Recently I set up a poll on my Instagram story to find out the truth as to whether people find Q&As an interesting read, and the response turned out to be a resounding 'Hell YAS'! I have to agree - Q&A posts or videos are one of my favourite because I love finding out more about people - especially those who are open and honest. Most of the questions I was sent were about what inspires me, and although I did kind of expect that, they still took a lot of thinking about in order to give you the best possible response. So without wanting to waffle much longer, I'll get on with it...
1. Who are your biggest inspirations?
My inspirations change on the daily. I work in retail, in Leeds city centre, so even the customers that come into store can inspire me. Street style is something I find extremely interesting, and could sit on a bench in the city for hours on end just watching people walk by. I love to take in parts of people's outfit or style, and think of how I could interpret that in my own way. Also as part of my job, I am expected to have a knowledge of upcoming trends and high street fashions and this enables me to think of ways how I can be 'on-trend' but more importantly, how I can adapt them and make them my own.
My Mum and Nan are also a huge inspiration when it comes to the way I dress. Never once have I ever been held back from being the person that I want to be, which I have to say, looking back, I may have required a little bit (hello, half-cammo print, half sheer prom dress with metal spikes on the shoulders). My Nan, being an absolute fashion icon herself back in the 60s, will tell me I look lovely in absolutely anything I am wearing, no matter what. Although she may be a slightly baised opinion, it still makes me feel wonderful all the same.
Of course, music is also a huge influence on my life, and my style. Currently, I'm most inspired by all things punk. However, this shall be touched upon later.
2. How has your style evolved over the years and what has influenced this the most?
I loved this question! I don't even know how far back to go with this, as I've always been interested in fashion, and expressing myself from a young age. The earliest I remember is probably around the age of 10, where I would wear long sleeved striped t shirts with a tutu, ripped tights and a pair of Converse with odd laces - those were the days. At that age you don't care what others think, or what people say about you: you are you, and that's it. I definitely have Avril Lavigne to thank for this stage of my life. Then, of course, high school happened and it's all about fitting in. I don't remember much about what I used to wear around the first couple of years of secondary school, the only thing that sticks in my head was my makeup choices, and not for good reason. Eventually, as most of us do, I reached my 'emo' phase, some of which still remains with me to this day. Oli Sykes was my fashion inspiration / love interest / God and remained that way until I left secondary school.
I can honestly say, I still don't think leaving school helped me find my own when it came to fashion. Throughout college, I dressed a lot like other people, especially those who I hung around with. At the weekends, I worked for Vans and tended to be a skinny jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with jeans and a t-shirt, but it's a far cry from where I am today.
For me, working full-time in retail is really something that has inspired the way I dress massively. I've always had to put my own edge on things, or try to be different, but working a job where I am forced to be sociable, and meet hundreds of new people everyday boost my confidence hugely. I don't think that you can 'learn' to be more self-confident, and I can't pin point the exact moment that it really happened to me, other than one day I woke up and I didn't care if someone didn't like my trousers, or the way I did my hair, because that was for me, and that's all that matters. Surrounding myself with lovely, positive people is a huge influence and allows me to have the confidence to take it further with my style. I don't regret any of my fashion choices of the past, no matter how cringe worthy they may be because, looking back, if they hadn't happened, I may not have reached where I am now.
3. Who are your three top musical fashion inspirations from any era?
The most difficult thing about answering this question is trying to narrow it down to just three.
As most of you probably guessed, my first influence has got to be the Queen that is Debbie Harry. No matter who you are, man, woman, if you say that you haven't been inspired by Debbie Harry at some point in your life, you're lying. The leopard print, extravagant makeup, and 'don't care' attitude has a huge influence on me, because who doesn't want to be just like her? I could talk for days and days, and post endless amounts of photographs here, but I am writing a blog post, not a novel, so I will continue.
Again, some people may be able to predict this second one. Placebo's Brian Molko influences so much of my life, and when I'm having a bad self-confidence day, I'll scroll endless photographs until I'm feeling back to my usual self. I find that androgyny plays a huge part in the way I dress myself, as well as what I find attractive and influential. For as long as Placebo have been in the public eye, Brian has been, unapologetically, himself. The voice, the hair, the cross-dressing. Placebo will always be my favourite band, and Brian always my idol.
Finally, on the subject of androgyny is Gwen Stefani. Getting the balance of perfectly feminine, yet charmingly masculine absolutely bang-on, I think that Gwen is quite underrated when it comes to fashion influencers. With the music of No Doubt taking influence from ska and reggae, the fashion is something to be admired. I mean, the fact that there is a No Doubt collaboration with Fred Perry speaks for itself! Ska will always have an influence on how I dress, especially when it comes to dressing for gigs, etc, and Gwen Stefani is a definite underdog for me when it comes to style and sass.
So, that's all for now! Hopefully I haven't rambled too much and this is still a fairly interesting read. If you've read this far, I congratulate you, you should know a little more about me than you did before.