Style Student Spotlight: Melissa DeKoster


Apparel Design student Melissa DeKoster’s style can be characterized as an even blend of edgy and feminine; likewise, is her demeanor. With studded ankle boots and a buzzed bob haircut, DeKoster possesses much passion for fashion design and style.

DeKoster, a senior at Central, studied graphic design at Ferris State University before transferring in the fall of last year to study Apparel Design. DeKoster said she noticed she was “more interested in what people were wearing than what was going on in the class.”

“I am my own person; I have my own experiences and my own visions,” said DeKoster. She is gearing up for her first and only year to design for Central’s student-run Threads Fashion Show.

DeKoster says doing well in Threads consumes her current goals, but she doesn’t have specific goals for her future. She says, “I’m not about planning my life to every little detail.”  She knows the competitive field of fashion is never set in stone, and says “I don’t want the type of attitude.”

Instead, DeKoster simply plans to stay focused and accept the career opportunities as they come. As she said, “If you land the right job, and if you’ll be happy, you might as well do it.”

DeKoster is simply “going where the wind takes her,” and living her life of fashion day-by-day. She describes her personal style as eclectic and diverse, which is why she is drawn to the designs of Giambattista Valli.

“He has really eclectic designs when it comes to mixing fabrics and elements,” said DeKoster.

Still, DeKoster says “I like to draw inspiration from everywhere,” and does not exclude any clothing line from her closet.

However, DeKoster is as fashion conscious as she is price conscious.

DeKoster admits to dodging large price tags, even before she was a college student, as she explains, “The most expensive thing I have is a $90 pair of shoes.”

“I really do like to mix up where I get my clothes from,” DeKoster explained. She listed BCBG, Target, Goodwill and Forever 21, and says “You can find things at different places and pull it off.”

Still, just as DeKoster is drawn to Giambattista Valli, she favors the style of Anthropologie. She explains that she likes the fun use of fabrics and the overall aesthetics the line utilizes.

“You can’t find it everywhere; it’s so unique,” she says.

Unique also describes one of DeKoster’s  favorite accessories.

“I have a ring that I wear all the time. It’s made out of a spoon.” She explains that her mom bought it from a craft show, and she loves it because it is “simple and elegant.”

In addition to her eclectic ring, DeKoster says cardigan sweaters are a must-have. She says, “They bring my looks from summer, to fall, to winter.” She also says she loves how easily the same sweater can create a completely different outfit.

DeKoster’s ability to re-use fashions in a fashion-forward way can also be seen in the way she re-created an old pair of blue jeans. Instead of buying them from a clothing store, DeKoster decided to create her own pair of Galaxy Pants. “I saw it on Pinterest, and decided to try it!”

DeKoster explained how she took a pair of old black pants, sprayed them with bleach, sponge painted on the other colors, and used an old toothbrush to sprinkle on the stars. She also made a pair for her 6-year-old niece, and added studs to the pockets for additional flair.

“It’s cool to redo and reuse, not spend a ton of money, and reinvent clothes,” DeKoster says.

She has a strong sense of creativity and independence, and says that these traits are very important to have when trying to succeed in the fashion industry. However, she says, “You have to find that balance of being your own person and still be able to work with other people.”

Confidence is also a key characteristic to DeKoster, as she says, “In the fashion industry you’re selling yourself – you have to be confident enough to sell yourself.”


Photos by Calli Johnson