Student Juliana Saludes Goes Glam on East Colfax

Student Juliana Saludes Goes Glam on East Colfax
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Ready, set, action: Juliana Saludes, who's studying clinical counseling psychology at Colorado State University with a double minor in women's studies and creative writing, moved to Colorado from Florida when she was ten years old. She considers herself a Coloradan, though, "since I did most of my growing up here and have lived here for more than half my life," she says.

We spotted Saludes on East Colfax Avenue, wearing a polka-dot dress, black leather accessories and towering boots. A true style chameleon, she spoke with us about her style inspirations and her perspective on fashion and life.

click to enlarge Saludes wears a dress from Nasty Gal. - PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Saludes wears a dress from Nasty Gal.
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Westword: Who or what inspires your fashion sense and style?

Juliana Saludes:
I don't have one main source of inspiration, or even a handful. I more so just observe everything around me and pull from my surroundings: things, pieces and aesthetics I like. I think that my main source of style is myself. If I see something I like, I find a way to incorporate it in my wardrobe.

What is your favorite color?

I have such a hard time with this question! I really like all the colors. Right now, blue and yellow are really striking a chord, but lavender will definitely always be my deep-down favorite color. It's so soothing.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
What is your favorite accessory?

Definitely shoes. I have a strong belief that shoes greatly impact an outfit. If you change the shoe, even if you keep everything else the same, the vibe of the outfit changes entirely. Given this belief, I am one of those people who has a shoe problem, if you will. I just love shoes; there are so many possibilities. I would also say earrings, but that's a recent development since I shaved my head about a year ago. Without hair, I feel like my head is a good sort of backdrop for a statement earring.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
What is your favorite film?

My favorite film is definitely Across the Universe. It's an amazing ode to the Beatles and a really creative and well-done collaboration between mediums. I love the idea of creating an entire storyline and characters based off of a discography, sort of like those poems composed of lines from other works.

What is your summer anthem?

Right now I love the song "Sundress," by A$AP Rocky, and I dig the vibe of "Nanã, " by Polo & Pan. I am, however, a fan of listening to a whole album. Two that I'm into right now are Noir, by Smino, and Everything Is Love, by the Carters. Swimming has been a staple in my queue since Mac's passing in September; that's one to listen to start-to-finish, for sure.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
How would you describe your style in three words?

This question is so hard! I think three words I can settle on are "eclectic," "dynamic" and "intriguing" — in the way that I love the little details that pull a look together, ones that may perhaps not be noticed at a glance.

What is your style mantra?

My getting-dressed process can be a little hectic. I like to pull things out to look at them, and my bed and desk just end up scattered with various rejected items by the time I settle on something. I don't have a mantra, per se; I basically just stare into my closet until something sticks out to me or I remember a certain piece I own that I want to wear. I always start with one item; once you're certain about even one single thing you want to wear, you can work from there. Oftentimes my base item is shoes. My mood and desired vibe for the day greatly influence what kind of shoes I want to wear, especially since a lot of my collection could be classified as statement shoes, and some days I want to be a little more low-key.

click to enlarge Saludes wears earrings by Australian brand Monirath. "She's a creative genius," says Saludes. - PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Saludes wears earrings by Australian brand Monirath. "She's a creative genius," says Saludes.
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Where do you like to shop?

When it comes to shopping, I hardly, hardly ever buy things new. I love shopping, but I don't like throwing money into the fast-fashion circuit; the fashion industry creates so much waste, so I kind of have a reduce/reuse/recycle approach when it comes to clothes. I love thrifting; it's how I find a lot of my coolest and most unique pieces. There's a great ARC by my house, and Buffalo Exchange is definitely a favorite, but my secret weapon is the app Depop. I see it kind of like a thrift store with a search bar; you can find all sorts of things or narrow it down if you're searching for something specific. I love how you can trade with people and each get something new that you love while cleaning out your closet at the same time. I've also made some money selling my old stuff on there, too!

click to enlarge Saludes wears black leather boots by Balenciaga. - PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Saludes wears black leather boots by Balenciaga.
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
What kind of fashion do you make yourself?

My favorite thing I've dabbled in making myself is harnesses. I go to Home Depot and buy chain, either metal or plastic, by the foot and use that along with metal rings and hoops to put together a chest-chain harness deal. I've also made some chokers and belts; I really love the look of parachute buckles, so I incorporate those a lot. I made my own yoga mat strap, as well.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Is there anything you would like to add?

If I have any fashion advice, it's this: If you like it, it's cool. It doesn't matter what other people think of a piece or an outfit: If it strikes you and sparks joy, wear it. I love Marie Kondo and think things sparking joy is also a good way to discover your personal style. I think being experimental and exploratory is important, both in your own personal tastes and in the composition of how you put your pieces together.

Also, be very careful mixing black and navy.

Like Saludes, never be afraid to explore your personal style, Denver.
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Mauricio Octavio Rocha graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English writing and a minor in cinema studies; He has been writing about fashion and style for Westword since 2012. Rocha also writes songs for his music and art project, VULGAR FEVER.
Contact: Mauricio Rocha