Zeynep SENOLSUN

DO KOC UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADS FALL VICTIM OF FASHION FAD?

Sipping my cup of coffee at the university coffee shop, thinking about what to write for my assignment I cant help but notice one more time, all my fellow undergrads who walk up and down on the campus looking busy with a phone call or trying to make it to their lecture. At that moment I came up with the idea of fashion.

Fashion is almost an obligation, a personal statement now. No one wears the clothes that their mothers bought anymore.

Falling behind trendy looks is synonymous with being boring or lacking taste. It gives clues about you and your life style, not to mention your economic power. Especially among teenagers and young adults talking fashion or being a role model is a significant part of ordinary life. Hundreds of shopping malls with thousands of shops and the state-of-the-art online shopping sites make it easier than ever before.

Koc University youth is not an exception to this. But even though some people are relatively more competent with bringing together the right combo and turning head , others only survive as followers. As you may have guessed, Koc University students will be our target to point our fingers at the most recent trends and those who fail to keep up with the change. Let us see how fashion rituals are fulfilled and how high street fashion finds it way into Koc University Society.

“People get inspired from others they adopt bits and pieces and adapt them to their own taste. That is for sure! But sometimes they may go too far as to look like a copy-paste individuals” says Begum Erbas.

That , as you will imagine, can be called imitation to be sound less judgmental lets call it inspiration overdose!!!

For a moment you might even think you are on a parade where children are dressed in uniform clothes another moment you can’t miss those who simply forget about the context of a campus and feel free to look like a party girl or boy for that matter. But let’s not get rarely but analyze the subject better with the help of some undergrads see how they feel about fashion trends on Koc University campus.

FASHION FLAWS EXIST ON CAMPUS

One of business administration students, Su Sozen accepted to reflect her ideas about Koc Student`s fashion perspective.

“Comfort should be priority”

A simple question, do you think we can talk about Koc University is a hub of style?

“Koc University is reputable for both its high quality education and student profile which is mainly composed of upper-end of the socioeconomic scale. It is true that students are fashion-conscious. Financial security enables them to spare budget for fashions trends which change on a regular basis”.

Can we say that majority can adapt to change? For example how do you feel about fashion?

“Personally I find fashion an interesting topic because it is a way of living and it may help enhance your popularity to a great extent. But fashion is also a topic which should be taken in small doses. For a moment one particular item or style may become trendy and following this craze without care may result in ridicule in the next moment”

- What do you mean?

“For example tight pants for gentlemen are fashionable for today but they won’t be tomorrow or some day soon. Wearing tight pants despite your unsuitable physique is already not so attractive but doing it haphazardly might cause embarrassment”.

- Girls?

“Surely there are really appealing looks in the corridors. There are

students at different ends of the spectrum. If you want an example, I observe female students who seem to have spent a great deal of money on expensive bags, and shoes. There are two things to consider in this situation. In the first place, I believe this must be a great burden on their families and this spending spree is for something which will simply pass away in a matter of months. Secondly, it may look much for a university campus”

- I see; any other observation you would like to share?

“Alright, fashion is inevitable but we do not have to acquire everything that’s presented to us. Comfort should be priority especially when you are a 19 year-old student. Also, let’s not forget appropriate university campus is not a catwalk stage; we don’t need high heels for a class at 9. Am”.

Sozen’s outlook gives some insight about fashion on Koc University Campus. But she is not alone in this matter another undergrad Haruka Aysin accepted my request and point out to the time students spend for make-up and dressing up.

“I think many students attend more to the shopping centers than lectures.” Also, this year we have seen male students with long beard after the so-called TV series ‘Muhtesem Yuzyil’. I agree that it suits some but not all faces. I don’t say it is wrong to follow fashion but excess of everything is bad. Also remember that in a couple of years this will all be past. We should think ahead.

- Are you for simplicity?

“Definitely! Modest but tasteful, this is how I define fashion that you wont regret when everything is over”.

BRAND SENSITIVITY LEADS TO UNIFORMITY

My personal observations have showed that adopting fashion is not only about purchasing anything that looks fashionable for that particular day. It is more about what brand is acquired to show you’re fashion conscious. One year one brand becomes a flag of personal statement another year some other brand. And Deniz Ozekmekci doesn’t disagree with me. “Now without X brand shoes you are incomplete, last year it was XX .”

However, this trend of brand sensitivity may translate into looking alike with everyone else.

This reminds me that the new haird style called ‘ombre’ which is basically having a lighter shade on your hair especially towards the tips. She adds:

“This is really popular among ladies many people hoped to look different and ‘cool’ but so many people did the same thing and it is no more cool’.

MINORITY CHOOSES MARGINALITY

So can we say Koc University students do not try anything which is not on high street? According to Alara Altay the answer to this question is “no”.

“I study in the faculty of Media Studies and it is not unusual to meet people with hair colored in really extraordinary shades”.

- Like?

“Pink or blue. Or there is this new so-called ‘hipster’ style. To tell you the truth, I witness critical looks from other students. It makes me think that when you are not so much part of the popular culture, this may be threatening for others, or let’s put it in another way there may be prejudice”

Xxxxx brings a new insight to the matter.

BE WHO YOU ARE WITH YOUR CHOICES

It seems like Koc University is like a reflection of the rest of the society on a smaller scale. Surely, the number of luxury enthusiasts and those who can afford a new brand bag quite frequently is more concentrated here but that doesn’t change the fact that not everyone manages to be fashion icons and turn heads with the best choices.

Uniformity, brand sensitivity, out-of-place choices –like high heels or supermini skirts- some good taste, some marginality, being a leading figure or a follower are the key words o describe fashion conscious Koc University undergrads.

WHAT TO THINK OF IT

I, like many, believe that fashion is part of life and young people are full of it. They are more independent and feel closer to becoming adults in a few years time. This entire obsession about having a personal statement and trying to be ‘cool’ or part of a new society is part of the process.

As my interview has showed there is criticism on a few matters. On the one hand there are students who invest their time and money to look fashionable and on the other there are those who find brand sensitivity a bit risky. Not to forget, following fashion without paying attention to your physical appearance or the context of university campus is frowned upon.

Personally I like the fact that there is some awareness about it. Also, what we discussed here is not limited to Koc University. At the age of the Internet, it is not possible to say away from the latest trends. Now it is only a click away to learn about the do’s and don’ts of fashion. I don’t want to draw a too pessimistic picture on the contrary I am quite optimistic about the new trends thanks to new technology.