Today I’ve got a much overdo introduction for you Ugly readers. She is our newest contributor, and a very dear friend of mine, Mckenzie Dowler. Initially I had met Mckenzie through friends at a party. We didn’t speak much but I recall she was wearing a black dress with a plunging neckline and bows on the back (the bows may have been on the front… my memory might not be as good as I want it to be… either way I feel creepy for even slightly remembering any of that). The rest truly is history.
We connected via fashion blogosphere and every other form of social media and instantly clicked. After various lunch dates on her trips home to Salt Lake, and me spending some time with her in New York, I have become enamored with her sense of style. She holds her own in anything she wears, and she needs no definition. Mckenzie has got the ability to take that tomboy style and transform it into something unique and flirty, all while keeping it simple and effortless.
I’ve always admired her confidence and her knack for finding unique items that no one else has. I am delighted that she has decided to work alongside us at Ugly. With her job in New York at Rag & Bone, and her constant exposure to the most fashionable people on the planet, I don’t doubt her contributions will be ones to watch for.
Q :: How would you describe your style?
A :: I find this to be an incredibly difficult question to answer, because I don't have a definitive style to describe. And, I know that some people describe their style as "always evolving," which is true, but I argue that there is some consistency to everyone's style. For example, a consistency of mine (or rather, one of my “general guidelines”) includes no skinny-heeled shoes. Of course, this may change later on down the road. But for now, there has got to be some chunk on my stems.
As for now, my style is adaptive; and, it is incredibly tomboy-ish. I say it is adaptive because I haven't quite figured out how to look and feel like a New Yorker. Everyone here (in Manhattan) is so polished and put together. It looks like New Yorkers have been planning their outfit’s weeks in advance, but then again, it all looks so effortless and easy as if they pulled pieces off their clothing-strewn bedroom floor. I don't know how they do it, but I'm learning. I'm also learning how to dress and adapt to the weather here. Dressing for the weather seems simple, but the drastic changes in temperature and random wind storms really through me for a loop. New York much resembles a mullet, it is hot and sunny in the day, and then cold and stormy at night. But again, I'm learning and adapting.
The tomboy nature is just innate. Not only am I a daddy's girl, I also have two older brothers. Thus, while growing up I always wanted to wear baseball caps, jeans, and sneakers like the boys. But, don't get me wrong, I love twirling in a dress just as much as the next girl.
All in all, my style is a simple balance between masculine and feminine. I wear all black while at work as required, switching off between wearing jeans and high-top Converse, or little black dresses and motorcycle boots. And, you better believe that I go a bit crazier with color, prints, and band tees on the weekends. Lord knows I need to incorporate more high heels into my wardrobe. And, I try to be a bit more bohemian here and there; depending on the people I am with or event I am attending. My style is adaptive, that is the only want I can think to describe it nowadays.
Q :: Who/what influences you in fashion?
A :: As I mentioned above, my surrounding influence my style, whether it be what the weather is, or the people I am with, or the place I am going; but that is obvious, I know. I consciously try not to be influenced by fashion itself, or anything/anyone fashion related. I find that my fashion creations are more interesting and more pungent when I take from outside sources. My main influential sources are literature, music, the places/spaces I encounter, and of course, people. It all sounds either cliché or generic, but it is all true. I have a keen sense of awareness that helps me funnel all of this down into things I can incorporate into my wardrobe, or into the photo shoot I'm doing. When you are talking to your friends, really listen to what they have to say. When you are reading a book or listening to the Stones, do some background research, and then do background research on your background research. Take it all in, because it will all come in to play eventually.
Q :: Favorite places to shop?
A :: It's funny, I live in a mecca of fashion and shopping, but I do the majority of my shopping back home in Utah. I make a point to stop
by Decades every time I come home; I always find something here. I also love shopping at Bastille, Lolabella, Koodeker, and The Green Ant (in the back of the store). And, although I don't condone doing all of your shopping at corporations, I love going to Target and Walmart to get your basic Hanes tees and thermals. Walmart does not exist in New York City, and going to Target is quite the trek. Otherwise, I like to invest and embrace the brand I happen to be working for; clothing allowances definitely help with this however. My not-so-secret secret online shops to find designer pieces for great deals include Yoox, The Outnet, Barney's Warehouse, and Last Call.
Q :: Favorite Trends?
A :: I have two favorite trends: I was obsessed with the fashion blogging trend, and I will be forever grateful for the vintage clothing trend. These two "trends" have changed the fashion industry forever. When fashion blogging first became a "thing," of course I took part in it, and so did other fashion aficionados worldwide. We were suddenly linked together in real-time, able to see each other and able to start a dialogue; thanks Internet! The closest thing I can relate this to (similar but not equal to), is when the transatlantic telecommunication cables were installed. Now, fashion bloggers are synonymous with the makers and shakers of the industry, almost celebrity-like. They are speaking up, showing off, calling the shots, and reaping the benefits in the best way possible.
Now for the vintage clothing "trend." Vintage clothing has always been present within the fashion industry, but before it too became a "thing," it was far from widely accessible; it was a very minimized market. But once it finally became the “it” thing, vintage shops popped everywhere, both physically and on the World Wide Web. Suddenly everyone is wearing vintage T-shirts, dresses and jackets; embracing the past, embracing the unique, and finally recycling! Again, vintage clothing forever changed the fashion industry. As I mentioned before, the industry now has a fully functioning vintage retail sector, and new brands are arising solely based on the reinvention of vintage items; taking something old and making it new. And the best thing about vintage? It is completely renewable!
Q :: Any fashion tips?
A :: My fashion tips may sound cliché, but regardless, they are relevant. A really good friend of mine keeps telling me to do this, and it is also Elisha Cuthbert's tagline given to Emile Hirsch time and time again in The Girl Next Door: Just go with it. Wear that sweatshirt inside out; layer that dress over jeans. Truthfully, it doesn't matter, as long as you are happy. Enough things are dissected and nit-picked in this world, and your personal style shouldn't be one of them.
And lastly, if you got it, then flaunt it. I mean, why the hell not, right? Really though, if you have killer legs, then please wear those miniskirts. If you have an incredible ass, then wear those super-duper skinny jeans. Again, why the hell not?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jessica Hughes. Well known about town for her funky sense of style and ability to pull off just about every page in the magazine. If you run into her you’re sure to be delighted with an ensemble no one else dares to try. She describes her style as being evolving and experimental and says “I think I dress like a member of New Kids on The Block, circa 1990. I swear to god they are my fashion icons."
It’s easy for Jessica to get inspired; her eyes are always open when it comes to people watching. She writes that “the best part about that is most people have usually thrown on something because they feel comfortable in it, and you might take that as a bigger risk than actually following a trend. It can be easy to see those things from a different point of view outside of the fashion industry.
“I think I dress like a member of New Kids on The Block, circa 1990. I swear to god they are my fashion icons."
I get intrigued when people twist trends and slide in their personal style, the most significant thing I notice is their confidence, when you can make me believe in what you are wearing, I really love that. I use the internet and social media as a huge outlet to my inspiration, I make sure to use that tool every day. It’s important to stay connected and seek out inspiration especially living in a city where it isn’t fully slapping us in the face." She’s unquestionably inspired by music, and loves geeking out with people on the subject. She’ll talk with anyone about music. Her favorite pastime is buying a few magazines, a bottle of wine, and turning on soundcloud. Easily pleased, a girl after my own heart!
“Your style lets you be whoever you want to be, you can express your personality everyday by what you put on...”
Jessica works at Bastille (ilovebastille.com)
so naturally she has immediate access to some of the greatest clothing in all of Salt Lake. Some of her other favorite shopping spots are flea markets, Savers, DI, Thriftown, Zara, and Everlane
. She loves streetwear, The 90’s, and Black and White, “It’s chic but it can also sway into a few different genres like goth, minimalistic, or again with The 90’s. Alexander Wang is a great example of this style."
It doesn’t matter what season it is, making a statement with sunglasses or a hat is something she is loves, the bolder the better! One trend she is determined to pull off, much like myself, is the printed short suit. It’s a trend that is well on the rise but hasn’t quite reached us here in Salt Lake yet. “I thrifted a neon green skirt suit during the fall and I stare at it every day wondering when the day will come that I’ll actually put it on. Matching prints are my ultimate favorite. I also have an elaborate obsession with printed silk blouses and 80’s travel-wear, why I need 12 shirts with postcards or Hawaiian flowers on them is beyond even my own thought process." I for one cannot wait for the green suit to make an appearance, counting down the days until she brings it out of hiding.
Fashion tips from Jess are simple: “Your style lets you be whoever you want to be, you can express your personality everyday by what you put on and as long as you feel comfortable in what you are wearing, I think that will give you the ultimate confidence.”
Next up on the Localista train is Ria Bouttier, a truly unique and in-your-face individual who oozes with sexy and mystique. I envy this girls ability to rock such a dark ensemble and turn around and make all the men swoon over her in a summer dress. Her style is difficult to describe, she’s often told that she is unapproachable, intimidating, or Gyp-set (jet setting gypsy). Personally she’d describe her style as post-apocalyptic. Ria gravitates towards witches, trannies, secret societies, and people like Quentin Tarantino and The Pope when it comes to her fashion influences. A pretty eclectic collection of humans! Her wardrobe is an assortment of things from her sister’s closet, estate sales, and hand-me-downs. She also prefers to shop when she travels, because then it’s unique and has a good story behind it.
When designers started making items covered in spikes, she was pretty content because it meant that she didn’t have to do it herself… now that it’s a bit overdone she’s onto other trends, like face jewelry, or anything armor like. She loves to see people get weird with their outfits, the weirder the better! Her advice on fashion, “The only way to atone for occasionally being overdressed is by always being over educated”. Not only is Ria stylish when it comes to her wardrobe, but her exquisite taste in music. She’s a very sought after DJ and plays over at The Red Door and many other events around Salt Lake.
Check her out at www.facebook.com/prettydisco
This week I’m putting Tanner Stevenett on your Ugly Mag radar. This fine gentleman works over at Bastille so he is fortunate enough to see all the goods before the rest of us, hence the reason for his great wardrobe. When he buys something new, his first thought is what it’s going to look like in a few years after it’s been worn in a bit. He prefers to stick to items that are simple solid colors, and the only pattern he wears is red flannel. A statement he made that I think many of us can agree on is that “no one should underestimate the simplicity of a black t-shirt and jeans” that is a go to outfit for not just men, but women as well.
When it comes to people and things that influence him, Tanner doesn’t pay much attention to designers and fashion icons. He prefers mixing classic worker-wear with a sense of rock and roll. Things like simple button-ups and heavy sweaters, along with denim and leather jackets. Daily interactions and various sites online are often what inspire him most. He’s a big fan of denim and says that “A lot of people are timid about getting into a pair of rock hard jeans, but once you break them in it’s the most rewarding thing in the world. Put your cleanliness standards aside by not washing them for six months to a year and let your favorite pair tell your story for you.” He also loves a nice pair of black boots and has a pretty large collection of them! Of course Tanner’s favorite place to shop is the wonderful Bastille, as it has a fantastic variety of designer brands and styles, and he loves to support local business. Other than that he sticks to places like H&M or Urban Outfitters and frequents Nudie Jeans’ online store.
Fashion tips from this chap are as follows: “Don't fix it if it ain't broke! Just because something has been in your closet for three years doesn't mean it's not the best piece in there. Wear it in, beat it up, rip holes and be carefree. Just because you spent $200 on it doesn't mean you need to baby it! Most of my favorite go-to pieces are beat to shit and falling apart.” Thank you to Tanner and his lovely wife Anna, who we featured last week, for being a part of Ugly Mag!
For the next two weeks I will be featuring probably one of the most stylish couples in Salt Lake, Anna and Tanner Stevenett. First, Anna. Upon initially meeting her, I distinctly remember lusting after the outfit she had on at the time. Why I haven’t featured her sooner is beyond me!
Anna says she doesn’t have a defined style, she prefers to wear whatever she is in the mood for which often leads to her changing outfits multiple times a day. Sometimes if she has an outfit she’s particularly fond of, she won’t hesitate to wear it a few days in a row! She is influenced by two of perhaps the greatest staples in the fashion industry, Kate Moss and Alexa Chung, as well as her friends who have great style too. She says that style has a lot to do with personality; you can sense it in what a person wears.
Anna finds daily inspiration from her favorite movies, books, and bands, and says that her grandma had excellent style! When she shops, she prefers to do it online at places like Gilt, Net-A-Porter, Topshop, ASOS, and Madewell. She can always find a gem at the D.I. or H&M as well.
Anna prefers to stick to classic, structured pieces paired with one of her husband’s old T-shirts. She says that black is always a go-to color for her, and that she loves a good blazer, and just about anything velvet.
Fashion tips from this gem are so perfectly worded that I don’t even want to alter them in the slightest… “I'm a firm believer in wearing that which is flattering to you personally. I don't buy into the trends that don't look good on me. I also think it's important to always feel like you. Of all the people I look to for inspiration, if I ever feel more like them than me, I'm not comfortable.”
This week’s man about town is Blaine
from NIYA Model Management
. Blaine possesses a style few men can pull off, and he does it with confidence. In describing his style he says it’s “London meets Texas, with a touch of the 20’s thrown in”.
He’s inspired by a wide variety of individuals that include the infamous Kanye West, Diplo, and actor Michael Pitt from the show Boardwalk Empire. However, his biggest inspiration of all is his dad, who wasn’t afraid to wear things like “pink shorts with green seahorses on them”.
Blaine’s favorite places to shop are H&M, Topman, and Urban Outfitters. His favorite local spots are Coffee Garden and his home, which he calls “The Station”, well known for its epic house parties. Fashion tips from Blaine are simple…“Own it. You can pull off anything you want if you have the confidence. Don’t force it.” His favorite trends are short sleeve patterned button ups and looks from the 90’s.
For bookings contact NIYA @ http://www.niyamodels.com
At the beginning of a new year, it’s always fun to do something a little different. This is why I have decided to start with a male localista for 2013. While some may argue that it is difficult to come by a man who truly knows how to dress, I beg to differ. This week the gentleman of choice is Devan Brown.
Devan is involved in the music industry, and he always looks his best whether he’s recording in the studio or up on stage with his band New City Skyline. This guy is lucky enough to pull off just about any look he attempts. Whether it’s denim on denim or a suit and tie, he has a way of taking it and making it his own. His style differs from day to day; sometimes he goes for surf casual, other days you can sense a bit of heavy metal. He is never short of inspiration!
As far as people go, someone he admires is Jordan Buckley, a man talented in both the music he writes and the clothes he designs. Some of his favorite places to shop are Asos, Nordstrom, and Bastille. And staples in his wardrobe include a good pair of jeans, and an even better pair of boots.
For more information on Devan’s band go to newcityskyline.com
and be sure to watch for dates for their Sundance shows and upcoming tour!
Localista has taken a break but will be back regularly after the holidays!
This gives me a chance to take a moment and tell the abyss that is the interweb just how much I love working with Ugly. Tis the season to be grateful and I am one happy bird to be able to to work with such creative humans and do what I love on a regular basis.
While Ugly is still a baby, there are great things in store for us and massive opportunities ahead. The amount of support we have been shown over the last bit has been overwhelming and I cannot wait to see where the future takes us. Brilliant minds are at work in our offices and that can only bring success!
Stay tuned...stay UGLY!
I’ve had my eye on MaKayla Robinson ever since the day we met. I don’t know if there is another person’s style that I identify with as much as I do hers. Makayla’s style is always changing; she gravitates towards fashion from the 70’s and 90’s and says that if those two time period’s had a love child, it would be her.
She’s influenced by designers like Givenchy, and people such as the great Kate Moss and up and coming actress, Gillian Zinser. Pinterest is also a major source of inspiration for her as well as the music she listens to.
While shopping, MaKayla prefers to look online or go to places like Urban Outfitters and various thrift stores. Her favorite trends to sport are biker boots, big sweaters with skinny jeans, and as you can see from her enviable mane, ombré hair. Tips from this babe are “when in doubt, wear black on black. Oh, and you can never have too many button ups… trust me, my closet is full of them!”
MaKayla works over at Ulysses on 629 South and State Street at (801) 953-0954
). Give them a call if you are in need of some hairapy!
Ranna Goran is a girl after my own heart. She knows what she likes and she wears everything with confidence. She prefers to mix and match expensive pieces with the cheap and chic things she finds at random chain stores throughout Salt Lake. She’s got an old soul made for vintage and she’s not afraid to throw in her heavy metal favorites to mix it up. She loves to thrift, specifically at Thrift Town, and she always finds a quality pair of shoes at Nordstrom.
As far as who influences her fashion choices, she loves designers like Rodarte and thinks Gwen Stefani’s style is iconic. Ranna’s favorite trends are platform heels, leopard print, and leather, leather, leather. Her biggest piece of advice: “Wear what is comfortable, be yourself, just don’t wear flip flops!” If you’re ever out on the town and in need of a good mixed drink, don’t be afraid to stop by and pay Ranna a visit at Twilite Lounge on 347 East 200 South.