Under the Influence
Con, both spon and non, that's lived in my brain rent-free and impacted my style life.
Hiiii. Since my earliest teen years, spent largely on tumblr, I’ve come across fashion/style images that indelibly stain my mind with their influence. Here are a few from over ten years ago, in case you’re wondering what tip high school HR was on (let’s just say I was listening to a lot of shoegaze and Björk):
I can’t tell if anything has changed. What do you think? I’d still wear pretty much all of this stuff. Not included: the unexplainably huge assortment of lingerie that is so hilariously uncomfortable-looking and far from my adult M.O. that it makes me wonder if I understood lingerie was meant to be worn, not just looked at.
I’ve never understood why people are so reticent to admit, even to themselves, that they crib creative influence from others. It’s one thing to purchase everything a person owns, obsessively curating your life to mimic theirs (though at that point it’s performance art), but I will happily share that some of my favorite looks have elements I borrowed from someone I saw in person or online who left an impression on me, and they in turn probably copied at least some aspect of another source to fashion the look that I glommed on to.
I guess admitting that you've been swayed by an influencer might feel like a concession of your own judgment, but judgement is literally ABOUT being presented with existing options or entities and using your home-bred discernment to sift for the stuff you want to attach to your Self. Judgement requires readymade, external objects, and below are some fantastic looks by people I’ve come across on the internet that have, in one aspect or another, placed bees in my bonnet about a specific garment or design element, whether it be orange plaid cargo pants, shiny ruffled shorts, a specific shade of pink, or what have you. I’ve found, in most cases, the actual garment the influencer wore, and included other options that capture the essence of the “original” where possible.
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The aspects of this look on the wonderful Ruby Redstone (whose new fashion podcast, Covered, truly impressed me with its thoroughness and clarity) that compel me are her polka-dot shirt, with its perfect shin length, right amount of structured flare and flow, and the perfectly-proportioned spray of dots, and her orchid-toned ballet flats paired with blue-violet ankle socks. The skirt, I believe, is vintage Comme, usually easy to find on TheRealReal (like the first skirt below), and the shoes are the below Lolo the Ballerina—I like their low, curvaceous vamp and contrast piping. Pairing ballet flats with socks that match their color almost exactly, with a tiny, friction-inducing mismatch a la Tibi’s S/S ‘24 red version creates a trompe l'oeil boot effect, but with a slimmer profile (and extends the wear of your S/S shoes into F/W)—the slight difference in color and texture are what make the combo more interesting than just wearing a boot! As Ruby does above, you can also pair a flat with any sock in the same color family, I like the sock to be darker in that case.
I also really like this weird, almost sickly shade of green:
Inspired by those, I got a pair of these Argentine-made flats in a pugnacious chartreuse:
This skirt is so wild, it would be a styling challenge, but I could see it with a big, thick white vintage t-shirt hanging blithely over the waist:
This shirt’s electric shade of pink is weirdly hard to find, but it somehow makes pink feel decidedly “masculine,” maybe because of my exposure to surfer boyz in this shade of swim trunk at a young, impressionable age?
I never really cared for the Marine Serre crescents until I saw them paired, in catsuit form, with a rash guard-like shirt (you know how I feel about rash guards) and frilly bloomer shorts, or maybe I’m just falling victim to Youngmi’s inability to not slay literally anything she puts on her body.