St. John’s reputation for academic success and its promising opportunities aren’t the only things that attract students to the school, it is also the rich culture and diversity. Students at St. John’s are an eccentric group from all walks of life. They are known for being intelligent, ambitious, cultured and notoriously well dressed. Fashion Week is the pinnacle of New York’s fall season. People from all over the world flock to the runways to witness a true spectacle. A week later, St. John’s students keep the spirit of Fashion Week alive with their unique style.
It’s impossible not to notice a person with blue hair. The tips of Claire Bunkers’ hair are bright turquoise. There is a small braid tucked in her charmingly unkempt ponytail and a smile on her face. Bunkers is a junior from Orange County, California studying Government and Politics and pursuing a career in International Relations.
The first time Claire dyed her hair was during her freshman year at St. John’s and she’s been dying it ever since.
“I didn’t know anyone and there were so many styles on campus and everywhere [in New York],” Bunkers said. “Even though my hair was blue, I felt I fit in more than I stood out.”
Bunkers is a savvy bargain shopper who has accumulated interesting articles of clothing and jewelry over time. She was wearing black and gold Jeffery Campbell “knockoff” shoes, black and red stonewashed skinny jeans, and a cut off vintage tee from a BlackHawk concert. BlackHawk was a country band from the 90s. Claire found the shirt at an “expensive thrift store,” she said, and figured that it had a rare history.
On her wrists and fingers, she wears an assortment of bracelets and rings, each of which have a story of their own. On her right is a friendship bracelet given by her freshman roommate, a red rosary bracelet from Mexico, an elaborate silver ring with salmon colored stones given to her by a friend, a fluorescent green admission band she got at a bar over the weekend, a small black cross on her thumb which she wears for comfort, and a worn brown leather bracelet with different colored beads. She found this bracelet on the ground one day and was intrigued by the black, red, white, silver and green colored beads.
“I think the colors have different meanings,” she said, and indeed they do.
The color black envokes power, red symbolizes courage, white represents purity, silver symbolizes elegance, and green signifies prosperity.
“I have a few pieces of jewelry I found on the ground,” she confessed with a light hearted chuckle.
On her left hand, Claire wears a Tibetan ring of religious significance, and on her wrist, a white woven bracelet that says “Mexico” in Mexican national colors. She got the bracelet at the Feast of San Gennaro street festival in Little Italy, New York. Also on her left arm, is a wooden bracelet imprinted with fading peace signs. She got this bangle at Venice Beach in California. Claire deems the bracelet “the quintessential California accessory” that she makes an effort to wear everyday. Around her neck, she wears a large golden cross that she got at a swap meet and a small black fang capped with silver embellishments.
“When I saw it [the tooth charm], it reminded me of home,” she said.
Overall, Claire describes her style as unorganized, spontaneous and schizophrenic.
“I have too many interests and likes,” she said. “Everything in my closet is different. I have different style obsessions – one week one way, the next another. It goes on and on and on.”
There is always something to learn from others who have had different experiences in life. We tell our stories because they make us who we are. St. John’s students relay their stories through various mediums, but if you look around, you’ll see that some of them wear their stories, literally, on their sleeves.