Dorky is the new sexy when it comes to Max Vernon. If being talented, committed, deep-thinking, hard-working, silly, and handsome is nerdy, then who would ever want to be “cool” again? At the ripe old age of twenty-one, Max is an accomplished pianist and musician – he records, arranges, mixes, and co-produces his own music, all of which is accompanied by outrageously crafted drawings that in and of themselves would be enough of a feather under one’s cap. Best for me, however, is how he fully comprehends the importance of connectivity when it comes to the journey of being an artist, and as a musician, treating style as an equally important method of communicating one’s message to an audience (“I do think that fashion effects the kind of music you make in ways that you can not expect. Have you ever seen a person dress in all black clothing with gothic eyeliner tell you that his favorite music is reggae?”). When it comes to style, Max has lots of it, but what I love is how he doesn’t take any of it too seriously. One of his favorite subjects (and his major) at NYU is gender theory (which he does take seriously), and on that note, there aren’t many men who can make all hearts pound in a “reject” iceskater’s outfit, a lady’s church ensemble (with a large woman’s necklace and Margiela-esque fur sleeves that he added), or a tuxedo with children’s googly eyes glued all over it. Despite how self-deprecating Max is about his wardrobe, the way he wears a plus-size women’s beaded blouse tucked into high-waisted pleated trousers, to me, is brilliant. So I’ll have to forgive him if he really did “kill” Prince for his purple blazer with studded lapel.