The devil is in the details, and those who apply that truism to fashion usually do so with style. Ryne Michelle definitely does. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, last summer Michelle moved to Denver, where she dabbles in freelance writing and modeling. At a party thrown by Station, the Five Points streetwear boutique, to release its new sweatshirt collection, we spotted Michelle. She stood out from the crowd in see-through heels, an oversized bomber jacket and a tied-up choker. We stopped to speak with Michelle about what inspires her intriguing aesthetic.
Westword: Who or what inspires your style?
Ryne Michelle: Aesthetically, I’m inspired by Grace Jones. She was more than ahead of her time and embodied the same Afro-futuristic vibe that I aspire to embody. Modernly, Rihanna keeps me shook. She wears some of the wackiest pieces, but it’s the confidence she exudes that makes those odd designs work.
Where do you shop?
Back home in Little Rock, I thrifted a lot. I used to drive out to the Goodwill in the rich part of town called Chenal because rich people literally throw all the goods away. I’ve gotten some of my favorite pieces at this Goodwill, one being a Tommy Hilfiger sweater that has fared me well in this Colorado weather. Here, I mostly shop at Urban Outfitters, simply because they have such a variety of brands. They sell Fenty and Milk Cosmetics, and often it’s easier to acquire those things on their site rather than when they drop. Online, Dolls Kill always does me right. Thrift-wise, the Goodwill will always be my gig, but I do enjoy Buffalo Exchange because of the curation of the items. They usually have pretty good deals, as well.
What is your favorite color?
Black. Black. Black. Black with a pop of color.
What is your favorite accessory?
I don’t have one particular favorite accessory, but I do love a good pair of glasses...whether it be a pair of shades or readers. I just recently shaved my eyebrows, and on the days when they get a little scruffy, a pair of glasses always makes everything all right. It’s a good cover. I also wear a lot of hats: I shave my head, and it’s cold as shit out here.
What is your style mantra?
I always want to be comfortable, and that doesn’t always necessarily mean physically. I always want to make sure I’m comfortable in my clothing and style decisions. The love I have for clothes is unfathomable to some people. There are a lot of people who have a perception of fashion being pretentious, and in many ways it can be, as with everything. However, fashion is probably one of the most utilitarian aspects of life. We all have to get dressed in the morning and go on about our lives. I try to think of that every day while getting dressed because what I wear is, in fact, important despite how superficial it may seem. I guess you can say that’s how I reconcile spending so much time getting dressed in the morning.
What is your current jam of the moment?
I’ve really been into Betty Davis for a while now. “Dedicated to the Press” has to be my favorite song by her. Someone recently gifted me her third album, Nasty Gal, on vinyl, and to say it’s been getting played is an understatement. It’s a hell of a spin, y'all.
What is your favorite film?
Probably Sister, Sister. It’s a 1982 film starring Diahann Carroll, my favorite actress. It’s what some would consider a blaxploitation film; I think it’s more a product of its time. But, my God! The looks turned in that movie are unsurpassed. The subtleness of Diahann Carroll’s beauty is not to be missed.
What three words describe your style best?
Soft, punk, rebellion.
Like Michelle, never be afraid to start your own fashion rebellion, Denver.
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