THE WARDROBE_REMIX(ER) BEING REVEALED:
name: Erica flickr handle: midoritsuru age: 26 location: Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois website: I have a blog: http://midoritsuru.blogspot.com other important basic details about yourself that you'd like to reveal, if any: Harvard graduate (2003, BA in African American Studies)
what do you do for a living? or, if you are a student, what are you studying?
During the day I work part-time as an intern at an investigator's office. In the evenings I take classes towards a master's degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Chicago.
what are your passions/obsessions/hobbies/aspirations?
Currently my greatest passion and obsession is reducing my material impact on the Earth. For the past few years I've been making an effort to move towards a lifestyle which is simpler, more sustainable and more harmonious. I find myself thinking throughout the day, what more can I do to make less waste? What more can I do to live lightly on the Earth? This is what I'm most preoccupied with lately.
what inspires you?
People who strive to become more and more themselves inspire me, which is one reason why I love wardrobe_remix. I love seeing how others strive to express themselves more and more keenly through what they wear. Not everyone out there in the world does that. So when I see someone who has studied themselves enough to have true personal style, I am thrilled by it.
how do you define "style"?
To me, style is communication of self to others. A person must know herself in order to do anything with style. Through dress, facial expression, body language and myriad other ways, we communicate something of ourselves to others. The flip side is that in order to be effective communicators, others must be able to understand and relate to what we are communicating. Personal style results from the constant balancing act between expressing the world within and observing the world outside. I think this is why developing personal style and observing others' styles are so much fun.
how would you describe your personal style?
Words that come to mind are: feminine, colorful, comfortable, experimental, unusual, modest, globally-influenced, retrospective, emotional, expressive, bold.
how does your background (personal history, passions, culture, nationality, etc.) come through in the clothes you like and wear, if at all?
The women in my maternal family have always had strong personal style, and I know that my personal aesthetics have been influenced by them. I am influenced by my multiethnic heritage (Black American, Native American [Tsalagi], French, Italian, Irish and Swedish), as well as cultures in which I have adopted special interest over time (Jewish, Japanese, Korean and Brazilian, to name a few). Honestly, I'm influenced by a great many things.
Modesty is an important factor in my personal style. I generally follow the guidelines of tzniut (Jewish standards of feminine modesty) in what I wear, although I certainly don't follow them strictly. I rarely wear anything above the knee, and my shoulders are covered on all but the warmest days.
choose one item in your closet that you feel completely expresses your personal style and/or aesthetic. describe it. what is it and why is it "you"?
The one item in my closet which most closely captures my personal style is a pair of faded denim bellbottoms, with back pockets hand studded by me. I've had them since high school, and I had always wanted bellbottom jeans but never could find them, new or used. So they are precious to me.
do you collect anything? if so, what?
I collect Pez dispensers! I have about 150 of them. I've been collecting them since high school, although in recent years I haven't bought a single one. People keep giving them to me as gifts so I continue to collect them. Right now I have a Shrek Pez dispenser in my purse filled with orange Pez. :o)
what are some of your favorite places to shop when you want to add to your wardrobe? online? locally? anywhere in the world? why are these places favorites of yours?
When I want to add to my wardrobe, I shop at local thrift stores almost exclusively. I prefer recycled clothing. I sometimes buy new, but this is increasingly rare for me. Whatever I might like to find, I keep an eye out for it when I go thrifting. Eventually, I find it.
does your location (where you live) affect your style? if so, in what ways? describe what your city is like in regard to fashion.
I'm a native Chicagoan. Chicago is a bike-friendly city (and I'm a friendly city biker ;o} ) so much of my wardrobe can be comfortably worn while riding. I save blouses, long skirts, stiff pants and the like for other times. Chicago is a chilly place as well, and so I have adapted to that; I don't torture myself with summer clothing I can only wear one month out of the year!
what do you think is next in terms of fashion? perhaps something that is currently flying under the radar, but could be really cool an popular later, or perhaps something amazing you'd like to see more of that needs to come back or be the new thing?
I hope that handmade, recycled fashion becomes a worldwide trend.
you are super creative with your clothes! share a creative tip or idea about a way people can remix/style their clothing in a fun or innovative way.
One simple way to remix an item is to wear it in a different way. No one will ever know your lovely headband is a pair of runny stockings unless you tell them! Finding new uses for old things is challenging, but it makes the results memorable and fun.
style icons: do you have any?
Although I am inspired and influenced by many things, I don't have any icons to whom I continually refer for fashion cues, aside from my own family members.
how did you come across wardrobe_remix? why do you post there? What do you like about it? has anything positive come about for you as a result of posting to the community?
I came across wardrobe_remix nearly a year ago via the Thriftgoddess website. I was so elated to come across the group, which in turn introduced me to the phenomenon that is flickr. (Thanks, Thriftgoddess!) I post to wardrobe_remix partly because I want to share my personal style, and partly because I want to increase representations of positive, beautiful women of color. Participating in wardrobe_remix has certainly been a favorable experience for me; I have made connections with people I'd otherwise never know, which is amazing.
other favorite wardrobe_remix(ers)? who, and why?
Since I first joined wardrobe_remix many great contributors have come and gone. I'd prefer to not single individuals out here, because I express my opinions through my comments. I do find that I am consistently drawn to quality photos, unique items, confidence and vibrant personality. I also like it when I can recognize a remix(er)'s style from a tiny thumbnail image!
anything else you'd like to say?
thanks for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and why I love wardrobe_remix.
Parting words: Become an expert on yourself; it's your most important task in this life.