December 14, 2012

True Fashionista: Bianca

The other day I was chatting with my friend Alison and we were discussing menswear. While she can totally pull it off, I find it looks costumey on me and that I can’t carry it off with my curvy frame. And as soon as I said that, I thought of Bianca. Bianca isn’t built like Katherine Hepburn yet carries off the menswear look so beautifully and oh so effortlessly. She knows what she likes, has a defined style aesthetic, and that is why I consider Bianca a True Fashionista.

Bianca is the author of the blog Avant Blargh, where she shares her thoughts on fashion and photographs of her personal style. Self described as living, “in a world between gamine and grandma,” Bianca has a defined personal style of cropped trousers, blazers, a hint of the ‘80s, hint of Leisure World, splash of city life and a good dollop of vintage and thrifted finds. This unusual mishmash completely works, giving Bianca a look that is menswear with a feminine touch as well as a look that is completely unique and endearing.

While Avant Blargh is primarily photos, her bit of text adds depth to her ensembles, understanding where she came from in creating the look. She often references pop culture that influences her style, be it Woody Allen films, Family Ties, or the style of the eldest Huxtable daughter. She discusses how her personal style is evolving – how it’s becoming more granny-chic than avant garde, how she’s playing with silhouettes of jackets. It’s refreshing to read the honest mindset behind the ensembles on a fashion blog and to read how one analyzes her look.

Bianca is proof that you don’t need a ton of clothing or a bunch of new pieces to have a defined personal style. Be it a sweater she finds in her mom’s basement, thrifted shoes, or a new jacket from American Apparel, Bianca adds to her wardrobe with thought not just to the look, but how it works with her current closet as well as her budget. She doesn’t shop willy-nilly, and thinks about her personal style before adding to her collection. She keeps her look fun and fresh with personal touches such as her hair, glasses, and jewelry.

Bianca inspires me because she is so true to her personal style, she has a great look without spending an arm and a leg, and breaks all the rules and makes fashion work for her, not the other way around. As with every other True Fashionista I asked Bianca the same five questions; here are her answers.

How would you describe your personal style?
Oatmeal, no really. Something old fashioned but substantial. You can dress it up, or have it plain, but it all starts with the classics.

Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My mother works in the industry so I think it stemmed from there. That and my love for pop culture.

Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
Almost any movie with Diane Keaton, '70s music, and the Huxtable sisters.

What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion is a way of doing things while style makes it your own. Fashion says color-blocking is hot, style says I'm going to color block bright yellow from a Paddington bear style raincoat to yellow Target tights!

Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Remember the joy of getting dressed when you were a child dressing yourself for the first time, nobody dictated to you how, you just did. Dress to make yourself feel happy whether or not it's considered "trendy" at the end of the day, you have to make yourself happy.

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The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!

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