Smile Politely: Which piece of your outfit is your favorite?
Sid: My necklace is my favorite item that I’m wearing right now. This is a small Buddhist necklace; it’s unique because the small Buddha is encased, like he’s protected. I got it in Beijing in late June from a small, merchant market. There were all these tables where people would call out, attempting to barter the prices of their goods. I had to bargain for this necklace, speaking half English/half Mandarin. I enjoy having very unique items that aren’t seen anywhere, things that have stories.
SP: When did you begin developing your own personal style?
Sid: When I was 3. The first thing I ever wanted to do was be a fashion designer. I had my own store in my parents’ basement by the washer and dryer, and my mother was my only regular customer.
SP: What influences your style?
Sid: My style is influenced by my desire to completely shatter the definitions of gender, of man and woman. I want to break this concept of a binary by taking types of clothing “for men” and types of clothing “for women” and throwing them into a virtual blender, which ultimately creates something that’s new and can’t be defined as one gender or the other. I take enjoyment in creating new “genres” of fashion, such as “doily-punk,” which in my definition is something you’d find at your grandmother’s house, plus the inside of the dumpster, because it’s a style that’s mainly floral but gritty at the same time. Visual art and my love for artists in general are another influence. I’m a fan of many Western artists as well as the Dada and Surrealist movements, especially Salvador Dali. I’m also a theatre major, which allows me to dip into different types of fashion for shows. This ultimately plays a part in my personal style as well.
SP: What does your style say about you?
Sid: I’d say, first off, that my style shows just how scatter-brained I am. It also portrays that I’m a bit unusual, and hopefully, it says that I’m having a lot of fun wearing what I’m wearing. I’d say that, for me, I feel a huge amount of freedom wearing what I want to wear and combining things the way I like. I don’t feel tied down to look this way or that way, the freedom of being able to look however I want. Also, the concept of conformity never crosses my mind. I’m pretty far from being conformed, and that’s how I like it.
SP: What local C-U shopping place do you favor when downtown?