This month’s fashion spotlight falls on aspiring fashion designer, Josielyn Aguilera (junior, Art and Business).
Aguilera is currently enrolled as a student here at Stan State, but ultimately hopes to transfer to a fashion school that would allow her to follow her dreams of entering the fashion industry.
Aguilera’s aspiration of becoming a fashion designer first started when she began watching award shows on TV as a little girl. She saw the bold and exciting looks presented at the red carpet events and knew that this was her world.
“It was just something that I knew had to be a part of my life,” said Aguilera.
Through her use of bold colors, statement pieces and exciting fabrics, it is clear that Aguilera was born to pursue a career in fashion.
“I’m a risk taker. I love trying new looks, new styles. I love pushing the boundaries of style when it comes to gender, patterns, fabrics, color. I just love really pushing it to the breaking point.”
Aguilera gets inspired by artists like Zendaya, who are not afraid to take risks. “She’s not afraid to wear a suit, or wear a bow tie, and she looks amazing! It really inspires me. Wear what you want, because at the end of the day it’s just fun and fashionable.”
Although Aguilera radiates confidence, she admits that putting herself out there and breaking the fashion norms can be challenging at times.
“I worked hard to get to where I am and to gain that confidence. Sometimes I get a little nervous if people stare, but at the end of the day, I like my outfit so I’m going to wear it and I’m going to rock it,” Aguilera explained.
Learning to embrace her creativity and have confidence in her style may have taken time, but Aguilera commented that, in reality, it wasn’t a choice.
When she feels anxious about putting herself out there, Aguilera reminds herself that “this is who I am. This is who I’ve been. I am bold. My style is extra and crazy. I’m out there and outgoing, and I can’t stop that...I’m expressing myself... that's the only thing I can do. That’s the only thing we all can do.”
To those who want to take more risks with their style, but find it challenging and scary, Aguilera has some tips.
First, she spoke about the misconception that one must spend a fortune on designer brands in order to be stylish. In fact, she describes her own shopping tendency as being cheap.
“I shop cheap. None of my things are expensive or high quality. It’s more of, if you find something that is different and that you like, that is fashion.”
Aguilera is proof that you do not have to break the budget in order to achieve an expensive look. The key is to get creative and do your research.
Finding inspiration online, on social media and from the big brands like Coco Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, Aguilera is able to recreate the moods that she sees, all while using more inexpensive pieces that she collects from a variety of different sellers.
When Aguilera shops, she looks for pieces that really speak to her. “I like to look for statement pieces. Pieces that really catch my eye. Those are the ones that I instantly fall in love with. I collect clothes, I don’t just shop. All of the pieces in my closet are such statement pieces that, alone, they make the outfit.”
Aguilera suggests stocking your closet with pieces that truly stand out to you. “If you own a lot of pieces that you love, you’ll always look good and make a statement without even trying.”
For Aguilera, the process of putting an outfit together is more than just a morning chore. “It’s important for your soul and your spirit.”
Each day, she decides who she wants to be and puts together an outfit that reflects her mood and vibe as authentically as possible. “There’s this intensity of releasing my feelings and emotions into an outfit. I feel like that’s so powerful.”
The question that Aguilera asks herself when choosing her look is, “What look is really going to reveal the feeling that I’m trying to portray in this moment?”
From there, she asks herself how far she can push the look, how many risks she can take, and what barriers can she break through her self expression.
This fashionista sees getting dressed each morning as an opportunity to practice her artform. In a world where it can sometimes feel like we have no control, your style is one area where you have countless choices.
Aguilera reminds us that, “At the end of the day it’s art and you can really do whatever you want with it.”
Although it may be scary to risk being seen, Aguilera encourages everyone to dress in a way that makes you feel like your most genuine and confident self.
“If everyone decided to dress up because of how they feel and what makes them confident, I think everyone would be a lot happier. Fashion is supposed to be a way of expressing yourself, your inner emotions and your soul.”
So the next time you're staring into your closet, try to take a page from Aguilera’s book. Be bold, be brave and be you.