In “Dream Closets,” I’ll be documenting my favorite closets around New York and the personalities behind each of them.
Even if we were able to handpick our own traits, I still doubt anyone would come up with a concoction that’s at once as tomboyish, angelic, and genuine as Julia. In fact, Julia has me reconsidering the title “Dream Closets” altogether; a more apt headline for this story would be “Dream Girl” (and if this sounds like a long-winded marriage proposal, that’s because it is). I won’t beat around the bush; I first became friends with Julia for one reason and one reason only and that’s her insane Christopher Kane collection. But then she had to turn around and be her charming, usual self and now I’m honestly not sure why she still speaks to me.
Born and raised in Queens, Julia graduated from Parsons in 2012 and is now the embroidery design assistant for Marchesa’s couture line and its Notte (diffusion) line. And it’s obvious that years of being entrenched in fashion design have instilled in her a unique appreciation for clothes. I watched in awe, mouth agape, as she unveiled her clear Prada heels and told me she’s hardly ever worn them because she wants to be able to “archive” them. (Then I had to look up the word “archive,” because for all I knew she was speaking a foreign language.) She’s the only human I know who looks good in a cowboy hat, and – oh, did I mention she skateboards?? (More on that later.) And to think, she does none of this for show…it’s all very strange if you ask me.
“I knew when I was like 11 that I wanted to be a designer. At that point, I don’t even think I knew why. Out of nowhere I was just like, ‘Yup, that’s what I’m gonna be,’ and it stuck. To be honest, before Parsons, I didn’t know anything. I just knew what I thought was pretty. Then at Parsons I started to question what it was I liked. Why was I responding to this? What is it about this that’s making me pause and feel so affected? It helped me verbalize and define my aesthetic, which I’m constantly trying to figure out — even now.”
“My favorite piece in my closet is the flower print J.W. Anderson Cardigan; it’s made in Scotland, the flower print is seamless throughout, without getting distorted by the buttons down the middle, and the buttonholes are lined with grosgrain on the inside. The knit is also double sided so the inside has this beautiful striped pattern. It’s incredible.”
“Every time I see one of Christopher Kane’s collections, I always ask myself ‘Why didn’t I think of that??’ He’s experimental without being weirdly avant-garde. There’s a sense of novelty, nostalgia, even intentional tackiness that I’m constantly gravitating towards. He’s the first designer I look forward to seeing every season because I’m constantly inspired by him.”
“My favorite collections of his are definitely Fall 2010, Spring/Summer 2012, Resort 2014, and Spring/Summer 2014.
And I guess it makes sense that I’d pick these; they’re all really heavy on embroideries, which is what I do for work now.”
“A lot of my cheap jewelry is from Claire’s circa the early 2000s. The nice stuff I get from my mom. I also recently acquired a lot of Juicy Couture charms from eBay that I use as pendants on this plain, gold chain that I have. One is a skateboard where the grip tape is all black diamond crystals except for the letter ‘J’ spelled out in pink. The graphic says ‘Glitter Punk Couture’ and the wheels actually move. It’s sort of amazing.”
“I bought this skateboard when I was like 13. I used to be such a tomboy and I just really wanted to skate, so I would skate to the park with my dad every Sunday. Then I stopped until I was 17 and met a friend in High School who had a board too. So she and I would just ride around the neighborhood together and try to ollie but I could never get it — I’m way too uncoordinated for that shit. So technically, no, I’m not a sk8tr girl. I just know how.”
“Right now I’m reading ‘Love is a Dog from Hell’ by Bukowski. He’s just so great — cynical, funny, but sensitive at the same time. (How I want all my future lovers to be).”
“Growing up, I was constantly ripping out editorials from magazines, categorizing them in binders, adding and editing, building up a library of details, silhouettes — even beauty ideas I could use for shows and campaigns. It was sort of compulsive. I couldn’t throw away a magazine until I knew I had ripped everything out of it that I needed. Sometimes I would go through an issue multiple times. I sometimes still have to do that.”
“I got into this phase where I would dress super plainly — white t-shirt, baggy jeans, and white tennis shoes and then throw on a pearl necklace that used to belong to my grandma. Kind of inspired by an editorial in Love Magazine issue #10 called ‘The Young Ones.’
There’s this one image of Doutzen Kroes wearing a worn white T with a triple strand pearl bracelet and a delicate Faberge-looking diamond necklace. I loved the understated luxury of that. After that I started playing more with my jewelry, got more piercings.”
“Sometimes I wish I could shave my head and look as beautiful as Jenny Shimizu.”