Every time I interview somebody, I hope I can identify him or her when we’re both present at our meeting place. It’s almost an unreasonable hope—to identify someone I’ve never seen before—but a lot of the time I look like an interviewer, holding a notebook and pen and sitting by myself and they look like interviewees, looking around for someone they’ve never seen before either. This time around, I had extra information about my interviewee: I had seen this picture of her, and knew she had a nice style.
Ironically, as Blake Gilmore PO ‘13 walked towards the Coop, I noticed her and immediately guessed that she was, in fact, Blake. But, as usual, I overanalyzed the situation––her style in the picture seemed distinct from the style of this girl, so it couldn’t be her.
An awkward text message about thirty seconds later revealed that it was, in fact, her. We laughed about it for a quick second and so the interview began.
Turns out Blake has a broad style as well as a nice one. Blake says one of her look’s greatest influences is “nostalgia,” or links to things she finds interesting or comforting.
“I wear a lot of clothes that my grandmother and mom used to wear, because the clothes have been places or performed some function and I really enjoy that,” she said, smiling.
While she derives a lot of her fashion sense from the past, the atmosphere at the 5Cs has played a role as well.
“I was sometimes derided for my fashion sense in high school, and feel a lot less inhibited here,” she said. She noted that she often likes to “go all-out” with a style—if she chooses to dress classically, her look will be quite extreme in that regard, and likewise if she chooses to dress eccentrically. I see it as quite a compliment to the 5Cs that the atmosphere here promotes such freedom.
Similarly, Blake feels that a person’s style needs to align with how he or she feels. She believes in wearing whatever one wants, as long as it feels right.
“I’ll wear my blue or red Adidas shorts whenever I don’t feel like putting a more complicated outfit together,” she said. “I’ll wear workout clothes, whatever, to class or pajamas!”
And so it would be quite contradictory to all this for Blake to have one concrete style for which she’s aiming.
“I like androgyny, but my style doesn’t always reflect that,” she said, citing Grace Jones as an influence. “Often what I wear is boyish, or has a little girl feel to it. I don’t look like a woman. I dress as everything but sexual,” she said. But mostly, while she has some staple pieces and the influence from the maternal side of her family, there is very little that is constant about her style.
The end result is the perfect combination of playfulness and elegance, neither too imposing nor too unrefined. It’s quite an impressive balance to strike.