Quad Style: Yamini Nambimadom
Meet Yamini Nambimadom - a second year Public Policy major. As the greatest love of her life will always be art, she has naturally found her way to several arts RSOs on campus, including Off-Off Campus, where she is both a performer and a publicity director, and MODA, where she is a photographer! If you’re trying to find Yamini on campus, there’s a 9/10 chance she'll be in Hallowed Grounds drinking a Chai Latte and eating something cheesy she made at home.
How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t think it’s necessarily cohesive, but I just like to wear things I think are exciting to look at and make me feel confident. If I had to assign my style a label, I’d call it a mix of trendy, glam, and edgy, but it really varies based on my mood. One thing I will admit is that my style is certainly not minimalistic; I like to make a statement. I love playing with stimulating patterns, rich colors, and interesting textures and seeing what I can create by combining them.
Where do you find style inspiration?
A mix of people-watching and the internet. Airports are great for outfit ideas, so is the middle of the quad on a sunny day. I also like to stalk the feeds of fashionable people, both those I know and celebrities. Because music is such a big part of my life, music has had a huge impact on my style as well. I’m a huge fan of Freddie Mercury, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna, and their boldness both on and off the stage has inspired me to have the confidence to wear whatever I want.
Where do you like to shop?
I’m a voracious shopper, and it’s kind of bad. As far as fast fashion goes, I love UNIQLO, Topshop, Missguided, and H&M. Forever 21 is super hit or miss but I’ve walked away from it with some of my favorite articles of clothing. I’ve been able to thrift more since I’ve been in Chicago and am a big fan of Ragstock and Village Discount. Fashion is one of the only things in my life for which I hold the philosophy “quantity over quality”, but I’m so indecisive! I’d rather have a bunch of cheap things I love a lot for a short time that I can replace when I get bored. I’m selectively spendy, but only on jackets, jeans, or shoes.
Do you have any fashion regrets? What’s your biggest fashion faux pas?
Everything I wore before my junior year of high school was bad news. There’s a picture of me walking into my first day of middle school wearing three chunky necklaces (two gold, one silver), a purple and black flannel, sparkly leggings, and a really large black flower head band. I was also a big fan of wearing capri leggings under my soccer shorts, gauchos, and way-too-high converse. However, I wouldn’t say I regret any of these choices, because in the moment, I was confident that all of them were the most fashion-forward things I could have possibly worn. And confidence is key! I could rock anything after that.
What is your relationship to fashion? Why is fashion important to you?
When I was younger, I was often told, “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it”. And fashion is my way of reacting to it. Being able to wear whatever the hell you want isn’t something everyone has the privilege to do, but it gives me agency in an environment that feels very relentless. Every morning, when I dress myself, I make the first of many decisions for the day. Who will I be? What will I project into the world? I’ve fought so hard against the idea that fashion is frivolous. It’s a form of self-expression and of artistry that I firmly believe is integral to the person I have grown to be and to the person I want to become.
All images courtesy of Angela Fung. Check out more of her photography here.