Welcome to the second edition of the Van Meter Runway series where I find fashionable people on campus and do quick interviews with them to showcase their outfits. The first edition of Van Meter Runway was centered around personal style because of how many stylish people are on this campus. But in a time of changing seasons, this edition is more focused on how people’s style has changed and how external factors can influence self-expression.
Soha Malik ‘23 wore a sleeveless vest and cohesive dark color scheme that caught my eye and made me excited about how students will dress in warmer weather.
Have you noticed any change in your style from your first year at Goucher to your last?
Soha: Yes, I’m Muslim and I used to wear a hijab, so in my first year here I looked very different. I always joke that I doubt anyone who knew me the first year recognizes me now. I think a lot of it was because I finally had the space to figure out what I like and could reflect that on the outside.
Do you think Goucher is a space where people feel free to express themselves and experiment with fashion?
Soha: I’m gonna say yes, but also no because a lot of self-expression here can become less about expressing yourself and more about proving yourself to others. I’m the same person I always was, but the way that I get treated now is very different from before. It makes me think about the people who approach me now who would’ve never even looked my way when I did not look how I do now. It’s self-expression but it’s also maybe fitting into people’s boxes.
Athena Perry ‘26 says she is inspired by early 2000s media, which must be why her whimsical and stylish outfit reminded me of a chic movie protagonist.
I notice that you have a very distinct style, do you have any fashion inspirations?
Athena: Usually when I get dressed for the day, I try to go for a movie character which is a little dorky. Right now I really like 2004, that’s what I’m going for.
Is there any accessory or piece of clothing that you like to focus on when getting dressed?
Athena: I feel naked without my rings on, I have to have my rings on. Definitely jewelry.
Has your style changed since you came to Goucher?
Athena: I think a little bit. I’m trying to dress in brighter colors. My roommate dresses in really bright pink so that has been influencing me.
For this edition, I wanted to incorporate community members beyond students into my interviews, and Professor Juliette Wells wears a wide array of colors that welcome spring blossoms.
Is there any specific reason for wearing so much color, and do you feel like there is a stigma against colors in the professional world?
Juliette: I like color a lot, it lifts my mood. I love it when other people wear color and so I think that when I wear color it matters not just to me but it makes the day a little brighter for other people. I do think that women get told that they should wear black if they want to look professional and look thinner so I try to resist both of those ideas. The most important thing for me is to be comfortable.
I am happy to say I buy most of my clothes second-hand so it makes me happy to continue the life of a garment and think about the people who wore it before and pass it along.
Ry Belauskas ‘26 is more than familiar with the warm weather, which was apparent in their grungy spring outfit.
Today it’s in the mid-seventies, do you prefer dressing in warm weather or cold?
Ry: I’m from California so I am more used to warm weather, tank tops, and stuff like that. It’s been a weird transition to come here because it’s so cold in the winter.
Now that you have a chance to dress warmer do you feel more comfortable?
Ry: Absolutely, I’m in my element right now.
I’m noticing a dark color palette and metallic jewelry, is there any inspiration for this way of dressing?
Ry: I really love the look, especially the grunge look and silver metals. I like how they stand out.
What’s one accessory you can’t live without?
Ry: It would probably be a necklace, without it I feel like my look is incomplete.
Betsy Eastman ‘25 is often seen around campus wearing unique and stylish outfits so it was a pleasure to interview her.
Were you always this fashionable? Or was there a process of coming into your style?
Betsy: I’ve always been this stylish, in my mom’s opinion. I worked at a consignment store when I was in high school, before they hired me my mom said to the employers “She has a passion for fashion, you should hire her.”
Although what I wanted to wear when I was a child was questionable, you could definitely see that something was brewing there.
Do you think Goucher has changed the way you dressed at all?
Betsy: I think it’s made me more comfortable with the way I dress. I come from the eastern shore of Maryland which is very country, camouflage, under armour sweatshirts, and sweatpants. But, there are a lot of people here who are very free with their individuality and express their fashion style and that makes me more comfortable in wearing what I want to wear.
If you could describe your style in a phrase, what would it be?
Betsy: Eccentric, not in an aggressive way, but in the way that it’s always different. It’s never one style. It’s very me.
I want to thank everyone who participated in this edition of Van Meter Runway. I’m hoping to continue this series and it would be amazing to have even more participants and a diversity of styles. If you would like to be possibly featured in the next edition please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.