Inspiration Strikes: A Flair for Fashion

Lola MagazineElizabeth Gilmer, Fashion, Lola Shreveport

Hi, I’m Elizabeth, and I am a rising senior at C.E. Byrd High School. In school, you can find me working as a member of the yearbook staff, organizing an upcoming service event as the President of Z Club, or working on a new collection for my Fashion Design class at the Career Center. Outside of school, you might find me at the YoungLife hanging with my middle school buddies as one of their Highschool WyldLife Leaders, working at Common Ground, or spending time with my friends, who I often capture through 35mm film or video. Most recently, I’ve taken it upon myself to initiate something new as an upcoming senior: to create and write a fashion and arts publication for my school.

Just like every teenage girl who dreams of city life, characters Carrie Bradshaw and Andie Anderson at Cosmopolitan from How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days have been an entryway into my fascination in fashion journalism, but here’s how inspiration struck.

A creative at heart, I have been fascinated by photography for as long as I can remember. Spending hours poring over my family’s old photographs and magazines, recreating magical scenes with my own cameras and in the spaces around me, it wasn’t long before I picked up the hobby. Surrounded by my dad’s old film cameras, I became particularly fascinated by film photography. There was something to film that I didn’t find in digital photography. Before snapping a shot, I was forced to consider my surroundings, light, composition, and depth, which allows for no deep observation of the world around me. The practice of shooting film is precise and delicate, each shot deliberate and intentional, as there is a limited amount of space. As I’ve grown to love the art of film photography, I rarely leave home without a camera.

My foray into fashion emerged from my initial fascination with photography when I spent a summer up in New York City studying Photography at Parsons School of Design. There, as I watched the people around me dress with such elegance with what seemed to be little effort while still being completely themselves, my view of fashion completely changed. I learned that elegance, sophistication, and effortlessness in sense of style is key. Being in New York, there are ideas everywhere. The sidewalk is the canvas and NYC local street style provides all the inspiration I could ever need. When I finally returned home from the city, newfound ideas and inspirations were eating at my brain— and I was in dire need of artistic stimulation, so I started brainstorming.

I started with a Pinterest board and phone conversations with one of my best friends, Leann. I spent all of my junior year brainstorming something I could do to showcase this newfound passion for fashion and photography and this summer, she and I are finally making a step towards it! We are creating a student run, fashion/lifestyle publication called “Bogue” (Byrd Vogue). Here, my love for photography will meet my love for the art of style and all the in between. My vision for “Bogue” is to encourage students to have fun with fashion, and step out of their comfort zone, because it really does make all the difference when being at school. A place where fashion, along with all of the arts can be celebrated. Through an Instagram account, we will highlight Byrds most fashionable. We give updates on the latest fashion trends, and give an insight into what the students of Byrd are wearing. By working to compile profiles of Byrd’s best-dressed, sharing the places those students bought their clothing items, it will allow viewers to engage more deeply with the fashion world. Along with our Instagram account, we will publish a seasonal magazine that involves articles, interviews, student submissions, and all things fashion around the city. Students can submit anything from writing, visual arts, or photography to be featured in publications. We aim to highlight the art work, style and stories of Byrd students. In every way, “Bogue” is geared towards helping showcase student fashion and all the ways of being creative as well as sustainable.

Throughout my high school career, giving back has always been something I’m passionate about. I am a member of various service clubs around school, so it was no question that we use this platform to give back to our community. We plan to use the money made on selling the magazines and donate it to clothing shelters in our community. As we embark on this new and exciting journey of creativity, I hope to encourage the people around me to be inspired to use fashion as a way of individual expression in which students can take inspiration from the people around them. With that being said, there is more to “Bogue” than fashion. We hope to serve not only as a highlight on the latest fashion trends, and what Byrd students are wearing, but a hub for all creatives, advocating for sustainability, inspiration and creativity in fashion.