StylingSeries: Solange Franklin

Solange Franklin – stylist and fashion editor – discusses the political power of how we present ourselves, the way security breeds confidence, and the ‘enthusiastic yes’ behind her vibrant personal style.
StylingSeries: Solange Franklin

What does styling mean to you?

Fashion is choreography. Being part of a collective story. I think of styling as framing narrative. For some people, styling is just, ‘Do I like this red top?’ That’s okay for you, but it’s not enough for me. I’ve always seen imagery as political. The images we create and participate in influence how we feel about ourselves and other people. That is political power. 

How are you affected by images? Hoodie – what does that mean to you? A lot of people had their racial awakening with Trayvon Martin and that question. Can anybody wear a hoodie? Are they considered valuable or a threat? Does the hoodie affect your ability to get a job or choose your life? 

That’s something that’s been ingrained in me: know how you present, know your history. Know how they have socialized images of us, know how we can reject those images. Know how to educate yourself, how to rebel, how to assume identity through clothing. Know that it’s more than just the red top. 


Do you seek out statement pieces or more timeless items?  

It’s about an ‘enthusiastic yes.’ Some pieces capture a true moment in time –  like a Prada skirt from a certain season. But if it resonates with me, I’ll wear it every season. That’s an ‘enthusiastic yes.’ 

I’m more of a thrift or vintage shopper. The seventies are my era – from hairstyle to music to political thought. I embrace and embody that moment. I try to be vibrant – both in my work and my personal life. 


What baby clothes do you have hanging ready in your closet? 

I want a single white onesie. My friends tell me it’s going to be a brown onesie in no time, but I don’t care. I want my baby to be a minimalist, even though I’ve never been able to be one. I don’t know the gender, and don’t want to buy into a gendered sense of identity, so one white onesie sounds good to me. 


How does sensuality shape your personal style?

Sensuality is all about the luxury of confidence. A fluid state of knowing yourself. I believe that security breeds confidence and confidence allows you to assert yourself and your needs. It’s all interconnected. How do you know what you want, if you don’t first know who you are? 


How does confidence play into your approach to styling clients? 

People respond well to those who are comfortable with themselves, but fluid. That’s how I think of myself. I feel secure in my identity. Having a point of view allows people to interact with you in an authentic way. It gives them the freedom to see how they really feel, and then I can react in a way that is authentic to me. Hopefully, that becomes the dream collaboration. 

I’m not afraid to be truthful and I’ve been very blessed with clients who are receptive. People respect that confidence. You are in the room for a reason. 


How did you style look #1? 

This dress makes me think of Joshua Tree. Wearing it feels like travelling through the streets of Brooklyn. Daydreaming strong, especially when we can’t travel right now. I’m very grateful to love where I live, to have that powerful comfort of home, but it’s still nice to be in the clouds sometimes. 

How did you style look #2? 

Loud and proud, this look is about high vibrations. I like playing with scale and the double leopard is a nice, semi-secret was to let print cup you in two ways. 

How did you style look #3? 

It’s all about monochromatic ease. This is as close to minimalism as I’ll ever get. Minimalism, to me, is monochromatic. And a pajama with a wide leg works out in the world, or in front of a computer screen. 

Any upcoming projects that you're excited about? 

Just the baby.



Tags: , Solange Franklin , StylingSeries

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