By Sierra Petro
The last Monday of the month is here, and that means it's time to announce February's Student Style Highlight... Sophie Lin, a freshman costume design major. Read below for The Print's interview with Sophie to learn about why passed down fashions from her family are so meaningful.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
My mom used to study fashion design and my godmother is a fashion designer in Paris. They ignited my curiosity to make costumes. My dad was a writer, and he influenced me a lot. I like writing articles about life and positive energy, and I want my design to navigate the story. It’s not only the appearance.
Why did you decide to leave Taiwan and study costume design at Purchase?
I was planning to apply to a university in Taiwan-- my interview and portfolio got really high grades, but my SAT score was not good. After doing some research, I realized that five professors in the Taiwan program went to the theatre design program at Purchase.
It’s hard not to notice you walking through the campus with your electric purple hair and brows. What attracts you to loud colors?
I was not as fashionable until I started to travel after high school. I was inspired by Tokyo because the people there are really bold. They dress like they don’t care how people view them and are more colorful. I add color and textured fabrics like velvet to my day because they are fun and give the clothes life.
Purchase students generally dress pretty casual to go to class. What makes you continue to go for a more styled look?
I hate when people who don’t know me say, “Oh you spend a lot of time on your look.” I don’t spend a lot of time. They think I have to put a lot of effort, but it’s my lifestyle. I used to read a lot of magazines and kind of mimic them. After time, I found my own style and what was suitable for me. When you know yourself more, your style becomes a way of living.
You mentioned that your family ignited your curiosity for costume. Do you have a lot of hand-me-downs?
Yes, this dress is from my mother. She wore it when she was 20. I don’t like to buy things I cannot wear for a long time; I want to keep them for my daughter and granddaughter. I think it’s a really beautiful thing because people say fashion is a waste, but if you find something really nice you can actually pass it on for generations.
My shoes are from a German brand called “Trippen,” and I have three pairs in different shapes and colors. They say lucky in Chinese on the bottom, so I bring luck everyday. It’s cool because the designer said that once he traveled to China, he was touched by the calligraphy. He said when women wear high heels they kind of suffer from it, but he wants women to wear high heels with happiness.
My mom is a really feminine woman and I’m not. I want to combine her style with my own, and a staple of mine is huge pants. These are from Japan’s Uniqlo.
This is a crystal necklace my mom gave me. The thought behind it is that you can make a wish and then carry your wish with you.
My coat is in a Chinese style and is from my godmother’s brand, Sophie Hong.
Keep up with Sophie on Insta @lianggg_bao. To submit yourself or another Purchase student for The Print's Student Style Highlight, contact our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.