FPWTF: Kristen V.

FPWTF: Kristen V.

I figured I would end this fashion philosophy series with some brief thoughts on my personal style evolution.

Anyone who knows me knows I love fashion. I always have. I think if I could have chosen the outfit I wore out of the hospital at my birth, I would’ve.

In elementary/middle school, I was obsessed with gauchos and platform flip flops and rainbow earrings that touched my shoulders.

In high school, I wore a choker necklace and converse high tops with my private school uniform and I tried so hard to fit that “soft-grunge” aesthetic.

In college, I could count the number of times I wore leggings to class. (Three. Three times. All three because I woke up insanely late and practically walked into class crying.)

I have tried every print, color, and fit of clothing possible throughout the years. And yet I still have a hard time defining my fashion sense. It probably doesn’t help that I tend to completely rotate my closet once every four to six months. I’ll come home with giant Goodwill bags full of clothes, only to find myself making a giant pile to give back to Goodwill the next month.

I love a good vintage blazer with shoulder pads, but I also want to sport a floral sundress with espadrilles. I want to look edgy and girly and simple and extravagant all at once. Sounds about right.

I think the main thing I realized from this series is that fashion is so dynamic and fun. My fashion inspiration can come from anything and everything, making it that much more spontaneous and exciting. Like all of the people that contributed to this series, I find myself seeking expression through the clothes I wear. And whether I’m rocking my leather mini-skirt or my favorite men’s Levi’s, the goal is to feel comfortable with myself. And to look good while doing it.

P.S. Enjoy these cringe-worthy photos of me. Quality content.


If you’d like to see more of my style, check out my Instagram @kristen.v!

Thanks so much for tuning into this series. Hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did! And thank you to everyone who participated. If you would ever like to contribute to my blog, feel free to DM on Instagram or shoot me an email.

FPWTF: Grace Fries

FPWTF: Grace Fries

This series is called “Fashion Philosophies and Where to Find Them.” After spending time in many corners of the world, I constantly come back to how amazed I am at people’s ability to express themselves through something as simple as the fabric they wear. My contributors come from all over the world, and this is how they have shaped their own personal style as it relates to their identity. 


Ever since I can remember, I’ve been intensely fascinated with the history of fashion. Specifically, the fashion of the latter half of the twentieth century.

Stevie Nicks.

Jane Birkin.

Janis Joplin.

These are just a few of the women who have shaped and contributed to my personal style. I admire these women for their courage to quite simply be themselves.

The art of not caring what others think is intricate and much more than what it sounds like on the surface. In my experience, it takes a great deal of bravery and spirit to put aside the opinions of others and completely be yourself. Over the past year or so, I’ve begun to discover the importance of individuality.

My Fashion Identity

August 18, 2018.

I walked through the doors of my high school for the first time.

I was determined. I was ready to make a name for myself.

But I quickly realized that my expectations were much higher than they should have been. Actually, my expectations were quite the opposite of what you might assume from the average freshman.

Nearly every day, I walked in the doors in eccentric, Joni Mitchell-esque outfits. As the weeks went by, I found that I was just about the only one dressing like this. I let unspoken peer-pressure overcome me and I tried to dress like “everyone else.” I put too much makeup on my face. I tried too hard to please others without letting it show. I couldn’t come off as desperate for attention, of course. 

Later that year and into the summer, I started listening to ’70s music almost exclusively. The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty, Elton John. But more than anything, I listened to Janis Joplin. I fell in love with her music. Her voice was so unique, nothing like what I’d heard before. One day, I sat down and googled “Janis Joplin.” I scrolled through some pictures and read a few articles and fell in love with not only her music, but her style, too. From that moment on, she has been the biggest inspiration behind my style. I found what she chose to wear to be so inspiring, but more so, I was inspired by her unflinching courage to wear whatever she wanted to wear without giving attention to what others thought. (Disclaimer: I do realize that there are components of Janis’ life that I don’t approve of and don’t want in my own, but nevertheless, I still find her eccentricity and independence inspiring.)

I also let my environment have an effect on how I dress. Tennessee is full of art and–you guessed it–thrift stores. I do the bulk of my shopping at thrift stores around town. I love to take the culture of Chattanooga and incorporate it into my style.

What I love about my style is that it’s never monotonous. One day I’ll be wearing one outfit, the next day my outfit might look completely different. Much like Chattanooga, there’s always something new but the classics are still there.

There is a quote from Alexander McQueen that I’ve always found inspiring. “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” 

Above all, my goal is to inspire others with the way I dress. To show the world that it’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be different.


For more of Grace’s style, check out her Instagram @sarahgracefries!

FPWTF: Jared Powell

FPWTF: Jared Powell

This series is called “Fashion Philosophies and Where to Find Them.” After spending time in many corners of the world, I constantly come back to how amazed I am at people’s ability to express themselves through something as simple as the fabric they wear. My contributors come from all over the world, and this is how they have shaped their own personal style as it relates to their identity. 


When Photography and Fashion Collide: A Fresh Perspective

I started getting into fashion not long after starting photography actually. As I was doing different creative shoots, I realized that certain types of clothing photographed really well and were flattering on the subject while other types of clothing didn’t present well in picture format. Before each shoot, I started talking with the model and suggest ideal style for the shoots I was doing.

From there, I almost became their personal stylists. I practically chose their outfits. And I started building a mental catalogue of the types of clothing that I thought looked good in pictures. 

When I took a look at my own wardrobe through this lens, I realized many of the pieces I owned wouldn’t look good in a photograph, nor were they particularly flattering. So, I decided to change that.

Virginia-based photographer Jared Powell.

I quickly realized that many of the clothes offered at your local mall or outlet just were not anything special. In fact, very few retailers carry trendy or stylish guy’s clothing. Many of them tend to play it safe and just offer very basic outfits (i.e. H&M).

I turned to Goodwill. I still didn’t know a ton about fashion at this point and hadn’t branched out much before this, so I didn’t know what might look cool versus dated/out of style. However, I didn’t let fear stop me from trying on anything that caught my eye.

The Thrifting Effect

Anything that piqued my interest, I would grab off the rack and sling over my arm. It’s incredible how freeing it can be to go shopping with this mindset. You just let your creativity loose. And you end up making a purchase decision based off how it actually looks on your body (as well as paired with other clothing you may own).

Another bonus to thrifting is you can find unique pieces that no one else is wearing, and oftentimes the quality is so much better than what you would find at a fast fashion retailer. 

Jared’s thrifted outfits are a major part of his style/expression.

Through this process, I have created (and continue to create) what I would consider my personal style.

I like white, black, tan, beige, and grey.

I particularly enjoy making monochromatic outfits out of these colors. I tend to favor beige though.

I love different interesting textures and usually like one piece of my outfit to be more flowing or oversized.

In photos, clothes that are flowy can add interest or movement to the composition.

The end look I try to achieve is something sophisticated, well-thought-out and creative, often oscillating between outfits that are eye-catching/fashionable and outfits that are more subtle.


For more of Jared’s style, check out his absolutely aesthetic Instagram @jareddpowell!

Be sure to subscribe to see more from this series! Looking forward to sharing these stories with you all.

 

The Side of Paris Fashion Week No One Talks About

The Side of Paris Fashion Week No One Talks About

Strolling through the streets of Paris with my Starbucks in hand, I felt extremely American. In my defense, I knew it was only my first coffee stop of the day. I made my way to the metro station, grabbed a seat and waited for my stop.

Upon walking back up to ground level, the grey Parisian sky was waiting for me. And so was the Champs-Élysées. I strolled down the street, gawking at all the luxurious shops and ran right into Fenty’s pop up shop in the Galaries Lafayette.

A quick walk through the park led me to the Grand Palais, where I saw my first fashion show ever. The photographers were lined up on the sidewalks to capture all the ultra glamorous people wearing giant sunglasses, half of whom I did not recognize at all. They all had one thing in common though: these gorgeous people strolled perfectly through the bustle of the photographers directly into the Elie Saab exposition. The music started. The show began.

After being dazzled by all the beauty I witnessed, it was time to make an essential stop at the Café de Flore. We walked in and sat down.

More Instagram influencers. I didn’t think it was possible to see so many chic people.

My friends and I sat and discussed whether the fashion industry is truly superficial or not. After all, these Instagrammers aren’t really… doing anything. They’re just here. Taking selfies and tons of pictures (in outfits that are, admittedly, super cute).

Are they following trends or are they creating them?

Who actually is creating the trends?

Do the designers and runways shows have control of the fashion world in 2019?

We dipped into a small cobblestone alley because we were tired of walking through crowds of tourists and photographers. At that moment, a Parisian woman walked by me–sunglasses on and purse in hand.

An everyday woman, yet still great style. I could totally recreate that outfit. I turn toward my friends, “All these French women own a pair of jeans that fit them just right and a great blazer. That’s really all you need.”

Maybe these are the people who create what’s new.

The everyday people. The ordinary people. I don’t know about you, but most of my outfit inspiration comes from people I see on the streets.

Sure, huge fashion houses and designers still have an obvious sway in the trends. But I think it’s becoming more common to draw inspiration from one another simply as human beings.

And I love that.


What were your favorite PFW looks? Comment below and I’ll share all my faves!
(Featured photo from Unsplash.)