Who are you? My name is Don W., aka @boyDonavin and formerly known as Babyteeth. I’m a self-proclaimed “everything artist” and freelance creative consultant.
What was the first outfit you remember wearing that made you feel fly? I remember being about 9 years old and having this dark denim romper. It was collared, short sleeved with buttons down the front, and a cute little denim belt that tied around the waist. I was so young but I remember looking in the mirror and loving how it fit my little body. It’s no wonder that I’m obsessed with one piece outfits now that I remember all this. It’s stylish but also effortless. I love convenience almost as much as I love looking good.
Aside from fashion references, what influences your style? Clowns, cartoons/kids shows, and melodrama. I love the style of cartoon characters’ clothing because the colors and shapes are so bold and yet so uncomplicated. Think Chucky Finster from Rugrats. That iconic blue t-shirt with saturn on the front plus those green shorts and the statement glasses? Legendary if you ask me. See also, Reggie Rocket from Rocket Power and Major Bedhead from The Big Comfy Couch.
And as far as melodrama, I was really into Little Edie Beale after watching Grey Gardens. Even with how scattered she was as a person, her looks had a type of formula to them. She was dressed as if she were ready to dance or perform at any given moment. Even the looks that seem the simplest can serve drama and she really proves that.
What three elements define your look?
1.) Theme: I get dressed with a theme in mind.
Most recently, I served the girls Rhinestone Cowboy (inspired by the song of the same name by Glenn Campbell) while attending the Pitchfork Midwinter Music Festival. The look was centered around this cowboy hat I’d customized by adding silver craft hoops all along the rim. Every time I’m getting dressed, I’m putting on my costume for the day. I have to know by the time the look is complete who I’m going to be when I step out.
2.) Comedy: I absolutely love a hilarious outfit. I often buy things that I maybe wasn’t looking for or even expecting to find but they make me laugh. Every day I challenge myself to stop focusing on what’s “flattering” or “cute” and create looks that are unique and sometimes really goofy. I saw a pair of flesh tone Tabi boots that really hooked me. I want so badly to own a pair. I also saw these Nike air max’s that had literal turf growing out of the sides. Who wears grass as shoes?! That’s incredibly funny.
3.) Comfort: As much as I love getting dressed, I very rarely sacrifice comfort for style anymore. I’m just in a place in my life where feeling good feels better than anything else. I blame it on my Taurus sun. I’m really into fleece, faux fur, and wool this winter. I have to feel like I’m wrapped up in a blanket to even justify leaving the house to brave the cold.
Which decade was the most stylish? Why? The 1970’s of course! That’s no contest. While I do appreciate some elements of the late 50s-early 60s, the 70s were when things really let loose. The fearlessness of funk and rock’n’roll crept in and blew everybody away. The most popular styles of the time were somehow both dramatic and classic. Those long collars on the button-ups, the high waist bellbottoms, but also the color blocking…It was very cartoony in a way! That’s probably why I love it so much. Also, please look up some of Cher’s 70’s looks. It’ll change your life.
Do you think fast fashion has had a negative or positive effect on people cultivating a personal sense of style? I think fast fashion has a bad reputation but I don’t think it’s as terrible as people claim it to be. I used to hate when certain styles would become trendy but I’ve since grown out of that. I love a good chunky sneaker and before they caught on it was really difficult to find them anywhere. I didn’t have many choices. But now that they’re available through a bunch of affordable retailers, I can pick and choose from a variety of styles while staying within my budget. Accessibility has a huge impact on personal development. If you’re never afforded the opportunity to try things out, how will you find what suits you? It’s overwhelming at times how much is available to choose from but overall, I think fast fashion plays an important role in giving the girls options.