Leonard Cohen said that in every crack, there is light, and one of those shining lights is Arabelle. Within the homogenous noise of fashion on the internet, there are voices like hers, whose love for the conceptual and unsexualized shapes of Japanese designers, such as Commes des Garçons, has nothing to do with pretense and everything to do with helping others liberate themselves from needing to look cute or pretty for the sake of seeking approval. Looking for validation outside of yourself, for Arabelle, is akin to total repression (and I agree). She describes her clothes as armor or subversive, not in the “I am above you kind of way,” but in the “I am me and no one else, facing my fears” kind of way. With purple hair as one of Arabelle’s only constants, she creates moods in her daily outfits that are so imaginative that they sound like chapters in a fantasy teen novel with a Dickens vibe. As an example, she imagines on a given day that she looks like a cupcake from the victorian era who is friends with Betsey Johnson and was suddenly adopted by Yohji Yamamoto.
Ongoing emotional abuse and bullying from kids for being mixed racially and gay gave rise to Arabelle’s resilience and resolve to fight back. She does so through the empowerment of both her fierce individual style and honest, personal writing on her blog, Fashion Pirate, where others have been helped to find themselves in her public vulnerability. In her winged Vivienne Westwood shoes, Arabelle is like a feminist angel of cyber space– “I am crying now. Just being able to help someone in their life is a big deal for me,” she says. Of her recent fixation with power colors and harnesses, “I am more concerned with things that I believe in” and “intentional presentation” is Arabelle’s weapon.
Arabelle’s blog is Fashion Pirate.
Video Edited by Kelsey Rowland.