I guess my introduction to the world of fashion started with a designer black suit that my parents bought me to wear in middle school. As I mentioned before in the post “Open Toe Careerist,” I attended a school with a strict dress code policy and I rebelled every morning with my choice of outfits. In order to motivate me to wear the school uniform (skirt or trousers suit and a white shirt), my parents bought me a classy designer suit that I immediately fell in love with. This skirt and jacket dramatically changed my approach towards office clothing and lead me to the conclusion that color black is my favorite color (check out my “Ode to Black” to find out more). For the next couple of years (okay, let’s be honest — I still love black today) I was fanatically following “all black rule.”
Another memorable color introduction happened when I turned 17, and my parents brought me a gift from their trip to Europe — ruby Yves Saint Laurent lipstick. Prior to that I had been experimenting with nudes and brown tones of the lipstick, and never even considered to try red. According to my Russian misconceptions, red lipstick was way too provocative for the “good girl” that I considered myself to be. However, I gave that lipstick a try, and it totally changed my approach to makeup. I realized that bright colors work well with my pale skin and bright eye color (green). Surprisingly, ruby lips gave my face some color and unintentionally raised my self-esteem.
As you may have guessed, all through my college years I’ve been experimenting with black and red combinations. Black dress and red lipstick or red dress and black nail polish were two most popular styles in my collection and for a long period of time and didn’t want to change anything. But I sorta was forced to do it when I came to the United States about six years ago. I just came to New York and was still in my black & red period when a comedy club promoter approached me with the question “Are you coming back from the True Blood audition?” I was shocked and at the same time couldn’t stop laughing. I really looked like a Gothic diva in my black dress, wearing a red lipstick and enjoying my new dark brown bob!
That joke by the comedy club promoter was a breakthrough moment in my relationship with black outfits. I haven’t completely stopped wearing black clothing (I guess I am pretty stubborn!), but I definitely started to introduce more color into my wardrobe. Nowadays, my closet is reminiscent of a rainbow: I have outfits of every color you could possibly imagine, and many duplicates of clothing in various color tones. I guess my True Blood period is officially over, but I still have some mementos of my black & red period. For instance, this burgundy & black dress and a lace black jacket that you see in my photos.
I wonder if you have any funny stories to share about how your personal style has evolved over the years. Please share your stories; I would love to hear them!
Burgundy Dress (similar here and here) // T Tahari Deanna Lace Jacket (similar here; also seen here)
Christian Louboutin Filo // Botkier Valentina Hipster Bag (similar here) // Forever 21 Glamorous Woven Collar
Photos by Vital Agibalow