Sophomore breaks convention with chic, personalized 1920s style clothing

Just a few years ago, St. Edward’s University sophomore Kiri Johnson, whose style resembles the 1920s era with an added variety of vintage, couture and chic, hated clothes.

Present-day Johnson is especially trendy and has an interest in fashion that began once she entered high school and has carried her into college with the hopes of joining the business side of the fashion industry as an international business major.

Although Johnson is on a budget, she is also dedicated to finding the perfect clothes to spend the majority of her paycheck on. She utilizes online shopping services for overseas fashion that cannot ship to the U.S. such as The Real Real, as well as antique and secondhand shops and even The Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio, her hometown.

As a transfer student, Johnson is still adapting to life (and fashion) in Austin by drawing inspiration for her style from fellow classmates and campus itself, which she describes as “artsy, unique and different.” The dire need to shy away from layers in the formidable heat has been a powerful influence on her outfit choices as well.

Continuing inspirations that began forming Johnson before she came to St. Edward’s are art — particularly old paintings — fashion magazines, harajuku and European and historical fashion.

After Johnson’s online orders have arrived or a day of shopping is completed, there is still work to be done to amplify her outfits a little further. Through her skill in sewing, Johnson has created and modified many of her outfits with embellishments such as embroidery and lace.

Sighting Johnson sporting a simple outfit in public is a near impossible feat, and as she says, only to be accomplished when she is sick since she very rarely wears clothes that don’t meet the criteria for her style.

Johnson’s style leans toward the elegant side.

In regard to her everyday dress, Johnson said, “For me this is like casual fashion. I don’t really own T-shirts, shorts and jeans; that’s like pajamas for me basically.”

Even with this mindset, Johnson is modest of her ability to put together creative outfits day in and day out and remains untouched by pretentiousness or judgment of others who do wear shorts and T-shirts — or at St. Edward’s, just t-shirts as dresses for that matter.

“I use it (fashion) as a form of expression, so for me it’s not about being fancy. It’s just about feeling comfortable because it makes me feel more confident and happier,” Johnson said.

Certainly with reason to feel confident, it’s not hard to notice Johnson striding across campus in ankle boots with necklaces bouncing off her vintage attire, and a hat to complete the ensemble. Don’t get attached to this look though. 

A slight difference at each changing of the season combined with more Austin influences is expected.