Fashion Forward Falcons

The Falconer takes a look into the inspirations and aspirations of some of TPHS’s most fashionable Falcons by grade level.

Z Zabarsky

In weighty dark boots and safety-pin-ribbed gloves, their hair standing out turquoise blue against the sea of black, Z Zabarsky (12) describes their own style as alternative and goth — specifically mall goth, a subculture with a Hot Topic-inspired look: chains, Tripp pants and dyed hair.

“I actually work at Hot Topic, so I get the deals and I also get to dress like this for work; it’s great,” Zabarsky said.

But whether at work, at school or at home, Zabarsky dresses so distinctively that it has become a “big part of [their] identity.”

“Whenever I don’t dress this way, people are like, ‘You look weird.’ And I’m like, ‘I know,’” Zabarsky said.

However, it was not always like this. Zabarsky developed their current style over quarantine, taking advantage of the free time to experiment.

“It’s funny, I’ll show people pictures of me [from before quarantine], and they think I’m lying to them. And then they’re like, ‘Wait you’re actually serious,’” Zabarsky said.

Drawing inspiration from the e-girl/e-boy style that was trending around the time, Zabarsky “dug deeper … and found more goth, grunge styles.”

“I scroll on the internet to see people [who dress] goth or punk, and I just take elements from them,” they said.

When school reopened, Zabarsky said it was initially nerve-racking to wear their unique aesthetic in front of peers.

“It obviously puts me out there more, so it forces me to be more self-confident,” Zabarsky said. “[It is] ironic because, fun fact, I don’t like standing out, but I dye my hair neon colors and dress this way.”

Over time, Zabarsky has learned to disregard what others might think about their style.

“I know a lot of people that want to dress like me, but they’re too scared because they don’t want to get stares or have people say negative things about them,” they said. “But I like it … I decided that I don’t care what people think. I’m gonna do this anyway.”

Along with owning your own individual style, Zabarsky has one more very important piece of

“People ask me, ‘How do you dress [well]?’ I’m like, ‘Look, you’ve got to layer things. Layers!’”

Reece Dixon

Cruising around campus in groovy bell bottoms and vintage t-shirts, Reece Dixon (11) looks like a walking ‘70s fashion ad. Even so, Dixon did not just roll out of bed one day with his established “vintage” sense of style.

Sporting his grandma’s old Letterman jacket from 1961, Dixon is super keen on receiving vintage hand- me-downs from family members. One of his favorite hobbies includes thrifting and most of his closet consists of unique secondhand pieces.

“I haven’t bought a new item [of clothing] in probably two years,” Dixon said.

According to Dixon, his aesthetic is “vintage.”

“I like older stuff, I feel like it just suits me better,” Dixon said, explaining that his love for thrifting is what inspires his everyday wardrobe.

Dixon originally found his interest in fashion during COVID-19.

“There was nothing else to do, I was at home,” Dixon said. “So I just started experimenting.”

This trial-and-error process of fashion experimentation was important for Dixon, eventually helping him find his personal style. After 2 years of experimenting, Dixon has landed on his current style.

“I started [out with a] 90s [style], like baggy, and then it just kept going down [in decades]. I’m [trying out the 70s] right now,” he said.

With the help of his friend Brandon Choy (12), Dixon eventually decided to bring his style to the TPHS campus.

Dixon’s experience in discovering fashion has made him an expert in creating a staple closet that he can educate others in.

“Just go with yourself, match colors, and [stick] to earth tones.”

“It’s hard to just one day wear boots to school,” Dixon said. “So [Brandon and I do] it together, and [it’s] just more comfortable.”

Dixon and Choy’s love for creating and sharing their outfits went so far as blowing up on TikTok. In November of 2022, a TikTok posted by Choy, showing off Dixon’s and Choy’s school outfits, got over 1 million views and Levi’s brand’s official account even commented on the post.

Ever since Dixon began experimenting with his style during COVID he has fallen in love with the world of fashion.

“I [may] end up wanting to go to fashion school,” Dixon said. “[I might follow in] my [uncle’s] footsteps, [who] is very high up in Gucci.”

But no matter where fashion takes him, Dixon can sleep easy, having recently secured one dream of his. That dream is a pair of 684 Levis from the ‘70s.

Nicole Koo

Inspired by Korean streetwear, Nicole Koo (10), is always on the hunt for secondhand pieces with stories.

Koo puts a spin on her looks with vintage pieces she finds from swap meets and secondhand stores, her favorites being Kobey’s Swap Meet by Pechanga Arena and CSU Thrift in Mira Mesa. To Koo, the key to shopping secondhand lies in looking for unique clothing pieces with personality.

“My interest definitely blossomed post COVID when I started going out again and traveling,” Koo said. “I would notice other people’s outfits when I was visiting cities and would get so inspired by them and want to figure out what their inspiration was.”

While observing others’ outfits, Koo looks for pieces that speak to her and then, “runs with that.”

“Fashion is a way I love to express myself and give people a glimpse of my personality with the clothes I present myself in everyday,” Koo said.

Koo explained that you can never go wrong with a couple of investment basics when it comes to building your unique wardrobe. She recommends investing in a good pair of Levi’s jeans, “that
compliment your body type.”

When looking for basic staples to add to her closet Koo said Artizia is one of her go-to stores.

She also suggests personalizing an outfit is through jewelry. Koo wears lots of rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets to add dimension to her outfits.

“My favorite piece of jewelry is this silver hand-mended twisted ring with a gap in the middle, that I got in Korea at a pop-up shop,” Koo said.

She also said that accessories like hair clips and hats “add a lot to an

Koo touches on the importance of having a variety of shoes that are versatile. For those looking for shoe recommendations, Koo preaches that Converse are the way to go.

“You can never go wrong with a clean pair of Converse, ” Koo said.

Some of her other favorites include her Reebok C 85’s, Adidas Nizza’s, and her gray Jordan mids.

“I get a lot of inspiration from [my trips to Korea] which have caused my fashion sense to shift towards neutrals and warmer colors,” Koo said.

Visiting Korea once a year, she admires the “composure” she sees in Korean fashion, particularly in the Korean street style look featuring a long trench coat cinched at the waist. However, she enjoys putting a spin on these classic looks while avoiding clothes that are trending.

“Try not to go out and reach for things that are [trending], because in a couple months it won’t be popular anymore,” Koo said. “It’s more fun to develop your own unique look.”

Andrew Taich

In a Helly Hansen sweater and his staple khaki pants, Andrew Taich’s (9) style combines comfort and class to create a casual streetwear look. While scrolling through TikTok and taking note of outfits he sees while out and about, Taich finds inspiration to create his favorite looks.

“My style has always been streetwear because it’s comfortable,” Taich said.

While he agrees that fashion allows for the opportunity to defy social norms by thinking outside of the box, to Taich, you cannot enjoy an outfit to its fullest without feeling your most confident.

“I dont wear clothes for other people’s approval, I wear what makes me comfortable and happy.” Taich said.

While Taich describes his current style as along the lines of “streetwear” or “active wear,” fashion has not always been on his mind.

“In seventh grade, I started putting thought into what I wear and how I look to get girls, and to be [shown] in a better light,” Taich said.

Through his newfound interest in fashion, Taich has discovered brands that allow him to dress comfortably, while still adhering to his favorite streetwear looks. Some of his favorite brands to shop from are Supreme, The North Face and Patagonia.

“Supreme has really cool designs and I like Patagonia and The North Face because they are very versatile,” Taich said. “I can wear their pieces to the beach and when I walk my dog. They keep me warm.”

When building a wardrobe, Taich wanted to encourage his peers to find “staple” pieces. These are items of clothing that are adaptable and can be worn with a variety of different outfits. Taich’s own clothes that he considers staples include his khaki pants, Empyre jeans and a Deathclub Batman hoodie. He touches on the importance of having an equal number of basics and standout pieces when building a wardrobe, increasing options for unique outfits.

While talking about some unique pieces in his own wardrobe, Taich mentions his favorite Deathclub Batman hoodie.

“[My Batman hoodie] has my favorite still from any Batman movie on the back.” Taich said.

It is important to collect items of clothing that speak to you and are a representation of your unique personality. This is one of the things that Taich admires about his favorite designer, Virgil Abloh.

Taich looks up to Abloh, the late designer of the well-known streetwear brand, Off-White and Creative Director for Louis Vuitton.

“Rest in peace Virgil,” Taich said. “He was a very innovative designer and his looks always received positive attention.”

As a designer who was “ahead of his time” according to Taich, Abloh has helped Taich inspire his own fashion by making him comfortable with trying new things and “being confident” in himself. And to Taich, that confidence and comfort is what fashion is all about.

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