Avant Garb Mag interviewed Camille Farradas ’19, a former AVG styling director who shared about sweaters, the influence of Miami, and staying true to herself through fashion
Interview by Mishal Kazmi
Photos by Chris Ritter
MK: What’s in your closet?
CF: I actually switch out my closet by season because the space gets to me but right now, it’s mostly sweaters. Coming from Miami, I kind of had to create a whole new wardrobe because I literally didn’t have anything at all. But yeah, mostly a lot of dresses that I like to layer. I got really into plaid recently, so I have like three plaid dresses, a lot of puffy jackets. I’m also getting into animal print now so I have this satin leopard skirt and snakeskin bell-bottom pants. I don’t know, I’m always switching it up, my closet is not stagnant at all. It’s always developing.
MK: What takes up the most space in your closet?
CF: Definitely more summer clothes, not here but just in general I have a ton of summer dresses. I love sundresses. I have a whole drawer of just crop tops, it’s absurd, shirts I like to layer and just really basic tees. I think I like to base my outfits on one statement piece, like the satin skirt.
MK: How would you define your style?
CF: It’s funny, I didn’t really think about style before getting here [to Bowdoin]. My sister does fashion; she went to Parsons so style is her thing and so I didn’t really think of mine till I got here and people were like, “oh you’re so dressed up to go to class!” I think on campus, people who dress up take pride in their style and notice each other so it’s always a fun conversation like “oh, what are you going to wear?” But my style I think is—it’s not bohemian but I like to shop at Free People a lot, I like to mix the colorful sense. Maybe a little mix of edgy and bohemian. It’s just very Miami and that’s just hard to nail down. A lot of colors, a lot of patterns for sure.
MK: You mentioned your sister and how she’s into fashion. When would you say you became interested in fashion?
CF: I’ve talked to a lot of women of color on campus and I think it’s just the way I was raised, you know, you look good to be professional and get things done. So, I think it’s always been engrained but shifting to actual fashion has happened in the last three years for sure.
MK: What’s one item that has special meaning to you in your closet?
CF: So, my sister got me this jacket from her knitwear brand, I don’t wear it as much now but my freshman year I wore it a lot. But yeah it was just a staple of my first year. It’s something that means a lot to me just because it came from her and it’s just a handmade gesture. I also have this really nice Adidas jacket that I got with my friend when she visited me in Australia. This also means a lot because it was such a good time with her and I’ve never seen this type of an Adidas sweatshirt before.
MK: Tell me a little bit about your accessories.
CF: So, I really only wear these necklaces. They have a lot of special meaning to me. I wear a lot of hoops, a lot of bold hoops. And then I have a ton of scrunchies. I also want to do scarves, haven’t done that yet. I have my 3 rings that I wear all the time. So yeah, I really keep it simple with jewelry. I started wearing belts this year which is exciting, they make a lot of difference. I’m actually trying to accessorize more with hairstyles and makeup and that’s not traditionally an accessory but I put a lot of time into thinking about what makeup look I want to try out with certain outfits.
MK: If you could wear anything, what would it be?
CF: if I had a valid reason to wear this somewhere—I went to an exhibit at the MET recently and they made a dress for Rihanna, and they had all those designers there and some other really beautiful pieces. But yeah, I don’t know where I’d wear it but if I had a chance to ever wear one of their gowns, it would be absurd. I really think it’s a transformation of art. You’re not just wearing something, you’re becoming part of it.
MK: Is there something in your closet that you can always count on?
CF: My go-to looking-nice outfit is like this suede leather dress and I wear it with tights and a turtleneck or if it’s warm, just alone. It just fits for every situation.
MK: What factors inform your daily outfit choices, to class or to parties or to other events?
CF: I check the weather every morning, I’ll be like falling asleep and I visualize my outfits and then in the morning I’ll check the weather. Going out is way more about makeup for me. If I have a new product I want to try out like a green eyeliner, I will wear whatever to make that eye look work. I think the weekend is my time to go all out with makeup because I don’t have energy on weekdays so clothes become secondary on weekends.
MK: What are you never seen without?
CF: Definitely my white Canada goose. It’s like my staple. Someone will say, “oh I saw you across the quad” because of this jacket.
MK: What has been your worst fashion choice?
CF: Sometimes I look at photos from my freshman year and I’m like, “What was I doing?” I’d wear these patterned leggings sometimes. That’s just a no, like I don’t know who thought that worked. I used to wear a lot of really big winged cat-eye eyeliner, too.
MK: Why is style important for your identity?
CF: I think at Bowdoin, a lot of people who aren’t from the northeast feel a little suffocated and I didn’t realize how I dress or how I present myself was so tied to where I’m from because it’s comforting when I wear what I want to wear and I feel good because that’s who I am. I had a moment in freshman year when I had a choice to go out and buy a Patagonia jacket and a pair of bean boots and try to blend in. Or I could stick to my roots and where I come from. And I remember that moment very vividly because I was like “no that would be so ingenuine.” And so, style is really important to me on this campus because it’s an anchor in who I am and where I come from, and a reminder that yeah, you’re here in this totally different culture but that’s not who you are.
MK: do you think that fashion should be discussed and if so, why?
CF: Yeah, it should be because it reflects people’s stories, where they come from and who they are in really intricate ways that people don’t assume right away. You can really tell a lot from how someone dresses and the effort they’re putting in.