Style Inspiration: Jessica Findley

What makes someone stylish?  Being on trend seems to be the obvious answer, but those who truly master an individual style are the ones who feel comfortable and confident in what they wear.  Instead of following the latest fashion trends, a stylish individual dares to break the rules as well as complying with those that serve him/her well.  A multi-talented creative artist and free spirit at heart, Jessica Findley is one of the those stylish people who knows how to express themselves through fashion.

Location: San Diego & the world
Profession: artist / designer, animator / illustrator / design professor
Interests: Surfing cruisey waves, eating a delicious meal with friends, making music, listening to audiobooks, social and environmental justice
Favourite colour:  Today - turquoise
Style icons: Today: David Bowie and Patti Smith, also really love the direction Gucci is going in these days; It looks like the Royal Tannenbaum’s costume designer took over.

Describe your style?
This changes day to day.  Lately I have been wearing all over printed outfits I have made in Bali and gym clothes (if I am in them I have no excuse not to go to the gym).  I usually flow between funky fun and practical minimalist.  I guess that’s a big range. I like options.  There are many patterns in my closet and barely anything matches unless it is a matching set.

What inspires you?
For surfing, it's Rell Sunn in the 70s, a Hawaiian surfer.  I love her surf style and want a couple of those late 70’s bathing suits she had.   
For fashion, history inspires me.  I love looking at global fashion in history, especially in places like the Natural History Museum.  I also love the movie “In the Mood for Love” - I keep making high collar qi pao.
For Art, I have always loved art that inspires wonder and laughter and critical thinking regarding social and environmental issues.

Where do you shop? 
Thrift stores and online but I am trying to cut back.  I've recently started 'shopping' my own closet - have you ever bagged all the things you are not wearing under your bed for a year and then looked through them?  Sometimes you claim things you missed and sometimes you can let go of the oldies.  It’s a fun way to shop your own closet and make space at the same time.

What’s your all-time favourite fashion item?
Currently there is not one thing that stands out.  I guess I am really into my Bali outfits because they are outlandish yet composed.

You seem to be very comfortable with wearing colours.  Are your colour preferences entirely mood-dependant? 
Pretty much and also sun dependent.... or event dependent!  I tend to wear black as a formal so it will last through the years.

The art of mixing prints
vintage dress
Timeless formal look in black

How is fashion related to what you do/your job? 
It's related to the art I make because I love to make costumes.  I have always seen getting dressed as playing dress up.  I love costumes.  I love the way they can shift your perception as well as the perception others have about you.  Clothes are like a sign you paint on a glass window- you can see it from the inside and out.

You have quite an eclectic look. Does being an artist give you more freedom and inspiration to experiment with your fashion style?
Not everyone knows I am an artist – nor did I think of myself as one when I started to dress for fun as a child.  I think many school uniforms probably led me to dressing more for play on the weekends.

Would you say you have fun with the way you dress or is it just a necessity?
Both.  Clothing is both utilitarian and fun.  I actually would like to make some fun utilitarian clothing.  I guess that is what I'm doing with my art work aeolian ride.  The costume’s utility is fun!

One of Jessica's art projects, Aeolian ride.
How do current fashion trends inspire the way you dress?
Fashion used to have 4 seasons.  Now its more like 54.  The market is stupidly oversaturated with trends.  The advantage is you don't have to care about the trends because they are all in and out at the same time.  I guess I think of current fashion like the sushi bar train.  I don't eat it all.  I just pick what I want and enjoy it.  The danger lies in picking up everything that catches your eye and then creating waste. 
If there is one piece of advice you could give to someone who wants to add colour to their wardrobe, what would it be?
Sometimes I like to choose a range of blues or reds and pinks and wear them all at once.  Sometimes I like to have just one splash of color on a black or neutral outfit.  Do what you feel!

Check out Jessica's websites for more information on her artwork and creative projects:
Personal website:
Aeolian ride:
Children's book:




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