Street Fashionista: Dawna Northrup
Let Leslie McAllister tell you about someone who puts the "grrr" in girl!
The original cool of vintage shopping, in my opinion, started with Vivienne Westwood in the '70s. Punk Rock London was a-flutter with cat-eye glasses, dirndl skirts, ripped fishnets, pointy buckle boots, and of course, fetish elements, like dog collars, bondage gear, and safety pins.
It was considered cutting-edge to have a vintage shop and resell mid-century housewares and '50s garments. That aesthetic is still breathing today. The idea of mixing vintage and punk, vintage and grunge, vintage and hillbilly rock (rockabilly) are concepts that create a super glamorous and eccentric look. It's the juxtaposition of hard and soft, pretty and tough – putting the grrr in girl.
This is about the marriage of then and now – the presence of the old and the new. I know what you are thinking: How do I incorporate that look into my everyday life? It is as simple as this: Wear a vintage item that has modern elements. For example, start with a pencil skirt – it's a simple silhouette that is timeless and can be worked into any outfit. It goes with anything.
A little more daring? Start with hair or makeup from the '20s, '30s, or '40s. A pompadour ponytail with a pair of camo pants and a tank top; right, Ms. Stefani? A pixie hair cut with vampy '20s makeup, smokey eyes and a bold lipstick with a satin strapless dress.
Or just do the Courtney Love thing with the torn up baby-doll dress, some bed-head hair and smeared mascara (just kidding). You can do the baby-doll dress with a soft ponytail, black opaque tights, Mary Jane's, and shiny pink lips – trust me, it's super cute. As far as the vintage punk girl, add safety pins, a slashed tee, leggings, and Engineer boots. Dress it up with a faux leather mini skirt and some platform booties.
Guys, you can do this too. There are so many cool blazers at the thrift shops. I love a black velvet blazer with some tapered trousers and Beetle boots (chukkas) — a wool plaid blazer in mustard yellow and black plaid with a pair of slim-cut jeans and dress shoes. Then, dapper yourself up with a slick pompadour Presley style.
More of a bad boy – leather has never made a girl cry. A black leather jacket or – and do this cautiously or else you'll look like a Hell's Angel – a black leather vest with a pair of black jeans and a white tee. Pretty slick!
However you choose to mix eras, know this: It will always make your look interesting, personal, unique, and hip (And by hip, I don't mean hipster. I mean someone who knows fashion and isn't afraid to show it). Be brave and bold – it's the year of the snake.
Who? Dawna Northrup
Where? Studio Hue
Why Dawna? She mixes eras and scores with really beautiful style. Modern, classic, and punk swirl together to give Dawna that sought after cool edge of grrrrl. She has soft elements and tough elements that make her well-rounded and give her a thoughtful look. Her tattoos are colorful, personal, and emotional. Overall, Dawna comes off looking chic, professional, and tailored while still being true to her style aesthetic. We love Dawna!
What we want to know:
Describe your style: Hmmmm… That's hard. I would have to say 1920s with a twist of British Mod, a pinch of pin up, and a dash of Punk Rock.
Describe your style's journey: As a youngster, I had very open-minded, hippie-like parents whose motto was to be yourself. I liked to wear dresses and play with my hair color. When I was little, I would go to upscale salons with my very chic Nana and get Sassoon-inspired bobs or pixie cuts. When I was 13, my mom bought me purple hair color. When I was 14, I pierced my nostril in math class and was proclaimed Rrrrriot Girl. I never stopped being myself. Now it's in more of a classic, funky tattooed sort of way.
Favorite Style Icon: Louise Brooks, Betty Paige, Betsey Johnson. Lately I am drawn to older eccentric fashionistas who declare their wild, free, and bold sense of fashion. Check them out – Iris Apfel, Zelda Kaplan, and my favorite, Ilona Royce Smithkin; she is a hoot!
Favorite websites to browse: Modcloth – it is so fun. It is a great little warehouse in Pittsburgh but you can only shop online. They have great stuff but stock a limited amount. Their customer service is fab! Locally, I love Gabriel Brothers, Retrospect, and Francesca's Collection. I used to thrift, but with four boys it's hard.
Where do you find your inspiration for hair? I find inspiration everywhere. I find it in architecture, landscapes, elements. I'm inspired, and then I want to duplicate it with hair. I am a huge fan of sharp Sassoon angles and lines with pops of color. Right now I have been mastering those smokey, icey, purple and iris tones. Also rose-golds and blacks with peacock and emerald.
Favorite things to do in Erie with your kids: The Erie Art Museum. I love introducing my boys to art and culture – they eat it up. We like to visit the Tom Ridge Center and Asbury Woods frequently. We love the lake. I think this town is gaining more culture and getting a taste for the arts. Erie is home!
Last words? I want every boy or girl to know it's okay to rock your style no matter what anyone says to you. Someday, when you're older, your classmates will come up to you and tell you how they wished they would have been more themselves in school.
Dawna is a stylist at Studio Hue located at 2100 W. Eighth St. 814-452-4310. She has been doing hair "officially" for 14 years. Studio Hue is an eco-friendly salon. "We even recycle foils and hair," she says. Call Dawna – 452.4310 – she loves to play with cut and color. Her clients call her a "Scissor Ballerina."
Find me out on the town and challenge yourself to get noticed by the Erie Reader!