Kayla Edwards ‘20 and John Crawford ‘20

Photo by Kayla Edwards ’20

In the weeks leading up to Fall Fling, I spent time thinking about how fashion functions in our lives. Cole Thornton ‘21 sent me weekly updates of outfits he had found while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Friends compared Value Village finds in anticipation of cooler weather. I scrolled through street style galleries and criticisms of the Fashion Weeks of New York, London, Milan, and Paris—analyzing how designers were conveying our current political and environmental moment through dress patterns. 

When I volunteered to guest edit this issue of Et Cetera through an analysis of Fall Fling fashion, I assumed I would uncover an overarching idea about the state of the college through fashion. What would pantsuits or floor length dresses suggest about the student body’s current understandings of power, environmental sustainability, or gender on campus?

I borrowed an SD card five minutes before the event and learned to focus a DSLR in near darkness (many thanks to Adde Sharp ‘20, Wren Healy ‘23, Sam Davis ‘22 for their patience) to get the photos on this page. In reviewing the photos, I don’t read an implicit message about climate change or the new Union ordering system. Instead, I’m struck by the playfulness of dress in a shared space.

Fall Fling works in the public forum it fosters. It is an event in which attendance is not explicitly conditioned on dues or membership–enabling the spontaneous interactions or moments of relationship that make us a collective. Like systems of public transportation or libraries, Fall Fling bridges the gaps between our intellectual and social silos while creating space for risks in aesthetic expression. A public good and appropriate place to wear a jumpsuit? Thank you Union Board. 

Below is a file containing pictures from Fall Fling.