StylingSeries: Harling Ross

Harling Ross – writer, brand consultant, and stylist – discusses pattern play, lingerie styling tips, and the ways that 2020 has cracked open the fashion industry to make way for necessary change.



StylingSeries: Harling Ross

What are your tips for styling lingerie to be seen? 

The innately functional aspect of lingerie gives it an almost architectural aesthetic, so when I’m styling it to be seen I like to introduce pieces that really draw that out – the perfect white button down, a pair of beautifully-tailored trousers, a suit, a navy blazer with a slightly padded shoulder, etc.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN LEOPARD AND THE HIGHWAIST IN LEOPARD

How did you style look #1? 

I love styling a bra under a blazer to play with the contrast between “outerwear” and “underwear.” It’s also a nice way to wear a bra as a top while still maintaining some coverage..The lingerie becomes a more subtle detail, especially when the jacket is buttoned.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN BLACK

How did you style look #2? 

This suit look was very much inspired by the bra itself. When I first started wearing bras, all of my lingerie was skin-colored. It was so boring. Now that I have more patterned lingerie, like this leopard-print set, there’s so much more potential when it comes to styling. A bra can become a fundamental part of the overall look instead of something that’s always covered up.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN LEOPARD

How has more time at home this year reinforced your love for fashion, styling and self-expression?

It’s definitely brought interesting things to light when it comes to my relationship with personal style, and how conditional my desire to dress up is on the expectation that other people will see it. I am not someone who puts a lot of thought into what I’m wearing if I’m just going to be working on my couch all day (though I have a lot of admiration for people who do!). 

I’ve been hugely inspired by how different creatives have been working within the constraints of the current situation to continue putting beautiful things out into the world (like Djeneba Aduayom with her self-portraits, or Laura Kim’s incredible “selfie-quarantine” outfit series). Spending less time thinking about getting dressed has also presented an interesting opportunity for me to observe how self-expression can evolve and expand to fill a void left by the temporary absence of fashion, manifesting more deeply in other areas.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN LEOPARD 

How is the current state of the world shifting your hopes or expectations for the future of fashion?

There are so many important and long-overdue conversations about the fashion industry that have surfaced more acutely over the past few months. The necessary pause that occurred at the beginning of quarantine exacerbated numerous existing cracks in the system regarding sustainability and ethical practices, from the mistreatment of garment workers and the need for more transparent supply chains to the brokenness of the fashion calendar and mindless consumption. 

There has also been increased visibility around obstacles faced by Black people and other people of color who work in the industry in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s senseless murders by the police. It goes without saying that it should not have taken these tragedies and the protests that followed to call attention to the industry’s perpetuation of systemic racism, or for that matter a global pandemic to emphasize the true extent of consumption’s harmful impact on the environment and garment workers. I don’t just hope these conversations continue. They must continue. I am committed to doing my part to make sure they do, in whatever ways that I can, which means continuing to educate myself and interrogate my own privilege at the same time.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN LEOPARD

What is one element of your personal style that is too resilient for quarantine to subdue?

My big, curly hair--an accessory that refuses to be tamed.

HARLING WEARS THE BALC IN LEOPARD


Tags: Harling Ross , StylingSeries

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