I find black to be far more poetic than color.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.
My name is Blake Jacobsen and I am an 18 year old photographer, blogger, and art student. I recently moved to Los Angeles, California after spending much of my life in a coffee shop planning an escape from the Midwestern United States. (You would have done the same!) The golden cornfields that once painted the interior of my bedroom windows have suddenly been replaced by a vista of smog and power lines, with Los Angeles' skyline ornamenting the horizon. Living in Los Angeles has revealed a plethora of inspiring new outlets. It has been rather overwhelming trying to sink my teeth into it all—both figuratively and literally! *Self-diagnosed food-addict here!*
I'm currently studying photography at the Art Center College of Design, with an emphasis on fashion and editorial coordinating. Apart from my artistic endeavors, I've grown a fond liking towards coffee, cats, 90's music, and astrology. Of course, everything is subjective to the fact that I'm still a work in progress. My interests have become relatively ubiquitous.
How did you first get interested in fashion and why is it important?
I view fashion as another component to my artistic and personal brand; a creative outlet, allowing me to author an immediate impression on others. However, nothing happened overnight. My sense of style was once associated with whatever facet of life I was most consumed by at the time. In fourth grade, when I self-identified as Ash Ketchum, I wore unbuttoned, collared shirts with cuffed blue jeans. I spiked my hair and kept a Pokédex in my messenger bag! My ensemble would have been complete if it weren't for the fact that I couldn't wear a baseball cap to school…I also recall a distinct phase when I only wore orange clothing. Unfortunately, that episode didn't air until a later time. (And by that, I'm referring to sixth grade.)
In school, my peers mocked me for how I dressed. They didn't understand the inspiration and vision that I was channeling when getting dressed in the morning. I embraced solitude and began cultivating creativity from their acts. Looking back, I now wholly appreciate those awkward stages. They have developed my character; each being a step in a ladder that I'm still climbing. Now, I no longer wake up and envision what the world would approve of me wearing. I dress myself not giving the slightest fuck what people think. That is what I find most important.
What are your passions?
With age, I've become passionate about so many things…however, nothing trumps my passion for photography. Photography has enabled me to create images that have the potential of evoking a billow of emotions when one is stricken by the bittersweet nostalgia that accompanies the reality of a photograph. When capturing moments such as these, it's as if I'm testing the laws of time by prolonging instances that cannot be revisited. Nothing has ever consumed me quite like photography has. In terms of my facetious interests, I particularly enjoy reading and writing in the bathtub with my bff, Adele.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Los Angeles compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
During the short time that I have lived Los Angeles, I must say that I am extremely impressed with the fashion scene! Of course, anything is an improvement from what I was accustomed to growing up. (Pajamas, sweatpants, and various athletic garments.) I haven't yet visited other major cities or fashion capitals, so I'm unable make a valid comparison; however, the fact that not every individual I come across on the street is a valleygirl (or bro) brings me great pleasure.
What do you love about living in Los Angeles?
The diversity. There is a remarkable tolerance for differences—culturally, economically, and socially. I've never experienced anything quite like it. It's fascinating. With every facade of Los Angeles comes a culturally-influenced parable. Every type of humanism is available to you in one dwelling, if you choose to embrace it. Oh, and I've heard that In-N-Out burger is a covetable feature!
Top 3 places to visit in the United States:
1. Times Square in NYC: There is really nothing like it. The energy that is manifested from every pixel of Times Square births a pandemonium of senses that can leave you in a state of hypnotized euphoria. Who doesn't enjoy the idea of being drowned in a sea of neon propaganda? Sigh, I speak as though I've actually visited when, in reality, I have not. Although, I frequently dream of the dizzying exhilaration.
2. Los Angeles: For the obvious reasons I mentioned earlier. Also because it is possibly one of the most liberated cities in America.
3. Disney World in Orlando, Florida: The most magical place on Earth, of course! The resort itself includes several incredible theme parks and fantasy-inspired entities. Such magical memories were made there for me as a child. Although, I would probably enjoy it all the same as an adult. You just don't outgrow those things! It's no wonder why it is one of the world's largest tourist attractions.
Describe your personal style and its influences/inspiration.
My personal style doesn't parallel a strict set of influences. I draw inspiration from countless sources, but I try to avoid hindering my creative dexterity when doing so. I would rather be the source than the witness. I don't like taking notes. However self-righteous as that may sound, it is something I remind myself in order to avoid conforming to one particular style. I would be mortified to find my style closely in sync with someone else's. As of late, I've been steering my wardrobe towards a much darker palette. Not because I am looking to embellish any inner pathos, but because I find black to be far more poetic than color. As Ann Demeulemeester said, "Black is not sad. Bright colors are what depresses me. They’re so…empty. Black is poetic. How do you imagine a poet? In a bright yellow jacket? Probably not."
Favorite designers and places to shop?
My favorite designers include Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Christopher Bailey, and Alexander McQueen. Still, I consider myself a novice in the world of "fashion." While I greatly respect and admire the worth behind designer labels, I could never dream of owning such items…therefore, I take pride in the fact that I have become a skilled archaeologist when it comes to the excavation of clothing in consignment stores! After all, almost the entirety of my wardrobe was collected that way! The garments I own that aren't secondhand have earned an exclusive (yet modest) section in my closet, and are mostly from H&M, ASOS, and Topman.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
The overall persona in which they are conveying. The coherency of their vision. I look at what items speak more loudly than others, then begin dissecting the details. The more audacious, the better!
What do you skimp on?
What do you splurge on?
Coffee. Not clothes, I can assure you of that!
A fashion rule you always break:
I wasn't aware fashion came with rules. If so, is anyone really following them? It seems like a waste of energy to me. Make your own rules.
A fashion rule you never break:
Dressing according to my body type. I won't step a foot outside of my house (or bedroom) if I feel self conscious of what I am wearing. I wouldn't do that to myself. You have to be confident in what you're wearing. Own it.
What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Flare jeans. I cannot entertain the idea of why someone would want their legs to appear wider.
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
In menswear, hats are utterly underrated. I've noticed most men dwell over their hair, when in reality, a simple hat generates far more effective of an aesthetic.
In womenswear, undergarments: bodysuits, garter belts, and corsets. Subtle accents of lingerie are incredibly necessary (and sexy), in my opinion.
Your favorite colour(s) of the moment are:
What is your next "must have" purchase?
Black, leather, wing-tipped ankle boots. They would go flawlessly with the black slim suit I don't yet own—
What is the ultimate showpiece in your closet?
My leather biker jacket. I feel as though a part of me is missing when not wearing it. Leather seriously has a very special place in my heart!
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
There are a handful of people that I admire for their sense of style: James Dean, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Frank Sinatra being among them. All very iconic in their own way. I borrow different attributes from each of their unique styles.
What's on your iPod/bookshelf/DVD player at the moment?
iPod: An assortment of 90's music. The Cranberries, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, The Wallflowers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
Bookshelf: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Darkside Zodiac by Stella Hyde, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, and The Illustrated Library of World Poetry which features over 400 poets.
DVD player: The last great film I watched was Black Swan. Watching it three times still wasn't enough!
What can't you live without?
Asian buffets. And my MacBook, I s'pose!
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?
My favorite personal outfit is NOIR DE TROTTOIRS. It is by far the best epitomization I presently have in regards to what I desire for my style to continuously become. Monochromatic, dark, and slightly mysterious.
My favorite look from another member is Watching Matches Turn To Ashes by Charles M. Beyond perfect. I have no words.
Next place you want to travel to (and why):
New York City. I feel as though I am one of the few unfortunate people who hasn't yet been graced with its glory.
In the year 2016 you will be:
Comfortably situated in a loft apartment someone deep within the hollows of Brooklyn, New York. By then I will have earned my degree in photography, and hopefully working diligently to earn a name for myself within the industry. I will have two cats: one white, one black. The walls of my apartment will be filled with poetic, black and white photos, all of which I have taken. My coffee table will be home to a pile of books filled with the notorious works of Annie Leibovitz and Tim Walker. By then I will have a Keurig coffee brewer. And if not, then I have failed and no longer deserve to live.
What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice?
Find what best suits your body then expand upon it. Nothing is instantaneous, so be prepared to invest time in personalizing a style that quintessentially parallels your character. It will prove enigmatic at first, but will be absolutely worth in the end. Mark Twain once said, "Naked people have little or no influence on society". Aim to inspire.
Lua P. wants to know: Hypothetically, if you believe in reincarnation, which character, thing or person do you feel you might have been in a past life, and why?
A cat. It would certainly explain a lot of things… *meow*
What should we ask the next interviewee?
What is the biggest opposing force that you have encountered thus far on your creative journey, and how did you overcome it? How has it shaped you?