Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meet Katie!

My focus as a scholar is on fin de siècle and modernist literature.  My current research explores grief in American literature of the early twentieth century.  I am particularly interested in how specific cultural practices of mourning influence the way modernist writers work through loss in their texts.  More broadly, I’m interested in questions of genre, transnational modernism, and cultural history.  I work in the department office as a graduate assistant.

I began dressing with intention after I graduated from college and began graduate school.  I wanted a way to signal this new stage in my life, to differentiate myself from the undergraduates I still resembled.  I believe that personal style is ever-evolving, and part of the fun of being in my 20s is figuring out who I am, finding the person I want to be, and expressing that in my clothing.

My personal style is classic, with a twist.  I generally like simple pieces that I can dress up with accessories, like a statement necklace, a scarf, or a fabulous pair of shoes.  Easy elegance is key.  By focusing on the basics, I get more "looks" out of less pieces, and I can experiment more with accents.  I love to play with fashion – it’s meant to be fun! – and I’m a firm believer that each outfit should have at least a hint of drama, whether it be from your clothes, your accessories, or just from the way you work your look. 

My biggest style hurdles come from two places, one mental and one material.  My mental hurdle is that I tend to put away choice pieces in my wardrobe for “special occasions,” which never come.  I end up with cute dresses or blouses sitting in my closet while I wear the same clothes over and over again.  The material problem is that that age old dilemma: how do I find cute clothes on a (tiny) budget?  Counting on my graduate student stipend to shelter me, feed me, and stylishly clothe me is a tall order.  So I make do with what I have: I shop the sales, and I’m always on the lookout for good online deals.

My current style mentors are Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway.  Their looks are feminine and fresh, and neither of them are afraid to take risks.  Also, for “Project Runway” fans, I love Season 3 star Laura Bennett’s elegant and often extravagant style on and off the runway.