Recently I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Alyssa Smith-Lee, a junior Communications major (with an emphasis on Public Relations and Marketing) at California State Univ., Dominguez Hills. Alyssa and I have only known each other for a short while, but we immediately clicked due to our mutual love for eclectic fashion, cats, South Korea and Babar (yes, I’m talking about the old-school cartoon about the little elephant in the green suit). Once I found out that we both dreamed of visiting and teaching in South Korea, and that we both used to watch Babar as a child, I knew we were sisters from another mother. Alyssa is very kind-hearted (she made me a lovely platter of snacks during our interview) and she loves cooking (only healthy foods), the city of Paris (there are literally hundreds of pictures of Paris around her house) and designing her own household accessories. Her dream is to be a copy-writer for a major publication and to travel around the world (especially to the fashion capital, i.e. Paris). Follow along as I take you through an exclusive walk-though of Alyssa’s three closets (and yes, I said three!).
P.S. For those unfamiliar with the French language, the title translates into “The Girly & Punk Girl”.
LLL: Hey Alyssa, so before we start, please breakdown your three closets for us?
ALYSSA: My first closet is only for shoes.I really love boots, I actually have 14 pairs, but I have over 200 pairs of shoes. The hall closet is for my other shoes and dresses and the closet in my bedroom is color-coordinated and organized by sleeve length. The (shoe) closet is actually what sold me on this place because when I saw the one on the bedroom, I could have cried. It’s just a straight closet – like you open the door and that’s it – so this one is nice.
LLL: Describe your closet(s) in three words:
ALYSSA: Organized, versatile and ‘too small’.
LLL: Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?
ALYSSA: Ihave two favorite pairs. One is my Vince Camuto’s and the other is my 5 ½ inch Victoria’s Secret “Flower” heels. I wear them with knee-socks and I actually got them for sale online. They were $115 and got marked down to $40. I love to have shoes that other people won’t have.
LLL: How would you describe your personal style?
ALYSSA: I like to mix masculine and feminine pieces together. I’m pretty girly so I like to dress girly but make it look a little punk. That’s why I’m wearing this jewelry today; to rock it out a little bit.
LLL: Where are your favorite places to shop?
ALYSSA: It really is Forever 21. Since I don’t have a specific, set fashion style, I like that it has different themed rooms so that I’m able to mix and match. I think that you can do whatever you want there. Sometimes I’ll dress like I’m from the ‘50’s with the red lipstick and pearls, and another day I’ll dress like a I’m biker or more masculine in the flannel… It’s just whatever you want to be. Its fun but I also love shopping at thrift stores because there will never be two of something. The chances of you and someone else matching are slim, and also, if you look at the fashion right now, everything is ‘80’s and ‘70’s with the bright colors. They’re just going over the different generations of fashion so if you go to a thrift store, you may find something that’s actually from that generation. Something that’s legit and better made.
LLL: What’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe?
ALYSSA: It would have to be this fur piece that I just got a week ago from Forever 21. I like it because I think fur pieces add more dimension and layers, and in general, they just make outfits look better. I like that it has fur on it because it makes it more edgy, and you can wear it with something that’s delicate without it looking so girly. Plus, I like the length of it because then you can also wear it with leggings and boots, or over a dress or a skirt. I like the versatility of it and the coloring is great. The blush, kind of tan color is neutral so you can wear it with anything.
LLL: Who’s your style icon?
ALYSSA: I like Victoria Beckham’s style because she’s always classy even when she’s sexy.
LLL: Trends you hate?
ALYSSA: In general, I don’t like trends at all because if you follow whatever is ‘hip’ or ‘trendy’, then you don’t really have your own style and you look like everyone else. Plus, just because its ‘in’, doesn’t mean you can pull it off.
LLL: Fashion motto?
ALYSSA: “You should always look good because you never know who you’ll run into. I could meet Johnny Deep any day!”
LLL: What are the staple makeup and beauty items that you live by?
ALYSSA: I don’t use a lot. I really just use shimmer for my eyes, so I have to have eyeliner, mascara and blush, and I use loose powder. I like to keep it natural because I think makeup should enhance what you have, not overpower. For my eye shadow – when I’m not wearing the shimmer and when I do wear color – I use Mica Bella loose powder eye shadow from the Lakewood Mall. They have a cart in Cerritos too. Covergirl; I use for my loose face powder, Clinique for blush, Maybelline for their mascara and eyeliner, and then Victoria’s Secret for my shimmer that I use as a eye shadow and also on the temples.