thoughts about fashion as a form of self-expression? I struggle a lot with this question because people may not always feel comfortable enough to wear what they want. So, kudos to all those who walk out of their room wearing exactly what they wanted to wear. For a lot of people, that’s not an easy thing to do. People may be conscious or consider that their fashion is a little too ‘out there’. For people having a limited range of clothes, just a simple white shirt and blue jeans is their own way of self-expression. There are so many different styles because there are so many different personalities on campus. When you walk into someone’s room, the room décor gives you a certain vibe. The décor also complements the way they carry themselves or their style.
Do you think peers influence each other’s fashion? Does influence border on peer pressure? I’m going to go ahead and say no. Not here in Ashoka, at least. In my group of five friends, we each have different styles, and if there existed any pressure, our styles would melt into one. We see influences in a positive way. Just a temporary ‘let’s try it sometime’ look, but not changing anyone’s personal style.
Is there anything else you would like to share about Allure? Allure is a very inviting place. We welcome anything, from ideas about clothes and makeup, to face painting or just a discussion about fashion. A general message I would like to share is: dress what makes you comfortable. Don’t overthink it- nobody’s looking. It’s your wardrobe, it’s your world.