Even though she’s two years younger, my cousin Ariana has always been someone I’ve looked up to. Besides being incredibly beautiful (I mean, seriously – look at that face), she’s also intensely talented. Since heading off to college last year, Ari has excelled in her school’s glee club and started her own YouTube makeup channel, leading me to wonder (again!) what gene I’m missing on the makeup application chromosome. Maybe she can teach me a thing or two one of these days – that is the cousinly thing to do, right?
Despite the photo albums filled with us posing in matching overalls and screen printed Disney dresses, Ari and I have never talked fashion with one another. I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that she’s made the art of getting dressed all her own. See that dress up there? Yeah, it isn’t a dress – it’s actually a skirt that she’s MacGyvered into a flouncy frock with a sweetheart neckline. Her approach to style is equal parts relaxed and dedicated. While she might hunt for weeks for a truly special piece (like the pocket watch necklace she picked up in Paris two years ago), she’s also completely comfortable sorting through the racks at Forever 21 for easy everyday wares.
Whether she’s dressed up or down, Ari’s personal style is all her – and that’s something I’ll never stop looking up to.
Vital Information: Ariana, 18, college student, from Branford, Ct.
What does fashion mean to you? How would you define “style”?
To me fashion is a way to feel confident in your own skin, and show what inspires you. Style is a reflection of how you feel at that moment. As you change, it changes with you.
What do you like best about fashion?
There’s no wrong answer. Not everyone may like it, but it’s yours.
Describe your personal look in 3 words:
Alternative, feminine, eclectic.
If you could wear only one outfit everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I could spend the rest of my life in a pair of dark jeans, a black lace cami, a leather jacket, and a killer pair of heels (with foldable flats in my purse just in case! )
What’s your style story?
I started off in pink, you know, frilly dresses and the socks with ruffles. Once I learned to dress my self I chose jeans and short sleeved tops for a while. I then moved on to my goth/scene phase, and finally the senioritis phase of yoga pants and camis. In college I came to where I am now. I wear what I want and what I think looks good, regardless of what “style” it belongs to.
Who are your style role models?
I wish I had a style role model, but I can’t really name any. If I see someone, famous or not, wearing something I think is really cute, I’ll use it as inspiration.
What’s been your biggest fashion “mistake”?
Remember hammer pants? Well my mom thought they looked cute on a one-year-old, so … yeah.
What’s the best style advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t buy it unless you LOVE it!!! Otherwise it’s just going to sit in your closet forever. On the same note, if you absolutely love it, BUY IT. It’s worth spending a little extra if you are going to use it every day!
What are your favorite places to shop?
Are there any trends you wish didn’t exist?
I wish genie pants didn’t exist! No one’s hips or butt look good in them (I’m talking to you, J.Lo).
What’s the best item in your closet?
My black dress jacket. It’s the fix all for fat days. If you can’t see the rolls, they aren’t there!
What’s your favorite piece to shop for?
I love to shop for shoes! No matter what size you are, heels always make you look better!
What’s your current beauty obsession?
Mascara! I can’t live without it. I can be completely makeup free, but with some mascara I still feel beautiful.
credits: Dress Look – Forever 21 dress/skirt, Fioni shoes (at Payless), Bob’s earrings, unknown necklace (it was from a little boutique in Paris!); Jacket Look – Dots shirt, Hollister jeans, Rue 21 jacket, Montego Bay Club wedges (at Payless), Bob’s earrings.