Being in the league

Style Mantra

Being in the league

Rajarajeshwari had never shaped her eyebrows before. Mere mention of facials only made her blink. She had never dared to even think of wearing a western costume. P G Cariappa was so used to oiling his hair and wearing a high waist pants that anything different was demeaning to him.

Today, Rajarajeshwari is forever into sartorial experiments. Cariappa gels his hair and moves around in a low slung jean. Coming off age, for youngsters now, is less about physiological changes and more about how the metamorphosis in what they look and wear.

Metrolife interacted with a cross-section of boys and girls from across the colleges in the City and found that college is where most youngsters metamorphose from gawky adolescents into fashionistas. Rajarajeshwari, a first year art student at Chitrakala Parishat (CKP) and P G Cariappa with St Joseph’s College of Commerce, dress not for themselves but to be in a league that has its code of dressing.

Priyanka J, a I PUC student in Mount Carmel College, wouldn’t say it is her friends who got her change her style. “You have to change if you want to be accepted or just be left out and be by yourself. Tell me, what should one choose?” she asks. Anna Mathew, a II BCom student at Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, says she consciously chooses her wardrobe keeping in mind the latest trends in fashion, the college and what her friends would like to see her in. Gifty Annie Abraham, her friend, quickly pitches in: “These two little clips that I am wearing on my hair are in vogue. Yes, they are the ones that you would normally find on a five-year-old. It is just that we 19-year-olds have gone back in time and fashion.”

Students at Chitrakala Parishat have devised their own ways to make their fellow students make the latest fashion statements on the campus. There is a different dressing code each day. It could be Beggar’s Day one day, Punk’s Day and Quick Murugan Day on another and Bride’s Day the next day.

Torn jeans, tight tops and westernising Indian wear are what is preferred. “We girls even exchange our Tee shirts and swap jackets and sweat shirts with the boys,” says Susan, a third year semester student at CKP.

Keeping in mind the strict code of dressing at Jain College, Shwetha R, a second year PUC student says she cannot wear her choice of clothing but chooses her clothes whether kurta or salwar with a western touch to it. Ashwini S, a II year degree student at MES College, says the college has a dress code but girls invent their own clothing as in they wear sweat shirts over kurtas and also tights with salwars. As long as our dressing is descent then it shouldn’t bother the management, she says.

Professors in colleges aver that as long as students dress in an “appropriate” manner it was fine but action would be taken if they begin to experiment too much. Anil Kumar, an art historian thinks fashion itself is an art. “In our college days we tried to be unaffordably stylish but today the young are affordably stylish. They are terribly conscious of what they wear and devise their own rules when it comes to fashion,” says Anil. Anitha Rao, the parent of 16-year-old daughter studying at Jyothi Nivas College says that short tops and low waist jeans are a big ‘No’. “We aren’t very comfortable with our daughter revealing too much. She has to dress in keeping with her upbringing,” she signs off.

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