Maria Elba, Closets
Maria Elba

Maria struggles with shyness, and admires those who can integrate freely with a crowded room. What she is not giving herself credit for, however, is how deftly she communicates her keen eye and total disregard for whatever is "in" at the moment through her extraordinarily idiosyncratic clothing. She is interested in growing the fashion scene in Nashville, where she lives, and does so just by stepping out her front door in completely atypical ensembles, like a 40s-era red belted dress with gold buttons and a straw hat canted to the side, or an elaborately sequined cardigan with a fur shawl collar that she wears over leggings and Doc Martens. Dressing is an art form for Maria, and she loves Nashville for the support it gives to local designers, musicians, food, and farms. "If you want to do something, you're not alone as an artist."

For its beautiful imagery and core family values, Maria is deeply rooted in Catholicism. The Virgin Mary is a backdrop to her current appetite for wearing lingerie as clothes, like her short ruffled bloomers with stacked loden Jeffrey Campbell heels with girly turquoise socks peeking out or a black bustier with vintage floral pants and it speaks to the juxtaposition of Maria's heavenly, Lolita-esque appeal. Still enthralled with Where The Sidewalk Ends, her other favorite writers are Bukowski and Ginsberg for how straight-to-the-point they are, even if they are at times the darkest and harshest of literary icons. For Maria, their "knowing what love is" is what most attracts her most to their writing, "They embrace love even though they have been let down so much and are so bitter. I think that's what's so beautiful. I'm infatuated with the idea of having someone you can't live without."

If you love Maria, you may also like Scout Willis, Emily Bartley and Elizabeth Sweigart.

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