Senior Uses Creative Eye to Make Original Pieces

by August Kissel, Wed Editor

Katherine Clyde is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at Manhattan College.  Clyde has a passion for fashion and enjoys making her own clothing. She sat down and discussed her style with us.

The Quadrangle: How would you describe your style?

Katherine Clyde: I don’t really know, I feel like my style, I work hard to not be able to be described. One day I’ll be the cute little sunshine girl with a frilly dress and nice shoes, and the next day I’ll be gothic-y with the leather jacket, all black with a little bit of dark purple. I feel like every style I wear I’m just excited about, it’s not necessarily who I am, it’s just a cool thing. I want to have a little part of this and a little part of that.

TQ: Where do you find most of your pieces? I also know that you sew some of your pieces.

KC: The stuff that I sew, for awhile, was coming from one, random scraps of fabric I managed to convince my mom needed to be turned into something else and two, my sister had a bunch of sewing patterns so I would steal them and sew stuff. I started to gradually move into finding something on the internet that was really cute, or I would go to the store and find a piece that was cute and that I liked but it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes it was a little too short or a little too much cleavage, something that I wouldn’t normally wear, and I would go home and I say “How can I manipulate something to be similar to that, a similar style but not necessarily ‘it’?” Most of my clothes I put together, I saw someone else wearing something similar like maybe I saw it on a TV show, a video game, literally anything. For example I went to one basketball game during my existence at this school, and the dance team had this really cute shirt, so I made a shirt that was similar to that. The actual clothing, I tend to either sew or I have designated thrift stores as the main place I’ll buy clothing from and I also have clothes that used to be my grandmother’s. Some of the clothes I have are just made out of necessity; there was a skirt I stole from her closet. It was really pretty but it was too small on me so I cut it down one of seems and sewed a tie into it, it wasn’t to make this more pretty or unique, it was I need this skirt to be bigger so I’m going to add a piece of fabric here.

TQ: Since you have been at Manhattan, would you say your style has adjusted or changed at all?

KC: Maybe not for the better, as the college years have gotten harder and harder I feel as though I have spent less time on my outfits. Before I would put this whole thing together. For example, I love Halloween because I love dressing up so each day of the week before Halloween I would put together a different Halloween-like outfit and then fully dress up and wear this intricate outfit on Halloween. This year I didn’t wear anything but the actual Halloween outfit.

I feel like my style has slowly become super grungy, that’s what somebody described it as. I guess as I have gotten older I haven’t seen a change. My boyfriend makes fun of me because he describes it as a variety of different things, sometimes he says I look like a ten-year-old or a two-year-old, and there was one time I wore a jean dress with an orange turtleneck sweater and he said I looked like an art teacher or a mom and I was like “Well, that’s not a bad thing, I think they’re cute.” There is this big contrast because I never put time into my hair and I don’t wear makeup, I don’t even paint my nails too fancy, but I do love to put time into my outfits.

TQ: How would you recommend someone could branch out and try new things in their fashion and clothing?

KC: The best why I can describe it is this I felt like it was too cold this past week, and I was like “this is ridiculous” so I put together a spring outfit. I wore bright colors and something that you clearly wear in the spring or the summer. And I was like “You know what, here I am!” and I wore tights and bright socks to keep me warm. But I decided this is what I’m doing. Sometimes that’s just what you need, a little bit of brightness.

TQ: The closest thing I can compare that to is what I call a power outfit, and when I have a day and I know I need to get through that day, I fill put on an outfit that I know will carry me through.

KC: Things like that, go with your mood. Maybe I’ll just wear a piece with all black so then “It” is it. It’s like the centerpiece in a museum. And then other times I wear every single exciting thing I can find. I love themes. And I’ll have strappy as my theme, I’ll wear suspenders, I’ll wear a spaghetti strap shirt. Or sometimes I’ll do theme weeks and I’ll do all red, so each outfit has to have a little bit of red in each of them, and this will be the stand out color in each outfit. Or sometimes, if I’m reading a book, like in high school I was reading Peter Pan, I would dress up as the different characters. Like for Wendy, I wore a pale blue dress and a necklace with an acorn stuck onto it because in the book an acorn is a kiss. Or for Peter Pan, I wore a green shirt and brown pants, I had a charm bracelet with “fairy dust” or glitter in it, and an orange ribbon in my hair. This is something that I am excited about at the moment, but it was really subtle so no one knew except me and then if somebody asked “I like your outfit, what are you trying to do?” and I would say “I’m trying to look like Peter Pan.” Try to find something you’re excited about. Not that I idealize certain people but I will be going through Instagram or Pinterest or watching a TV show and I’ll say, “Wow that girl’s outfit is super awesome.” So I won’t wear the exact outfit but I’ll pull things from it and be like I really like her shirt or I really liked this. I really let anything inspire me.

TQ: Which thrift stores do you recommend?

KC: Anything that’s cheap. I love Unique because it’s right there. At home, I go to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I like to go to different ones, like the Goodwill near my house, you have to wait a month before they really have new stuff.

TQ: If you were given $1,000, what would you buy?

KC: I try really hard to spend my money in places where I think it’s going to help. I like 10,000 Villages and Fair Trade locations, or Goodwill and Salvation Army.

TQ: What is your favorite piece of clothing?

KC: Something that I was really impressed with myself with, as I like to think my clothes are well done, but when I finished this one I was like, “This is freaking, amazingly well done, I am very proud of myself” was this green dress that I saw something similar [to] in Macy’s. It’s a light green dress, it has turquoise and a faux collar, and then it’s kind of short with two blue turquoise stripes on the bottom, and all of the turquoise is the same material. Instead of sleeves it’s has turquoise edging. I was really proud of that.