Alexander McQueen. Chanel. Kate Spade. Michael Kors. Céline. Alaïa. These are the names of the top high fashion brands named as favorites by officers of the Fashion Club of Boston College (FCBC). But these are not simply clothing brands or a name plastered on the tag of an amalgamation of fabric. In the eyes of those responsible for creating and facilitating the FCBC, these names represent an artform that BC has yet to appreciate.
“There is this debate whether fashion is art or not, but I really think it is,” said FCBC President Greta Quintini, MCAS ’17, as her ring gilded fingers pushed back her sleek, dark hair.
Her off-the-runway, thick charcoal eyeliner jutted out from either side of her eyelids, jumping to and fro as she smiled and laughed. She constantly shifted her Michael Kors purse closer to and farther away from her body and twiddled with her monochromatic black ensemble. She exuded style and fashion.
From Rome, Italy, Quintini began her collegiate fashion journey in her freshman year at BC, when the club was founded. Beginning as the FCBC Freshman Representative, she worked her way up the ladder to become the club’s president this year. Quintini has watched FCBC grow and has been a living, breathing example of the club’s mission.
“The club’s mission is, first of all, to have fun with fashion because I think it’s a form of art that I don’t think is recognized yet.” Quintini said. “We really want to have fun with the creative parts of it, but, at the same time, we want students to be aware that there is an industry—a business side of fashion—that people aren’t aware of.”
FCBC is still striving to make sure this mission is heard. Prior to this year, FCBC held networking events with department stores Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue as well their own annual fashion show amid the fluorescent lights and linoleum flooring of the Rat. The 2015 FCBC Fashion Show featured brands such as Vineyard Vines, Daisy Spade, Duchess, and Clear Classics, as well as dramatic and artistic student designs from the Grecian era.
The list of this year’s events and guest speakers spans name brands and companies that BC students sport everyday without knowing their connections to this up and coming organization. This past November, McEdward Laguerre, Adidas’ leader in talent acquisition and BC ’13, spoke to students in Gasson Hall about his experience working at Adidas and with Kanye West for his Adidas line.
In October, British online fashion and beauty store ASOS held a pop up event giving away 10-percent discounts at their store and free printed, customized tote bags. But FCBC wants to expand beyond this and push the envelope even further—garner more attention for their events and create a club that not only covers the trends, but also makes them. The best way to make this happen is to continuously advertise and broadcast FCBC’s ongoing efforts to bring high fashion to BC.
Eva Valcic, PR director and CSOM ’19, and Coco Hayes, event coordinator and head of Instagram and MCAS ’18 find this to be their main priority. FCBC usually advertises their events and meetings through their newsletter and listserv which is broadcast to 350 BC students. But this outreach is not exclusive to BC.
“I am also in charge of facilitating relationships with outside representatives to set up event logistics if someone is coming to BC,” Valcic said. “I also regularly communicate with the rest of the E-Board and attend weekly meetings.”
What is important about fostering these connections between brands and BC is the “X-factor” about Boston and BC’s campus that may drawn them in. “BC students as a whole take pride in the way they present themselves, whether it be on campus or off campus,” Valcic said. “This passion for self expression is definitely noted and appreciated by brands and vendors who seek out BC.”
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Aside from events and lectures, the FCBC plans to draw students in with their annually printed fashion magazine, Icon. Previously known as à la Mode, the magazine is a student produced publication that features on-and off-campus trend coverage, feature stories on fashion internships, and photoshoots modeled for and shot by BC students.
Flipping through the pages of 2016’s Icon and 2015’s à la Mode, it is hard not to be impressed by the level of passion, effort, and skill put into every article, photograph, and layout design. The word “sophistication” instantly comes to mind while reading the high fashion trend coverage featured that is reminiscent of Vogue and Elle magazines.
Past stories include a feature about a student fashion internship entitled “My Life as an Intern at Seventeen” by Jennifer Suh, MCAS ’17, a Boston street style piece photographed by former officers, and a piece all about Paris Fashion Week Fall 2015 entitled, “Paris is Always a Good Idea.”
Maggie Bree, CSOM ’18 and Kelly O’Donovan, CSOM ’19, the current Icon editors-in-chief, are compelled to craft an exciting 2017 issue that takes note from their past issues and reaches a larger audience than ever before. Bree especially noted the need for improvements for the magazine in order for this to happen.
“Definitely involvement and efficiency. That was an issue last year. It was supposed to be published at the end of the year but it wasn’t actually published until September or October of this year.”
These kinds of bumps in the road are no surprise, though. Having just been founded four years ago, FCBC is successfully pushing through the early kinks that any club experiences at the start.
What truly ties the organization together and separates them from the rest, though, is their demand for BC to foster a fashion-friendly environment. FCBC is a budding group of fashionable students yearning for campus coverage and the chance to blossom into an unavoidable school force. The only key component of the equation missing is BC itself.
There are no current classes offered that touch upon the field of fashion. When asked whether they would be interested in taking fashion oriented classes, such as fashion merchandising or the history of fashion, all of those interviewed instantly smiled and nodded with excitement. Studio art or art students in general could also benefit from fashion photography or design classes.
German fashion designer, artist, and photographer—and current head designer and creative director of the fashion house of Chanel—Karl Lagerfeld is a name that came up a lot throughout many of the interviews conducted. Lagerfeld once said, “Fashion is about two things, the evolution and the opposite.”
FCBC is already in the beginning stages of its evolution. Their annual fashion show should be expected around February and the next issue of Icon is sure to hit the BC campus this spring. The opposite that the club requires is the help of students who are interested more in the business side of fashion—those who will be excited to listen to lectures from brand names and fashion company networking opportunities.
One lesson learned from sitting down with many of the FCBC officers, especially Quintini, is when in the FCBC, do as the Romans do—or namely, one Roman. It is exciting to see the start of something special. BC’s fashion underdogs, those who are trying to bring high fashion to the Heights, are embarking on a journey to mark territory on campus that hasn’t been discovered yet. Each member’s unique sense of style, passion for fashion, proclivity for leadership, and desire to reach out to other is what is making the Fashion Club of BC the most exciting one to join.
Photos Courtesy of FCBC