In all those American high school movies, have you ever noticed that each “clique” dresses the same? The skater boys, the “mean girls,” the jocks, the nerds... There’s no escaping the fact that the way we dress can form a large part of our identity and visually associates us with our friends. The first thing someone sees when they look at you is your outfit and what you look like: you have the power to externally manifest your identity by seizing your style.

The power of clothes: to release this most natural part of yourself.

There is no doubt that we are influenced by those who surround us and so friendship and style are linked hand in hand. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed that I’ve started dressing like my mum or like my best friends. As we know, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. In these images, I wanted to capture the comfort and joy which comes with being at ease with your surroundings: wearing clothes that make you feel confident and around friends who relax you.

On my wanderings around Cambridge, I wanted to capture that blissful happiness and, most importantly, the sense of safety and security you feel when you are totally at ease with those around you. This, I think, is so intrinsically linked to style and the way you dress: dressing how you feel comfortable can give you a great sense of power and self-assurance.

The clothes are important in these images, but what I want to convey is how the people feel: there’s no denying that you can feel it when someone exudes a certain aura, a glow, an ease within themselves. And that, I think, is the power of clothes: to release this most natural part of yourself.

FRANK AND SCARLETT

Frank studies Spanish and Italian at Trinity.

Scarlett studies History and Spanish at Pembroke.

Frank and Scarlett have been friends for two years.

Scarlett’s last meal would be beans on toast.

Frank hasn’t washed his hair since 1993.

Frank wears a Carhartt jacket and Joseph trousers.

Scarlett wears a vintage suede jacket from Portobello Market and a headband which she bought in Havana, Cuba.

LUDO AND ALAYO

Ludo studies History of Art at Trinity Hall.

Alayo studies History of Art at Gonville & Caius.

Ludo and Alayo have been friends for one and a half years.

The first thing Alayo said to Ludo was, “that polo neck doesn’t cover the hickey on your neck.”

Ludo’s spirit animal would be a lizard, lying in the sun.

Alayo wears H&M earrings, a vintage leather jacket, and trousers from Chazza Shopping. (Chazza Shopping is a pop-up clothes re-sale run by a second-year architect at Gonville&Caius. Coming soon!)

Ludo wears Rick Owen boots, Raey jumper, and a dress stolen from his mum.

CHARLOTTE AND EMILY

Charlotte studies French and Italian at Newnham.

Emily studies Philosophy at Trinity.

Charlotte and Emily have been friends for five months.

Charlotte’s aspirational alter ego would be Liza Minelli in cabaret, but realistically it would be Dewey Finn from School of Rock.

Emily is currently obsessively listening to Grace Jones’ ‘Pull up to the Bumper’.

Charlotte wears trousers stolen from her last chef job, a jacket from Cambridge kilo sale, Doc Martens, and her mum’s necklace from the 80s.

Emily wears a jacket from Beyond Retro, trousers from a thrift store, and Doc Martens from eBay.

TOM AND LILY

Tom studies History of Art at Gonville & Caius.

Lily studies History of Art at St.Johns.

Tom and Lily have been going out for nearly two and a half years.

They met when Lily climbed through a fence to get into the History of Art department, and the first person she saw was Tom, “that boy in navy.”

Tom wears his grandpa’s coat, YMC jumper, Universal Works trousers, Doc Martens.

Lily wears an Arket shirt, Paloma Wool trousers, Vagabond boots, and a Four Seasons coat.

APOLLINE AND CHRISTINA

Apple studies History of Art at Trinity Hall.

Christina studies Philosophy at Trinity Hall.

Apple and Christina have been friends for one year.

Apple and Christina first met whilst painting a sun God inspired by Egyptian murals, for the set design of a play.

Apple wears her friend Chater’s vintage suede jacket, Primark hat, corset from Chazza B Shopping,

Christina wears a headband made by a friend, Claire’s Accessories hair clips, M&S slip dress.

ALEX AND ASHLEY

Alex studies Physics at Clare.

Ashley studies History of Art at Clare.

Ashley and Alex have been living together for six months.

If Ashley was reincarnated as a plant, she would be her four-foot cheese plant, Mr Big.

If Alex was a mermaid in another life he would be Cleo Sertori.

Ashley wears an LF Market dress, Rokit jacket, Ace & Tate glasses frames.

Alex wears a Cos jumper, charity shop trousers, and Sam Harding’s earring.

PHOTOGRAPHED, DIRECTED AND WRITTEN BY ISABELLA MARTIN

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