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Friday, November 10, 2017

Sara

chicago street style fashion





Knit wit 

"Disco folk" is how Sara Basgall describes her retro-leaning statement look. "I'm very inspired by Turkish psych, folk, and disco," she says. A parallel source of inspiration for her, not surprisingly, is the 1960s and '70s, which she became infatuated with during childhood while delving into her dad's large vinyl collection and through mixtapes he used to make for her. Basgall's house is filled with 70s-style textiles that she's made. "I take the projects with me on the go and work on them while waiting at the doctor's office or hanging out at a friend's house," she says. "I feel all the walls in a room need to be acknowledged and given a personal touch. I decorate all of my walls in my apartment. Every room has an area rug on the floor and wall rugs I've made by hand." The exception, she says, is the bathroom, "which is filled with plants."

Sara shows her tapestries in her colorful home - 70s feel, new-millennium colors:




Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jaidah

chicago street style fashion




Take it or leaf it

The leaves depicted on Jaidah Kirksey's pants aren't marijuana. The Columbia College film student isn't making a statement about the legalization of weed, or letting people know that she's 420 friendly. Nonetheless, she says, "the fact that it sparks up that kind of reaction makes me happy. I'm allowed to wear what I want, despite how 'provocative' it may be."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Kayla

chicago street style fashion


Lisa gets an A

The Lisa Simpson sweatshirt she borrowed from her "kinda boyfriend." "I was told by one of his close friends that he must really like me if he's letting me wear that sweatshirt," Kayla Garcia says. "I don't really watch The Simpsons, but he does, and it reminds me of him. He always offers it when I'm cold."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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María Fernanda

chicago street style fashion




Eclectic feel

"The harder the day is going to be, the harder I go on making the outfit spectacular," says María Fernanda Hernéandez Tort, who was on the way to a video-game store, where she planned to drop off a resumé. "I don't have a lot of basics in my wardrobe, so professional moments always scare me a little. I toned down my makeup and colors a bit so that I wouldn't come off as too intense." One of her two majors at the School of the Art Institute is fibers and material studies, which has moved her to consider pattern, color, and texture paramount in her style: "A lot of items I choose for the design, weave, or knit of the textile," she says. That academic sensibility is counterbalanced, she says, by a more childlike sartorial goal: "To always feel like I'm a video-game character."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.

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Tori

chicago street style fashion



True colors, shining through

"Putting intention behind what you wear will affect how you show up in the world," says spiritual coach and energy healer Tori Washington. "This doesn't mean spending hours picking out what to wear but empowering yourself to wake up, inquire around how you want to feel, and dress yourself in a way that will draw that energy into your life." Each color, for instance, holds a certain frequency that can "protect and elevate your mood," she says. White is "cleansing and protective," shades of blue and turquoise are "purifying," red and peach are "for inspiration and increasing energy," and black is "very protective, with a sense-grounding energy." 

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Joseph

chicago street style fashion



Sax appeal

Street performer Joseph Taylor, of the one-man band Sax in the City, attributes his "neat, presentable" appearance largely to his wife, Annette. "I can't walk out the door without my wife telling me what to put on. As she continuously tells me, I'm a reflection of her," says the musician, also known as "Saxy Joe," who usually performs on weekends near Willis Tower. While taking into account the strong opinions of his better half, Taylor finds headwear the best expression of his personal style; from a large collection of hats, he carefully chooses one to match any outfit. "When you look good, you feel good," he says. "When you feel good, you sound great!"

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Miles

chicago street style fashion

DIY B-Boy

Visual artist and B-boy Miles Jackson was leaving work sporting an updated version of the normcore trend: minimal pieces—but worn with zero irony and somehow befitting the Moe Howard-ish bowl haircut. Inspired by 1970s breakdancers and workwear uniforms, Jackson's style is practical yet intentional; he tailored his wool military pants for a skinnier fit and fastened the oversize waist with a cord for a deconstructed edge. "It's more fresh," he says, "to make something yourself, to alter details, than it is to buy something brand name."

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Abigail

chicago street style fashion blog


Rational Fashion

Every day for the past two years, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury has worn one of six versions of the same jumpsuit. A professor of fashion design at the School of the Art Institute, Glaum-Lathbury created the outfit with Los Angeles-based visual artist Maura Brewer to "explore the possibility of a universal garment that could be worn in any situation," she says. Together the pair form the Rational Dress Society, and sell the product, manufactured in the U.S., under the name Jumpsuit, calling it "an experiment in counterfashion." Since devoting herself full-time to the one-piece lifestyle, Glaum-Lathbury doesn't miss her old clothes at all. She cherishes the reduced laundry load, she says, among other perks: "I think the thing that surprised me the most was just how little I missed the stress and anxiety of picking out the right outfit for the right occasion. I learned that I loved not having to pick out clothing or go shopping!"

The unisex jumpsuit—which has been worn by at least two couples in their weddings—is sold according to a sizing system "that can accommodate 248 body types," with videos available online to help potential wearers determine the best fit. Right now RDS is also promoting a movement called Make America Rational Again, for which it's collecting "gently used and emphatically discarded" Ivanka Trump-brand garments to be turned into fibers for a special-edition jumpsuit, with proceeds going to the LA-based Garment Workers Center. A tote bag and poster with the MARA logo will be on sale at jumpsu.it soon. Printed by local studio Sonnenzimmer, the posters were made with paper recycled from Ivanka Trump's books.

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.


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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mizz Chelsla and Trisha

chicago street style fashion blog





Close encounters

"Alien street walker" was the inspiration as Jackson Powell and Sean Marburger—known on the city's drag circuit as Mizz Chelsla Green and Trisha Bass—headed out to Queen!, a weekly party at Smart Bar welcoming "kings, queens, and everything in between." "The idea was," Powell said, "an alien lands in Chicago and tries to fit into society." 
"You'd think a queer bar in Wrigleyville would be a bore, but the staff and hosts make this the event of the week," Marburger said. Powell agreed: "I've never once felt judged or unwanted there. It's a safe space to let your creative freedom shine and sparkle." 
While the Macy's beauty advisers fully embrace their "boy selves," they've learned a lot from their alter egos. "Chelsla has definitely challenged me to take a step out of the box and show my true colors, because people respond better to that rather than to a person you're pretending to be," Powell said. "Drag has changed my life for the better. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. I have also found a ton of people that I consider family. These people are the most supportive individuals. Because I started drag I started having confidence to wear pink as a boy, or to pop a lip color on and not care what others think. Drag has made me view fashion as a genderless item, a visual representation of who we are and what we like."
Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Patti and Francesca

chicago street style fashion blog

Patti and Francesca were photographed while exiting the Queen! weekly party at Smart Bar.
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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Robert and Ricardo

chicago street style fashion blog









The friend zone

Robert James and Ricardo Sparks were strutting downtown on their way to grab drinks. They looked ripe for a fashion editorial—or at least a selfie Instagram post. Both aspire to work in the fashion industry: James plans to launch a T-shirt collection, and Sparks aims to open a fashion school. Sporting a silk robe in broad daylight, James, who describes himself as a trendsetter in his Englewood neighborhood, seems to live by his most common bit of sartorial advice: “Fitting in is standing out.” 

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Nolaj

chicago street style fashion blog





Hero at large

His name is Jalon Midlebrooks. But not long ago he decided to start going by "Nolaj." "I felt like I was living backwards, living differently from what I initially planned to," says the former IT student, who dropped his suit-and-tie uniform and corporate ambition in favor of more adventurous career and fashion choices. "Basically we go through different phases, Pokemon style," says the experimental music artist and budding wardrobe stylist. "Evolution is real, because I feel like I'm changing every day, and my appearance reflects that." Newly out of a "pirate-cowboy" period, he's diving head first into a "supervillain-superhero" phase.

Originally published in the Chicago Reader.
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Friday, November 3, 2017

Ryan

chicago street style fashion blog





Vintage and DIY outfits this musician can perform and sleep in

Inspired by Nudie suits—rhinestone-covered suits made by late designer Nudie Cohn—and the rock scene he grew up in, musician Ryan Koenig's style is a fusion of country-western and punk. He was photographed last month at Wicker Park Fest before playing with headliner Pokey LaFarge, who was featured in one of the first of these columns. Onstage Ryan always tries to "fancy it up a bit", though his offstage look is not too different: "I try to keep it pretty consistent, something I strive for in my whole life. What you see is what you get," he says. His "stylish but practical" garb—he needs to be able to "sleep or sweat" in it—is usually thrifted in vintage stores across the country or sewn by Kellie Everett, his seamstress/musician wife. Ryan himself also makes lots of his hat bands, leather belts, and boot decorations, which he usually tries to coordinate. Another accessorizing rule: always keeping a bandana in his pocket: "Lots of things you can use that for," he says. The multi-instrumentalist—Koenig plays harmonica, six-string banjo, guitar, and bones—will be releasing a record of his own on October 13, called Two Different Worlds. He plans on performing here in Chicago sometime that month.


Originally posted in the Chicago Reader.
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