Ignore and break any sort of fashion rule you hear.
Crystal Wood is an 18 year old aspiring photographer from Ohio. Her online portfolio can be viewed at www.acesaura.com.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where your city.
I go by Crystal Wood and I come from an average size city in the
average state of Ohio. I can't really say that we Ohioans are known
for our upbeat fashion sense but we get by. I love my city don't get
me wrong, but personal style here isn't really a main concern it
seems. The city of Toledo, OH seems almost asleep to the amazing and
ever-changing world of fashion around them. Almost all my exposure to
styling and the fashion world has come through the world wide web and
my vast amounts of subscriptions to Harpers Bazaar, Lucky, Vogue and
Looking back on photos of myself from my childhood I see I was this horribly awkward child basically born with glasses and standing at about 5 ft tall while in kindergarten. Once jr. high hit I thought it would be a smart idea to try the goth scene/look for a while and I guess from then on my personal style just went crazy. After that experience I kind of formed an obsession to set myself apart when it comes to style and to stray from the ordinary norm which was expected here in Toledo. Once I grew out of my black band t-shirts and chained pants a love for dresses and unique clothing caught my attention and from then on I was sold to fashion. My mother's fashion magazines became my best friends and the local thrift store became my second home.
This fall I begin my college experience after just recently graduating from high school this past year. I'm planning on studying graphic design and somehow incorporating it with my love for photography. The future at the moment is still a bit hazy but I figure I'm still young and my direction will grow more focused in the upcoming years.
Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.
Here in Ohio you aren't rewarded with a vast expanse of chic boutiques
and underground vintage paradises; rather, you have the mall and the
Target down the road. I had a desire to find more unique pieces to add
to my wardrobe and this led me to the local Goodwill or
Salvation Army for salvation; this is where my true love and unknown
talent for thrifting and cheap buys began. A true fashionista to me is
someone who can take pieces that are everyday and ordinary and make
them look chic and sophisticated. I aim for that when I dress myself
each morning and sometimes I succeed, sometimes not so much.
When getting dressed I usually pick one item I'd like to wear that day and then form an outfit around that piece, whether it be a skirt, a dress, a blouse or whatever.
Favorite designers and places to shop?
In the fashion world I've often debated with myself again and again what designer it was that always tickled my fancy or got me excited when a new line was released. After much debate I'm utterly convinced that there will not be a Proenza Schouler collection that I don't enjoy. Looking at photos of pieces from the Fall 2008 collection almost makes me drool, it's so beautiful it hurts. The designers' smart use of color and great eye for details is one that I admire.
My favorite place to shop is without a doubt my Goodwill. I call it "mine" solely because it has yet to let me down. I often find so many possibilities that I have to put clothes back because I don't have enough money. I somehow manage to always come out with a bagful of goodies that I can't wait to style once I get home. Put me in any thrift store and I usually go crazy. You'll often times just see a tall skinny black girl laden down with an armful of clothing whizzing through the racks.
A fashion rule you always break:
I'm not sure if its a spoken rule or a supposed known rule, but time after time I break the no mixing brown and black rule. To me the colors seem to perfectly complement each other.
Favorite colour of the moment:
Purple has become my new addiction. My closet, which is painstakingly sorted by color by my sister, has started to grow in subtle amounts concerning all that is plum or a deep magenta. A dark purple emits mystery and romance to me and I love including it somewhere in my daily outfit. My all time favorite piece of clothing is a vintage blazer that is made out of the best dark purple velvet. I found it in my sister and I's old dress up bin from our childhood along with several other pieces that I adore.
What do you think is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
A good pair of frames/eye-wear. Glasses are the ultimate accessory!
What is your next "must have" purchase?
My next "must have" purchase would probably have to be a pair of high-waisted wide-legged trousers. Skinny jeans have been and always will be a fashion staple but this fall I'm ready to supersize things. Wide-legged pants, over-sized blazers, mens sweaters worn as dresses and soft blouses are all on my list of clothing to stock up on this upcoming fall season.
A friend of mine for years had recommended the 1977 film Annie Hall for me to watch and boy was I ever grateful that I did. After watching the film I couldn't get over Diane Keaton's wardrobe full of vintage menswear pieces. She sported baggy pants, neck ties, vests and blazers and made it work without appearing messy. The movie caused me to fall in love with mens wear inspired pieces and instantly raid my brothers closet, praying I'd find something good. Since then I've grown a small collection of blazers that can add instant Annie Hall inspiration to almost any outfit.
What's on your iPod / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?
Lately I've been loving with no restraint any sort of dub or reggae music. My boyfriend once called me Bob Marley's long lost daughter and to an extent I agree. I've been listening to artists such as Horace Andy, The African Brothers, King Tubby and Stephen Marley on repeat for the past couple of weeks and it never seems to get old.
On the other side of the coin there is nothing that gets me as much as some good old time jazz. I'm a lover of classics such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerad and Nina Simone. I kind of have this dream to someday sing at some jazz club in Chicago or New York but at the moment the best I can do is a local bar downtown where the audience racks in at an attendance of about six. Nothing gets me like singing some good ole jazz; so soulful and blue.
Next place you want to travel to:
Believe it or not I've never been to the big and bustling city of New York; the city that never sleeps. As a lover of fashion and street wear I feel as if I'm missing out by never visiting the fashion capital of the US. It's rare that I can go out and just roam the streets here in Ohio to see true street style that inspires and that is unique. I'm dying for a visit to the Big Apple and all the shopping possibilities I'm sure it offers.
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?
My favorite look on LOOKBOOK by myself, with much debate, would
probably have to be my Colorado look. I was pleasantly surprised and
horribly pleased about the brown accents in the outfit and how they
somehow managed to all match perfectly. Plus the t-shirt I'm wearing
was horribly soft and comfortable.
I actually browsed through every look I hyped just to make sure that this choice was certain. One of my all time favorite looks by a fellow Lookbook member is Girly by Lina L. and the runner up was definitely It's just another manic Monday by Carolina E. Both looks have this sort of mens-wear-gone-gone brilliant vibe to them.
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Ignore and break any sort of fashion rule you hear. Know what makes you feel comfortable, what makes you feel like a million bucks - once you know this, wear it and rock it. If you like what you're wearing, show it. A bit of confidence makes any outfit work.