While having a conversation with a fellow Lady about a personal crisis with the fashion industry, I decided to go to the source. Alex Moresco of StreetStyleChi sat down with me to discuss the fashion industry, the struggles therein, but also how it empowers her on a daily basis.
What was the moment that you realized that fashion was so important to you?
Honestly, I always really liked it. When I was little I always tried to dress my mom when she would come to help out in the classroom and stuff like that. And my grandma was actually a seamstress in New York for a really long time. I always knew about it, but … I don’t think it really became my thing until my freshman year of college. I started my blog out of boredom. I mean, I started out as a finance major and I hated it, it was the worst thing of my life at the time, I couldn’t stand it, and I just needed something else to do. That’s just kind of how it started. I loved the combination of writing, fashion and lifestyle. That’s really how it all started.
How would you say fashion relates to your identity? Why do you like it?
I wouldn’t say that I am like preppy, or a “girly-girl”. For me, it depends on how I wake up and how I feel that morning. I feel like it’s really an expression of how I feel that day and my personality. I just feel better if I am dressed the way I want to be dressed, which sounds very strange, but I know there are a lot of people who feel like they can’t dress a certain way because they think they will be judged or whatever. I just don’t care anymore what they think.
I have been trying to dissect the difference between fashion and style. What would you say is the difference between fashion and style? And how does that contribute to a specific point of view?
When I think about fashion, well, you always hear people say this but, “fashion you can buy.” If something is on trend, you can go to a store and you can buy it. But style, style is something that I think you possess. A lot of the times I see things and I’m like “what the heck is that?” but when it’s styled the right way it looks awesome. And I think it’s having that eye and being able to take something and make it look good any way you wear it. I think style is more unique than fashion. It’s an expression. Some people see the way they get dressed in the morning as art. It’s something you have, and fashion is something that designers and mass media give you.
Fashion is clearly an industry that boasts unrealistic portrayals of the female figure. There are people like Karl Lagerfeld, who we love to hate, because they openly judge women on their appearance. How do you feel being immersed in an environment like that? What do you take away from it?
It used to affect me a lot. I mean, I’m a size 6. I have hips. I have a butt. Most of the women don’t, which can be really hard sometimes. When you’re first getting into it [fashion] you’re very impressionable, and you think, “This is how I have to look to fit into this industry.” But you have to come into your own and realize that you don’t have to look that way. I think that is similar in style too. Everyone is dressing a certain way, and you feel like you have to just to fit in. You have to know you’re just as beautiful as anyone you see on a catwalk or in a magazine.
A lot of girls can only dream of having that high-fashion experience and being in that world. A lot of them have to make compromises. What advice would you give to girls who want to feel stylish but must shop on a budget?
I don’t think it’s just about budget. I can honestly say that sometimes I wear head to toe designer and sometimes I’m wearing all things from H&M and Forever21, sometimes it’s high-low. You can find a lot of really great stuff either designer collaborations or even just simply through H&M. There’s this brand, actually H&M’s sister store from Europe called Stories, they do really amazing stuff. I think it’s just about keeping an eye out for those pieces. Like I said before, style is what YOU have. It’s not just about buying high-end things.
What are the things that you would say every girl should have in her closet no matter what?
First, a dress that makes you feel great, that you could wear to an interview or on a date. I feel like if you feel comfortable in something your wearing, that you’ve worn before, then you’re going to feel great and exhume confidence. Then I would say, a boyfriend style blazer. I’m not a fan of tailored styled blazers, I think they’re a little old fashioned and a boyfriend blazer can still be appropriate for any occasion. And then I would say a great pair of flats and a great pair of heels.
Anything else to add?
I would just say that it’s a hard industry to be in sometimes. Girls need to stay true to themselves and not feel like they have to fit into a certain mold. In fashion and PR, there are some things you have to get used to because it is definitely a certain lifestyle…you’re constantly checking your phone and updating five different social media accounts all while trying to look presentable and “wow” people with the perfect outfit…but if you love it, it’s worth it. Just don’t get lost in the hype. I think that fashion is condemned a lot for being this big, mean thing. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people. That makes all the difference, having a positive support system. Jealous and negative people will only drag you down. And yeah, some people are like that and I’ve dealt with some really nasty people. But I’ve also met some incredible people and I’ve had that moment when I think, “this is why I like this.”