We caught up with fashion designer and stylist Elena Kanagy-Loux, who we first featured in November of 2010, to see how her style and story has evolved, and to find out what she learned when she spent a day in a stranger's clothes for Second Skin.
"When the 'Lolita' craze started in Japan, I was 11 or 12. I really connected to its girly, sentimental, backwards-looking Victorian doll feel. I gravitate toward the pink and the froufrou."
Inspired by the "glamorous yet comfortable" Electric Feathers, where Elena assisted in design and production for a year and a half, the descendent of Mennonites, has recently embraced turbans, harem pants, and a drapey, silky, flowy look.
"After high school and throughout my first years of college, I wore lots of black and vintage. But then I had a dream that I had neon hair and wore only bright colors. As an experiment, when I woke up, I tried to wear just colors for a week to see if I could. I ended up getting rid of all of my black clothes and never stopped."
"In Montreal, I had a year when I only wore white. I cleansed all the black and the color. Now, I'm in happy in anything... but I still lean towards pastels."
"Whenever I start growing my hair out, people say that I look like Courtney Love. But I don’t want that 90s look. I’m just old enough to not be able to get into the 90s comeback."
About her Second Skin experience, Elena says, "I've always been attached to my style, but I thought that I was relatively flexible and could be comfortable in someone else’s clothes. However, I discovered that my clothes are my protection. People can tell when you're self-conscious and insecure abut wearing something. They can smell it. Second Skin defined my comfort zone more concretely. I'm obviously not comfortable with wearing sneakers. I appreciated Laila's Kogi necklace and Guatemalan miniskirt. But that's just not my style."
"I don’t anticipate having the same style in five or ten years. I’m not going to dress like a little pink baby doll for the rest of my life."
If Elena’s story inspires your style, then add some of her things to your closet!