|My Closet in Sketches fashion illustrator, Lauren Friedman provides an answer|
(in sketch form!) to a question from her interview with FoW.
I'm willing to concede that Lauren Friedman may not be a happy person. As I have not spoken with her or met her face to face, it's entirely possible that the sole artistic force behind the fashion blog My Closet in Sketches is dour and bland, slaving away in the competitive milieu of our nation's capital. But there's also a chance the sun won't rise tomorrow. And it's entirely possible that Tupac and Elvis are alive and well, hiding from the world together.
In short, Lauren Friedman could be a boring human being, but I certainly don't believe so. And neither would any of her regular readers.
With a joyful splash of color and sharp wit, My Closet in Sketches features Friedman's artistic renderings of outfits from her own wardrobe. Each sketch is hilariously (and appropriately) named and accompanied by a hand written description that often includes a personal anecdote about some piece of the ensemble. Beginning as a game between herself and her roommate, Ms. Friedman has been sketching, naming, and writing about her outfits for over a year now. A professed natural bargain shopper and blessed with a fashionable grandmother, Lauren describes her style as "a ballerina/heiress married to a rapper and living in the English countryside."
While FoW was fortunate enough to feature some of Ms. Friedman's work last fall, we are excited that she recently agreed to an email interview (complete with one question answered in sketch form). Click through to read Lauren's thoughts about her love of men's fashion, her Michael Michael Kors bean boot heels, summer fashion tips, and of course, bad reality television.
TS: Let’s start with an obvious question. When you’re coming up with an idea for an outfit, where do you start?
Lauren: I never start an outfit the same way. Sometimes, it’s a particular shoe or skirt that I am currently loving or haven’t featured; other times, I see an inspiring ensemble on someone else and try to recreate it; and sometimes, just sometimes, divine inspiration comes with a whole outfit, all at once.
TS: After a year of drawing sketches of outfit combinations, just how big is your closet?
Lauren: Big. Probably bigger than yours. (And I mean “yours” as in, most people reading this.)
TS: What percentage of the outfits that you sketch would you say you’ve actually worn?
Lauren: I’m trying to sketch more outfits that I’ve actually worn – but since I live in DC and work in a generally conservative profession, I can’t go always go crazy. I usually, eventually, wear some version of everything that I post.
TS: Do you have a process for coming up with the entertaining names/titles that accompany your outfits?
Lauren: I’ve found the longer that I do this blog, the easier (usually!) it is to title things. It’s like I opened up a permanent naming valve in my brain. Or something. I generally create the title after the outfit, but it’s a fun challenge to think of a name or theme and then do the clothes part.
TS: Have you ever worn an outfit after you’ve sketched it and given it a title?
TS: Did your friends (I assume they read your work) call you by the name of that outfit while you were wearing it? For example, did they refer to you as “Pale Sun Rising” or “Havana Stripes” for an entire night on the town?
Lauren: Not really – but I think I should send this interview to them and tell them to get on it! My friends are some of my biggest supporters, so they usually notice when I’m wearing a particular outfit or piece that has been featured.
TS: As an avowed shoe person I am particularly a fan of your Kenneth Cole Boots (you call them your MVP) and your Michael Michael Kors bean boot heels. What do you look for in a good pair of shoes?
Lauren: GREAT question! I am a total shoe person too. I try to be selective about what I let into my already-big-enough shoe collection. Fit and comfort are my number one. Those that say they can’t wear heels just haven’t tried on the right pair. On a personal level, I try to only bring a new pair of shoes into my life if I know they are exactly what I want. Those Kenneth Cole boots are a great example. I thought about the perfect pair for over a year, and was prepared to pounce when I found the right ones. And we all know how right those are!
TS: Fashion blogs aren’t exactly bastions of humor, yet each of your sketch descriptions has a noticeable playfulness and wit. Is that something that comes natural to you or has it developed over time?
Lauren: I take no credit for making my descriptions being playful or witty on purpose – but if that’s how they come off, then I’m positively tickled! This really is, I think, what I sound like in real life. However, I have developed more of a “voice” in my descriptions over time, so I guess I’ll say that I’ve gotten better at sounding more like myself.
TS: On your site, you have professed your love for bad reality television (Jersey Shore & The Real Housewives series). Is there a celebrity or reality star whose personal wardrobe you admire (and please don’t say Snooki)?
Lauren: I admire Diane Kruger for never hiring a stylist. And Diane Keaton for always being herself! But really, I find more inspiration in the layman – I appreciate personal style far more than a bunch of unoriginal trends on someone who had little to do with the final look.
TS: As someone who has described their style as “a ballerina/heiress married to a rapper and living in the English Countryside, I feel like an obvious question is what type of music do you listen to when you sketch?
Lauren: It’s always something different. Currently, there’s a chance I’m listening to 1) Mac Miller 2) The Band 3) French Radio 4) Blu & Exile 5) This American Life. Check the sketch!
TS: You seem to have a special place in your heart for men’s fashion. Why do you incorporate so many male pieces into your outfits?
Lauren: I have never been a completely feminine dresser; I played field hockey in college and always have identified with part of the jock, swagged out look. My style is about juxtaposing that with feminine touches, like a subtle ruffle or killer heels. Plus, I really appreciate how men’s fashion values how long and well something has been worn; that whole quality over quantity thing I’m still trying to get a hang of!
TS: With that said can you give me (and all men) any general suggestions for improving our own look?
Lauren: Don’t be afraid to take chances. Putting time and bit of money into finding your personal style will pay back indefinitely. Develop a “thing”, like always putting a flower in your lapel, or just wearing white, or whatever, and, as I like to say, let your freak flag fly!
TS: None of my friends have ever been able to answer this question to my satisfaction. Why is there an appropriate time of the year to wear white? Do people still follow that rule?
Lauren: This is my follow up answer to the previous question! Who cares if you wear white after Labor Day? White jeans look stunning in the winter. Hold your head up high and own it. That’s what I say. (The only rule I think that still applies to white is not at weddings, unless you’re the bride! Did you see Ramona and Alex wear white to the wedding on the season premier of Real Housewives of New York!? So not a good look.)
TS: Do you have any strict rules of personal fashion?
Lauren: Acknowledge your body type. It takes some good hard time at the mirror to actually try shit on (in many sizes! different ones than you think you are!) to get to what both looks and feels right. Then, assessing trends and shopping will be a breeze… you know what will play nice on your hips and what won’t.
TS: Last one. With summer just on the horizon can you give FoW readers any suggestions on what type of additions they should be making to their own closets?
Lauren: Summer is all about accessories! When you’re hot and you want to be as naked as society and hygiene allows, you make a statement with an awesome bag or wedge or something. I am really craving something neon to tote essentials in this summer, and I just invested in a pair of sapphire wedges to brighten up sundresses.
If you enjoyed her interview, you can find more of Lauren's work and wit at any of the following places: