The late, great designer Steven Sprouse once said that fashion comes from the streets. He kept his collections current by checking out what kids around NYU, punks in Tompkins Square Park and artists in Greenwich Village were wearing. Looking for a little wardrobe inspiration, Xpress keeps an eye on downtown fashionistas.
(A) Long live the Big Easy
• Who she is: Erin Bell
• What she’s wearing: A tailored man’s vest over a lacy slip; a tweed hat she picked up in New Orleans.
• Why we love it: This thrift-shop version of contemporary menswear is fashion savvy, but personal touches make the look more fun and less “got it at the mall.” The hat is a perfect autumn topper — J. Crew is jealous.
(B) Eat your heart out, Avril
• Who they are: (L to R) Jeremy Maln, Geneva Bierve-Wilson, Molly Hare and Daniel Smedly
• What they’re wearing: Jeremy rocks the Goodwill cord jacket; Geneva sports a utility jacket with the name “Jeanie” that she picked up in a consignment shop in Ohio; Molly wears brown Converse All-Stars from Shoe Carnival and earrings handmade by Daniel; Daniel’s tie was liberated from his dad’s closet, and his eyeball earring came from Molly’s jewelry box. They all wear green arm bands in memory of a friend who recently died.
• Why we love it: These high-school seniors mix comfort, whimsy and personal style. Fashion should be fun, right? And neckties over T-shirts aren’t just for Avril Lavigne anymore.
(C) Raiding Dad’s closet
• Who he is: Ian Vigsledt
• What he’s wearing: Striped jeans from H&M and hand-me-down shoes from his stepdad. “They’re about 30-some-odd years old now — I keep getting them resoled,” he explains.
• Why we love it: There’s retro and there’s vintage, and Ian’s put together the best of both worlds with his hipster-mod look.
(D) Anti-fashion with a passion
• Who they are: Ashley Montville and Rob X
• What they’re wearing: Her plaid wool skirt came from Madame Butterfly on Lexington Ave., black zipper boots from Discount Shoes, and her Captain Spaulding T-shirt was a mall purchase. His picked up his vintage ’70s jacket in a thrift shop for $15, and his dice chain came from New York City.
• Why we love it: As Rob X so succinctly puts it, “I don’t know what anyone else is wearing; I wear what I like.”
(E) Travel in style
• Who she is: Raelin
• What she’s wearing: Sweater from a consignment shop in Black Mountain, shirt from an AIDS benefit store in San Francisco, skirt from a swap meet, and overdyed Indian scarf and boots by Sofft.
• Why we love it: Style with a purpose. And, while lots of Asheville folks trawl the thrift shops for outfit pieces, Raelin’s getup combines elements from where she’s been, from N.C. to the West Coast — not to mention an Indian accent or two.
• Who she is: Morganna Parsons
• What she’s wearing: A jacket her grandmother gave her, studded and spiked leather jewelry and a leather- and studded-rose boutonniere she just picked up.
• Why we love it: Blazers are big this season, but Morganna’s got her own take on that trend.
(G) Insider tip: the free box
• Who she is: Emily Staton “Of the Staton Embassy,” as she tells it.
• What she’s wearing: Olive-green jacket from a Warren Wilson College free box, a vintage patterned shirt from a thrift shop and a wire necklace she made herself.
• Why we love it: Emily has secondhand chic down to a science — in fact, one of her friends noted, “She always has great style.”