How did you dress in high school?
I polled my parents on this one and they both said, “Pretty regular.” High school was when I first really started thrifting and had the desire to experiment, although it was all sort of tentative. I was really drawn to coloured tights and interesting scarves, and developed a small collection of secretary blouses that I wore often. I had a pair of big, clunky, construction-worker-y boots that I insisted on wearing all the time, too.
Who would you rather be trapped in a broken elevator with — Karl Lagerfeld, Tyra Banks, or Lady Gaga?
I’m going to go with Lady Gaga. I am only just beginning to discover the huge volume of outrageous and entertaining things she has been putting out there (sometimes I am embarrassingly slow at keeping up with the world), but I find her pretty fascinating – a little crazy, but also really smart. I wouldn’t be able to resist asking her questions – about music or clothing or her favourite kind of tea or whether she preferred wearing Kermit or Hello Kitty. I feel like even if we were trapped for days, I definitely wouldn’t be bored.
If you could dress like your favourite food what would it be?
I would be an Earl Grey cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting. In my head it’s the perfect mix of seriousness and frivolity, in that I always associate Earl Grey tea with activities like reading musty, hardcover novels in big leather chairs or sitting at an enormous, fancy desk and writing very important things (which I don’t always do but often dream about) – but in cupcake form and with some sugary yellow icing, I would be equally ready for a tea party.
Last fashion-related book or article you read. Was it good or bad?
This article from New York Magazine about people only wearing clothing in one colour was really intriguing. I can’t imagine that kind of dedication and commitment to a colour. Since reading it, I’ve been on the lookout for any other writing about the same subject, but haven’t had much luck. I’ve also been wondering what colour I would choose if I ever had to pick only one, and I absolutely cannot decide.
What fashion blog do you think is underrated?
I stumbled upon What I Wore Drawings a few weeks ago and was shocked that I hadn’t heard of it sooner. Instead of photos of their daily outfits, contributors post drawings. With such a variety in illustration styles and commentary, the whole thing is completely adorable and interesting.
The blog was started by illustrator Gemma Correll, and I think came out of postings in a flickr group. Looking at it makes me itch to pick up a sketchbook.
What fictional character has the best style?
Lately, I feel like everything I wear is inspired by either Amélie Poulain or Angela Chase. I love Amélie for her mix of delicate and utilitarian (and her Zorro mask and polka-dot umbrella), and Angela for her amazing red hair, oversized everything, and plaid.
What do you think about the relationship between fashion and conspicuous consumption?
One of my favourite things about the huge variety of fashion and street style blogs out there is that I feel like they’ve helped make fashion less about cost and brand and label and more about actual style. Suddenly, all over the internet there are pictures of people looking amazing in outfits that are entirely secondhand, people who are dressed head-to-toe in designer clothing, people who can creatively imitate expensive pieces for considerably less money and people who fall somewhere in the middle, and they all seem to be valued equally, and valued for their confidence and creativity rather than their supply of cash. I love that.
What movie’s costumes/clothes were better than their plot?
Marie Antoinette, although I actually fell asleep halfway through it and so can’t really comment on the plot. But I feel like sleeping through the movie – especially such a visually interesting one – is pretty good indication of how engaged I was in the story. Maybe I should give it another chance.
What are your thoughts about this quote? “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson (3rd American President)
I disagree! I think you can stand like a rock on matters of style, too. I admire the dedication of people who are committed to a particular kind of personal style – those who wear only one colour, for instance – because I feel like my own style is so all over the place sometimes. But even if you aren’t so obsessively dedicated, you can (and maybe should) stand like a rock when it comes to wearing what you love – whatever that is – without apology.
Finish this sentence: There are two kinds of people in this world…
…and they’re probably both very nice.