Scene at State

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Scene at State

Madeleine Schwarz

Madeleine Schwarz

Madeleine Schwarz

by Madeleine Schwarz, Staff Writer

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May gray — it’s a time when gloom startles us each year, smack dab in the middle of an end-of-the-year season which should beg for celebration, excitement and overall pleasantries.

The dreariness of the morning combined with foreboding finals and days-long stretches at the library evidently results in a campus covered in dark hues, stress and sweatshirts.

Out of the drab floated music sophomore Charity Brown, a human version of the cherry blossoms that bloomed around her.

A vibrant vision of spring, her electric purple wide-leg pants both contrasted and complemented her cropped rust sweater.

The student’s thrifted Doc Martens added a touch of grunge to the ensemble, an outfit which was, quite literally, tied together by a printed headscarf. 

Brown’s gold jewelry, perhaps skipped over upon first glance due to the magnetic nature of the rest of the look, was a statement in itself. A serpent dangled from her right ear, coupled with a safety pin in the other — a pair, it seemed, no one else could pull of in such fluid harmony.

Her gold septum ring and a duo of layered chains added the slightest sprinkling of something almost trivial, but necessary, like a dash of cayenne you didn’t know was missing from the soup until added.

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How do you describe your style?

I like a lot of color. I think color is really, really important. And messing around with stuff that doesn’t necessarily conventionally match. I kind of just wanna look like I don’t care. I use my style as a way to express myself without saying anything, because I’m a pretty quiet person the majority of the time. I feel like a lot of interactions I have with people are from a distance.

Where do you draw style inspiration from?

I f—ing love Zoe Kravitz. Her style is really dope — she has that kind of boho thing going. I really like Solange’s style. Do you know who Tracee Ellis Ross is? She’s like 50, but she put me onto wide leg pants. I also pull a lot from the ‘90s and ‘70s.

Where do you shop?

I literally just thrift. I’m so poor right now. I went to Salvation Army yesterday and it was 50% off the entire store. So I went in! Not Buffalo Exchange because I think they punk you, but Salvation Army, Goodwill, veterans thrift shops, anywhere really. Or I’ll trade clothes with my friends and my brother.

Would you say your music influences your style?

Yeah definitely. I feel like the more I figure out my identity as an artist, the more I want my style to be a reflection of that. My music is pretty colorful, I try to make it as bright as possible, so I apply that to my whole being.

What’s your favorite article of clothing right now?

I bought this aqua blue corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows yesterday and it fit perfectly. And then I gave it away. I knew the person liked the jacket and I told them to try it on, and it looked better on them, so I couldn’t hold on to it. It suited them better. I’m still low-key mourning.

What advice do you have for students looking to explore their style?

Let go of the high school mentality. I feel like (in high school) no matter who you were or how much you tried to pretend you didn’t care what anyone thought, deep down you did, because you saw those same people for four years. That’s a lot of pressure.

Here there are thousands of people, and everyone is forming their own identity — they’re not focused on what other people are doing, really. Just use that as a way to let go. You can be whoever you want to be.

No matter how much you think you can’t, you have the ability to change everything. I know the outside doesn’t change the inside, but I feel like it low-key does.

When you wear something you feel good in, you feel good. I just wish people were more free. We admire people that aren’t afraid, because we wish we could do that, right? I’m trying to be that person more.

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