Fashion and style are very personal and so are the people who present it. It’s easy to lose individual voice in today’s world where so many things are run mainstream from behind a computer screen. Therefore, it is essential to acquaint ourselves with the cyberspace gatekeepers of style and what makes them tick. Today, Nashville-based singer and fashion addict Caroline gives us a peek into the world of COSMICaroline and tells us how The Beatles, Alice White and Portobello Road have inspired her chic bohemian look.
I’ve always enjoyed playing with different textures and colors when it came to putting my style together. I think that styling what goes on your back is a piece of art. It’s an expression of you, your soul, and how you want others to perceive you. It can be a disguise, it can be a costume, it can be extremely minimal, or it can make jaws drop and eyes do a triple-take. So, while I was enjoying styling strange pieces and exciting myself over the possibilities at hand, my love for music, art, travelling, photography, and general inspiration was growing stronger. I’ve come to accept the fact that I need a larger outlet besides a tiny hemp journal. This is my outlet and the inspiration comes from all angles.
2. How did you decide on the name COSMICaroline?
Well, Caroline is my first name. And I like to think that I have a pretty open-eyed and open-hearted view of the world and the universe we’re dwelling in. I didn’t want the blog to just be fashion. I wanted to incorporate music, art, photography, Nashville events, travel, and whatever social activism or earthly news I found interesting at the time. It’s become just that. So, it couldn’t be Caroline’s Crazy Closet or something gooey and cheesy because first, I wouldn’t stand for that, and second, it’s not fitting. “Cosmic” points towards something relating to the universe or explains something as extremely vast. I thought it was fitting, and so far, it has been.
3. How would you describe your style?
I’ve come to realize that my style is directly affected by the music I drown myself in. The magnetic pull I have towards ethereal, bohemian pieces has caused me to be obsessed with anything white, flowing, and lacking structure, and I believe this is caused by my love for The Beatles, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and the “let’s-not-care-because-peace-is-all-we-have” mindset of the 60s and 70s. But, I also have a need for modern additions in my closet. So, when I spend my week only listening to no-frills rock from The Kills, The Black Keys, Dead Weather, and others with similar grit, I tend to add rougher touches and darker accents to my mostly-vintage wardrobe. But, I think it’s extremely important to forget caring about what people think, own what you wear, and don’t think twice about leaving your house in a look so covered in feathers that it might as well be an ostrich costume.
4. Who is your ultimate fashion icon and why?
What a difficult question. To begin with, Anna Dello Russo has a lack of fear that I find to be extremely powerful. I love how Janis Joplin wasn’t afraid to wear boas on her head, and I think Leigh Lezark adds a chic touch to any look she rocks, especially the Giambattista Valli peacock dress. But, I like looking at natural surroundings of the environment, watching old music videos and movies, mimicking the effortless style of pin-up girls like Alice White and Rita Hayworth, and taking notes from the average girl’s street style for style inspiration. Sometimes the person sitting next to you at a coffee shop can be the greatest inspiration of all.
5. What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe?
I’ll be honest when I say that I cannot choose just one piece. I am lucky enough to have some really wonderful pieces from all over the world. Some of my favorites would be my floral pants from Sfera in Madrid, a floor-length white dress from the Aga Khan horse market in Dublin, and my vintage sheep vest from Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Regardless, some of my favorite pieces are from the small vintage stores here in Nashville.
6. Your fashion dos?
Do rock whatever you’re wearing. I’ve left the house wearing green boots, a pink tulle ballerina skirt, a cream knit poncho, and giant flowers shoved in my messy hair before and didn’t think twice about it. As long as you believe in what you’ve put on your back, others will believe it was on purpose and appreciate it with you. Do grab inspiration from every possible source. Do try new things and push yourself to experience new looks. Just because some stick thin girl wears a look on a runway doesn’t mean that you can’t wear it with your own twist to lunch on a rainy Sunday.
7. Your fashion don’ts?
Don’t believe in don’t. Take risks, try new things, but the only true rules in my book when it comes to fashion are fit. Know what fits you, and don’t ever try to squeeze into a piece that doesn’t. Seams are not meant to be stretched, you’re supposed to be able to breathe when you put your clothes on, and every girl should be able to eat a full, delicious meal without the worry about being able to move in their pencil skirt after dessert.
8. Where is your favourite shopping destination?
I love the chance to shop overseas because it’s always fun to bring back pieces, open up your suitcase, and surprise yourself with the items you know you never would have found otherwise. But in Nashville, there are some really wonderful shopping hot spots. Savant Vintage Couture on 12th, Hip Zipper across the river, Pre to Post Modern on 8th, and of course, Hillsboro Village is filled with gorgeous little boutique shops that could make any girl drool. I love spending hours in the smaller stores in Nashville, searching for tiny treasures.
9. Which designer would you most like to meet?
I would love to meet Erin Fetherston because I’ve always been so attracted to her aesthetic. Meeting John Galliano and getting a chance to look inside his theatre of a brain would be a dream come true. I’d love to make Karl Lagerfeld laugh so hard with a childish joke that he snorts. If time travel was possible, Alexander McQueen and Pierre Balmain would be at the top of my list. I’d love to sit down to dinner with the family tree behind Missoni and learn some of Roberto Cavalli’s tricks.
10. What will you be wearing this Autumn/Winter?
Well, I’m sure my faux fur collection will come out from the back of my closet. I’ve got big plans for dark green and versatile pieces. Wine lips with leather jackets, velvet bags with chic gloves, more of my favorite bell-bottom jeans with a higher leap in platforms, and up-dos with giant sweaters. Layering, layering, layering. I’m interested to see what kind of messes will be thought up and rocked on the cold, icy sidewalks. Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons for people-watching because how one person layers their pieces is different from the next person’s style. It’s oozing with inspiration.