5 Q English

You thought rock style was dead? Meet Alicia Vellante

Beautiful Alicia Vellante caught our eye right away when we saw her Instagram feed – her mix of modern sensuality and vintage boho glamour is striking and it brings our thoughts to iconic it-girls and style icons from popular culture such as model Penelope Tree and actress Sharon Tate as well as our fave queen of rock Stevie Nicks. We just knew we had to ask Alicia our 5 style questions.

Styletalk:Let us know where you are from, what style means to you and how you put together your looks for the day.
Alicia: I’m from a small, historic town in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from Boston. The home I grew up in was built in the 1680s. To me, style is the ultimate expression of identity. It’s a device we can use to say ‘this is who I am.’ Style is fluid, changing simultaneously with our shifting emotions, experiences, and inspirations. When I piece together a look, I tend to follow a vague impression of what I want to emulate. Sometimes it’s an image from a vintage catalogue I came across, or a photo of a 1960s celebrity. It’s not always visual, though. Sometimes it’s just how I interpret a sensation. Maybe it’s the way a certain song is making me feel. Sometimes I have an idea in my head and the look turns out totally differently that what I envisioned. It’s subconscious to an extent. But I always have fun with it!

Styletalk: You have a great vintage vibe to your look – who are your icons and inspiration?
Alicia: I am constantly finding new inspiration! I’m currently a Master’s student in dress and textile histories, so I spend a lot of time pouring over visual references. I have a particular interest in twentieth century revivalist styles and their inspirations, like 70s does Edwardian, 60s does Medieval/Renaissance, and 60s/70s does Art Deco (my dissertation topic). As for designers, I’m especially drawn to 60s and 70s London boutiques like Biba, Ossie Clark, Foale and Tuffin, and Granny Takes A Trip. I also love couture and high fashion; both vintage and modern. It’s such a powerful art form!1960s and 1970s style icons like Jimi Hendrix, Sharon Tate, Brian Jones, Pattie and Jenny Boyd, Anita Pallenberg, and Twiggy have been tried-and-true inspiration for years. 

Styletalk: Where do you shop for clothes and makeup, and how did you develop your amazing stylist skills?
Alicia: I do a lot of my vintage shopping online. When I’m looking for something specific, I will dedicate hours scrolling through Etsy, eBay, and Depop. If you’re patient and determined, you can find some amazing rare pieces with great prices! Makeup I shop for less often. I have a few large eyeshadow palettes with a wide range of colors that I use and I have kept with the same mascara and eyeliner brands for years. I think I finally developed style skills when I stopped giving so much power to others’ opinions of me. In my teens and early 20s, I mostly dressed in a “safe” way that I knew would blend in. I have always admired individuals who had a really unique sense of style, even if (or especially, rather!) it appeared strange to others. I felt I had so much to express but didn’t have the means to do so emotionally. After years of soul-searching and learning to love myself and genuinely enjoy my own company, I felt it easier to express myself. I began experimenting with all of the inspiration I had kept to myself and found my own style within that. Vintage inspired, but still completely “me”. It felt like I became spiritually and outwardly aligned. 

Styletalk: If you could do time travel – name one legendary historic happening that you would have loved to attend?
Alicia: What a great question. I’ll keep it fashion-related, as too many moments come to mind! I’d want to pay a visit to Big Biba. It’s in my head because of my dissertation topic, but the testimonies of the Biba experience are living in my mind rent-free! Tea on the rooftop garden. The latest rock and roll blasting throughout the shop. Gaggles of customers waiting on the floor for the next shipment of suede boots to arrive. The biggest icons in music and fashion strolling in. Lunch in the Rainbow Room. The huge Art Deco building interior decked out in vintage glamour. Feather boas on hat stands. People lived and breathed Biba and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Styletalk:Put together a soundtrack for your wardrobe – what songs would be included?
Alicia: “Twentieth Century Fox” by The Doors 
“Queen Bitch” by David Bowie 
“That’s The Way” by Led Zeppelin
“Mambo Sun” by T. Rex
“Do Ya” by Electric Light Orchestra  
“Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac 
“I’ve Seen All Good People” by Yes 
“Magic Man” by Heart 
“Sweet Jane” by The Velvet Underground
“I’m Looking Through You” by The Beatles
“Go To The Mirror!” by The Who
“Season Of The Witch” by Donovan
“Alice” by Mott The Hoople
“Beast Of Burden” by The Rolling Stones.

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