This is the first exchange in what will hopefully become a long series of same such conversations where I poke and pry into closets to unearth their seven most treasured items of clothing. One of the three basic necessities of human existence, some may have plenty, some may have few but there will inevitably be those items which have become cornerstones along the daily course of living.
Choosing the first castaway is a pretty momentous decision. I wanted to start off on good footing with somebody whose attitude towards style is one I respected and unique enough that I could really learn about a different cogitation on garment, style and fashioning. Meet Zarah.
We met at the tender age of 5 in first grade. Our shared surnames meant that we would go around class duping our peers into thinking we were twins and somewhere in those moments we forged a friendship that has spanned childhood, puberty and now young adulthood. In the eighteen years we’ve known each other, she’s become a basement artist, bass guitar player of an all girls indie band called Hooves, and the editor-in-chief of CREEP magazine all whilst maintaining a 4.0, pocketing a business degree and travelling most of Europe. The past couple of Christmases we’ve shared have seen us dressing up for party after party and nobody I know is a more ferocious proponent of ‘you do you’ than this girl. With one of us in London and the other in Vancouver, the interview has been conducted entirely via Facebook. It’s the 21st century and I can have a heart to heart on the internet if I wanna.
Ok so let’s start. Ready?
k so i am aware that i am not allowed to use the h word in this conversation so how about you describe your style to me?
and your general approach to clothing
you are correct
ummmm i dunno i never really think about how i approach clothing. comfort is a huge factor. that’s why i never jeans.
cuz i always feel suffocated when i wear jeans
hold on i have to flip my frittata
would you say that your preference for comfort drives your clothing choices then or is there something about comfortable clothes that attracts you to them?
i guess in other words it’s not about looking comfortable as opposed to being/feeling comfortable? or is it a hybrid of both?
ya i’ve always preferred more loose clothing just cuz i’m usually walking a lot or just not sitting still, so it’s a hybrid i guess
i’m definitely conscious about what i’m wearing
what are you conscious about?
i wouldn’t say i follow fashion, but i’m always noticing what people wear. either someone i pass by on the street or someone on instagram
i know it’s kinda dumb, but i just want people to take me seriously. i think that drives a lot of how i dress. cuz i’m a goofy person and i talk about weird things a lot. like my alien theories or whatnot, so i think i’m more drawn to black clothing cuz it’s kinda like a balance between my desire to look polished and still be able to talk about batshit crazy nonsense
tell me about your first item of clothing
oh the fur jacket!
ya i just got that at aritiza a couple of days ago
i’ve always loved faux fur cuz my mom has all these awesome fake fur jackets and i just kinda grew up playing dress up with them
because i’m usually wearing black, i can kinda get away with wearing crazy jackets
plus i feel bo$$y when i wear faux fur jackets
what sort of bo$$y are we talking about
ya i mean i’m not intentionally trying to do that
like i don’t think about how all black with a fur jacket is going to be interpreted as
but if i had to rationalize how i dress, that would probably be what i’m doing subconsciously
so like is it something you’d wear to play a concert?
i’m so into interpreting the subconscious
bo$$y as in kelis bossy
wtf is that
who is kelis?
oh and back to ur concert question, ya i would totally wear a fur jacket on stage if i could
but i’m usually moving around a lot and it gets HOT up there with the lights and stuff, so the jacket would probably be off by the first song
that’s true actually
oh this song is pretty strong independent woman-y
ya it is
like your band
ya we aren’t really playing shows anymore cuz we’re all in different cities but i’ve always loved playing music
oh that sucks
i really liked the music
tell me about your second item
oh that’s my other favourite coat!!!!
i bought that for $30 at value village. i was soooo stoked i found it
i didn’t even bother washing it cuz i knew that dry cleaning would cost more than the jacket
describe it to me in your own words
it’s so warm and makes me feel like a boss
hmmm ok that coat in my own words would probably be
not that i’m a drug dealer but if i was one, i would probably wear that coat to work everyday
what appeals to you about the chic-ness of a drugdealer?
that coat gives me a perma attitude of “i don’t gives a fuq what u think”
HAHAHA i dunno if drug dealer chic-ness “appeals” to me per se, but that’s what that coat is to me
it’s like tacky
but makes me feel awesome anyway
OMG SO H WORD
what is it with you and the h word anyhow
it’s kinda trashy but at the same time, i feel so confident in it!
ok my problem with the h word is that i feel like it’s a way for other people to criticize the way other people act
to me, i would never want to be called a hipster because i do the things that i do because i’m passionate about them and i really don’t give 2 fucks about why other people think i’m doing it
i will watch shows about aliens cuz i genuinely think that aliens are real and i go to shows because i love music and i grew up playing the violin
it’s like the same reason why the basic bitch is such a huge “burn” right now
it’s a pretty difficult thing to do though, to not give two fucks. to cultivate it and then really live it in everyday life.
like honestly, who gives a shit that these girls are obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes. i love pumpkin spice lattes. so call me basic
haha so true
fucking love pumpkin spice lattes
yeah it’s really irritating that society loves brackets
like i work(ed) in the advertising industry. i want to work hard and be good at my job. i don’t care if people think i dress weird. i just like dressing up. i wear clothes that make me feel confident! the h word is weird because i feel like people wanna intentionally look broke and struggling artist-esque haha. and that’s definitely not what i’m going for.
tell me about your third item
ok third item is this bag that i’m OBSESSED with right now!
i got it at opening ceremony. it’s by a NY-based designer going under the name KARA
ya me too!
what drew you to it
well i was actually doing research for work on the CFDA Incubator program
and KARA was on it so i just fell in love with her bags
all the designs are super minimalistic and simple
which i love
and i love how it’s BIG
is it big?
picture makes it look pretty teensy
i always have too much stuff in my purse so this is perfect
tell me about the stuff in your purse!!
i try to carry nothing
what do you carry?
well it’s not massive, but it’s a backpack so just imagine a 90’s style backpack. like something the heathers would wear.
well i always carry a notebook and pen in my purse. when i was travelling a lot last year, i always had a notebook cuz there was just so much stuff to take in all the time.
so it’s kinda just become a habit
i always have at least like 2 or 3 packs of gum in my purse
and i just got an instax mini camera, so i throw that in there too sometimes
so a lot of stuff to help you capture life essentially
ya i guess that’s a good way of putting it
what stuff strikes you the most
or has struck you the most
off the top of your head
i love people watching
yeah, main style inspo right?
what’s so fascinating?
i love watching people interact too
i really don’t know haha
i just love watching people when they think that no one is watching them
i think i like inserting my own imagined stories into their lives
like if i see someone on the street, i try to imagine why they’re pissed or why they seem to be having a good day
when people think no one’s looking, they’re so totally themselves. it’s so interesting.
what about your fourth item?
i realize that what i’m doing is kinda creepy, but i can’t help it!
oh those are the most comfortable leggings in the world from american apparel
specialest memory in them please
they’re like this awesome shiny nylon materials so they’re super cold in the winter, but whatever
literally have heard you go on about leggings for i can’t even figure out how many years
omg i can’t even think of a special memory in them cuz i literally wear them everywhere
like it’s borderline gross
i’m a pretty hygienic person but i’ll wear those pants for a month straight without washing if i have to
these ones especially or leggings in general?
i’m sure i must’ve done that for a bit in new york
i literally hate jeans. i can’t wear them. they’re so uncomfortable. so i pretty much only wear leggings if i have to wear pants
no like this pair haha
i wear them to work, i wear them to the bar, i wear them to run errands
i just love those leggings so much
so much to weather extreme winter?
is it because they’re shiny?
omg when i was studying for exams, those leggings and a knit sweater would be my uniform
ya the shininess definitely helps haha
tell me about the next item
and i mean, vancouver never really gets THAT cold
k the next one is a bodysuit i got at H&M
so why’s it so special to warrant desert island status?
i wouldn’t wear that with the leggings cuz it would look like i’m wearing a full body leotard
but i love wearing that with dress pants for work or with a skirt if i’m going out
it’s just super comfortable
and it’s flattering for literally every human being
i’ve never seen anyone look bad in a black leotard with a cute skirt
and the sixth item?
oh that’s just a basic oversized black t-shirt
cuz everyone needs one of those
it’s comfy and goes with everything
so it’s a pretty solid trend
this comfort thing
does it bear any relevance to your decision to start a magazine?
and if so in what sense
and if not in what sense not
because your magazine is really entrenched in fashion and i guess the subcultures that really affect dress
well i started creep to kill time basically…..i had a few months in that time between graduating and moving to nyc
so the first issue was just my friends and stuff i was really interested in
but it has a definite angle
and i think in general, the magazine does reflect my interests
cuz i’m reaching out to artists and bands or whatever that i like
so i want to know what factors culminated into what ended up being presented
and so i guess subconsciously, it took a fashion vibe
because you are definitely interested in fashion
i remember when we wrote letters as kids and i found one a few years ago where i wrote to you about trying to find my own style
and you were consoling me telling me that i wasn’t to worry that i definitely would if i carried on being who i was
which is pretty deep for a ten year old
ya i guess i am haha. i don’t know designers super well. like stuff from the runways. but i’ve definitely always paid attention to fashion as a way of expressing myself.
OMG NO WAY!
i can’t believe i said that haha
i’ll find it and show you
omg please. that is so awesome.
i think that’s kinda how i always approached fashion
but it begs the question as to when and how you were so sure of yourself and your identity
just like finding ways to express who i am
and if it really is as consolidated as it seems on the surface
oh it was definitely a bumpy road along the way
i used to dress like a clown
i dress in a lot of black now
but for most of high school and even university, i wanted to wear as many colours as possible. at once.
like the pictures from high school were BAD
i mean i definitely have insecurities. every girl does. whoever says that they’re 110% comfortable in their own skin is either a liar or olivia wilde.
so i wouldn’t say that i’ve always been sure of myself
but i was definitely never afraid of experimenting until i found something that i was comfortable wearing
i think high school me just wanted to be different
i would wear mismatched socks and plaid pants and a t-shirt of a clown puking a rainbow cuz at the time, that was how i interpreted “unique”
so what’s unique to you now?
and what’s your seventh item?
i’m not sure what i would consider unique now
i don’t really think i think about it too much
i went to a high school where we had to wear uniforms, so dressing in “street clothes” was a bigger deal to me then than it is now
my 7th item is a ripped crop top
i actually got it in hk with u!
i don’t remember the name of the store
it was that korean place beside muji in that mall
in hong kong?
omg love that place
like a korean topshop yeah?
well it wasn’t as glossy as topshop
but definitely some classy shit in there
what did you like about that shop
it was colour coordinated
which was AWESOME
i remember so clearly the giant room with all the coats. it was just racks and racks of colour-divided coats.
plus i just like korean fashion in general
i like the minimalistic aesthetic.
one of my favourite stores ever is this placed called oak+fort. they’re from vancouver. and most of their designs are korean.
tell me more about preferred aesthetic
and also about your last piece
well i definitely prefer a minimalist aesthetic.
not just with clothes but just with design in general
in what sense
i don’t like patterns. i like clean lines and neutral colours and white space.
my future home designed à la pinterest has a lot of white space
i just love a clean and simple look
with a crazy coat thrown in
so last item?
explain enthusiasm pls
the equivalent to my abuse of my shiny leggings in shoe form would be honed into my creepers
i wear them errrrrrwhere
they’re like 3 inches high but surprisingly comfy
creepers are so weird on me
i am definitely not a creeper girl
i got them in milan last year and have just been obsessed with them ever since
dood everyone is a creeper girl
i don’t get them
they look so punk rock on whoever wears them
plus they make me taller
i’m so not punk rock enough
you are punk rock
three inches make a difference
lawl u can always get the 1 inch ones too
they’re not as dramatic haha
when did you understand creepers?
why are creepers punk rock?
well u know how i’ve always been fascinated with punk culture!
i remember the first time i visited london with my family, i was probably 13 or 14.
that was back when “punks” would let tourists take pictures of/with them in picadilly square
omg you totally went up to them and asked them didn’t you
and they always wore crazy platform shoes!
my creepers are by this brand called underground and they definitely have a punk rock feel
no i was too scared!
i thought they were so cool!!! and i couldn’t make myself approach them
even though my parents were totally encouraging it
your parents are so awesome
so good for letting you be you
ya they’ve always been super supportive of my eccentricities
so i’m glad they let me dress like a clown as a kid
on this island
you’re given a bible
and a complete works of shakespeare
of the two volumes you can choose to replace one with another book
and you are allowed to bring another book of your choice with you
what would you do and what will you bring?
ooooo this is a good question
ok well the book i would bring with me would be dorian gray by oscar wilde
i have to read every paragraph like 5 times in that book
but it’s just such a dark story on sin and immortality
i love it!
and then honestly, i’d probably replace the bible with the complete series of harry potter
just because harry potter.
can i do that? does the series count as one book?
and one luxury item
which i take to be any item in the world that you want on this desert island
tv with netflix fa shoooooo
i haven’t figured out the logistics of getting an internet connection on this island
but the netflix will be working
thanks so much