Make a Statement

Let’s be real people, jewelry is SO important. It a way for people to express their unique style and personalize outfits. Something that I find super cool about jewelry is that each and every piece can hold significant meaning to someone. The meaning behind a necklace, ring, or bracelet is what makes it so special, and it is a tangible object that can last forever. Or, jewelry can simply be something that you saw at a store and decided to buy because you liked the design. Regardless, jewelry allows you to make a statement and let out your inner creativity.

One of my roommates, Sarah Formato, has mad style when it comes to jewelry. Let’s take a closer look at some of her staples – a few she even hand-crafted herself!

Rings! The essential accessory. Rings can add a pop of color or a touch of class to an outfit. Sarah has a large assortment of rings- she loves turquoise or jeweled rings, simple gold bands, and those with little designs (like the sun on her left middle finger). Don’t her hands look so pretty?

Photo by Rachel Joseph.

This next necklace she made herself. Inspired by the brand Free People, it is a delicate velvet choker wrap. I think this necklace looks great paired with denim to create a bohemian vibe.

Photo by Rachel Joseph

This silver statement piece definitely spices up any outfit!

Photo by Rachel Joseph.

This simple choker gives a bit of an edge to the clothes.

This one is my favorite, and it is also hand-made by Sarah and inspired by Free People. This dark choker can be worn many ways: with a basic outfit, for a night out, or paired with a cute dress for a day outing.

Hopefully this has inspired you to get creative with your jewelry!

Featured Image by Rachel Joseph.

Sdyle: Madison Santos

Today I was at the library and ran into the lovely Madison Santos. Madison is a Sociology major here at San Diego State, and she for sure dresses with spunk. We had a chat about some of her style inspirations, views on trends and how to dress with a difference by adding your own flavor. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Are there any people or profiles that give you inspiration?
I do, I follow a lot of photographers mostly, and then some models who I think have really good fashion sense. This is one one of my favorite profiles: shoptrendyandtipsy. I am actually making a top similar to this at the moment:
via shoptrendyandtipsy's Instagram

Do you often recreate your own clothes? 

Yes, and no. I am really skinny and a lot of clothes don’t fit me the right way. So I sometimes have to redo clothes to make them suit my body type. If I have extra fabric left over, I like to make little tube/tank tops or whatever.

One time I didn’t have any pants so I stole my boyfriend’s jeans, cut them, took them in at the sides, and made them into high waited shorts and they looked really cool.

What are some of your favorite places to shop in San Diego?

I guess there is nothing specific to San Diego, but I mostly shop at Brandy Melville, and when I can afford it, at Urban Outfitters. I also like a lot of boutique stores because I love clothes that people can’t find. I hate it when I buy something from Forever 21 and then see five people wearing the same thing. It’s nice having some individualism. I buy a lot of stuff when I go out of the country, too.

Do you have a favorite brand?

It definitely changes, but I am into things that are cottony, soft and cozy. I am starting to get more into ‘pretty girl grunge’ or ‘hipster girl grunge’ type stuff.

What’s one piece of clothing you have made the biggest splurge on?

There was this one time with my step dad when we were going to a funeral and he was trying to make things seem happier. My sister and mom had also gone away on holiday and I couldn’t go. So we went shopping at Nordstrom and I tried on a dress that he let me get. I get scared to wear it in college though, because I feel like everything we do is very sloppy and I don’t want to damage it. I haven’t had a chance to wear it a lot since I got it [in high school], but I’m sure I can still I can still rock it.

“I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy”

What’s your favorite staple?

I am definitely into skin tight leggings or sweat pants and then just a cozy tiny little tank top— that’s like my go to. I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy.

If you could swap wardrobes with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I can’t think of anyone in specific but definitely some boutique stores— and I would wear every single thing in the whole store.

Do you have anything that you want to share with everyone reading this?

I would say learning to dress to your body type is really important because your clothing is a way of expressing yourself. I take a lot of pride in the individualism that I put into my clothing and outfits. I also notice people who express themselves through clothing, so it’s a good way to connect with people. Everyone can look good; you don’t only need to look like skin and bones– like me– to look good. There are some things that I can’t pull off because I’m not curvy enough. Whatever you have, just flaunt it and be confident! It’s definitely a confidence booster to wear your clothes and feel good in them. You feel comfortable because you are finally being yourself.

I’m all for new trends, but I also like to make them my own. You should make it your individual thing—otherwise that’s just basic.

Check out Madison’s Instagram @ m.a.a.dycity

All I want are some cheap black jeans: a (moral) broke girl’s essay on fast fashion

For the past three weeks, I’ve been questing a specific garment — a pair of black jeans, women’s size 4. The denim-stuffed aisles of not-for-profit thrift stores are usually troves for someone like me, a staunch supporter of Canadian tuxedos and well-crafted designer goods. My best friends are Bill Blass and Tommy Hilfiger. A beautiful pair of cuffed Calvin Klein shorts and I met each other just the other day, and wed (for a small fee of six dollars) soon after. While some kids proudly flash their college IDs at movie theaters or football games, I never skip out on using my student discount at Goodwill. As I walk out of a thrift store, I’m always at least twenty dollars poorer and two blouses, a leather purse, and three vinyl records richer. My shopping sprees are fruitful — one could argue that I thrift like it’s a sport. So, these last few visits in which I’ve left the building empty handed and with cash still in my wallet have been unsettling.

All I’m asking for is a pair of black jeans — high-waisted, straight-fitting, free of holes, and one-hundred percent cotton. For fashion-forward folks of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, this denim variety was the standard, easily found at any clothing retailer, and I tell myself it shouldn’t be this difficult for me to find a once-college girl’s aged, dark Levi’s. But between the revival of past trends and the normcore surge of the 2010s, what I need is, without coincidence, what everyone else also wants (and has found before me). For the first time in a while, I’ve seriously considered taking people’s advice, which typically sounds something like, “Syd, just go to the mall already.”

Earlier this year, they wouldn’t have had to tell me twice. Yes, my wardrobe is eighty percent hand-me-downs, but I’ll be the first to admit that the balancing portion is symbolic of my past vice, my affair with fast fashion and its array of devilish enticements like wearable crop tops, faux leather things, and an inestimable number of shiny accessories. I was that teenage shopaholic who interpreted Urban Outfitters’ black, reusable bag as a trophy, and if Forever 21 was having a ‘free shipping, no minimum’ event online, I heard about it first. Investing faith in the fast fashion industry’s capacity to deliver loveable styles at wallet-friendly prices didn’t seem regrettable. Sure, the clothing I bought from these retailers wouldn’t hold up after more than a dozen cycles in the wash, and most items were deemed passé before they even had a chance to come undone at the seams, but for a full-time student who worked crummy part-time jobs, I found solace in fast fashion’s offerings.

At that time, not once did I ponder the fact that the dynamism and affordability of fast fashion is possible only at the expense of both humanity and our environment. Some know this stuff already: that fast fashion chains choose to produce in countries were worker’s safety and rights are undermined and wages are nearly unlivable; immigrants who work in metropolitan sweatshops in our country even struggle to gain basic rights; unregulated, overseas textile production uses millions of tons of coals, and over a half trillion gallons of fresh water are used for dyeing every year; major fast fashion retailers have been caught not donating or reselling, but destroying and dumping unused clothing — items in good condition, but didn’t sell in stores — in order to maintain ‘brand image.’ Nevertheless, people still support these companies, and the dollars handed over for every purchase, big or small, fuel the fire of the fast fashion industry’s immorality.

When I opted out of fast fashion, I chose humanism and sustainability. But a proud conscience doesn’t soothe the monetary anxieties of an expressive, fashion-besotted college student who works part-time making lattes. It’s true, that only purchasing clothes from resellers has made shopping more stimulating and comparable to a treasure hunt. With every secondhand gem added to my closet, my style evolves, and my faith in fashion as a method of achieving distinction further swells.

Still, no amount of love for thrifting negates the unfortunate reality in which particular things — say, a pair of high-waisted, straight-fitting, hole-less, black jeans in a women’s size 4 — are only guaranteed to be available at particular places. It’s the frequent absence of simple, necessary garments at thrift stores that continuously poses itself as a problem that I can’t ignore, but don’t know how to address. In these instances, I wish I could afford to shop for new pieces ethically. American Apparel is my favorite brand — just ask my friends and family, whom I drag with me into the store every time I see its iconic Helvetica font sign lit up and calling my name. The company’s practices are humane and sustainable, and of course, their garments are well-constructed and timeless. But all that goodness comes with a price: the exact pair of jeans I need, the ones I’ve been casually eyeing since I was eighteen, are 94 bucks. And after I meander around the store for a few minutes, glancing at price tags as if they’ll display lower figures than they did two months ago, I’m disheartened and off to the sale rack, where the brand’s quirkiest, least-basic prints and designs always seem to end up. My forbidden love for American Apparel largely reflects my interest in all retailers that manufacture with ethics in mind.

Aside from socks or underwear, I can’t tell you the last time I purchased brand new clothing because, thanks to my anti-fast fashion mentality, I just can’t afford to. I’m uncomfortably wedged in a space where morality and practicality fail to get along with one another. And as I drive around the city from thrift store to thrift store in my tiny, fuel-burning, climate change-contributing car, I wonder if it’s silly to look for a pair of jeans that may never actually surface. If my disregard for the mall stores across the way is helping planet Earth or the underpaid laborers overseas. If the way one girl chooses to do one thing makes any difference.

The Sounds of State: Camelle Sison

Last Tuesday around noon I went to the KCR studio to meet up with Camelle Sison, the first responder to my new call for DJs to interview. She was very enthusiastic to do the interview just how she quickly responded to my post. I had met her once before in line for basketball tickets last semester with Denise Chang, our current blogging manager. I remember that Camelle didn’t have a radio show at the time, but she’s since moved on to host a show in addition to being a KCR blogger. She was very jovial and always had a smile on her face while talking about her show. Normally I note when my guest laughs but for Camelle I would have to do it almost every line because she was so positive and quick to laugh. I’ll let her do most of the talking now, so on to the interview:

Cameron Satterlee: So I am in the KCR studio with Camelle, welcome.

Camelle Sison: Thank you.

Cameron: Alright so let’s start it off, when’s your radio show and what’s it called?

Camelle: My radio show is every Thursday from 2 to 3 pm and it’s called the It’s Glam Cam Show!

Cameron: It’s Glam Cam, alright. I’ll ask about that in a bit, but how long have you been with KCR?

Camelle: I’ve been with KCR since last year, about the beginning of last semester. So probably sometime by September of last year.

Cameron: Mmm hmm, yeah I remember, but you were just blogging back then.

Camelle: Yeah.

Cameron: So this semester is your first semester as a DJ right?

Camelle: Yes yes, first time!

Cameron: Awesome. Well how are you liking it?

Camelle: I love it so far. Well first it was hard because I couldn’t find a cohost and I thought it would be very very difficult to not have one and my first two shows it was kind of hard, just transitioning from the music to talking to figuring out the dials back and forth. Compared to if I had a cohost, I could just talk, and my cohost could do the dials for me. But for the most part I got the hang of it now.

Cameron: Oh don’t even worry about that. I’ve talked to over a dozen DJ’s at this point and the first show is always tough.

Camelle: Yeah it is.

Cameron: But so, you have this fashion blog, I wanna cover that for a second, so what do you do?

Camelle: For my fashion blog, it’s called Fashion of the Week: Aztec Attire, and basically I go out on campus and I just try to interview anyone on campus because I don’t want to single out different styles. So basically whoever you are, if I catch you at a good time, I will stop you to ask if I could interview you for our school’s radio station blog. And I will ask about your outfit. “Why did you choose this outfit?” And everything like that. “Why did you pick those shoes?” “What’s your favorite clothing item?” And not only that but I try to get some of their personalities so I ask “what is some random fact about you?” It doesn’t even have to deal with fashion, cause my main purpose of this blog is to promote the diversity on campus. And through outfits that definitely shows some type of diversity.

Cameron: Yeah awesome. You’re pretty much the only DJ I’ve ever interviewed who also does a blog, which is what I do, so I think that’s pretty cool so that’s why I wanted to bring it up.

Camelle: Yes definitely it’s cool.

Cameron: So you have a fashion blog and a music show, so do you try to bring in some of your blog onto your show?

Camelle: Yes I try to incorporate a lot of fashion into it. The fact that a lot of listeners aren’t so into fashion, especially if I talk so girly about fashion, I won’t get guys to listen to my show. So I try to incorporate it, but to the best way where it will reach out to every type of audience. So I’ll talk about what am I seeing more on campus right now, everyone transitioning from winter clothes to summer clothes, what you’re seeing now, or the things that I blog about. Even not dealing with the fashion sense, cause I blog for other outlets, so I’ll put that in lifestyle blogging. I’ll talk about things dealing with lifestyle, so I incorporate pretty much everything. My show is entertainment and music.

Cameron: Yeah, awesome. So getting over to the music aspect, what’s the music you play for the most part?

Camelle: For the most part I play any music that I hear on the radio that’s very popular and mix it in with hip hop because I love hip hop music. So I try to incorporate both so I have something that I love, cause it is my radio show so I want to put in my own personality into it, and then also for everyone else, usually just one of the top hits on the billboards at the moment.

Cameron: So you said you like hip hop music a lot, and you try to have a good blend of I guess popular top 40 music and hip hop, how did you come about to liking that music?

Camelle: Since I was little I guess, maybe because my older brother was into hip hop music so I always got into hip hop music. Hip hop/R&B. And also that my friends listen to that type of music so that’s pretty much how I got into it, growing up with it. And also I play throwback Thursday songs on my radio show just for the fact that my show is on Thursdays. So I’m like “okay, throwback Thursday songs too!”

Cameron: Yeah that sounds familiar.

Camelle: Yeah that songs that you listened to back in the day. There was a time when I even played an NSYNC song.

Cameron: Oh wow. So why—I want to phrase this correctly because your show is a bit different than the normal music shows because you do music and entertainment—what made you want to do this sort of unique blend of your interests on the radio?

Camelle: I think mostly to inspire. Because I didn’t want it strictly to be music, I wanted people to have a little bit of my personality, know what I’m about. Although I’m a journalism major, I love inspiring people just without having to write journalistically. Instead of writing hard news and stuff like that. I love using the passion that I have for writing to inspire people, to uplift them. So there’s a lot of things I do on my show like quote of the day, and in between a song I’ll be like “okay it’s time for the quote of the day,” and it’s usually a quote that’s really uplifting. And then I have my input on it afterwards. My last quote had to do with being honest and I’ll put my input on there like “being honest will lead you to this, this, this, this, this” and I just want to make sure that everyone that listens to my show, when they’re done listening, they feel good about themselves and just inspired.

Cameron: Yeah and it’s great that KCR, with its whole you can do whatever you want type format, its allowed you to have this real interesting sounding and unique show. That’s just awesome.

Camelle: Yeah, thanks. I love it.

Cameron: Yeah, so I think I want to ask a couple more questions.

Camelle: Okay.

Cameron: Since you play popular music for the most part, what have you sort of been really playing lately.

Camelle: Lately I’ve been playing Maroon 5, their Sugar song is really popular at the moment. What else? Love Me Like You Do, Chris Brown songs, that’s pretty much it.

Cameron: Alright.

Camelle: I’m gonna write my script for this Thursday so we’ll see is on the top hit billboards.

Cameron: Wow you’ve even got a script, awesome.

Camelle: Oh yeah well I try to wing my show but I make sure I have a script too, to make sure I don’t get lost.

Cameron: Oh yeah I think a lot of people have that.

Camelle: There’s some people who literally wing their shows and I can’t do that for a full hour.

Cameron: Yeah I know what you mean, especially when you try to incorporate talk with the music like you do.

Camelle: Yeah exactly.

Cameron: So this is the last question, I usually try to end with it, it’s a fun one. How would your perfect show go?

Camelle: My perfect show go? That’s a tough one, tough but fun. Are you saying how I would want it to go?

Cameron: Yeah.

Camelle: Pretty much how it’s already going. But basically how it goes with more involvement, more people calling in. There’s quite a few people who do listen in because I promote it on my Instagram and on my Instagram I have 10,000 followers, they come and listen. Not only that but I have the most supportive friends and family ever, they’re always tuning in. One my cousins actually makes sure she has no meetings from 2 to 3 pm to listen. The perfect show would basically be everyone listening and breathing in everything I have to say when I actually talk. So everyone listening to the carpe diem part which is to live your life to the fullest and the quote of the day which helps to better your life overall. Basically that, hoping to make sure that everyone truly listens to the parts where I talk and call in afterwards! Yep.

Cameron: I just want to say it again, but you have 10,000 followers Instagram. That’s really impressive.

Camelle: Yeah so that’s why I love this radio station too, I want to make sure that not just college students at SDSU are listening, that I have a wide range of audience. I don’t even know how many people around the world are listening, but I know I’m advertising myself on Instagram and that’s a way for them to get to know me other than just seeing my posts. Because it’s my fashion Instagram, all my posts of me in my clothes that I love and just all these fashion posts so instead of seeing me just like that you know in one dimension, they can see me through hearing me and everything that I do.

Cameron: Yeah well that’s great, you must do a lot of great promoting for KCR too. With your huge audience. That’s really cool!

Camelle: Yeah.

Cameron: Alright I think we’ll end it on that, you’ve done a great job promoting KCR.

Camelle: Thanks.

Cameron: Thanks for sitting down with me, this has been a great interview.

Camelle: No problem, thank you thank you.

And so there’s the interview! Afterwards, Camelle and I talked in the studio, we both had class at later so we thought we’d beat the heat and stick indoors. We were joined by none other than Joey Bautista, who came in early for his show at 1. Joey of course was half of my first ever interview, so that was a great coincidence. The three of us talked for a while before going our separate ways. Camelle was a fantastic interview subject, she’s doing her own thing and dedicated to her vision for a great show. She’s taking full advantage of what KCR has to offer and I’m sure her large audience is also helping us out.

Here are her blog posts for KCR:

As well as a couple of posts from the other blog she contributes to:

Be sure to listen to her show, every Thursdays from 2 to 3, only on KCR College Radio, the Sound of State.