MODA Blog

Quad Style: Lizzie Smith

Quad Style: Lizzie Smith

Meet Lizzie Smith, a second year majoring in Art History! Lizzie has been in my Self class these past two quarters, and I'm astounded by her fashion each time she walks into class. I'm so honored and glad to have her be featured on today's Quad Style!

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I'm Lizzie! I'm a second-year majoring in Art History. I currently work in Education Programming at Arts + Public Life and illustrate for South Side Weekly, a local newspaper dedicated to cultural and civic engagement.

What are you wearing?

Anthropologie pants, a thrifted sweater and blouse, an Opening Ceremony bandana, and my mother’s shoes from Donald J. Pliner. My bag is from Vacci, and my trench is from American Apparel. All of my jewelry except the green Korean knot necklace is thrifted.

How would you describe your personal style?

I think various people have said that you should dress interestingly, not beautifully, and I’ve found that to be a good guiding principle. If you strive for the first, the second also often follows. More specifically, small, subtle intricacies are important to me, as are found objects— I’ll often just wear string from craft supply stores or giftwrap ribbon as necklaces.

Where do you find style inspiration? 

Artists and musicians. There’s a theatricality inherent in fashion that they embrace! Right now, I love the rapper Princess Nokia’s layering of textures and colors and conversely these elegant, monochrome outfits sported by various other power women. The artist Maira Kalman’s mother only dressed in white, and her daughter actually recreated her wardrobe in the installation Sara Berman’s Closet. My mom is also an artist and only wears black, lots of polo shirts and big, gaucho pants. I definitely tease her about it, but there’s also something to be said about these artist or mother’s uniforms! They’re really meticulous and striking.

Where do you like to shop?

Goodwill. It's environmentally friendly, cheap, and it's nice to own clothing with a history. For nicer investment pieces, I like to save up for something from Need Supply Co. Their collection is consistently lovely!

Do you have any fashion regrets? What’s your biggest fashion faux pas? 

We all have regrets. Ultimately, you can’t develop a style without experimentation; it’s not necessarily about having the “right” pieces anyway, but making exciting pairings. Hits and misses allowed me to find combinations that I enjoyed and to develop my taste.

What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?

I remember reading something about Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe getting dressed together. He had to have all his gold skull necklaces, she her black robes. And sometimes she hated how long he took to get ready and how serious he was! I think that sums up how I feel. Sometimes fashion or dressing can be this long, luxurious ritual. Other times, it can just be aggravating!

Why is fashion important to you?

It’s an art form that everyone can partake in and repurpose! Fashion definitely has its issues of class and snobbery, but it can also be fairly democratizing. In that sense, it’s freeing in a way that I love.


All images courtesy of Angela Fung

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