Street Style from Hometown Cities Around the World
The undergraduate makeup of Stanford is inherently cosmopolitan. Our 7,000 students hail from all around the country and world—90 countries last academic year, to be exact. Looking around campus (and past the onslaught of cardinal red sweats) you can catch a faint glimpse of internationally-inspired outfits that incorporate the street style of each student’s hometown.
I got the chance to sit down with members of the Class of 2018 from three, vibrant cities—Paris, Los Angeles, and Mexico City—to chat about the street styles of their hometowns as well as their personal twist on current trends there. While these street styles differ wildly—from androgyny in Paris, to bohemian trends in L.A., to preppy pieces Mexico in City—these natives agree that “hipster” best encapsulates youth style.
(English, Creative Writing)
1. In five words, describe Paris.
Historical, sophisticated, secretive, mysterious, ineffable.
2. Tell me about the street style in Paris
I’ve actually been thinking about this quite a lot, and I’ve been trying to figure out what makes Paris street style distinctive, because there are no really unifying factors, but there’s definitely something that ties a lot of girls’ fashions together, and I see a lot of brands recurring a lot, like Sandro and Kooples, which are kind of emblematic Paris street style.
I’d say that it’s got a distinctive classiness to it that doesn’t often veer to pretention because we hate exhibiting brands; like it has to be there but carefree, as if you don’t care about what you’re wearing and you don’t care about the way you look. It’s not entirely put together. If it’s too put together, the French usually think that it’s kitsch and tacky, then it doesn’t work as well.
It can go in a rock direction, a lot of black and leather, but keeps this—I wouldn’t say sophisticated but—elegant side to it. Lots of organic materials: real leather, real fur, silk, things that are older and more classical fabrics. A lot of neutrals, a lot of blacks, greys, and beiges. Very linear I’d say also: very structured coats, straight jeans, things like that.
3. What’s your twist on Paris street style?
Recently I’ve been getting into a sort of San Francisco—slightly Beat, slightly bohemian—side of things to my own fashion. I really like how in Paris you can see a lot of simple pieces made elegant. I love that you can just wear a white T-shirt and black and have that look perfect. But, I definitely do like exploring vintage; I’ve been exploring thrift stores and 50’s, 60’s, 70’s fashion, and I love that sometimes they intersect really well. One icon that puts those two things together is Audrey Hepburn. She does it fantastically well, I feel like she has the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, slightly Beat side of fashion, but also lots of blacks, lots of very simple things, cigarette pants and things like that.
4. Current trends in Paris?
Coats like the one I’m wearing right now that are straight-cut. Fur, that’s always been a trend. Leather boots, very big. I’d say last time I was in Paris I saw an imitation of punk in a very feminine way among a lot of girls. You’ll see a lot of leather jackets and studded boots, but they always are not all the way. There’s also definitely a sort of Bohemian thing going on recently. Softer more flowing pants, flowing clothes.
One thing that I’ve noticed more and more over the years is that French women have a completely different take on what makes you sexy than most other cultures do. I feel like one of the common mistakes that we stay away from like the plague is that tight and skimpy makes sexy. There’s a lot more sensuality in androgyny, and there’s more sensuality in very simple, flowing lines and things that don’t try too hard. To see effort in an outfit is an automatic turnoff for the French. There’s also a degree of unpredictability; we could just wear no makeup and our hair in a ponytail for a job interview, and then just decide to put on red lipstick to get our bread in the morning.
5. Main spots for shopping in Paris?
Depends what trend you’re looking for! My favorite area is called Le Marais. It’s east of Paris, it’s the more hipster area, you’ll find places like Colette there—which is a really famous store in Pairs that a lot of people go shopping at.
6. Tell me about your outfit
I’m wearing chunky heeled boots, skinny black jeans from Acne, a sheer white silk top from Zara, and a sort of blazer-y, autumn coat from Red Valentino. The necklace is a personal touch; it was given to me by my mom, she got it on one of her travels. It’s made from different types of gemstones, like lapis lazuli. I think she got it in Argentina. That’s one of the things I forgot to add about Parisian style: it usually incorporates unique elements that you wouldn’t find in anyone else’s wardrobe. Those things are usually set back, they can be a ring or a brooch or something you won’t see immediately that will differentiate your outfit from anyone else. I think we have a very important fear of looking the same as anyone else that manifests itself in our fashion choices.
The bag is a small, Prada clutch. I love to accessorize bags with a variety of different scarves or little handkerchiefs. This one is one I got at Hermès, which is also a very French, staple brand. It’s one of my favorite pieces: I’ve worn it as a bandana at music festivals, on my wrist as a bracelet. I can’t overstate how much I love little things like that
(Music, Science & Technology)
1. In five words, describe L.A.
Hip, lively, entertaining, sunny, and fun.
2. Tell me about the street style in your hometown city
Street style in LA is very diverse because of all of its different sections. You have things ranging from the most hipster you can possibly go (which would be like the Silver Lake area) to very classy, looking almost Londonesque (lots of button down shirts, very nice chinos or dress pants, very nice shoes—usually wingtips, suede shoes or something like that). You also have, very similar to this new Paris vibe, a bohemian style which is kind of looser—loose pants, very thrifty.
3. What’s your twist on L.A. street style?
Street style ranges for sure. I’ve been into all of those different ways of dressing. I’m definitely going in that bohemian direction right now. I still wear a lot of suede shoes, wingtips, leather boots are really popular, and lots of skinny jeans, rolling up your pants is also definitely a thing.
4. What are some current trends that are going on right now?
There’s definitely a lot of jean jackets being worn, patterned shirts too—that’s very common. Floral prints are also very popular.
5. Main spot for shopping
Melrose Avenue is definitely a hot spot. That’s more of the vintage store-slash-thrift shopping vibe. You can also find a lot of really cool designer stores like Fred Siegel or Barneys.
Third Street Promenade is a little more mainstream—there’s lots of Urban Outfitters and H&M—that’s also an amazing spot to shop.
6. Tell me about your outfit
I am wearing some wingtips, they’re brown and white, kind of ‘20s-30’s, that era. I’m wearing some rolled up, orangeish puke-colored chinos. I’m wearing a blue, floral, long-sleeved, button-down with various colored roses on it. I have to stress, that is a huge huge trend right now in LA: lots of floral button-downs, and honestly, the more intricate the pattern, the cooler.
I’m also wearing a Coachella bracelet. Especially in LA, Coachella specifically but music festivals in general, are very, very popular. They’re almost used as a social thing now. Even the actual event Coachella is very social; it’s not even about the music at this point. Wearing a Coachella bracelet is a pretty big statement saying “Hey, I was there.” It starts conversations. People definitely wear a lot of accessories: lots of sunglasses, definitely a lot of necklaces and bracelets.
The red bracelet is actually just a hipster, spiritual blessing type thing that a person gave to me at Coachella. I guess that’s also a common way you can go in LA
ANA CAROLINA MEXIA PONCE LEON
1. In five words, describe Mexico City.
Dynamic, crowded, fun, big, diverse.
2. Tell me about the street style in Mexico City.
In Mexico City, a lot of the style has become very preppy-slash-hipster. People are either on the very hipster side, the very preppy side, or most of them are in-between, where they tend to be preppy but still have the hipster booties, for example. For boys it’s a lot about button-down shirts.
That’s for people our age. For older people, it goes much more to the preppy side. You go from hipster to preppy as you get older. I’m thinking about moms especially. A lot of people ask me if I can wear my mom’s dresses and I’m like no—she has amazing style, but it’s a style for moms. People dress according to their age, which is nice.
3. What’s your on Mexico City street style?
I think I play with the preppy and hipster sides. At Stanford, I am able to play with it: one day I’ll go to one end of the spectrum, and one day I will go to the other end, and another day I’ll mix things. I think I’m more on the preppy side with my fashion. But, I really like to be able to go around the spectrum and be like, today I’m going to wear this really cool hat. For me, I like going over the top. I like making a statement with what I’m wearing.
For me, a statement piece would be hats. I love hats, but it’s hard to wear them here. I think it’s hats, necklaces, and shoes.
4. Current trends in Mexico City?
I was there in the summer, and it was a really big change from being here at Stanford with all the crop tops. That’s not really a thing in Mexico. It was a lot of maxi dresses, long skirts—a lot of flow, not very tight. It’s very fresh.
There’s this outfit people always wear in Mexico City: dark jeans, a cool jacket, a cool shirt, and Converse. That’s the staple. I like shoes, but I won’t wear Converse; that’s not my thing, at all. They’re too common for me. There’s something I don’t really enjoy about conforming—like everyone wears Converse, so just wear converse. Refusing is my way of getting creative. If I’m going to wear jeans and a T-shirt, I’ll wear it with booties instead, or a hat.
5. Main spots for shopping in Mexico City?
In Mexico we have a lot shopping centers. One I really like is Antara Polanco. It’s kind of like the Stanford Shopping Center in a way, but it’s much prettier. It has three-levels, but it’s open. There’s a space with only restaurants and there’s dancing clubs there too. There’s both high scale stores and not. In Mexico it’s how it happens: either you have both things, the very high up with Zara and all the other ones, or you have just the very high up ones.
Our equivalent of Macy’s or Bloomingdales is El Palacio de Hierro. It’s everywhere in Mexico City; they carry the cool brands. They have Chanel Boutiques, Givenchy boutiques, they have everything. Antara Polanco doesn’t have one, which is very different from the other malls. It gives Antara Polanco a different vibe because it’s smaller; I like it.
6. Tell me about the outfit you’re wearing.
I’m wearing blue leggings from Zara, my booties are from Massimo Dutti, and the shirt is Abercrombie. I’m wearing a statement necklace from Zara on the bottom because I didn’t want it to be the center of attention but I wanted to have something there. My vest is from Ralph Lauren, and I’m wearing a Gucci watch, purse, and glasses. I decided to put the little bow on the purse to match my shoes and give it a little bit of a vibe. As for my lipstick choice: lipsticks are very big in Mexico right now. It’s hard to keep them up at Stanford because you’re in-between classes and you don’t want to be fixing your lipstick, but I decided to wear something here. My purpose was to make my lips one of the main statements. I also decided to do a very blue outfit because it would be representative of the things people would wear in Mexico. If I had worn this outfit with white Converse, it would have been much more Mexico, but I had to give it my twist.