Stef says that when she puts on something happy, she is happy. It’s hard not to smile when you see her tutu from the H&M children’s department juxtaposed against an army parka and white “cloggy” wedge sandals, or in her knee socks with a thrifted floral 1930s dress and lace-up combat boots. Stef says that her ADHD leaves her dreamy, thinking a lot, and in her own world. When people-watching on the street or train, she can make up a whole story about their life, “even if it’s not true.” It seems fitting that Stef has the creative mind to tell her own story with her wardrobe. She has many unique pieces from her Dutch grandmother’s “eccentric” clothing store in their hometown, like an embroidered cloth belt and Moroccan poison ring. And then there are the storybook charms around her neck, a very little Bible with her boyfriend’s phone number in it, a shell from her best friend that is from Sydney, and the key to her parent’s home (so that it is always close to her).
Dressed in a petticoat and designer plaid hunting booties, she has the grace of Tinkerbell, but with some urban toughness mixed in. Stef’s favorite channel is Disney and she loves to laugh when prompted by the laughing machine on TV shows. But most charming of all to me is the vision of her failed efforts while working as a waitress in a pizza restaurant. More suitable for a part as the Mad Hatter, she “was standing with a cup of tea all the time, kind of dreamy. All of the other waitresses would be at their tables already, doing their jobs. The day manager would have to say to me, ‘Just walk around and pretend you’re doing something.’” Seems like Stef should definitely stick to fashion editorials, where she can do what she does so well, interpreting the mood of clothes.