Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Buford Betty Fashion Week: A very stylish interview.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the fabulous Courtney, a high schooler in our neighborhood who has caught my eye on several occasions. I always noticed her at various neighborhood gatherings... the way she carried herself, her contagious smile, and most of all - her amazing style. At only 15, she seems light-years ahead of other girls her age. When I decided to do a week of posts on fashion, I knew I wanted to get the scoop from her. It's SO refreshing to see a young girl, at such an impressionable age, laying her own tracks instead of stepping in line with the rest of the crowd. To see such individual style coming out so early on in her life tells me this girl is going to do incredible things.

As I sat down with Courtney in her parent's living room, she was grinning, perfectly poised, and ready to fire away. I knew from the start that she'd have a lot to say on the topic...

Buford Betty: Tell me a little about yourself... what you're involved in at school, your favorite classes, what you're into...

Courtney: My favorite class is language arts. And this year social studies and lanugage arts are combined... I love history as well. It's like a big storybook everyday. I play guitar... I'm not into sports at all, but I'm like in love with music. So that's my thing. I'm starting to get really involved with my church. Have you ever heard of Interact? I'm involved in that. It's volunteer community service and things like that.

BB: Very cool! Now let's get down to it and talk about style. I wanted to talk with you specifically because I've seen you around the neighborhood and you've obviously got great style. I recently polled my readers about how they put together an outfit on any given day. The results were pretty even across the board... some pieced the next day's outfit together from head-to-toe the night before, while others admitted grabbing whatever they could find that's clean as they ran out the door. I'm curious how you, as someone with such great personal style, puts together an outfit. First, do you put a lot of thought into it, and secondly, when do you actually pull it all together?

C: I do put a lot of thought into it. Normally at about 10:30 at night I'll be starting to get things together. And when I get things together, I'll go to my mom's room and they're like trying to go to bed. But I'll wake them up and say, "Mom, does this look good?!"

BB: So you actually like try stuff on the night before?

C: Oh yeah, I'll go through four things, plus the jewelry, get everything worked out, and then I always ask my mom. She's always my fashion consultant.

BB: That's really great. I remember my mom always tried to get me to pick out my clothes the night before but I rarely did! And the fact that you're a teenager is one of the main reasons I wanted to speak with you. A lot of girls your age are easily influenced about what other people are wearing. What do you see other girls wearing that drives you nuts?

C: If I see one more of the same Hollister shirt, I'm gonna scream! I can't stand it. The thing I don't understand, is Hollister, Abercrombie, American Eagle - all those - they all have the same thing. It's all from the same company. Actually my grandmother worked in a mill in Opp, Alabama and they had some kind of big line - a Kohls line and something else. It all came from the same thing, it was all the same shirt, except at the end of the line, they stuck another tag and price tag on it. To me, I think brands are overrated and it's what you do with them. Like, this (pointing to her blouse) is from Hollister, but I didn't buy it. I don't shop there because I don't agree with what they believe in with nude advertising. Why would you advertise nudity if you're selling clothes? Whatever.

BB: So do consider yourself "trendy?"

C: I do, but I don't run out and buy something if I see everybody wearing it. Of course I try to keep up with the colors that are in and whatnot, but I just like my wardrobe. I like what's practical for what I wear.

BB: Are there any celebrities or designers that you look to as style icons?

C: Audrey Hepburn!

BB: Yes, she's definitely an icon. What about other media - do you keep up with fashion magazines and the like for inspiration?

C: Um, I'm a What Not to Wear fanatic! Every Friday night that's what we do as a family. We all sit down, including my dad, and watch What Not to Wear. It's almost a religion.

BB: That's a great show! And I'm a Project Runway person. I love that show.

C: I LOVE Project Runway! That too!

BB: Very cool. Now, I find that people with great style aim to be different. They tend to think outside the box. While they keep up with current trends, they always seem to be ahead of the pace. What do you find yourself doing to stand out from the crowd?

C: A lot of things. I think everybody has those pieces that everybody has. And I have a couple of those too. But what I like to do is take something that everybody wears and make it a little bit different. Like, on spirit day, for instance... everybody was wearing a red shirt or blue or whatever and their jeans. I wore a red v-neck instead of a T-shirt, with a white lace cami and then instead of doing like a (high school) headband like everyone does, I found an old white scarf that was very 60's, that came around and tied under and I boofed up my hair up in the back and wore that instead. And a pair of Keds.

BB: Very cute! Kinda retro!

C: I love retro.

BB: I've also mentioned that stylish people create "looks" when they put together an outfit. You love retro... are there any other looks you like to go for?

C: I go with everything. Yesterday I went to school and I was more punky. It's funny because each day people will be like, what are you today, Courtney?! I get that a lot. I like to mix different genres, too. But not to where it clashes and it's obnoxious!

BB: So do you have a certain go-to store for clothing? Like if you needed a dress, where's the first place you'd go?

C: To get a dress? Not really 'cause that's spotty. But, like everyday kind of stuff? I love Forever 21.

BB: What about accessories? I love accessories... I'd rather spend my money on shoes, jewelry, and bags than on actual clothes. That's where I have the most fun. What about you?

C: Actually for a while there, the only way my parents could get me to pratice my guitar is if at the end of the month, if I practiced everyday, I got a pair of shoes. I'm not kidding.

BB: That is motivation!

C: But a lot of my jewelry is my mom's. Like this (pointing to her necklace) I found in the bottom of the basement. Or just random things... like I like to find random things and turn them into jewelry. I took a bunch of my guitar pics and heated safety pins over a candle and made it into a necklace. But yeah, I'll raid my grandmother's drawers. Or a lot of it's given to me.

BB: So it sounds like you like a lot of vintage looking things.

C: Yeah, yeah.

BB: You know, people with style tend to see potential in things that others don't often notice (hello, guitar pics!). Whether it's people, or a room, or anything really. I remember in high school I would see people and I'd be like, man... if I could just have 30 minutes with her, I could totally make her look good! Do you ever find yourself doing that? Not necessarily just with people, but with anything. It could be as simple as a sweater... and you start dreaming up all sorts of things to do with it.

C: Yes. Well, I want to be an interior designer. Actually upstairs - my playroom, I'm redecorating it right now, which is really cool. Um, yeah - if someone is walking by... I used to sit last year with two guys at lunch. It would drive them crazy because people would walk by and I'd just be like... (shakes her head). And they'd be like, oh there she goes again. There are a couple of girls and I actually said, you know - if you'd part your hair on the side it'd look really pretty. You know, the ones who part it straight down the middle and smash it down? I actually got a couple of them to do that and they ended up looking really pretty.

BB: That's awesome. And one last thing I have to ask... it's one of my favorite questions. What's the one item in your closet that you simply couldn't live without?

C: Hmm... Probably my Keds. My white classic Keds. They go with everything!

After we finished chatting, I had Courtney show me some of her favorite outfits. Here's her adorable outfit for the first day back to school this year...
And a couple of other favorites...
Courtney was so fun to talk to - so impressive and inspiring! She's gorgeous, her style rocks, and she's got a big heart. And wow - only 15! That's not something you see everyday. If that's not inherent style, I don't know what is.


Preppy 101 said...

She is a doll. It's wonderful to see a young lady who has her priorities in the right place. Good interview!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

so cute! love both her clothing and hair style!!

Jillian, Inc said...

Adorable! How encouraging to read about a teen that's conscious about her clothing choices and is so outgoing and centered.

Kate said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing

tulipmom said...

What a great interview! She bears an amazing resemblance to Mandy Moore, no?