Friday, September 30, 2022

Clair Lephart

When Clair Lephart approaches, it is impossible not to spot at least one cleverly curated garment or accessory on her person. This art-inspired stylista dreams of one day owning her own gallery and it’s quite apparent in the looks she composes for herself. The way Clair views style, color, and self-expression is based on a complex emotional latticework of nostalgia, aesthetics, and, also, strength. I stopped by her vine-covered house in Toledo’s Old West End, checked out her wardrobe and belongings, and snapped her photo in a beautiful solarium perched above the street at sunset.

Your clothes and the objects you collect seem to be one and the same. Does one influence the other?

I am a collector. Whether it’s vintage luggage, purses, shoes, tattoos, records, clothing—each item has caught my attention in the same manner. I see form and functionality in the abstract. When I shop, the process is pretty similar. Whatever I purchase has to be curated to make me feel good.

You mentioned that you spend an awful lot of time thinking about color in an artistic sense, but you seem to wear a lot of muted colors. What gives?

Color in style and art are very important. I, however, am boundlessly drawn to muted and/or understated tones—almost like a canvas. Adding a pop of color by utilizing lipstick, accessories, nail polish, and shoes is fun, but I will probably always stay away from bold colors in clothing.

What, if anything, do you like to project through what you wear?

Confidence. The most important thing about style is knowing oneself and being confident enough to follow one’s own taste. I have transformed quite a lot since I began to understand that. I hope that it shows in my outfit choices on a consistent basis.

Your ombre hair is definitely an accessory on its own. Do you ever have difficulty with this style when you prefer to appear more reserved or conservative?

I am not very creative with styling (no braids, curls, straightening), so it comes down to whether I prefer it in a topknot or ponytail. When I am wearing specific articles of clothing, however, I do prefer to wear my hair up to create a more refined look.

What is the most important piece of advice you can give concerning developing one's own personal style?

Go with your instincts. If you don't feel comfortable with your wardrobe, change it. If you want to reinvent yourself, do it… but always for yourself and in your own time. I have learned that through trial and error. Lastly, always compliment someone's clothing, style, or hair if you like it. It's kind, boosts confidence, and will most likely make their day… and who doesn't want to make someone happy?

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