I’m probably a little bit partial to my next interviewee. She’s my daughter, Caroline Furiate. I decided to interview her not completely out of nepotism (although to be candid, the interview did have its roots in the ease of interviewing her because I know her intimately) but really, I mostly interviewed her because she has a freakishly incredible sense of style.
Caroline has always had a streak of rebel coursing through her veins. Her auburn hair has always made her stand out anywhere she has gone and not always in the ways she’d have liked to. As her mom, I knew this fiery hair would be a lightning rod for often negative attention from her peers growing up. So I figured the best thing I could do would be to work my a** off with her, cultivating a sense of style and confidence about the way she dressed, the way she presented herself to the world. I knew her clothing choices would serve as her armor against the teasing. I knew right off the bat her look would need to be impeccable. I’d need to foster her confidence in her image in many ways; clothing became a piece of the confidence ‘pie’, so to speak.
She’s always chosen the road less traveled when it comes to clothing and her style. When her friends were hipsters, she’d be prep then, when they’d be preppy, she’d flip to being a downtown hipster. There were a few years where I just had to turn a blind eye to her personal preferences or I’d have indigestion. The Doc Martin years and hipster years when all she wore was black and I couldn’t dream of getting her in a dress or heels– it was pretty tough for me, I’ll be honest.
But now that she’s graduated from college, a career girl and truly on her own, I’ve had mother’s pride watching her style choices become more sophisticated, refined and perfectly appropriate for all that she is. I love going shopping with her. Now I do the asking,”Caroline, does this look ok on me?” Her approval means the world to me.
Here follows a fun interview I did with her recently about her style. By the way, she graduated with an art degree so don’t expect to hear her to be mainstream. Nope. As always, she’s still zigging when everyone else is zagging.
(Yes, Caroline met Tory Burch. A little fuzzy but that is definitely Caroline and that is definitely Tory Burch.)
Hip Reporter (Mom): Caroline, thanks for doing this interview. It’s been a year in the making! So. Whose style has influenced you the most?
Caroline: Yours. Because I remember you always saying two specific things to me growing up:
One, you’d always quote Marc Jacobs. He once was quoted as saying that ‘You shouldn’t look ‘perfect.’ Something has to be a little off.’
And two, you always taught me to keep my look classic but with a touch of modern cool so I would never look back on pictures of myself and cringe at what I was wearing.
Hip Reporter: Favorite designer and why?
Caroline: Rag and Bone. I love them because they have everything. It’s a complete collection every season. It’s comfortable, cool. They’re known for creating these chic simple structured black neutral pieces and I love pairing Rag and Bone with classic designers like Ralph Lauren. There’s no more perfect look than taking an edgy Rag and Bone t-shirt and putting it with a structured Ralph Lauren hacking jacket.
Hip Reporter: You wear a lot of blazers. Who makes your favorite?
Caroline: Alexander Wang. But on my budget, I love J Crew’s ‘Boyfriend Blazer.’ They’re cut great.
Hip Reporter: Biggest fashion faux pas you see female customers committing while working at Nordstroms.
Caroline: There are more fashion mistakes that I see than fashion successes, honestly. Generally the biggest mistake I see that bothers me are women who match everything they’re wearing and women who follow popular trends to their detriment. Your clothing is supposed to be a reflection of your personality; if you can’t put together a creative outfit that reflects who YOU are, then you’re telling the world you have nothing particularily interesting to offer.
Hip Reporter: What one thing do you wish that they’d never wear again?
Caroline: Well, I hate neon colors. And I hate over plucked eyebrows. And I wish they’d give the oversized Michael Kors boyfriend watches a rest. I’m sick of blue jeans too. Every girl pairs everything with blue jeans. Find something more creative to wear. And most of them–their jeans don’t fit right.
HipReporter: What would you never be caught dead wearing?
Caroline: Go into Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. Pick out any unstructured, messy, sloppy, lacey, pastel, flowers, prints, pseudo-hippie stuff– and that’s what I’d never be caught dead wearing. I think the lines to a piece of clothing are often more important than anything else when you’re dressing yourself. More important than the pattern of the fabric, more important than the lace and all the other unnecessary details are the lines of of what you’re wearing and how crisp they are, how well structured they are designed. Having a simple outfit is more effective than having a loud outfit. If you can consolidate your outfit and make it really clean, that’s more of a statement than anything else.
The Hip Reporter: Haven’t I always said that beautiful, well made clothing should be like architecture, like steel girders supporting the human frame? That’s why when you buy say, a piece from Yves St Laurent or CHANEL–the really good stuff–the seams and construction when you turn it inside out is like architecture. It’s so detailed and involved and like a piece of wearable art –and it creates these lines on whoever wears it, that serve to make them a more beautiful, structured version of themselves.
The Hip Reporter: Describe your style.
Caroline: My style is ready for a night at an art gallery show or a night on the couch with my cats, either or. I’m ready for anything and nothing. Which is a good place to be, right?
The Hip Reporter: What would you like to see your peers wear more of? Less of?
Caroline: I think my peers need to pretty much get rid of the adolescent clothing they have been wearing through college. They need to veer away from so much color. Go more tailored.
Now at this stage of our lives, it’s really more about presenting ourselves to the world versus yelling to the world what who we are, what we like and what social group we’re a part of.
The Hip Reporter: I call that being a grown up!
The Hip Reporter: Finish this sentence: I am happiest when I am wearing _________ because __________________.
Caroline: Track pants, a Rag and Bone sweatshirt, Tory Burch wedge boots, my mom’s vintage CHANEL brooch and a blazer because it’s all so comfortable cool.
The Hip Reporter: I give you $5000 gift card to freshen your closet. What are you going to do with it?
1. Stuart Weitzman high heeled boots.
2. Alexander Wang blazer–because they’re just the best out there
3. Top Shop track pant
4. A Yves St Laurent Grimes Project graphic t-shirt
5. Arthur George socks, yes, that Arthur George–Rob Kardashian’s sock line. My mom got them as a joke for me and now I am obsessed with them.
6. A Shineola watch and another Giles and Brother bracelet
7. A Carven sweatshirt
The Hip Reporter: If you had to dress from a favorite decade, what would it be and why?
Caroline: Now. We have so many more options now. If you’re dressing bad in this decade, it’s your own fault.
The Hip Reporter: Name three iconic pieces you hope to acquire someday…(clothing, jewelry, shoes, accessories, whatever)
1. ANYTHING FROM DAVID BOWE’S PERSONAL WARDROBE
2. ONE OF MICHAEL JACKSON’S JACKETS
3. A SPACE SUIT FROM NASA
(A note from The Hip Reporter: This is the essence of my daughter. While others would love a CHANEL handbag or a Burberry trench, Caroline, in true Caroline form, thinks very outside the box. Thus, her answer to this question.
The Hip Reporter: Favorite handbag.
Caroline: Small, classic, leather no-logo bags. My classic Coach is such a favorite. It’s years old but it still looks appropriate for this decade and this time of my life. I also love Chloe and Philip Lim handbags; they do good, classic leather bags.
The Hip Reporter: Favorite shoes:
Caroline: Any lace up boot with a heel. Frye is always classic but anything that catches my eye.
Hip Reporter: Favorite perfume.
Caroline: Marc Jacob’s men’s cologne. Yes, the men’s.
The Hip Reporter: Most fashionable human you could imagine meeting. (Could be dead or alive.) Most fashionable human you know.
Caroline: Can I pick a roomful of people?
Hip Reporter: Because you are my daughter, yes.
Caroline: Sadly they are mostly men. David Bowie, Patrick Stewart (from Star Treck fame) Tom Ford, Kanye West, Kate Middleton, my mom, Yoko Ono.
Hip Reporter: Kanye West? Patrick Stewart? Yoko Ono? Wow. Without words.
Hip Reporter: Last Question…who’s your favorite artist?
Caroline: I was an art major so I appreciate so many different artists. But currently I’ve been fascinated with the textile movement and performance art. In essence, just taking ‘art’ off the canvas. I love Shelia Hicks who’s an older woman who has been weaving larger than life fabric art for decades. I love Nick Cave too, who is an artist from Chicago who is making ‘Sound Suits’ (above) which are large human-esque costumes and they’re used for both performing and displaying.