“I’ve been fired for what I’ve worn before.” As we sat outside on what was bound to be one of the last few cold nights in Austin, Sara opened up to me about one of her past fleeting job experiences working as a restaurant hostess. ”I was working at this yuppie place in Bee Caves and I got fired because a Yelp review said I looked too goth” Sara explained while wearing a vintage black fur coat and smoking a cigarette. Apparently the Yelper went into detail about what Sara had been wearing, which included what Sara could only describe to me now as “sort of a French school girl dress.” The dress still hangs in her closet today even though she hasn’t worn it since. “I still like it” she says.
Sara Cummings is the type of girl who no matter where you are, is always someone to notice. Although she admittedly prefers to wear mostly black and be an observer of others, she herself along with her style is one that tends to be observed. With her knuckles often made bloody from cheese grating her clothing, she makes it a point to only wear clothing with character. Unashamedly a t-shirt and jeans lover, Sara takes this casual vibe and stylizes it further by literally grating her clothing to make it look more worn. Something we probably all did during the 90s grunge trend, but something Sara still does today.
When asked if she would be changing her last name to “Spearman”, Star said she wasn’t sure yet because she had never wanted to get married until she met, her now husband, Joah Spearman. When Star met the co-founder and CEO of The Neighborhood (which will take the place of Style X during SXSW this year), the two hit it off and quickly married in a low-key courthouse ceremony just months later. ”I don’t get most of this being married stuff short of that it’s awesome to be with someone I love so much,” Star says.
I have known of her from afar for awhile now due to Austin’s sometimes seemingly small social scene, but one of the first times I really took note of Ashley Cass was when I saw her jump into a spontaneous dance-off at a bar downtown, and win. This fact alone should tell you a little bit about Ashley’s personality: she’s outgoing, positive, and always the life of the party. When it comes to style, Ashley’s clothes do everything to reflect her fun upbeat attitude. “I like to wear bright colors. There’s already enough grey and black in the world,” Ashley says about her usual wardrobe color palette. Dressed in a multi-colored 80s inspired outfit, Ashley came straight to our interview from her job at Giant Noise as a “social media socialite” looking like a Rainbow Brite character come to life. While Austin embraces her funky look, Ashley says that in her hometown of Laredo she gets requests to not wear such bold outfits. When she had to go home for a funeral once, Ashley says her wardrobe was ill equipped. ”I didn’t have any black shoes, so I had to wear some bright silver ones!” Coming from a town comprised of people obsessed with labels and wanting to look like everyone else, it’s apparent that Ashley fully appreciates Austin for accepting and loving her unique look.
One of my favorite things about the style of Ashley Cass is that she always looks like she is comfortable in her own skin and is having a good time. Most of the time dressed in a comfy yet crazy stylish pair of sneakers, she always looks like she is ready to have fun! In a city where having fun is way more important than looking cool, Ashley manages to always do both.
Check out our photos from our photo shoot with Ashley Cass and read on to read our full Q&A:
With a short masculine haircut on one side of his face and voluminous bouncy curls on the other, Kaidon Ho is a stylish dresser full of creative contradiction. His fashion choices have come a long way from when he was a little kid forced to wear a uniform at his Catholic kindergarten in Korea. ”Once I was given the freedom, I took full advantage of it” Kaidon says about finally getting to wear clothes without a dress code when he came to the states. With his sometimes outlandish outfits that include heels, loose blouses, and plenty of jewelry, it’s no surprise for outsiders to find out that Kaidon chose to study fashion design at college. It might have been a surprise to Kaidon’s parents however, who didn’t find out Kaidon was studying fashion until his Junior year at UT. Having always been pushed by his parents to become something like a doctor or a lawyer with financial security, Kaidon was nervous to finally let his parents know about his immediate switch from being a pre-med bio student to studying fashion. But because Kaidon’s mom was in the fashion industry herself, she couldn’t deny Kaidon the support he needed to follow his creative path. Kaidon says his mom, who was the director of Elite modeling agency in Korea, told him “I guess you can’t deceive your own blood.” And the UT fashion show, Contour, proved that fashion definitely flows through Kaidon’s veins.
The first time I walked into the stylish collective house on the east side known as Maison d’Etoile, I was greeted by a smiling face bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement. Shari Gerstenberger, the owner of Charm School Vintage, always lights up a room and fittingly charms others as much with her cute and quirky personality as she does with her cute and quirky clothing.
Shari spends most of her time working on Charm School Vintage projects, including styling for the Femme Et Velo blog (a blog combining bicycles and style that Shari asked me to model for). But when she’s not working, this vintage vixen can be seen dancing at the Sock Hop, doing yoga, translating playwrights from French to English, treasure hunting, and dressing up every month for Vintage Vivant and Exquisite Corpse.