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Silvina Gonzalez

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm naked right after having a shower or just hanging out with my boyfriend, or when I'm wearing a really pretty dress.

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

Yes, a lot. I usually admire women who make bold choices or who seem to worry very little about the way they look and yet, they look amazing.

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

I admire women who are confident enough to show how high-maintenance they are. I admire women who wear red lipstick or heavy eyeliner or very elaborate outfits every day without feeling like they have to give an explanation about why they did it.

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?

Not really. I always liked fashion as a means of expression, and when I was right out of high school I got really into make up, but it was very natural and just the result of looking at other women in my family.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Whenever I see something I love but know that it will look bad on me (because of my body shape/ skin colour, whatever) I try it on to make sure it looks bad so I don't regret not buying it later. I do the same thing with very expensive clothing, I try it on to be sure that it really isn't worth it.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I wear everything high-waisted because it makes me look more feminine and taller and it shows off my waist and hips, but it probably wouldn't work for everyone. Oh, and everything has to have at least a bit (or a lot) of a cleveage.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

I can't think of one in particular, but probably the ones I have with my sister, or my mother, or my friends about how one shouldn't let the fashion industry dictate which bodies are acceptable and which aren't.

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

I think so. I like to look very flirtatious, feminine and pretty (think floral dresses, floral shirts, high-waisted trousers) but also be very competitive with men (which I think reflects in the biker boots or the leather jacket I wear). I think showing that you can be very beautiful and very feminine and also, yes, a little bit shallow but at the same time very incisive and smart is very empowering.

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

YES. Floral vintage and new dresses. Also floral shirts. I think they're very practical but also very flattering for my body, very comfortable and they look really pulled together. Also, a lot of sexy lingerie made of lace or satin. I just enjoy feeling very beautiful when I'm half naked. And I enjoy taking my clothes off in front off my boyfriend.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

Yes, many times. I love giving clothes as a present. I do that with my sister a lot, we exchange things we haven't worn for a while.

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

Crop tops, leggings with everything, oxford trousers, birkenstocks. I would just feel ugly and not very polished in those.

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

I look exactly like my mother. Short, curvaceous, with very big breasts and hips and a very small waist. My mother is probably not so girly as I am but she is very coquettish as well, and has taught me how to feel comfortable with my body.

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

Not really, because most of my friends have very different styles and I think they look wonderful on them but just not on me.

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

PRobably after I finished high school, I just felt much more comfortable about my body and started wearing shorter skirts, tighter dresses.

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

Yes. I study political science and I am part of a very big political organisation. I think most people expect women to lose any trait of femininity when they access power or when they are ambicious or intelligent. So looking like the exact mixture of a 40s housewife and a 60s sexbot to me is the most subversive way to defy hegemonic expectations on how an intellectual woman should dress.

16. Please describe your body.

Average height to short, english rose kind of skin, big soft breasts, round hips and thighs, small calves (I usually say my legs look like a horse's legs, very big on the thighs and very small on the calves), tiny ankles and wrists, short neck, round belly, small waist, blond copperish hair.

17. Please describe your mind.

Curious, incisive, quick, funny, troublesome.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Sweet, confusing, temperamental, intense, sexy.

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

I'm wearing my pajamas (hot pink trousers, white t-shirt, orange cardigan), my hair is a short bob, and my make up is still on from the long day I had, so it's concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara and lip balm.

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

It's important to create a bond with your own body, one that is not mediated by magazines and publicity and hegemonic standards of beauty. And also to decide how you want to present yourself to others.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

With everyone, friends, family, women in the street.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I like to think they really don't but I usually worry about being appropiate enough yet not overdressed for work or college.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I think I have a style, and other people think that's having good taste. I like anything retro, vintage or classic. And I can also appreciate things that are only meant to be funny. I think style is more important because i't something entirely yours, whereas taste has to do with fulfilling other people's expectations.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

Yes. 50 dollars on a fur jacket I never wore and still own.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

I don't think so.

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

I think I have style in all of them, like everything around me (the food I make, my phone, my netbook, the dishes I use, the pictures I hang) is curated.

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?

Yes. I usually dress in a very sexy way when I feel anxious about a social situation. I feel like sexy can sometimes be scary, and that makes me feel in control.

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 think I have discernment in all areas of my life. I think it comes from the need to have control over everything that sorrounds me.

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

They taught me how to feel good about fashion, and about my body, and how to always look like I made an effort, never dirty or frumpy.

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

Short skirts or tight dresses, black tights, high heels, lingerie, and red lips or a retro cat eye. Also, very shiny hair and perfume.

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

Comfortable means being able to move freely. Confident means not worrying.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

I wouldn't know what to say.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Flowers, sunlight, green grass and maybe the rain in the city or in the beach.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Neon plastic, dirty things, smoke, moderation.

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?

Yes, I only buy it if I can think of at least two events to wear it.

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 think I look somewhere between playful and bitchface. It's not based on anyone I know.

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

I think of the weather, my plans for that day and whether I want to feel particularly pretty or not.

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

Feeling good.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing up is making something small about you big. Dressing is leaving everything the size it is.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

A floral dress, black tights, biker boots and a vintage coat.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

Me: dresses, shirts, skirts, coats, high-waisted jeans.
Not me: loose androgynous clothes.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I'm southamerican but I don't feel that has much influence in how I dress other than in the fact that women here in Argentina don't dress up a lot.

43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?

Not really.

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