Style Setters: What Brooklyn’s Fashion-Forward Set Are Into This Fall

All photos by Maggie Shannon


The last thing we’d try to do is define a one-style-fits-all “Brooklyn look.” And yet, we can’t help but be fascinated with how so many creative borough residents find myriad ways to express themselves through their clothes, demonstrating that fashion can be far from superficial, and serve as an extension of our personalities and thoughts. To honor this reality, we asked five of Brooklyn’s most sartorially inclined people—some directly involved in fashion, others just prime examples of being stylish—to talk about their aesthetic and how fashion and style shape their lives.



Arabelle Sicardi
Fashion and Beauty Writer

What role does beauty (makeup, hair) play in fashion?
Beauty informs the context in which we perceive fashion. They’re both about bodies, beauty tends to play background to the clothes in shows, but you can’t have fashion without someone to put it on—beauty examines the details of that body. I find most runway beauty approaches pretty boring, but interesting as a way to observe propaganda and how we articulate trends.

How do you think individual style and collective trends challenge the status quo?
I don’t think they do? Or rather, individualism doesn’t solve the larger problem. Boycotting doesn’t actually work if you’re fighting for sustainable fashion and better business practices, actually. I think challenging the status quo is necessary but one person doesn’t change the rules. But you can do it to help yourself survive. And someone might be inspired by that and do the same, and on and on and on.

As someone who writes about beauty and fashion, what do you think are the biggest misconceptions about these industries?
That they are without serious consequence and context in the larger scheme of things. It’s not “just” clothes or lipstick. It was made somewhere, by someone, in particular circumstances. Both are very large and often scary industries. I think being naive about the implications of the real damage and violence they can do is dangerous. I try to examine more unusual aspects of these industries—I want to write and have conversations about these fields that I have never seen before in public professional settings. They are fun industries, for sure, but they are also so incredibly morbid and scary for people who can’t keep up.

What is one item in your closet that you will never part with?
My Junya Watanabe parachute dress. I am not particularly loyal to any beauty product. Body chemistry changes. The clothes I love, not so much.

What are some things you’re looking forward to wearing this fall?|Leather jackets and heavier, darker perfume.



Alexandra Drewchin

What role does style play in your music?
I’m communicating with style poetically just as I am in the sonic lyrical realm. All forms of medium that I employ—whether music, dance, fashion, body language, idioms, and metaphors in everyday speech—it all tends to continue to convey an essence. I don’t meditate on choosing what that flavor is; it chooses me. Once I’ve felt the impulse, it’s really fun to capture the spirit I’m going for in a more calculated fashion.

How do you fuse your music with your style?
Both are reflections of each other. I play music; I play style. I had such a clear vision for the dress I needed to wear in my newest video that it wasn’t going to be possible to find it on any rack. I sketched it up and had a great seamstress designer friend of mine, Deda Rohr, whip it up and take it to the next level with her own genius. That collaboration was like writing a song together! As I do in my music, I like to fuse genres together to craft a new sound, so in fashion I like to fuse styles together to get a new look. I can’t say in what way I did this with the dress because it needs to be a surprise.

What do you look for in a stage outfit?
What I wear on stage needs to look good with my guitar. Last year I had a neon lime-green guitar with glow-in-the-dark green strings so I had to have hair and nails that matched. I wore a lot of black and white because it really made the alien green pop. Now, I have a red acrylic see-through BC Rich Warlock. It looks like it was made by melting down 500 cherry Jolly Ranchers to recast them into the shape of a guitar that was made to summon dragons from the center of the earth. Thus any primary color or color derivative of red has been my focus for stage garb. Orange for instance has been really fun lately, but not some wimpy coral stuff—like real hazard EMERGENCY orange. Though my real obsession has been pink for the last couple months. I’ve gone literally weeks without wearing anything but pink. Pink provides a fun juxtaposition: girly Barbie me playing a brutal bloodthirsty metal ax. Also conceptually it rings very true to me: Pink is the color you create when you mix blood and milk together. Fem power to the max! On tour comfort and flexibility definitely plays into my choices.

What is your favorite thing you have tucked away in your closet?
My powdered pink London Fog trench coat.

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?
I’m really looking forward to wearing tight turtlenecks under crochet mini dresses. I work two days a week at the vintage boutique Worship on Wilson (in Bushwick) so I’m very lucky to have first dibs on all the amazing stuff we always have coming in. I got this Jean Paul Gaultier transparent plaid, tight-as-skin turtleneck there.


Elise Peterson
Writer, Visual Artist

What role does beauty play in terms of your style?
Health and beauty are definitely the foundation. If my skin isn’t radiating, my brow full, lips moisturized, body hydrated, curls poppin’, and mind balanced then a great ensemble is immaterial. 

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Very Black.

As a writer and artist, do you find your aesthetic viewpoint translates into your work?
Inescapably, it works as a cipher of creative influence. But typically, when I don’t quite have the words, I create images I feel can better articulate the message I want to convey.

How do you preserve your identity and art through fashion?
I have to remain honest and true to myself above all else. Owning my truth is the most freeing feeling. I want that freedom to translate into my art, written work, and how I present myself. They all work as portals to understanding who I am and what I’m about.

Are there things you’re looking forward to wearing this fall?
Limitless brown. Brown lipstick, brown manicures, and I’m still on the hunt for a nasty, thigh-high, brown suede, block-heeled boot.

From where do you draw inspiration with regards to style?
I go with my gut. When shopping, my eyes will light up and I usually “oooh” out loud when I know I’ve found something that feels perfect for me. That’s how I know it’s real. Beyond that, I’m so utterly enamored with the layered textures and color palettes of 1970s Blaxploitation movies, the glamorous androgyny of a woman in a pantsuit, and my mother. My mom was the ultimate 90s hot girl. 


Scout Paré-Phillips

Does music affect your style? If so, how?
Absolutely. My personal style originated from playing “dress up” for concerts I was performing in with my different bands. Growing up, I was in a new wave band, so I wore a lot of heavy eye makeup, flashy glitter, sheers, ripped up basics, and a messy mullet. In college, I was in a post punk/country band, so I got into leather and boots. At that time, my hair was long and I had just cut my bangs. Now, since I’m just a solo project and don’t necessarily identify with looking like a classic folk musician, I’ve settled into dressing like a born-and-raised New Yorker, still a lot of leather and torn clothes, 99 percent black wardrobe (with a few flecks of gray, tan, and white), and a pristine, shamefully large shoe collection of Ann Demeulemeester, Guidi, Rick Owens, Margiela, Acne, Helmut Lang, Givenchy, Alexander Wang, and Haider Ackermann.

How do you think individual style and collective trends challenge the status quo?
As I said, I feel like anyone could pick me out of a crowd and identify me as a New Yorker, so I’ve never felt like I’ve particularly challenged anything here, nor do I feel a need to. On these streets, I feel just as comfortable in one of my full leather skin-tight outfits wearing heels that make me well over six feet tall as I do in sweatpants and clogs, just out to walk my dog. Everyone always complains about New York being very judgmental in terms of fashion, but you can also look at that in a positive light and tell yourself anything goes because everyone is looking to make a statement in his or her own way.

What is one item in your closet that you will never part with?
My full-length, talon-heeled Ann Demeulemeester triple-laced boots.

What are some things you’re looking forward to wearing this fall?
Layers! I don’t really dress myself at all in the summer. Actually, in the past year or so I’ve started to really value comfort, which was never a priority for me. I’m even wearing less and less makeup. So I’m looking forward to experimenting with how to look good without compromising comfort.


Charnier Corey
Owner/Designer of Leisure Life NYC

What does style mean to you?
Style is the way you walk, talk, and express yourself. So what does style mean to me? It’s my way of expressing my individuality to the world. Style is my way of both visually and verbally communicating who I am and the places I have been.

Who or what are your top three fashion influences?
My first influence was my mother. When I was younger she would say things like, “Well, red is the cousin of maroon,” meaning the colors could be paired together. I always thought it was funny how she said the colors were related. She also used to say I had “champagne taste with a beer budget” because I liked all the expensive stuff we couldn’t afford when I was younger. She was a very fly lady and extremely stylish. She designed many of her own clothes and sewed by hand. So early on I saw a sewing machine, patterns, fabric, needle, and thread around, and I was influenced at a very early age (somewhat subconsciously) to attempt to make the clothes I saw on TV.  I would mimic the rip-and-repair techniques of 90s brands like Used or Damaged and draw on my pants similar to the aesthetic made popular by Bell Biv DeVoe or The Fresh Prince.

How did style and fashion have an impact on you growing up?
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, so a lot of what I did early was close to, but not always exactly right. Like, I knew the boots were yellow but I didn’t know the brand until later. I gravitated towards an East Coast aesthetic as soon as I started developing my personal style. But I guess I was like any teenage kid growing up in the 90s, I just wanted to look like a rapper.

Do you think there’s such a thing as a “Brooklyn look”?
I think there are many different Brooklyn looks, not just one look. I think age, socio-economic status, and gender, among other things, all inform personal style. So, yes, I think there are looks that can be considered “Brooklyn looks,” but not one quintessential look for the entirety of BK.

Do you believe in there being an essential item for everyone’s closet? What about for your closet?
I’m a person who used to like a lot of variety. Now that I’m getting older and I make my own clothing, I wear the same things over and over, and I feel proud. Mainly because as a country boy from Fort Wayne, I found a way to put a system in place to not only make my own clothes but also bags, hats and kinda anything I want. I think that is crazy. So, I have like four white Oxfords of different weights and fabrics. We made one from Egyptian cotton and another from Italian Supima cotton, and they are perfect summer shirts. So, I would say, please keep a nice white Oxford ready to go.

What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?
This fall I can’t wait to wear our Leisure Life NYC second-year anniversary Italian goatskin leather Team Jacket. We used the softest natural leather that will age beautifully over time as it gains patina. We only produced two of these jackets, for the bosses only! I have a feeling I will be wearing it A LOT this fall.


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