Second Skin: India Salvor Menuez and Irene Kim

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The formation of assumptions, a natural human impulse, often lead us astray. Irene and India have, to this day, never met or seen one another. When India pulled Irene’s clothes out of the bag, she became immediately apprehensive. We asked India’s friends who were hanging out with her on the day of the shoot to describe the girl to whom these clothes belonged. They answered that they saw her as a faux punk, a girl who dresses for boys, “like Lady GaGa if she was attending her own funeral.” Likewise, when Irene donned one of India’s signature looks, you could sense immediately how uncomfortable she felt. “I feel like a librarian,” she said. The irony is that Lady GaGa’s funereal doppelganger and dowdy bookkeeper couldn’t be less accurate descriptions of both Irene and India, respectively. Still, it’s interesting to watch their transformations and see how India and Irene’s clothes really do look quite different and portray a different message on one another than they do on their rightful owners. While Irene expressed that she felt as though she “lost her armor” while dressing in India’s clothes, India didn’t even feel comfortable going outside of her apartment in Irene’s threads. Watch their transformations above.

  • Alicia

    Interesting concept, I enjoyed watching the video.
    Funny though that India’s friends who are trying to portray themselves as this indie open minded teenage clan end up being the ones who are the most judgmental towards Irene’s style and the person they assume she is based on her clothing, when Irene on the other hand, as tame as her wardrobe is, ends up being more open to change and is never judgmental.

  • hannah

    Irene is an absolute doll!

  • Lesley


    I totally agree. It’s funny how often the people that are seen to be “alternative” or against mainstream anything wind up being more closed-minded.

    I loved this feature, it was so insightful, both in terms of fashion and in terms of human nature and interaction. I would love to see a follow up video with Irene and India (and India’s friends) meeting each other! I wonder what their thoughts would be then.

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  • LaRon

    I think Irene’s dark style fits her really well. And whats wrong with that? Her style may seem street walker or “for men” on someone else but definitely not her(that suggestion is a bit offensive for such a reserve girl).. I love her style and that bracelet she has on in the beginning! Def wanna see more of Irene!

  • Gabriella

    I really love this! Irene is so pretty and she has such good style. I don’t even think it’s that dark. I relate to how her clothes can be an armor towards people. Would love to her closet!

  • Sofia

    i dont know, but i had a really hard time with the way india and her friends talked about irene and her style, they felt so condescending,

    but i loved both indias and irenes styles tho, it suited them perfectly.

  • val

    wow i agree, irene (despite how slowly she talked) seemed so much sweeter and more humble. its ironic how india thought irene dressed for attention/for men/like a streetwalker, i understand it much more…

    india and her friends are hipster in the worst sense of the word. they think they don’t care and do things for themselves, but they are the most self-concious, pretentious, arrogant type. wow.. pretty gross how they judged irene’s clothing.

  • Ashley

    a bunch of hipsters judging a fashion creative director…really? haha if anyone’s style and motives should have been questioned… it should have been them, irene style is awesome

  • Oscar

    Really interesting concept, it’s like day/night and still they kinda manage to fuse parts of the other persons outfit in to their own style.

    Reminds me of me and my little brother, exactly the same. Sometimes he loans my clothing and he looks kinda “dressed up” in my eyes compared to what he would usually wear. I wonder if he would look at me the same way the other way around?

  • Rajesh

    I love it when hipsters start criticizing others’ fashion. Oh, let me go through a pile of dirty laundry and put on my skinny jeans and boyfriend’s flannel and tell the world I’m above caring and above fashion! Well hipsters, when you bash someone you don’t know, you’re not exposing them, you’re exposing yourself.
    Irene looks like a sweet person in fashion- rare. This project was cool because you see the prejudice (pre-judging) that we all fall prey to at times. Bravo Irene!

  • Kaka

    Sigh . . . these kids give hipsters a bad name.

  • Lindsey

    Yeah I can’t believe that Irene’s father would say, now you look like you want a lot of attention, because you know, wearing a bunch of bright colors and clashing patterns doesn’t look like you want attention.

  • Renae

    I’m not going to lie, the obnoxious, rude, and judgmental behavior of India and her friends makes me not like her at all. This video showed that they do, contrary to what they try to put across, care a lot about looks. More than that, they are willing to dismiss a person without ever meeting them first solely because of the way they dress.

    Also, even if someone does dress “sexually aggressive” what’s wrong with that and why does it have to be solely for men? For open-minded people that is blatant sexual policing and slut shaming.

    P.S.: Who says leather jackets are the sole property of punk rock? I get that he’s trying to say some people don’t understand the origin/context of what they’re wearing, but leather jackets have existed in contexts other than punk rock in the past, so unless he’s a mind reader with encyclopedic knowledge he should stop assuming what other people do and do not know and their intentions. Is he conscious of the origin/context of all the elements of this hipster “I don’t care” front he’s trying to pull off?

  • Roxy

    I love this role reversal and that the worlds the girls are coming from are so different.
    Irene refers to her clothes as her armor and yet she seems so confident compared to India who seems uncomfortable in her own skin and is hiding her body inside those colorful layers. But then if my father had said the clothes I was wearing were those of a street walker I might be crouched down on the floor as well.

    I didn’t catch the ages of the subjects but based purely on behavior I would peg Irene as early 20’s and India as still in high school.

  • j

    Does Irene have a blog?? She has such an amazing style!!

  • Victoria

    Irene is kind of adorable. Does she have a blog? I want to see more of her!

  • Janelle AM

    it interesting on having two people who never met judge each other clothing and how one can have preconceived notions on who they are by the way there dresses!

  • Rocko

    this is interesting, irene seems genuine like india in the interview but i feel like when you choose not to wear colors and objectify yourself for the modeling industry your basically selling your soul to the world of being artificial

  • liz

    I love the concept of these videos but they only work when people take it seriously.
    Irene was trying and honest about her experience while India and her pretentious friends are laughing and not understanding the point of the experiment.

    And everyone says ‘like’ a lot.

  • ashleydark

    very judgmental to irene while claiming to be “authentic” people

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