The best way to know is to ask.
Taking time to ask questions, especially questions that aren't essential, but that drive deeper, is valuable. My hope is that in prompting women I admire, I might know more fully of their beauty & wisdom; and then share it with you.
It feels odd, but I'll be kicking the series off with an interview of myself, as a way of introduction and to settle into this space.
On reading and its importance:
For as long as I can remember, my life has been framed by the books I'm reading. There have been seasons of less reading, seasons where these books carried me, and seasons in between. Right now, reading is one of my chief passions. I read each morning and then again before bed, dedicating time and priority. While my inclination is towards non-fiction, I pick up any novel my best friend Ruby recommends. So much of what I love about reading is the community built into the practice-hearing what others are reading, ordering books for friends, and chatting with bookstore owners for their recs.
Of course, physical books are my preference. I'm known to mark in and fold the corners of books liberally. Libraries are an ideal exercise in trying something new. Plus, they make great study spaces.
On how you spend your Saturday afternoons:
So, this question came about from a theory I have that Saturday afternoons are the most intimate and revealing time of the week. Without responsibilities and obligations, where do you turn?
For me, nothing is as perfect as a Saturday afternoon spent at home. I tidy my space, write letters, finish the last bit of a book, and take a nap. This time is for me to recharge and prepare for whatever fun I have the rest of the weekend. (Can you tell I'm an introvert?)
As an alternative, I enjoy an afternoon at a coffee shop with a close friend, right after a pop in at a local bookstore. New picks in tote, the time spent over coffee and literature is unmatched.
On your go to dinner party plan:
Perfecting the art of "the dinner party" is my dream. My formula now is shaky but usually produces a night of laughter and meaningful conversation-what more could I really ask for?
Plenty of sparkling water, with fresh limes and lemons, makes for the perfect beverage. I always keep lots chilled. The morning before the party, I love to take my time shopping for the ingredients and picking up flowers to arrange. Whole Foods is my go to as far as ingredients go. If i have time, Trader Joe's is worth driving to for flowers. Their selection is always interesting, making it easy to construct an impressive arrangement.
I like putting together a huge, hearty salad served with the freshest bread I can find. The combination is refreshing and includes minimal prep. This, finished with one of my sister's famous pies I've coaxed her into baking is the best combination.
And music. Recently, I've loved setting out my records and inviting guests to play DJ. It can be stressful, especially when the Kendrick Lamar vinyl is more explicit than you remember, but it's always fun. The Civil Wars, Ella Fitzgerald, and Chet Baker are all foolproof choices, as well.
On your personal uniform (beauty/fashion/etc.):
An average "Erika" outfit consists of loafers and a button up. The variations of this include a turtleneck or striped tee in place of a button up or sneakers in place of loafers, but the look is fairly consistent. Having a wardrobe in blues and blacks makes putting together outfits simple. I like to be adventurous in my dresses and skirts-going for color and texture, usually found in vintage pieces. My style icons are Audrey Hepburn, Jane Birkin, Sofia Coppola, Diane Keaton, and my best friends (can't wait for you to see how chic they are.) Fashion will always be my first love.
I keep makeup simple and clean, save for my favorite trick to elevate any look, a red lip. I carry a small Louis Vuitton Reporter bag and it has become a sort of signature. That, my chunky men's watch, a neck scarf in some fashion, and tousled curls-très ELV.
On what speaks to you:
The films that I watch weigh heavily on me creatively. Taking time to see what's new as well as indulging in classics is a top priority for me. Magazines like The Gentlewoman and Porter get torn up and pasted into my journal, sent via letter to friends who might enjoy the articles, and stacked by my bed. I was turned off to magazines after an extreme consumption of unnamed fashion magazines before I went to FIT. Sick of celebrity culture outweighing art, I really didn't read any for a few years. Thanks to the magazines mentioned, I'm learning to re-embrace them. Photographs speak to me, especially ones captured on film. There is something remarkable about sifting through old pictures and listening to the stories they represent. I am sure to always carry my disposable film camera or my Canon 5D Mark iii, depending on what the day holds.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more interviews in the near future xx