Alexandria Skeffington lives in the world of Rick Owens
Scrolling through Instagram, you see thousands of different "bloggers" or Instagram personalities who are promoting their latest body supplement or bathing suit, but not Alexandria Skeffington. As you scroll through her feed, you will witness some of the best women's Avant-Garde fashion and styling on Instagram. Known as @thefeaturedarticle, Skeffington has become known as the girl in all "Rick." Being a fan of Rick Owens, I have never come across a man or women who is decked out as well as Skeffington. With that being said I had to find out more about her, and her fondness for Avant-Garde fashion brands such as Rick Owens, Damir Doma, and Julius just to name a few.
Name: Alexandria (Alex) Skeffington
Current location: Toronto
Education: Fashion, Fitness, Marketing
Dream Job: Fashion Show Creative Director
How did you get into Rick Owens?
"I started collecting Rick Owens after I found my first piece, which was a DRKSHDW biker jacket. I fell in love with the shape and texture, I had never seen anything like it before. I am very attracted to shapes and textures, so this jacket was what sparked my curiosity to discover more about Rick Owens as it complemented my own personal style. I completely connected with the aesthetic of his designs.Over time, my collection developed with the Lilies line based on the elegance and draping which I love, DRKSHDW for more of a casual approach and for the reversed wax items, and mainline for serious runway statement pieces.
I really got “into” Rick Owens when I researched and discovered who Rick was and the stories about his approach, each piece, the collections, and runway shows. I think Rick is absolutely brilliant, and I think Michele Lamy is incredible!
What makes me so in love with Rick's style, is that no matter what mood I am in, there is a look that I can put together with pieces from any of the lines and create something individual to me that is extremely easy, and effortless. His style is so fluid that all of the pieces work in a way that allows me to express myself regardless of the day, occasion or mood. Effortless, powerful, luxury."
Now considering Rick Owen's price points, was it hard to build up a nice wardrobe, and what other designers do you also like to mix with Rick Owens?
"Regarding price point, it’s quality over quantity and it did take time to build my wardrobe (which I call my collection), because discovering the right pieces to collect takes time and proper budgeting. To me, the garments I collect are not just clothes or shoes, they are pieces of art. I am constantly captured by the stories behind the pieces and the designer themselves. I am the type of consumer that doesn’t purchase unless I know who the designer is and what the meaning behind the piece or collection is.
Other designers that I currently collect and mix with Rick Owens are Ann Demeulemeester, Damir Doma, Gareth Pugh, Lost and Found, Julius, Haider Ackermann, along with up and coming designers who’s quality of the work and stories behind the articles are so impressive, I collect their work too. I am working towards, and waiting for the perfect Boris leather jacket to add to my collection, Goran Horal boots and a pair of black CCP drips."
It seems you know your aesthetic very well. How would you say the people of Toronto receive your style? I imagine you stand alone as one of the only women who wears Rick Owens.
"In Toronto, people seem to receive my style in different ways, depending on who is looking, and where I am. I find that people are curious and intrigued by my look, because you are right, it isn’t very common in this city. I expect that though, as choosing to wear some luxury menswear pieces in a feminine way, even the women’s lines that I choose, is not the norm in most places.
As I fell more in love with avant-garde fashion, I found that I had to explain my choices to more and more of my friends. The Featured Article certainly helped with that. Once they saw the connections and feedback on my account, they got it. I now have a lot of people, new friends and old, asking where to shop, who from, and how to buy or wear what I wear. Because of that, I have a feeling that I won’t be so unusual one day! People see the beauty and ease of the pieces that I choose, and seem to like how I style them.
So in general, I think that it comes down to wearing what you want with joy and confidence. That quashes a lot of negativity. Even before I fell in love with my current style, I have always worn what I wanted, when I wanted, as long as it was respectful of the venue that I was attending. I can’t see how anyone could have a problem with that, especially when the quality of these pieces that I wear, whether it be from established or new designers is so breathtaking."
Now as far as footwear goes, what footwear do you like the best (boots, sneaker, heels) And if you had to rank your favorite footwear that you own how would you do so?
"I love all footwear. When I find a pair of shoes whether it be heels, sneakers, boots or sandals, that have both an incredible aesthetic and comfort, cost is almost no object!
Ranking my footwear is a difficult order. I take my time finding the perfect shoe and each pair has a purpose.
Right now, it’s a mild winter in Toronto, so I tend to wear my Rick Owens laceless sneaker boots the most. I love the shape and how I can put them with anything and they complete practically any outfit. I am also obsessed with my Rick Owens high sock sneakers, which took me years to get! My turbo wedges are a nice change from wearing sneakers, and the shape of them is incredible. For heels, Manolo Blahnik’s work well for my feet. My favorite boots (and legendary shopping experience) are from Modern Vice in New York. They made me an amazing pair of custom python skin boots, the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Once the weather gets warmer, it will be hard to pry my feet out of my Vince Orson slides, or Ramones, but then again, I may fall in love with another shoe by then!"
How would you say men respond to your style?
"My style seems to attract comments from men that appreciate the work of the designers that I choose, and the feminine way that I style those pieces. Male response to my look is extremely positive and respectful, both on social media and in person.
I feel that they appreciate my knowledge of the designers and the pieces that I choose, so they see me as a peer, an equal. I have never been treated as an object, as can happen on social media. I was a pro cheerleader (yes, I was lol), so I know how it feels to be objectified!
I get direct messages on Instagram from men asking where I got pieces and how they could style some of their items, so I would assume from that, they like what they see. I take that as such a honor. In a fashion realm dominated by men, I have been accepted and appreciated for my self-expression and that’s pretty amazing."
You said that the look you go for is dominated by men, how do you feel about the state of where clothing is now? Is there gender norms, or is it all up for grabs. (Men wearing women's, Women wearing men's?)
"I think that it depends on the style you are drawn to and the purpose of the garment. When it comes to the look that I love, and I tend to choose fairly androgynous pieces for the most part, I think that is all up for grabs...if I can find my size. Small enough sizing in menswear is a challenge, especially in footwear. That is a deterrent to many women who would like to wear these clothes.
I also love to dress up in clothes designed specifically for women when the occasion calls for it, so gender norms play a part in that. Overall, I still think that clothing in general continues to be gender geared and maybe that's why my particular style incurs interest.
Lastly, what advice would you give to girls who want to start buying more designer clothing instead of cheaper fashions, and what is a good start for them?
"For anyone looking to start buying designer vs. cheaper fashion, I say that they won't regret a cent that they spend, if done properly. A good way and easiest place to start, is with one amazing piece that works with your current look.
Choose something that works with many items in your current wardrobe such as a jacket, or any separate. Replace items and build your collection as your budget allows. Search high end online retailers such as My Theresa, Italist, Megusta, Farfetch, Ssense, Luisa Via Roma, etc. to find the esthetic and designers that you love. It may be lux grunge like Rick Owens or it may be Miu Miu, or Dior. Whatever your look, start with a versatile piece that you can wear and use to upgrade your current wardrobe. Once you have found your high end look, research, research, research! Shop at local boutiques, luxury department stores, and online. Keep in mind that most online luxury retailers have varied pricing and ship worldwide, so understand their pricing, shipping and return policies, and the exchange rate for the country that you are buying from. Luxury consignment shops are a viable option as well. There are only so many 'models' manufactured per season, so if you are looking for a certain piece, your only option may be sites like Grailed, The Real Real, Vestiaire, and smaller shops such as Vaniitas. Hunting for your piece is part of the fun, finding it is the rush. Don't be intimidated by the prices. Unlike the masses of lesser priced clothing that will end up in a garage sale or donated to a thrift shop in a year or so, high end pieces fit better, feel better, and have a good resale value as they are in high demand amongst collectors if well cared for. Luxury goods also last far longer than budget pieces, in both construction and style.
Most important, research the designers that you love, as they have a story. You are collecting art, not mass produced clothing. Without understanding the designer, the season, the pieces, you are missing out on the magic.