Interconnected: Personal style across borders

Welcome to the fourth 'interconnected' collab! 'Interconnected' is a column dedicated to indvividuality, as well as the culture shared across borders. Each one, a collaboration with people from around the world, reflecting on the same theme and telling different stories related to that. 

This time we asked four individuals to share their thoughts on their own personal style, the power of fashion and fashion as a form of self expression. Meet Luci, Leon, Tuva and Casper:

Luci

Name: Lucinda Carvalho

Age: 20

Studying: Illustration

Location: Leeds

It has taken quite some time to build my personal style, and despite feeling like I’ve come a long long way from what I was wearing two years ago (it was pretty tragic lmao), I feel like my style is forever changing and evolving along with whatever’s happening with me internally. 

Developing my personal style has really only been a thing for me this past year or so, and it resulted from a need to feel comfortable in my own skin and as an outlet to express myself. For the longest time (as cringy as it is for me to say),

I felt trapped by my own insecurities and kind of stepping out of that, and wearing what I wanted to wear without fear, signified the beginning of growing into myself and it boosted my confidence in all the good ways! It was the proof that I needed to realise that being yourself only brings along positive things – it’s great! 

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I would describe my style, or taste in style as being more on the androgynous side of things (much to my mum’s disapproval ahah) but not necessarily because I see myself as an activist in that sense, but more because of the innate discomfort I feel when I’m presenting myself in a way that’s too close to what’s expected of my gender. I don’t tend to feel comfortable in clothes that are too feminine, and I feel a lot more like myself when my clothes are baggy and oversized or when my outfits are a mix of feminine and masculine energies. It’s so much more fun! And to me, confining yourself to the limits of gender rules is boring and something I don’t feel the need to engage with anymore.  I like clothes, and personally this idea of certain items being for ‘girls’ and others for ‘boys’ is so silly; if they look good and I feel comfortable in them I’m good!

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I tend to mix a lot of patterns too that may not traditionally go together but somehow end up working when I pair them. I like making things that can be seen as tacky look good, so you’ll probably see me rocking the same pink pompom hair bobble a 5 year-old would wear! My interest also leans towards clothes that are more one-of-a-kind, so I prefer shopping at charity shops and kilo sales.

My fashion inspiration doesn’t come from a specific person, but from a collection of images I keep on Pinterest (I love Pinterest!) and that board is something I always refer to when I need inspiration or when I’m thinking of new things to buy. I tend to be really inspired by people whose style is without a doubt a visual reflection of who they are; people who aren’t afraid to wear what they want to wear, and again, people whose style defies gender constraints. A lot of my fashion inspiration is actually ‘male’ fashion! Love the fluid and changeable nature of style – so fun!

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 Leon

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Leon

Name: Leon Haberfelner

Age: 18

Studying: Art

Location: Munich

Hello, my name is Leon, I’m 18 years old and I’m from Munich. At the moment I’m in my first year of art school and it’s quite fun. But let’s get to the main point, personal style. For me personal style, or style in general is very important and a good way to express yourself. I personally think that style and how you dress yourself has got loads to do with what music you listen to and I’ve always got the feeling I know what music people I don’t really know listen to by the way they dress.

And for me, a person who listens to loads of different music, I often realise myself that I dress different when I’m listening other music than I usually do. And that’s probably why I say I haven’t really got my 100% own personal style, and I think I never will because there will always be something changing, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

 But I’m very sure that I’ll always love vintage shops, even tough I’ve hardly got a good one in Munich. They are always really expensive, and that’s why I prefer the old shops where you get a pair of nice trousers for 1€-5€. So like I said, my Hometown isn’t very good for second hand clothes so I often check out nearly every vintage shop on holiday, if it’s France, Italy or England, when I visit my family. And sometimes I find amazing stuff but sometimes I’m also quite disappointed, but it’s definitely a good way to check out the town you’re in and sometimes you’re really lucky.

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So now, let’s get to some style inspiration. First of all I really like @lukasabbat, because he’s got a very classy but still very cool style and kind of knows how to pull off everything. I’ve watched a few interviews and he also seems to be a very nice guy, who does what he loves. That’s what I would like to accomplish. The second is @jhuoza, who is very different to Luka Sabbat, but is very unique and diverse and that’s what I love in fashion. But to be honest, I’ve got no idea how he’s like or what he really does, I just really like how he dresses and I guess that’s what it’s about in style inspiration. Third are my friends, a lot of my friends like the same clothes as me, but we’re always a bit different in style and that small difference always makes it something special. I could probably talk about this for ages, but this is my opinion on personal style and getting inspired, hope you enjoyed reading this. 

 Tuva

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Name: Tuva Nielsen

Age: 16

Studying: Media & Communiation (high school)

Location: Oslo

My name is Tuva - 16 years old - and a work in progress. I live at Grünerløkka in Oslo, a mecca for people like me who are into fashion and style. I would describe the term “style” as
a form of personality, something that describes who you are and even tell the world a little about how you’re feeling that particular day. 

I think personal style is really interesting and I love it when people dare to express themselves through clothes and accessories. One of the first thing I notice when I meet a person is what they’re wearing. Because I think – even though a person is into fashion or not - that everyone in one way or another – tells a story with their clothes.

I have a few favourite places I always return to when I need new inspiration for my wardrobe, my local vintage stores. I love spending time just looking through everything and occasionally you find a golden gem amongst all the clothes, hats, scarfs, jewellery. 

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Vintage is definitely having its big breakthrough among every age group and more and more people are aware of the win-win situation. I'm walking out of the store with a new garment thankful that the previous owner didn't throw it away years ago. I love the idea that clothes from different time areas gets to live on and on. The same with my clothes. What I don't wear anymore, I give away. In that way, someone else can reuse it and style it with their own personality. My favourite vintage stores are definitely Velouria vintage, Ny York and Robot. You can find them all at Grünerløkka, only 3-5 minutes apart. A perfect way of spending a lazy Saturday.

For me, music and movies have had a lot of impact on my personal style. I grew up with parents both very into this and they have taught me and inspired me since I was a small child.

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One of my favourite movies is “Pulp fiction”, and my favourite character in that movie is “Mia Wallace” - played by the gorgeous Uma Thurman. She's such an icon in this movie and her classic look with the black flared pants and the white shirt is so badass, but yet so classy. And that's my aim, to have a fashion expression that say “classy” and “badass”. Because for me French fashion has always been my biggest style inspiration and I think those two adjectives describes it in the best way possible. 

Even though my style has changed through the years and I have been experimenting a lot, I believe I now have landed on a certain style that suits me. I have always loved the 60s and the 70s, even as a small child, so I guess you can find traces of that era in how I dress. A tip I usually use on a daily basis is to wear a plain outfit but dressing it up with accessories like jewellery, belts, hats, scarfs or bags to make it more interesting. But sometimes the best way to dress is to put on my hottest outfit and style it with fancy accessories and walk out the door with passion!

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 Casper 

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Name: Casper Spencer

Age: 18

Studying: Currently doing an internship with Human rights foundation

Location: New York/ Norway

My relationship with fashion goes all the way back to middle school when I was really into skateboarding. As a self-conscious teenager with a hobby where what you wore was very important, I found myself being very conscious about what I was wearing. I remember the first clothing item I bought was a fitted cap from the skateboard truck company “Independent”. I had saved up for weeks until I finally had enough money to go down to the local skate shop and buy it. I was so excited that I wore the cap to bed the next following nights. Since then I have been conscious of what I wear. I'm all about originality, I like to deviate from the norm and fashion is a great way of doing so.

My style today still has a lot of influence from my skateboarding days but it is ever changing. The only common factor with my outfits is that I tend to shy away from tight trousers and tend to go for a looser fit. I often base an outfit off of the trousers I am wearing. Clothing pieces covered in flashy labels are also something I say away from. I'm not willing to pay the extra money just for the logo, I would rather pay the extra for the quality of the garment. This is why recently I have been interested in a lot of Japanese clothing labels. Some examples are Comme Des Garcon Black or Homme (not PLAY), Visvim and White Mountaineering. Whilst still remaining minimalistic the cuts and construction are what make you stand out.

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Another brand I have been obsessed with lately is Bottega Veneta although I have trouble justifying the price of their clothing, the quality of their work makes up for the price tag. It will be exciting to see what Daniel Lee from Celine will be able to accomplish at Bottega. What I am most mindful of with my outfits are accessories. Accessories are everything! You can wear a plain white t-shirt and black trousers and as long as you have accessories you could be the most stylish person in a room. Whether its a necklace or a couple of rings, they can tie your whole outfit together. 

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I try to be mindful of sustainable fashion and I am currently assisting an organization called Wear Your Values which works on increasing the transparency in the supply chain. When I go shopping I like to go to vintage shops because with fashion nowadays there is such a high volume of clothing being produced in the current style or trends it is almost impossible to stand out. By shopping vintage or second hand you can find some very interesting pieces for a fraction of the price some brands charge, whilst still promoting sustainable fashion. It's a win-win!

I want to add that everything stated is just my opinion. I believe fashion is one of the most subjective things out there. As long as you feel good in what you are wearing then you are the best-dressed person on the planet and nobody can tell you otherwise.

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