“My friend noted the other day that she could always tell when people were from New York City because they all stood out in the same way.”
For junior Batesie Singha Hon, this statement definitely holds true. With her vintage pieces and artistic flair, this Big Apple Bobcat is always keeping her outfits fun, fresh, and a little quirky.
Aside from her early childhood of rainbow tights, grandma sweaters, and baseball caps and being voted “most likely to wear a tutu to class” in her 8th grade yearbook, Hon has always had a love for the fashion world. She enjoys playing around with colors and textures along with sewing and altering her own clothes. Having put endless hours into the Bates Theater’s costume shop, Hon feels that she understands what goes into making and tailoring clothing and that has trickled down to her everyday attire.
Having spent her past semester abroad at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London also had a huge influence on her style. Although she was involved in a fine arts program, many of her peers had neon colored hair and “Are fastidious about wearing gorgeous, bizarre, and exciting outfits and accessories.”
“London is a dream for anyone who likes to shop for vintage and unique clothing,” states Hon. “Every Sunday there were a plethora of pop-up markets selling hand-designed silk-screened t-shirts and jewelry made by fashion students as well as the biggest strangest collection of sweaters and leather boots that I have ever seen.”
This Batesie’s fashion icon is Alexander McQueen, who actually studied at Central Saint Martins. “I’m very interested in designers who started out as visual artists,” states Hon.
She also enjoys reading fashion blogs, especially “Vintage Vixen” who sells vintage 1950s-esque clothing and Tavi Gevinson Style Rookie Blog.
“I admire those that reflect people who dress not to push and favor the superficial, but in a way that reflects a beautiful and unique lifestyle, even if they stand out a lot or look weird,” states Hon.
A lot of this Bobcat’s fashion inspiration comes from her older sister. Although she dresses in opposing ways from Hon, both enjoy working on sewing projects together and trade clothes. She also sends Hon trinkets from her travels, including a double-finger wooden ring that the Batesie wears on a daily basis.
When it comes to putting a descriptive label to her clothing, this Bobcat is a little stumped.
“I like the idea of a classic wardrobe with basic items like Breton tops and warm sweaters, mixed in with shapes from the 50s and eclectic items from the 90s. Think classic femininity dashed with a bit of Riot Grrrl and maybe some Freddy Mercury,” reflects Hon.
This Batesie does not have an agenda for how she dresses – she wears what she wears to support a good mood and to just have fun.
“Even though I don’t think my life revolves around my fashion, I do think that it is important because how you dress can be riotous and rebellious, it can tell people to leave you alone or invite them to talk to you, it can make you blend in or be eye catching,” states Hon.
Having New York City as her hometown causes Hon to be open to new styles. With so many stores and markets at her fingertips, the Batesie is able to really experiment with her fashion.
“No matter how weird you look when you step out your door, there is definitely someone who looks weirder,” states Hon. “Conversely, no matter how good you think you look, there is always someone who looks better. I think just having an environment that, while incredibly judgmental, incorporates so much diversity in fashion has allowed me to feel more comfortable in expanding and exploring my own style.”
You can spy this Bobcat at thrift stores, vintage shops, and weekend markets and fairs searching for unique and quality pieces with a lot of character.
“It feels sort of like treasure hunting,” reflects Hon.
This Bobcat’s favorite stores are Rags a Go Go, Buffalo Exchange, Reminiscence, and the pop up Sunday market in the 25th street parking lot in new York City. She also enjoys making or altering a lot of her old clothing, making her pieces out of the ordinary. She also purchases many of her basics at UNIQLO and H&M along with some nice sweaters from Garnet Hill.
Hon’s favorite article of clothing is her denim overalls that she wears when she paints in the studio. With a high elastic waist and snaps all down the front, this 80s treasure is one that always puts the artists in a good mind frame to paint, and to feel like Rosie the Riveter. She also can never be caught without her two rings – the two-finger wooden trinket from her sister and a massive gold model of an extraterrestrial creature from Alien devouring a woman.
“It’s silly, it’s morbid, it jingles, and I can’t really believe that it exists,” says Hon.
Looking to the future, Hon states that she “would really like at some point to turn into one of those classy old women when who wears a lot of Eileen Fisher and black cashmere, but for now, I’ll stick to a little bit of crazy thrown in the mix.”
So catch this Batesie, Singha Hon, rocking her eclectic style down the Alumni Runway, in the art studio, or by the costume shop. Also, don’t miss her in this semester’s Shakespearean main stage, The Two Gentlemen of Verona!