Renee Sophia Marino is my boyfriend’s best friend’s girlfriend. Haha. We’ve known each other for a couple years now, and I’m always in love with what she is wearing. No shit, I have gushed over what she has worn on the way to the bathroom on an early hungover Sunday morning before. I’ve always been interested in people who can catch my eye with their personal style, because I have a fairly particular taste. I’ve wanted her to be the subject of my first street style interview post for a long time, so I finally sat down with Renee to talk about style, life and inspiration. These are excerpts from that conversation, edited for clarity and flow…
AAV | Throughout this interview, I’d like it if you could describe your overall style in three words. Your first word is…
RSM | It’s hard because I feel like I just have so many aspects to my style, so many different styles. That is really hard, and words are hard too…
Maybe I’ll use weird, because I like that word. If someone’s like, “That’s really weird,” then that’s kind of a compliment. It’s interesting because what I’m wearing right now I wouldn’t consider that to be weird.
AAV | I think building up style is what makes something look unique and different and alternative. Because what you’re wearing isn’t really that ‘different.’ A black dress and black tights, you know?
RSM | Mhmmm.
AAV | But it’s got detail. At some point you bought those shoes, at some point you went to a festival and got that jewelry, learned to do your eyeliner that way….and built up your unique style. I think that’s what style and ‘being weird’ is about.
RSM | Yeah, that’s very true. And I think that’s interesting, what do stylists do? At first I thought that was such a bullshit job. Like, you’re a stylist? But really, it’s the whole thing. You can’t have a fashion shoot without stylists. Who’s going to pick out everything and put it together in a way that works?
AAV | Not everyone can put everything together in a way that works.
RSM | No, not at all. There’s one stylist, I really admire her stuff. It’s Ann-Marie Hoang.
AAV | What do you like about her as a stylist?
RSM | It might just be the amazing clothes she has. (laughs) Just, what she has to work with. Her style is more…It’s kind of gangster-y goth-y. Dark, blacks and whites. Just the way she works with it and has really interesting silhouettes of big block-y shoulders and nice slender legs sometimes. She’s really cool.
On the subject of stylists and awesome people to admire, there is this clothing company called Mamadoux. The president of Mamadoux is Palma Wright, and she is really awesome. She styles and finds models for them, and the designer’s name is Elliott Beach. I guess they find a model, and he just makes the clothes for that specific person. Everything he makes is different.
Their style is so…It’s very colorful, kind of 80s sometimes. Definitely, there’s a lot of spandex with what he does. He does these really awesome cut-out bathing suits that are very like WOO! Like (makes hand motion).
AAV | All up in there.
RSM | Yeah, I’m not a model. I don’t think I could pull that off, but it’s really cool looking. Cut outs, a lot of fringe things too. They’re very colorful and kind of raver style. For some reason I’m really obsessed with Palma, and with Mamadoux.
AAV | OK…so we were on weird. What’s the second word to describe your style?
RSM | Right. I think comfortable is what I was saying. That’s definitely one of my philosophies. I really like soft things and comfortable things. Those platforms are a good example. They’re the most comfortable high shoes ever because they’re just flat.
I guess part of my philosophy would be comfort, and that also applies to feeling comfortable about what you’re wearing in general.
AAV | Do you swear things off that you’re uncomfortable in?
RSM | That’s not really true. I definitely wear heels that fucking are not comfortable at all, and I wear things that are sometimes uncomfortable. Not being comfortable in it is taking a risk, you know? So, it’s also part of that.
We have weird and comforting.
AAV | I think those are good ones. (laughs) We have almost three.*** How do you feel your style has changed since coming to CU-Boulder?
RSM | Everyday I see at least like one person or a couple people where I’m like, “Oh my gosh. You’re style is awesome. I want your clothes,” and then sometimes it’s like…I don’t know. They all look really similar sometimes, too, so there’s that.
Ummm, well it’s hard for me to like find how it’s positively affected me (laughs). Mostly I’m thinking it’s negatively affected me.
AAV | Well that’s OK, too. You could talk about that.
RSM | It’s that idea of mainstream fashion where everyone wants to look kinda the same. Like, leggings and high boots and long jackets, I don’t know. I’ve kind of become a little bit less…I haven’t been taking as many risks. And I haven’t been innovating with what I wear as much as I’d like to, but that’s OK too sometimes.
I feel like actually the positive about that is that, thinking in that way where I want it to be more toned down is kind of nice. I feel like it has made it a little bit more cohesive. Instead of wearing all these crazy things—I’ll just wear just one simple thing.
AAV | Would you say it’s important for you to take risks in fashion?
RSM | Yeah. Maybe not every single day, but definitely sometimes. That’s what makes it interesting.
AAV | Why do you think that’s what makes it interesting?
RSM | I think….because that’s how we change fashion. Each person does their own thing and takes risk with doing this and then it does catch on. I think that’s just how fashion evolves and if no one’s taking risk, and everyone’s just wearing all black and riding boots and North Face jackets, then that sucks.
AAV | What do you think about when you’re getting ready?
RSM | If I’m just picking out outfits for fun then I’ll think about people who inspire me or my friends’ art and stuff. That really is awesome. Two of my friends in particular, their art is really—Both their styles are something I want to incorporate as my fashion style. That’s very abstract to think that their style of art is my style of fashion, but I like to think of it like that.
***Renee later text messaged me with a third word to round out the interview: edgy.