Meet the Editors

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Meet Lydia, Iona and Sarah, your fashion editorial team for this year.

Name: Lydia Varney

Role: Print Editor

Course: Fashion Design 

I joined the Gryphon because… I always wanted to write about fashion – I could never decide between designing clothes or describing them, and writing for the fashion section in my first year gave me the chance to do both! I’ve also always had strong opinions, and I love writing about fashion news and controversial fashion statements. The best bit about the section is that it combines both; there’s some serious pieces where fashion influences lifestyle and interacts with huge issues, as well as fun, trend based articles that are easy to read and write. It’s been the one society I’ve stuck out my whole time at uni, and that’s saying something.

My favourite part of being in the fashion section is… Seeing my work in print! When I was a writer in first year, before I became an editor, I was always so proud to see my articles in The Gryphon. I’ve got a big stack at home starting from 2016 of all the pieces I ever wrote that made it into publication. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of them!

I would describe my style as… Confused! I’m usually running late or going to the gym, so I barely put much effort into how I look on days like these, and I never have time for make-up. But once in a while I’m in the mood to dress up, and I end up looking completely out of place in a sea of students as most of my wardrobe is leftover workwear from my time in industry. 

My advice for any first years would be… Join The Gryphon! Or, if not, join something else you’re passionate about. We’re so lucky at Leeds to have so many societies and clubs, and even though your halls friends might be your closest during Fresher’s Week, you’ll really appreciate knowing people in different places and having a wider social circle. It might make you busier, but you’ll be making the most of your time here and you definitely won’t regret that.

One last fashion quote to finish… Fashion changes, style endures – Coco Chanel

Name: Iona

Role: Print editor

Course: History and Asia Pacific studies 

I joined the Gryphon because… I love seeing my articles in print, no matter how many times it happens it gives me a real thrill. I was also (and still am) disappointed about the lack of critical commentary within the fashion industry. Whilst certain notable voices such as Robin Givhan and Diet Prada work hard to provide some much needed context and authority on current fashion and how it relates to fashion history, these voices remain few and far between. I love the fact that the Gryphon allows you to be completely unbiased and sincere and write from the heart. 

My favourite part of being in the fashion section is… The fact that the section does what it says on the tin. Whether a writer is covering something local or reporting on an international news story, our focus is fashion and we’re not ashamed of that. The people you meet writing in this section are always down to earth and have great ideas, and it’s always nice being able to talk through your thoughts with people who share the same interests as you.

I would describe my style as… Experimental and generally a little eclectic. I like wearing short skirts and long jackets with doc martens or flatforms as I like rooting more feminine pieces with practical shoes and outerwear. Short dresses with tights and a t-shirt are another favourite. I love the way a well-cut dress can make me feel like a completely new person, especially if I’m feeling fragile after a night out. 

My advice for any first years would be… Don’t lose who you are in order to try and fit into some generic ‘Leeds style’. In my first year I was terrified of sticking out, so I wore clothes I’d never liked before just to fit in. After six months of nondescript jeans and t shirts, I felt confident enough again to start experimenting with my style again, and I’m so happy I did. My short skirts and pinstripe trousers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they make me feel happy and confident and that’s all that matters in the end. 

One last fashion quote to finish… 

“When in doubt, wear red.” – Bill Blass

Name: Sarah

Role: Online Editor

Course: Liberal Arts 

I joined the Gryphon because… I’ve always loved writing, and even though I do lots on my degree, it’s nice to do it for a non-academic purpose. I find it satisfying to see my articles it in print or online, and it’s nice to contribute to something that’s at the centre of the university. I’ve always been interested in clothes, textiles and business, but never pursued this in my studies, so writing for the fashion section allows me to research and explore fashion-related news and opinions. Writing for the Gryphon is great because you can get involved as much as you like – you can contribute to every issue if you want to, or just send in articles when you have the time.

My favourite part of being in the fashion section is… 

Having a space to express my opinions and debate about interesting topics. Fashion is not just about shopping or the Kardashians and is an important part of our lives whether we realise or not, so it’s great to have a platform to explore this! Writing for the section is so easy and anyone can contribute; you don’t have to be on a fashion course or super into clothes, but if you’ve got something to say then it’s a great outlet. Also, it gives lots to talk about on CVs/in interviews.

I would describe my style as… Comfy. Usually it’s trainers and anything loose, and I always need to be able to run because I’m late for everything!! I also love fur and anything fluffy.

My advice for any first years would be… Get stuck in, even if it scares you. There are lots of interesting societies and often it’s never too late to join. If you can’t find something for you then join something brand new, because all clubs begin from beginner level. The Gryphon is a great place to start because there are so many sections, so there is definitely something for everyone.

One last fashion quote to finish… 

“Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends.” – Kate Spade