Name: Aileen McGraw
Major: Creative Writing and Communication Studies
Hometown: Lemont, IL
Role in Where We Wear: NU Native American & Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA) liaison, event coordinator
What is the idea behind Where We Where?
Where We Wear is an open panel on style and its surrounding issues at Northwestern. At its core, it’s an honest conversation on the complexities of style, from fashion to music and everything in-between.
How do you think the issues in Where We Wear affect Northwestern specifically?
Northwestern has an incredibly vocal community, and I think that Where We Wear provides a space to ask and answer questions that are gaining momentum on campus. NU students’ style is creative, that’s undeniable. But is it respectful? This panel hopes to dive into the appropriation and oppression that can follow our fashion choices. As a part of Northwestern’s Social Justice Week, I think this event shows that our community is ready to challenge ideas of style, and even redefine what it means on a campus that’s rethinking diversity and inclusion.
How did you get involved in fashion?
For the past two years, I’ve been a part of NAISA’s Dress To Respect campaign. We’ve launched DTR during Halloween with “Culture is not a costume” posters and a #DressToRespect Twitter hashtag to start and continue the conversation on cultural (mis)appropriation. Last year, we extended the campaign in the spring to include festivals and concerts, specifically Dillo Day for our campus.
Give us your best style advice for campus spring/summer fashion.
For those who know me, it’s no surprise that my best style advice for Northwestern students in the spring/summer is the same as any style advice I’d give year round: floral. I know what you’re thinking (and so does Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada): "Florals? For spring? Ground-breaking." My answer: so what? Do something different in bloom: wear floral without wearing a dress, and never say no to floral lip color, even if it’s finals week.
What else are you involved in on campus?
On campus, I’m President of Northwestern Art Review and Chief Marketing Officer of Kappa Alpha Theta. I’m also a counselor for Project Wildcat, a pre-orientation backpacking program at Northwestern.