By Elizabeth Kerin
EK: How would you describe the way you dress? And how does it align with the look you aim to achieve?
TP: I definitely want to present myself in public in a way that I’m going to be taken seriously. You know, I am in college, I am hoping to enter the professional world when these four years are over. So, I want to dress in a way that I can gain respect. But also, I want to have my own personal twist on it so not only am I taken seriously, but I’m also remember[ed]. I want people to recognize me and my creativity and I think [that it’s] really important, especially being an art major, to have your own personal touch on things.
EK: Are you really happy with your current style? Do you want to progress in a certain direction? Or do you feel that you’ve found your style?
TP: I think that anybody who says that they’ve found what they like and they’re going to stick with it and they’re thinking that [they’re] done changing, I think you’re just stunting yourself. Maybe you like your wardrobe and you like what you have on, but that doesn’t mean that you should just settle on that. If you’re not always changing then you’re not being human.
EK: What’s your fashion forecast, especially because you’re going to Rome? Do you predict any changes there?
TP: I guess when I go to Rome, I’m probably going to be wearing tourist clothes — Crocs and shorts and sunglasses — just trying to get my way around the city without burning to a crisp. But I’m definitely excited to shop in Rome. And I’m sure that the style in Europe is really different and I’ll see things that I’ve never seen before and when I come back it will have influenced what I wear. You can’t go to Rome and not be influenced! Especially because I’m into fashion, I think that’s one of the ways that it will influence me.
EK: You said that you’re “into fashion.” When do you think that you started having an interest in fashion and viewing it as a means to express your creativity?
TP: Probably when I realized how broad and how subjective art is. And when I realized that art isn’t just paint on a canvas, art is anything. Then I thought, why can’t clothes be art? And if clothes are art, then that opens up fashion to more potential. It’s not just something you’re wearing, it’s an art piece now. That opens up so many different doors.
EK: Do you have any fashion pet peeves? What do you think is the worst fashion faux pas?
TP: Socks and sandals. And I have to say that I’ve been there before and I know from experience how terrible it is and I just don’t want anyone else to have to suffer that. Another would be the wrong colors at the wrong time of year. Keep your browns and oranges and your dark purples — save those for the fall. Keep your light, pretty colors for the spring. There are a lot of things I don’t like, but it’s because I couldn’t pull it off. I could never wear a black leather jacket and then a studded bracelet, I’m just not going to pull it off because I don’t have that dark, edgy personality. For some people it works, but I don’t necessarily like it.
EK: Do you have any fashion advice for the reader?
TP: I have to be so fleek from now on… I’m saying all of this snobbish stuff, for the rest of the year I have to dress on point. Like all art, [fashion] is a way to express yourself. So if you’re putting something on your body that doesn’t match your personality, that doesn’t express your personality — and I know that that sounds cheesy — you’re kind of defeating the purpose of clothes. Wear what you like. Don’t wear what’s comfortable. If you dress for comfort… people don’t look at art to be comfortable. It’s a statement. Dress [in] what matches you but not what’s comfortable.