Laila Gohar is a SLU all-star. Whether it's packing for a trip to Europe and Africa, or revealing her closet, the Sunday Supper founder puts her whimsical, carefree, and defiant self into everything she does.
Recently, we checked in with the Cairo native to find out how her style has developed and to get the story behind her Second Skin meltdown.
"My style, like everything in life, is dynamic. I gradually phase out of something and into something else. I'm more clean and minimal than I used to be. I still wear colors, but not as many. I'm into old high-waisted jeans and white T-shirts -- a look that might be inspired by Jane Birkin."
Laila is as devoted to the Margiela geometric skirt (featured in her Closet profile) as she's ever been. Though, now, she's more likely to pair it with something white so that her outfit is all the same color.
"When I first came to New York, it was overwhelming, so I was subconsciously making an effort to stand out. Now, I don't feel the need to make such an effort. The experience of living and working here has matured me. I feel more whole and in touch with myself." However, from time to time, the city's relentless hustle and bustle overwhelms Laila again: "I panic, which manifests itself in numerous ways. I'll wear a huge hat on my head and cover my entire face."
“When I did my closet last year, I had shorter-length hair, but three years ago, it was waist-length. It would literally hide my face along with the top half of my body. This may sound superficial, but cutting it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I cried and blamed my friends, because my long hair used to be my shell and my barrier. By cutting it, I got rid of a type of armor. Now, I’m open to the world. Being vulnerable is one of the most beautiful things. If you never allow yourself to be vulnerable, then there’s a whole set of emotions that you don’t allow yourself to experience.”
About her Second Skin tirade, where Laila tore off Elena Kanagy-Loux’s pink satin Mary Janes, tinsel-trimmed bolero (tied together with a purple ribbon), lollipop swing skirt, and lace chapeau: “I always claim that I’m not a ‘fashion person’ — I just wear whatever, I take it in stride, and it’s not a super serious thing. My extreme disquiet with wearing Elena's clothes was less about the actual garments and more that I was playing the role of someone else. I felt like a spectacle."
If Laila's story inspires your style, then add some of her things to your closet!