We spotted University of Denver student Allie Phocas at 303 magazine's Denver Fashion Weekend, channeling 1990s film icon Cher Horowitz. Phocas was born in Philadelphia and spent time in New York, but grew up in Jackson, Wyoming; she'll apply for medical school in June and currently volunteers at Planned Parenthood. We stopped to chat with Phocas about what inspires her look, where she shops and what she thought of the show.
Westword: Who or what inspires your style?
Allie Phocas: I draw a great deal of inspiration from European street style and some of my favorite characters from movies, including Cher Horowitz and Elle Woods. Additionally, as much as I hate to admit it, my mother has really developed a personal style that has rubbed off on me. It's very East Coast-meets-ski resort.
What did you think of the fashion show?
There were things I was super into, like that off-white snakeskin collar on a shirt. Love. Need. There were also things that I physically cringed at. Anything that is or looks bedazzled is pretty much only appropriate if you’re in a rodeo, and I’ll leave it at that. Some woman in front of me in like a polyester faux fur coat told me it was all beautiful and I nearly laughed in her face.
What is your favorite color?
Don’t really have a favorite color but I wear a lot of black. Not all black, though; I have at least some color in every outfit.
What is your favorite accessory?
Well, I guess my absolute favorite would be my watch: a Rolex, Oyster Perpetual. But I also adore my Alexander McQueen clutch, with an attachable chain because I lose everything.
What is your style mantra?
Quality over quantity is my big one. There was a girl in my sorority who thought it was the biggest deal that she had like eight Michael Kors watches. Like, ew. Stop. I’d take my Rolex or my Michele over eight of those any day. Also, not all trends are created equal. Chokers are cute. A lot of other things from the ’90s and early 2000s were not and should not be brought back.
Jam of the moment?
It really depends on what I’m doing, but I listen to either Die Antwoord or Joywave when I’m getting ready to go out, depending on what kind of night it's going to be.
Where do you shop?
I shop at Nordstrom for a lot of my day-to day pieces like jeans, casual tops, day dresses and so forth. I normally pair these basic pieces with cuter pieces from boutiques around Denver, or wherever I find them, like Pinks or websites like NastyGal. Not to say Nordy's doesn’t have adorable things, but they’re just super-reliable with jeans and daily wear. For my nicer clothes, I go to Saks or Bergdorf’s when I’m back east.
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What three words best describe your style?
Adaptable but consistent — also playful.
Like Phocus, always play with your style and evoke your favorite characters, Denver.