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Reddancer Ninety-nine

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

A bit of makeup, messy hair, luxuriously well-made, softly fitted clothes that skim my body.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I notice the fashion victims who look like they're trying too hard, with shiny new clothes and foot binding heels. Then there's all the made-in-China knee-jerk outfits that most people are wearing from the Gap to fit in. It's rare to see someone wearing something interesting, intentional, and lived in.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I love when women aren't afraid to make bold and individual choices.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

As a ballet dancer, I have an ingrained sense of the lines my body is making in space and choose clothing that flatters these lines. Ballet dancers stand in croise (the crossing of the legs with the body placed at an oblique angle to the audience), which narrows the line of the body and presents it at its best. Clothing should do what croise does for your shape in space.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I don't eat macro, but I dress macro, meaning that my clothing choices are closely tied in with my environment and reflects its requirements. In Seattle, the natural environment invites one to layer, choose walkable shoes that maintain traction on steep hills, and lots of grey to match the sky. The cultural environment discourages gaudy displays of status and mindless trendiness (think Bill Gates).

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

A great knit slip dress by Raquel Allegra that forms the base of most of my outfits, and warm, soft cashmere camisoles that likewise fit under everything to keep me warm.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Those hideous wedge heel sneakers by Isabel Marant.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My Granny is proud of her Finnish heritage and wears brightly colored wooden Aarikka jewelry. She carefully selects the colors she wears -- she was really into the book "Color me Beautiful" when it came out. Her intentionality, commitment to her heritage, and bold use of color influences me.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

I loved my friend Heather's black leather pants in the mid-90's when nobody else was wearing such things so I bought myself a pair at the motorcycle store. I was really embarrased when she saw me in them because I knew she knew I was a copycat. In general, I'm on my own trip and dress nothing like anyone else around.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

Just before my divorce, I went through a weird phase of wearing gypsy-style clothes like Stevie Nicks. It was weird.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I mostly buy second hand, and feel I can break certain rules (ie no fur) if I buy it used, because I'm not contributing to the industry machine.

16. Please describe your body.

Long and lithe.

17. Please describe your mind.

Busy. Headstrong.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Tending toward anxious.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

Light makeup, focusing mostly on good skincare at my age (sunscreen/antioxidants). La Prairie cream blush, a little mascara and lip gloss. Marie-Helene de Taillac chandelier earrings in transparent tourmaline, and one of her gold bangles. A gold wide ring on my middle finger, and my simple solitaire wedding ring. (I wear the bangle and the rings every day). Ann Demeulemeester black trousers, Kristensen du Nord grey cashmere cami and white boatneck t-shirt, and robin's egg blue Valentino flats. Mostly secondhand. But even secondhand, I spend way too much on clothes.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

I am very specific and particular about what I wear, because life is a dance performance and the costume is integral to the dance. Wearing the same jewelry over a long period of time creates a reliable identity that is comforting to those around us.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I am equally particular about my home as I am about my personal style.

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

Always. I have a bad day if I don't love what I'm wearing.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

I have clear discernment that comes from looking closely with my own eyes at the material world. I am confident in my own instincts so my visual perception is unclouded by what other people are doing/thinking/wearing.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

I emphasize the lines of my body, the color of my lips, and the flowing of my hair through clothing and makeup. It's about emphasis, not changing anything.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

I fret about this greatly, and each selection is carefully considered, so I mostly make good decisions. At the same time, I do like to take risks, and sometimes they do not work out as hoped.

36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

I only see myself from the inside of my clothing. Dressing for the outer eye is the kiss of death to one's personal style.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I don't spend much time in the morning because my wardrobe is well edited, coherent, and intentional.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

Grace and beauty.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

I keep my skin well covered and my heels at a reasonable height. Yet my husband jokes that I must not really work in Education because I look far too hot for school. I hope he is just biased.

49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

Levis and a t-shirt is iconic and looks great on anyone. This is an outfit that is so generic and timeless that it actually lets the individual's shape and personality shine through fully.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

Never! I feel sorry for them. Their clothing is so boring, and if a man dresses flamboyantly, well, I don't find that adequately manly for my hetero taste.

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

I might have been happy in the 17th century French court, but I'm not so sure about the wigs.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Comme ci comme ca

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

Ballerinas, Audrey Hepburn (also a dancer)

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?


56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

I would not fit in in Dallas.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

Maybe just butterflies.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Don't dress out of fear, dress out of joy.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

Rarely, but Jasmal by Creed is my go-to if I do.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

Put in my contact lenses and make sure my privates are mostly covered for walking the dogs, fully covered for straying out of the neighborhood.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

It's a nice touch in small doses.

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?

Luxurious fabrics!

68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?

For a while I wished I hadn't returned a Gary Graham gray flannel corset/vest, but now I'm over it.

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

My Rick Owens Lillies bustle coat.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

Everything is very neatly organized and well edited to make it easy to get dressed.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Not too clean or perfumed to accommodate my husband's preference.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

I live in Seattle, and I was born in rural Upper Michigan.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

A Finndian married to a Jewish Doctor.

What kind of work do you do?

Educational Leadership

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