Where would we be without dreams?
Pascal Grob is a 20 year old student, photographer, and blogger from Zurich, Switzerland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and how you first got interested in fashion!
I'm a 20 year old student currently majoring in Economics at the University of Zurich. Continuing my studies after the summer break seems quite unlikely though, because I've lost most of my interest in economics while other interests have been growing bigger and bigger. At this point, I'm thinking about applying to St. Martin in London to pursue what I really want: photography. I think it's one of the very few things I'm not too bad at.
Why did I choose Economics in the first place? I made that choice almost two years ago, and I was a pretty different person back then. I was attending a high school which was mainly for students with strong interests in math and physics – quite geeky. Many people have asked me how I got into fashion and photography and I actually can't really tell you. At one point, I decided to start taking pictures. Pictures of my friends, of my surroundings and occasionally of myself. It was a sort of a visual diary (some of those pictures can be found on my blogspot, Tumblr, and DeviantArt).
My interest in fashion developed more slowly. I guess I was always attracted to well-dressed people like everyone else. At first, I was only interested in someone's style but not in fashion (the industry) itself. I was browsing for days or weeks on LOOKBOOK.nu before someone actually sent me an invitation to join this community. When I finally uploaded my first look I didn't have much hope it would do well. But surprisingly some liked it, which was an incentive to spend more thought on how to combine different pieces of clothes to upload another look in the end. And the people seemed to like all the following looks as well, so I didn't lose my interest in styling and it eventually became bigger. After a while, I also started to develop an interest for the fashion industry itself. I started subscribing to many blogs with my Google Reader (~200 fashion-related blogs at the moment) and some months later I even started my own fashion blog, which I'm really happy with right now. It has become one of my main activities – having such a blog actually requires quite some time. So you could say it all started with LOOKBOOK.nu. I owe LOOKBOOK.nu much. Very much.
Pascal you're too kind! So, how would you describe the "fashion scene" where you live?
The fashion scene in Zurich or Switzerland in general is very poor. There are just a few people who actually dare to dress differently than the whole rest. I'm trying my best to hunt them down and take a picture of them for my blog—but it's hard. You also get lots of looks from the people on the street and a stupid comment now and then if you dress at all differently or special.
Can you tell us what do you love about living in Zurich?
There are many things to love about Zurich. I love how small it is. I love all those great little cafés. I love how good the public transportation is. I love how many good restaurants, bars or take-aways we have. I love how peaceful the city is compared to Paris or London. I love how clean the city is. I love our high quality of life. I love how many shops there are. I love how quickly I can be in another city (Berne, Basel, Lausanne). I love how fast I can be abroad [in other country] (since Switzerland is such a little one). I love to sit by the river or lake. And I love its different areas.
Top 3 places to visit in Switzerland:
There's too much to see in Switzerland so I'm rather naming some places in Zurich:
- Lindenhof: Small park with an overview over Zurich. Peaceful, calm, pretty.
- Café Schober: My café to satisfy my needs for extravagance or lovely cakes and desserts (forget Sprüngli).
- Hmm, okay I can't really think of something else right now, so I would say just walk through the whole city again and again and you'll always discover new things. It's a small city anyway.
Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.
I would describe my personal style as preppy/casual. I may have a very classic approach in my outfits but I always try to mix it with something casual or come up with a little detail (as the bowtie scarf or my big safety pin). I put my outfits together according to the weather.
Some ideas just pop up in my mind and others pop up by looking at someone else's outfit (streetstyle blogs), editorial spreads in fashion magazines, runway collections or fashion blogs in general.
Favorite designers and places to shop?
Karl Lagerfeld and Alber Elbaz are my favourite designers at the moment. But then again, I haven't been following the fashion industry for very long yet. My favourite brand must be Acne, because I adore them for creating simple and timeless pieces with a little twist. They also somehow look effortlessly stylish and can be combined with other pieces without any problems because they won't dominate your whole outfit.
I have no particular places to shop, although I buy lots of things online, since they're cheaper and not available in Switzerland. H&M is probably the only store that I'm checking out almost on a daily basis, because their H&M Trend line has always great single pieces and they're not restocking it once it's sold out.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
The overall impression. (Shoes are so important.) And whether the person seems to feel confident and comfortable in her/his outfit. An outfit can be a styled masterpiece but when the person doesn't appear confident it ruins everything. The outfit shouldn't dominate you. The outfit should add to your person and complete you.
What do you splurge on??
Fashion-related probably anything if I really like it and otherwise FOOD and cameras!
What do you skimp on?
Work (in case it's got nothing to do with anything I love).
A fashion rule you always break:
There are no rules in fashion.
Favorite colors of the moment:
Navy, white, black, grey.
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
I see lots of girls wearing their hair as a bun, which I really like. As for other trends, they come and go so quickly in the fashion industry that it's not even really worth to mention them in my opinion. I could name some ongoing trends, most of which you probably already know anyway though: denim jackets, boyfriend blazer/jeans, rolled up trouser legs, stripes, nude coloured pieces, crazy ass wedges or platform shoes, 80's, 90's, special glasses, and so on. Some trends stay and some disappear again. I think any "trendy thing" can look good as long as it suits you and your outfit. I just hope bootcut jeans never come back because I dislike them a lot.
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
What is your next "must have" purchase?
I'm looking for a nice black wool or tweed blazer everywhere. And when it's getting really cold and winter arrives, I'll buy a nice navy duffel coat.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
There are lots of people, who have an incredible sense of style. But most of the time, it's just some random person on a streetstyle blog who leaves me in awe.
What's on your IPOD / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
Music: I really enjoy listening to different live DJ sets by 2 Many DJs and Justice or BBC Radio 1 Essential Mixes. They are perfect for me, because I'm too lazy to make a playlist on my own and those sets usually last one to two hours, which means two hours music for me with one click.
Books: I just discovered two books I once bought but haven't read yet while cleaning my room. One book is called Die Panne by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, of whom I'm a big big fan. He was from Zurich as well. The other book's called Huber Spannt Aus by Martin Suter. And then I've got this other book, which is a collection of short-stories by Frank Kafka. He's one of my favourite writers. I love Das Urteil.
I don't buy any DVDs, but the last movie I watched was Adventureland. I have a thing for coming of age movies.
What can't you live without?
Friends, iPhone, camera, music, food.
Next place you want to travel to:
Stockholm! I just adore how Swedish people dress, so a visit to Stockholm would be very interesting. I will probably have a permanent smile on my face because of all the nice people in that town. I first wanted to go to New York this summer, but I decided to wait another year until I'm finally 21 so that I'm allowed to do anything in the city.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK.nu by you, and by another member?
My favourite outfit by me is my most recent one. Somehow I begin to dislike all my older looks as soon as I uploaded a new one. I'm always teased to delete some old ones but then I would feel bad about all the nice comments and hypes that I got plus it's somehow fun to look at them. It's like a personal style diary.
I have many favourite looks by other members, but I chose one that doesn't have many hypes called me and chet baker.
I like this simple approach in black and white, yet playing with different shapes – the tight, cropped white tee against the black wide trousers. Plus the shoes and sunglasses fit so well.
Our last interviewee Signe S. would like you to tell us everything you ate the day before, from when you got up to when you went to sleep:
I stayed at home today, so when I got up I made myself breakfast: scrambled eggs, fried bacon, ham, cheese and toast, plus orange juice and a coffee. After a few hours I got hungry again and ate some penne bolognese that we had as leftovers, plus an energy drink and some water. In the evening I had different sorts of Brie (cheese), Savogniner Cheese (Swiss), bread, some meat and red wine.
In the year 2014 you will be:
I'll have a nice apartment but will actually never be there, since I have way so many assignments from different fashion magazines and need to travel around the world to shoot all those editorials. Where would we be without dreams?
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Pay attention to details and dress so you feel comfortable and confident.
What should we ask the next interviewee?
A hole and a rabbit. What's happening?