- December 2, 2014
- Written By Timothy Nguyen
Mia of GlassOrganelle was gracious enough to take the time to talk to us about how she discovered of designers like Rick Owens and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. In our interview she discuses the development of her own style as well as the transition into sharing her perspectives on her blog. Click the jump to read more.
Could you please tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from?
I am trained in the arts of utility maximisation and the airing of grievances (Economics/Law), with an interest in fashion and a jacket addiction. I was born and have lived in Australia my whole life. Beyond my studies and fashion I enjoy food (both healthy and/or simply delicious) and indulging my inner cat lady. I share my outfits and thoughts about fashion on Glass Organelle.
What motivated you to start sharing your outfits online?
I wanted to share my interests with others, and what easier way to do so than by providing a visual representation of how I personally engage with fashion. Like everyone who posts their outfits online I think it also encompasses a hint of narcissism, not that there’s anything wrong with that! When I first started posting I was not overly familiar with a lot of the designers I wear now, nor of the community that follow them. As I began to learn and search more I discovered others who shared my newfound interests. My main motivation was, and still is, to connect with others and have a place to document the development of my style.
How long have you been blogging for and what is your main goal with www.glassorganelle.com?
It would have to have been a few years now! In my real life my Guidi boots and Rick leathers stand alone, so it’s nice to share the excitement surrounding a new collection during PFW or finally finding a piece of clothing I’ve spent years pining over (and also accepting its price tag).
For a while I was frustrated with my inability to provide what I felt was a real insight into a designer’s work and the fashion industry. I felt limited in what I could provide, basing all of my thoughts and opinions on secondary material found online and any purchases I happened to make. Until recently I had only once stepped foot into a store that stocked designers I enjoy. I appreciated the opportunity to see things up close, and this physical dimension revealed to me how important the firsthand experience is to fully understanding and accurately reporting on a designer’s work.
For now I am happy to maintain my outsider’s perspective and simply document my style, voice my excitement, and hope that others want to share that with me.
Have you experimented with other styles? What do you think made you settle into the aesthetic/look you have now?
I was first introduced into the fashion world through Rick Owens’ F/W 2009 Crust collection. I’ve been a Rick devotee ever since. Given his unique and well-defined aesthetic there has been plenty to explore in his universe. My wardrobe expanded to include favourites Ann Demeulemeester, Paul Harnden and Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons. Predominantly consisting of black, it’s been more of an exercise in silhouette and texture, rather than of colour and patterns, with a slight influence from my goth years. When faced with new shapes for the first time black can be less daunting to work with. More recently I’ve felt the need to add some colour into my wardrobe. Your intuition will indicates when a change is necessary, and there should be no guilt in breaking a ‘taboo’.
As to why I think I’ve settled into my current trajectory; I’ve always enjoyed looking a little different from the norm. There are many designers who are able to do this in a thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing way, some more subtly than others, but all with a unique vision.
Your wardrobe seems heavily focused on a few favorite designers. do you feel your style needs to be individualistic and separate from the vision of those designers? How do you incorporate a designer’s viewpoint and aesthetic into your personal style?
I enjoy wrapping myself in the vision of the designer; it’s what drew me towards them to begin with. Whether it’s being sucked into the Rick Owens’ tribe, Ann Demeulemeester’s black romanticism, or Comme des Garçons playful humour, there is scope to dress for a range of emotions.
However, given their strength it can be challenging to merge their visions. Pieces with different silhouettes and shapes can look awkward together. At times I make a conscious effort to push myself to find combinations that work, just for the challenge. However, there remains something incredibly satisfying about channeling the pure vision. Your personal style will emerge through the pieces you choose, and how you combine them together. Although I bought a pair to try, I’ve learnt that Rick Owens sneakers don’t feel natural to my style, whereas for others they are a mandatory part of the Owens wardrobe.
How do you interact with the idea of femininity (or androgyny or masculinity) in how you dress?
To me, the distinction between men’s and women’s is less to do with the particular garment (pants, skirt, dress, shirt), and more to do with the subtle differences in their patterns. A skirt can be inherently masculine given the right cut. When I interact with femininity I try to display my ideal, while rejecting any negative stereotypes that traditionally go along with it. I aim to project strength and thoughtfulness, while ignoring notions of sex and submissiveness.
I’ve always been skeptical of collections labelled as ‘unisex’ as I feel they simply mash masculinity and femininity together, rather than providing something that the wearer can project their own identity upon.
How much are you willing to sacrifice utility for beauty in your clothing?
Beautiful clothing increases utility by a greater amount than any decrease due to limited functionality!
There’s a time and a place for sacrificing functionality for beauty, and vice versa. Any sacrifice will stem from the kind of lifestyle you lead and what level of discomfort you’re willing to accept. I prefer to take the common sense approach as it’s inevitable concessions will have to be made. Don’t wear heels or short dresses on teaching days; your feet will fall off and you may lose your dignity. My favourite handbag is too heavy to carry when I need to use my textbooks, so I use a lightweight tote instead. If your clothing doesn’t impede your ability to engage in everyday life, then being dressed slightly weather inappropriate or having to adjust your skirt every now and then isn’t a big deal. By that definition, I don’t feel that I greatly sacrifice functionality, given the lifestyle I lead.
What are designers or styles you admire, but are not for you?
When I find myself admiring a designer or style I am either ready to incorporate them into my wardrobe or feel they will be relevant at a later stage in my life. Both Thom Browne and Dries van Noten fall into this category. The “not for you” can also stem from limited functionality. I never attend an event warranting the opportunity to wear a spectacular 3D printed garment from Iris van Herpen (but to be honest if I had the money I would start collecting them anyway). Beyond that it’s easy to admire most styles, regardless of whether you would personally wear them, when they’re worn well!
What is some advice you could give someone who wants to develop their own personal style?
Starting out in developing your own style can be challenging. It’s important to identify what you’d like to present, translate that to fit your lifestyle, and acquire pieces that create this vision. Freedom to explore and experiment is obviously limited by what pieces of clothing you own, however each addition will open up new possibilities and ideas. Adding to and refining your wardrobe is a continual process. Keep an open mind, and if you look back and dislike an an outfit you wore last month, feel okay, as it means you’re learning and moving forward.
Enjoy the opportunity to create a visual expression, on whatever level you feel comfortable with.
For more Mia be sure to follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her blog!
I would also like to thank Celine of http://www.doublepluslovely.com/ for helping me out with some of the questions as well. Stop by her well written blog for some serious discussion on fashion.
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