Story and Photos by Jacynth Serrano Rodriguez
Sitting at an umbrella-ed table outside of Urban Farmhouse on Broad Street, Dalvida is wearing unapologetic black lipstick which she says is the usual for her. She’s got a wild mane of curls loosely bound atop her head and as she speaks I notice there are tiny red flowers placed almost effortlessly in the dark sea of her hair. The rest of her look is a dark punky mix with her graphic tee, black denim mini skirt and signature chunky heeled combat boots.
Make no mistake, Dalvida is a frontierswoman in terms of looks, saying of her personal style, “It’s really funny, I think my fashion sense kind of reflects my personality in the sense that, I don’t really have…limits in who I am.” This explanation makes perfect sense to me since when I first spotted the chameleon on campus she was wearing a starkly polished and professional look featuring a white blouse and a corduroy overall mini dress. People sometimes look at others wistfully and wish for the confidence to be bold in what they choose to wear and to those people, our girl Dalvida has your back. “My mindset is, if you like, put it on your body and that’s it!”
A limitless lady, Dalvida Palmer is a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and African American Studies. When asked about the politics of what we throw on, Dalvida said, “Fashion is such a good tool for making statements—and political statements. There’s so many ways that fashion allows you to make statements that you aren’t necessarily comfortable expressing verbally, you know what I mean? The rise in Dashiki, my friends and I were just talking about this, is a huge political statement because it’s saying people are now embracing African roots, embracing black culture.”
Dalvida is all about women who are able to make statements in clothing that is considered “non-traditional”, like menswear. She told me she never went to a prom but if she had, she would have totally rocked out a slick pantsuit. And that is just the type of girl Dalvida is, a powerhouse woman who believes what we wear and what we feel go hand in hand, and that the key to that is confidence.
She believes her time attending a high school , also a boarding school, helped shaped her fashion sense. In a school of about 170 girls, there were no uniforms, only the general dress code which Dalvida believes was more lax than some public schools. Her senior year, ambitious Ms. Palmer became the student body president and says she got little hints that she was now held to a somewhat higher standard as she represented the face of her school. “Because I was always meeting parents and the Board of Trustees and what not, I definitely stepped up my style. I think it’s where I really got the sense of, I like looking powerful, you know? And that started at my school because I never knew when I would be representing the school.”
She rattled off a few stores she frequents when she’s got the funds but says majority of her closet is filled with thrifted pieces, which she likes for economic and individual reasons. She loves Rumors on Broad, and several small shops in Carytown.
“Fashion isn’t the type thing you own by saying you know, ‘That’s my article of clothing’ but just by wearing it better than anyone else.” There it is, a lesson in confidence, in power and individuality from dynamo Dalvida Palmer who stands at a mere 5’2 and packs a major punch.
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