She’s a fashion director who can repurpose clothing as if performing a magic trick. The transformation of one look into a completely different one is something Nicole Windram practices continually with her own wardrobe. She does the same for the designs that appear in the layouts of FIT’s student-run fashion and culture publication Blush Magazine. The ability comes from many classroom and studio hours, but it’s also her personal life’s practice. We caught some glimpses of how style and function, personal outlook, and a curious intellect works for this Fashion Design senior.
What’s the most lavish outfit you’ve worn under Covid? “Definitely this outfit. I made the top from an old dress and hand placed the ostrich feathers, which came from a previous project. The pants are Adidas x Danielle Cathari.”
What’s your favorite accessory that has special meaning to you? That would be my Cornicello necklace with a mano fico charm. They are Italian good luck symbols. They belonged to my Auntie M who passed away last year. I wear them every day to remind myself that she is always here with me. And the necklace is cute!”
What makes one person’s track suit chic and another’s for workouts? “Athletic wear is one of the most versatile areas of fashion. I love wearing my athletic clothes to work out, and then elevating the look for a formal event. I feel confident in my tracksuits.”
Cont: “I think we’re going to see a lot of multi-functional clothes that can be used for sport as well as dressing to the nines.”
The bodysuit, above, Windram created from her first pair of track pants.
Windram, above, in her trackpants before they became a bodysuit.
When should you coordinate outfits with a friend? “Always. I have wonderful, talented friends. When school was in person we would coordinate outfits or makeup all the time. Fashion and style creates a special bond with people. My friend Namra and I didn’t even mean to coordinate outfits with big sleeves. It just happened and that’s special.”
What’s been your favorite Blush Magazine layout? “That would be ‘Birthday Blues,’ my first time styling for Blush. It featured one of my garments, a purple alpaca wool with leftover ostrich feathers. I had wanted to create a garment with a unique silhouette and fun trims. The jacket features a raglan sleeve as well as a matching belt and skirt. I’m now really excited about our team’s new designs.”
There are some great photos of you at Rags-A-Gogo record store, and another at the Strand Book Store. How can someone acquire your type of everyday style? “That’s kind. It comes from years of trial and error. I dress to express myself. I wear what makes me happy and feel confident. If you mix and match the clothes that you own, your options are limitless.”
You have a near obsession with independent bookstores. Which are your favorites? “Bookstores are remarkable in that there’s something there for everyone. They are places where you’re among people having completely different experiences but all to do with books. My favorites are Rizzoli, Strand Book Store, Mercer Street Books and Records, Printed Matter, and The Bookmark Shoppe in Brooklyn near where I grew up.”
What books are on your night table? “I just purchased ‘Accidentally Wes Anderson‘ by Wally Koval. I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan. I’m also reading ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney and then “What A Time to be Alone” by Chidera Eggerue and ‘The Body Keeps Score’ by Bessel van der Kolk. They’re not all on my night table; I use the New York Public Library app for renting books.”
What class assignment has brought you the most joy lately? “Last semester in Childrenswear Niche Market class with Prof. Barbara Segio, I made a reversible bathing suit that could be worn in different ways. It was my first project using mixed media to present it. Having real life elements interact with 2D art is an exciting concept.”
What’s your caffeine intake like? “At home we have an entire cabinet of teas and honeys. I start my morning with Earl Grey. Later in the day I have a matcha latte that I make with almond milk and locally sourced honey from Andrew’s Honey.”
Is there something in your workspace that gives you inspiration? “I have gemstones and crystals around me when I “create art. They remind me how infinitely inspiring nature is. I have amethyst, rose quartz and hematite on me right now.”
The current issue of Blush Magazine, “The Vital Issue,” features Nicole Windram’s styling for “Feel Good Fashion. Blush Magazine is a student-led publication that began in 2013. It covers topics related to fashion, beauty and culture. Throughout COVID-19, it is being published in digital format only, otherwise it is available in both print and digital formats. Over 60 members contribute their writing, styling, modeling, makeup, graphic design, and print layout skills to Blush. Follow on Twitter: @blushmagfit and IG: @blushmagfit
To learn more about the Fashion Design program go to: FashionDesignFIT