clothing is a way of communicating without talking. musician and buyer ana shares her influences and inspirations and heads to the cloisters to showcase her style in this edition of styled by.
what inspires your style?
i love vintage clothing and the types of textiles, colors, and designs you discover on vintage pieces. even modern clothing that tries to emulate vintage pieces don't seem to have the same charm for me. i'm really inspired by the fashion of 1960s and 70s carnaby street, like biba and mary quant, ossie clark, pierre cardin, and courreges. i also find it fascinating to see how fashion from one era will be brought back in a later era, like the 1970s reinventing victorian or 1920s styles, or the 90s doing the late 60s flower power or "far out" 70s look (like the 90s "brady bunch" movies). i also am a musician and lover of older music, so looking at outfits that british punks, elvis or glam rock singers (etc.) wore is always a source of inspiration. my favorite modern designers are vivienne westwood, jean paul gaultier and betsey johnson, although i prefer their vintage 80s and 90s designs.
what was the inspiration behind this shoot?
i wanted the location to match my aesthetic, and the met cloisters with all of its medieval artwork really speaks to me. my dad is an architect and one of the projects he worked on when i was growing up was building a greek orthodox church. my parents collect art, and so we had some religious pieces from different parts of the world- haitian voodoo artwork, greek orthodox paintings, mexican catholic shadow boxes etc. i think the religious artwork my parents owned scared me, but in a good way (i'm born in october, so i was a halloween kid). i still own an icon that my dad commissioned the icon painter for the church to make for me. i'm deeply interested in symbolism since i study astrology and esoteric ideas. religious medieval and renaissance artwork is full of it. i wanted these photos to look like they were from another time, and the cloisters really make you feel that way since the building is designed to look like a medieval church.
what meaning do clothes have for you?
clothing is a way of communicating without talking. as a shy teenager, i was able to express myself through what i wore. i also love the theatrical element to dressing up and being able to become another person from a different time period, a movie or a band. my band does a halloween cover show every year, and this year we did abba, so i got to become a disco queen. last year we were the b-52s and all of us had beehives. next year it would be fun to dress up like bret michaels from poison and spend the night being a man with facial hair!
how did you first get interested in clothes?
i read tons of archie comics when i was younger, the "digests" that you buy at the grocery store, and it would be a mash-up of comics written from every decade. eventually, i realized that they recycled the same comics over and over, but it was cool seeing how the drawing style changed and i could tell which decade was which. i was mostly into seeing the clothing that betty and veronica wore, and they were like my fashion idols. my favorite movies were cry baby, edward scissorhands and grease. for a while, i'd watch one of those every week, so i saw them all a bunch, and they have that thing with one decade doing the fashion from an older decade. i'm pretty sure that's where i got my fascination with clothing and vintage styles.
earliest fashion memory?
my mom is really into fashion and is actually much more avant garde than me (her favorite designers are comme des garcons and issey miyake, to name only two). i remember she had a see-through yellow plastic dress with fake green vines hanging off of it. i can still recall seeing it hanging on the back of her bedroom door. it seemed like an adam and eve dress, except punk. and i also remember wondering if you had to be naked to wear the see-through dress! (strange little kid thoughts).