This is our friend, Alexis. Isn’t she lovely? Alexis pretty much ALWAYS looks amazing. She inspires us constantly with her beauty, her fierce and on-point fashion sense, her baking, her mad-competitive volleyball skills, and her quick-witted humor. She’s what you would call a true Renaissance woman. And from the holiday party to the beach volleyball court, she is dressed to impress at all times. She was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to send us a couple pics and tell us a little bit about what fashion means to her. Thanks, Alexis!
Alexis: I’d like to start by saying how crazy I think it is that I was asked to do this – I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve been labeled an “inspiration,” so that’s pretty cool. Thank you, ladies!
I feel a bit silly using the word “passion,” so let’s start with the one it rhymes with – I LOVE fashion. I absolutely love it. One might even say I have an addiction. I definitely read too many magazines and I definitely have a shopping problem. You know it’s getting bad when you feel the desire to conceal the Nordstroms bag when you enter your door so that your boyfriend doesn’t exclaim (again), “Is that another new sweater?!”
I can’t think of a defining moment or remember when I decided to start caring about how I looked or what I wore. I think it was instilled in me at a young age by watching my Mother get ready in the morning. I’m from Dallas Texas, y’all…and in Dallas, you don’t leave the house without “putting your face on.” My Mother always looked amazing, and still does; big props to my Mom for keeping it together at 61! When not learning to bake, my time with my Grandmothers was spent “playing dress up,” and there are countless childhood photos of me in 40s style hats and gloves mugging for the camera. So, I guess you could say that I developed a healthy sense of vanity at a young age :)
I think I can also trace my love of fashion back to my schooling. I went to a private school K-12th grade, which required me to wear an oh-so attractive plaid uniform. Occasionally we would have “normal dress days,” providing everyone (especially the female population) with the opportunity to show who they really were – their personal style. I remember agonizing over outfits for these days, and exclaiming as an eight year old, “I have NOTHING to wear!” This continued as I got older, and outfits to wear to Friday night football games were scrutinized to the ninth degree.
So…with that said, my passion – ha ha, let’s call it what it really is, obsession – started early and hasn’t ceased.
We watched a lot of comedy in my household, and there was one comedian (though I can’t remember his name), whose bit stays with me; “Women don’t get dressed for men, they dress for other women.” I would say this is mostly true, especially if you are a trendy dresser! I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve been trying out a new look – say the dress worn over the jeans – and even though it has been met with male criticism, I forge ahead. UGGs for christsake! No man finds these attractive, yet we buy them and wear them. Why? Because everyone else (female) is! And, yes…they’re also pretty damn warm and comfy. I most definitely dress up for other women (my girlfriends and strangers alike!), but the comedian’s theory isn’t fool proof because I know I’ve bought many a new top, dress, pair of jeans, pair of shoes for a first date. So, sometimes I DO dress for men :)
If I’m going to be totally honest, my passion probably stems from pride mostly. Or vanity. I want to look good. I feel better when I look good. And, more importantly, I feel like ME when I’m looking and feeling good! I love that I can be in a horrible mood, and slip on some kick-ass boots and my mood will totally change. So, why not represent the “best” me everyday that I can? Also, it’s just fun! I actually LIKE the putting together of an outfit. Sure, it usually coincides with a tardy Alexis and a room that looks as if a tornado has blown by, but oh is it worth it! I don’t know about you, but I walk differently when I know I look good. Certain fabrics are just heavenly. Some people will probably think this is silly, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of that last look in the mirror before I leave. Knowing I got it “right” (in my eyes at least) is super rewarding. For me.
As for who or what inspires me: the aforementioned magazine problem. I’ve been a Vogue devotee for years and years, and, even though I may not be able to afford the Balenciaga motorcycle boots I see in it’s pages, I definitely carry those images in my head to draw inspiration from when shopping at more affordable stores. My friends inspire me! LA inspires me. I love that cities have their own unique styles. There are yearly trends sure – filtered down from the runways and fashion houses – but a city kind of takes them and molds them and makes them its own. And, lastly, the past inspires me. I was in NYC over the summer and the MET was doing a retrospective on the fashion of American Woman. I found it so interesting to see how the feminine silhouette changed over the decades. Old films are a big inspiration for me too. Of course I like to look to current actress’ styles as well – hello, Rachel Bilson – but there was real fashion aesthetic present in films pre-1980s that has gotten lost I think. An actor’s attire was almost like another character in the film sometimes. I’m really into some 1970s inspired looks right now; Faye Dunaway’s casual elegant sportswear in Three Days of the Condor and Ali McGraw’s boho-prep in Love Story are what’s doing it for me this Fall.
Whew! Have you actually read this far? I apologize to all you readers for my rambling – and to B and E for my procrastination! But, by this lengthy novella I’ve scratched out here, surely you can tell I had a lot to say and I just wanted to get it perfect…hmmm, that’s passion isn’t it? ;-)