Louise Ingalls Sturges, Closets
Louise Ingalls Sturges

I LOLed when Louise said that she has a "very explosive physical tendency." Give her five minutes in a car and her "shit" is everywhere: "I sort of have one of those takeover tendencies, a lot of stuff," she unapologetically proclaims. Not only did I get one of those StyleLikeU, "I've found heaven" sort of gasps when I walked into her packed to the brim, colorful and creative rainbow of an abode, but I also deeply understood what it is to have "that takeover tendency" with stuff myself. Louise blends right into her surroundings in pink '80s overalls, orange boots and heaps of turquoise, minus the snake vintage engagement ring to herself that she bought on a road trip between Arizona and Santa Fe. The symphony of pattern and hues is so overflowing that it's hard to tell where the Pendleton blanket, Marimekko-inspired prints, bold and primary colored paintings that have '60s and '70s album covers as their influences begin and end. Like her ivory Balenciaga bag covered in acrylics and her emerald green tutu hanging from the ceiling, Louise's environment seems to be one continuous, euphoric outburst that makes one feel elated when immersed in it.

A chronicler of life, sometimes bordering on contemporary archeologist, Louise's expression manifests itself in everything from her paintings, photography and the art of self-expression in dressing, to collecting plastic boxes piled high with modern-day consumer packaging (she is fascinated by the color). She sees her art as an existential exploration of what it means to be here, including love, identity and what it means to be a woman now, with the wistful unabandoned moments captured on holidays with her girlfriends as an example. At some point in college, she points out, "My dad said to me, which was not well received at the time but I still think about it: 'What are people going to say at your funeral?' At eighteen, I was kind of like, 'Fuck you dad, I don’t plan on having one anytime soon,' but I think the principle of it that is if you put good energy out there, it’s going to come back." One of my favorite pieces among many is her LOVE ring that echoes her general attitude about life. "I would like my legacy to be cheerful, positive artwork that I leave behind."

The stylish virtues of an exquisitely distressed Hanes tee shirt, a hand-me-down from her sister to her brother worn since 1985, are not lost on Louise. She played lacrosse in high school in it and today wears it with an exotic Coco de la Mer bra peeking out, a chunky ivory horn necklace, high-waisted plaid, cigarette pants and Lanvin patent peep-toe pumps. Buying a white fur hat in 110 degree weather and throwing two indigenous prints together like her Rachel Comey jumper with Suno wedges reflects Louise's inner ease. When she first moved to New York in 2001 to intern at Nylon Magazine, Louise unexpectedly became their first street style photographer. Spending two months going out every night shooting people at parties taught her a lot about what it is to be an individual in your style. "It was always somebody that wasn't wearing what was hip or trendy, but something interesting. It was a question of 'How did you put that together?' and a sort of thoughtfulness that stood out. Why be boring?"

If you love Louise, you may also like Karen Blanchard, Chase Cohl and Derek and Nate.

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