question time: prêt à porter p

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One of the first few blogs I followed when I first started reading blogs was Pret a Porter P. I think few bloggers are able to articulate how inspiration translates to what they buy and wear so clearly, but Pret a Porter P does it very well. Hers are never just outfit posts, they have always have a frame of reference - usually in the form of a carefully-curated series of images that crystallises into a perfectly executed look. In between, she shares new sources of Internet inspiration and interesting blogs to read. Marrying American classics from Gap and Brooks Brothers with standout pieces from Tom Ford-era Gucci and YSL, her look is both modern and timeless, distinct, and incredibly chic.

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Here she is, her own words...

Q: Where are you from?
A: I live in what was formerly the Everglades — it’s not surprising to see an alligator in my backyard.

When do you think you started to truly define how you wanted to dress? How do you think it came about?
I began my “style journey” about six years ago before the age of The Sartorialist and as broke college student at that. I wanted to look put-together and “neat” on a daily basis. It took 1-2 years of conscious effort to build a cohesive and practical wardrobe. By the time I had an internet presence it was sorted out.

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Why did you decide to start a blog, and how have you found the experience?
I had been posting outfits on a flickr group, and sometimes there was a definite set of inspiration behind my outfits. It’s evolved from there. I have a quiet little readership; it would make me nervous to have thousands of viewers a day. (Qns: Why so?) I have no desire to be a mega-blog.

Tell me about a favourite/definitive outfit, and where and when you wore it? Why is it significant to you?
It’s hard to pick favorites! But this would be one of them. I’m embarrassed by a lot of what I wore back in those days, but this is a better version of myself. It really illustrates the “behind the scenes” look at what inspires my style. Because I still look like a 12 year old, I get treated with a little more respect when I have a “suit of armor” on—which is what anyone would want—not just at work, but out in the world.

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What or who influences your style?
Movies have the biggest influence in my style. But I’m also inspired by editorials, runway (Tom Ford and Hedi Slimane era are constant inspirations), menswear, certain celebrities, street style, etc…anything and everything has the potential to inspire me.

What are some of these movies?
Star Wars, Batman (for The Joker), The Addams Family, The Crow...

I'm intrigued by how you are inspired by the truly fantastic - Darth Maul, Gareth Pugh, Art Deco etc - and how you translate that into an outfit for everyday. What's that process like?
My mind is so full of images collected throughout my life that have all melded together to shape my aesthetic. I’m less deliberate about it than I was a few years ago. I cringe looking back at some outfits—these days, the less I think about it the better.

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You said before that your style sometimes attracts stares? How do you deal with that?
I promise you I wear normal clothes 90 per cent of the time! The crazier outfits are worn in the appropriate contexts. And then dark sunglasses give me that barrier.

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You seem to be very meticulous wardrobe planner and plan your big purchases (your McQueen dress, Baccarat rings) very carefully. Were you always such an organised shopper? How did you become one?
No, I used to be an impulsive shopper and would buy nonsensical things. I still make the occasional mis-step but I’ve learned not to settle for “Almosts.” Often it’s years before I find what I’m looking for. Since I have a solid foundation of basics, now I can focus on those “Museum Pieces.” But I’m pretty savvy at not paying full retail either. ;)

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How do you stay inspired even on the most mundane of days?
It takes a lot of effort to build an “effortless” wardrobe. I’m in a good place where I can pull blind and feel secure that I look put-together. When I’m really lazy, I wear all black and nice accessories to trick people into thinking I made an effort.

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Your style is very consistent and true to your references, so what do you make of the "trends" and the new we see all the time, especially with the Internet as a medium?
I’m not against trends—often I have to wait for the trickle down effect for a look I want to become accessible. I don’t really feel oversaturated by trends because I don’t have that voracious appetite to constantly reinvent myself. I just gravitate towards whoever is doing what I like—and even then I stick to my “usual suspects.”

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Tell me five things you love about the place you live in (can be style related, or otherwise).
-calmer pace of life
-wide open spaces
-trees
-no snow
-no earth quakes…yet…

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Pictures courtesy of Prêt à Porter P

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for doing this interview, I have always admired PAP P's absolutely amazing sense of style. I have learned so much from her about setting a vision/finding inspiration and distilling that into a wearable style.
-Missone
Joy said…
i love her unique take on things. she never fails to surprise with unexpected combination and always manages to look great while she's experimenting!
Amanda said…
She always has such a mysterious allure. The whole Darth Maul thing is especially endearing, considering that I'm a giant Star Wars nerd.
The Waves said…
Thanks for this interview! I was actually new to her blog, and she pretty much just became my new style idol. I wish I could do that type of understated, quiet cool!
Eva said…
Hers is one of the first fashion blogs I started following 3 years ago and one of the few I still follow. It's not her style I admire the most, it's her intelligence (that translates to her style). Great feature!
Thanks Lin, Missone, Joy, Amanda, The Waves, and Eva for the kind words.
Fleurette said…
Lovely, lovely interview! Your background as a journalist shines through the great questions accompanied by great answers. And I couldn't agree more with "And then dark sunglasses give me that barrier" – it's incredible how dark sunglasses make you feel. Haha!
O D Y S S E Y said…
her quietly steadfast convictions and her intelligence are magnetic. i have met "pret" in person and can attest to her amazingly keen style sense and well-edited wardrobe. she's a lovely and fascinating person to know!
what a nice interview, very well-written, too.
miss sophie said…
yay, thanks for posting this lovely and insightful interview! i love Pret's timeless yet classics-with-a-twist style. she does such a fantastic job of mixing high-low.
LapindeLune said…
I enjoyed reading this, very much! Thanks to both of you for sharing it. x
editor said…
The second to last image, with the three outfits lined up, that is some pret at her finest! She has an extremely focussed, honest personal style - I think that makes her an inspiration.

Thank you for featuring her!
lin said…
To everyone, I'm glad you all liked it, and most of all to Pret, for agreeing to do it!
Lindsay K said…
Great insights. Thanks to the both of you for this inspiring read. I love her intelligent thoughts on style.

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