“The fashion scene here in Indianapolis is growing. People are finally not afraid to stand out and be bold,“ says Stacey Green; the subject of Pattern’s My Style series. The series is an opportunity to meet local fashion enthusiasts from all over Indy and learn about their personal style and what inspires their closets.
Green, born and raised in Indianapolis, has always loved fashion. Starting back from the early age of ten, she and her mother took annual trips to Chicago and New York, taking advantage of the cultural opportunities each city had to offer. It is on these trips that Green, a young charismatic, curly haired little girl, lover of crafts and art, found an appreciation for fashion. From the lavish theatre costumes of Broadway to the beautiful and aesthetically pleasing windows at Bergdorf Goodman’s, Green fell in love with all things fashion. Now in her mid thirties, she has continued her enthusiasm over the years, following as many designers and labels as possible. She has made it her goal to support independent designers and believes whole-heartedly in the importance of supporting creativity in our city.
I recently sat down with Green, who is just as stylish and charismatic as I suspected….sans those big curls she once wore while pressing her little nose against the window of Bergdorf’s. Below she shares with Pattern what she loves about Indy, what she loves about fashion and explains her own personal style aesthetic.
So you were born and raised in Indy?
Yep. I grew up on the West Side of Indianapolis.
Tell me about yourself.
I have lived in Indiana my entire life. I am a mother of twin boys age 7, and an adorable pug named Maddie. My husband and I currently live on Geist Reservoir and I absolutely love being out on the water as often as possible. I was a kindergarten teacher for many, many years but then transitioned into sales. I did that for a few years as well but now I’m back to teaching again, and I love it. It all seems to come full circle in the career department. I consider myself a pretty creative person and have always enjoyed expressing myself through art. Teaching allows me to do that.
When did you first take an interest in fashion?
My mother and I used to go to Chicago and New York City every year, just the two of us. Chicago was an annual tradition for back to school shopping and I looked forward to it every year. We would visit local boutiques and shop for fun clothing you couldn’t find at the mall. New York was a special trip for my mother and I as well. Every year we would go for a long weekend, see Broadway shows (which I LOVE!) and enjoy what the city had to offer, including the glorious shopping. I’m so appreciative of this time with my mother and grateful to her for teaching me to appreciate fashion as an art form and a trade, rather than just clothing at the mall. I gained such an appreciation for detail and craftsmanship, which has just continued to grow over time. These trips (which is why I consider travel SO important), introduced me to a different culture, different walks of life and of course different styles. I saw how important it was to stand out, and be different. To a ten-year-old girl, walking though New York and Chicago was like walking through a beautiful fashion museum.
How would you describe your personal style?
I absolutely love ethnic inspired pieces. So you can guess, I like to dress very bohemian with a rock and roll flare. I look in my closet sometimes and just see so many different patterns and colors. It’s like a kaleidoscope in there! I have pieces from Mexico, Morocco, Greece, Spain, Africa, Armenia, Russia and France. I feel so lucky to have these pieces and treat them like my personal art collection.
What or who inspires your style?
Traveling and experiencing different cultures. I gravitate towards hand embroidery and unique statement pieces. I don’t necessarily seek out expensive stores or destinations. It’s really about finding the character of a place and buying from local seamstresses and designers.
When did you first take an interest in shopping from independent designers and labels as opposed to commercially manufactured looks?
When Etsy first launched about ten years ago I stumbled upon it looking for party decorations (I just love throwing a good party!). Quickly after using Etsy for craft materials I found that they were selling handmade clothing. This was so exciting for me. I had the opportunity to find really unique pieces and support independent designers. Not only that, I was able to find seamstresses who could recreate designer clothing that I loved but was way out of my price range.
Favorite Etsy designer?
I love Vdingy. It is an Etsy line created by the owner of Honeywood vintage in California. She has the most amazing vintage finds.
Can you tell us a few of your favorite go to designers or labels??
I love Tibbi, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alice and Olivia and Vitakin. I also like visiting the Jen’s Pirate Booty website (sounds weird I know but check it out!). Free People is my go to store. I will almost ALWAYS find something I love there. It is cohesive with my style aesthetic.
Do you have a favorite local designer?
I love Vardagen. There sweatshirts and screen printing is really cool. I was so excited when they opened up their shop near my house. We really need more local boutiques in my area of town. I walked in on the first day and was so impressed. I’ve been a proud supporter ever since and between my family, and I, we have twelve pieces total.
I was also recently introduced to Yemisi Sanni’s work. She owns a clothing line called Stylenspire. She has a collection of skirts, jackets, and vests with these beautiful, bold and vibrant African prints. She mixes patterns flawlessly and I can’t wait to own one of her pieces.
Lastly, this isn’t a local designer but I am so proud of my dear friend who opened a local boutique called Dottie Couture. Owning a retail business is tough and she has done such a wonderful job. She is just a great, friendly local business and carries affordable, fun and colorful clothing.
Describe your thoughts on the fashion scene here in Indy. What do you like and what do you think could be better?
What I like is that I think Indianapolis has really started to let go of the “fashion fear.” You know, to stand out? I have noticed a change in the last 2 – 3 years. I see more and more local boutiques popping up with fabulous, unique inventory. I see people expressing themselves with their clothing more, leaving their inhibitions at home. People just seem to have so much more confidence now, they are willing to step out of the box and stand out. It’s so refreshing and it also makes you realize, Indy has a lot of really stylish people!!!
As for what could be better, I don’t like boring and safe and I feel like it happens a lot here in Indy. Local designers don’t seem to be supported like they are in larger cities. For example there was a wonderful independent boutique in my neighborhood that put a strong focus on carrying local designers. It was her whole mission for the store. She also sought out unique pieces from independent designers all over the country. Unfortunately it went out of business. The community just didn’t support it. It seems that so many head to the mall on Saturdays instead of seeking out local establishments where they can find unique garments and hopefully support someone who is working their tail off to bring high fashion to this city. I don’t necessarily think that is the public’s fault all the time though. I think those in Indianapolis who have the resources to bring attention to this issue haven’t. There needs to be a stronger emphasis put on the importance of buying local and supporting local creative.
Fashion to me is your personal sense of style. Your likes, even what you dislike. It is a vision of who you are and how you want to be seen. It should represent your complete self.
What is the one wardrobe essential you can’t live without?
My collection of Caftans. They go with everything. Dress them up, dress them down; wear them around the house. The perfect piece for any occasion. Wearing them with flats and jeans is my favorite though.
So that would answer my next question…Heels or flats?
Flats are my staple. I love being comfortable and flats do just that. Although heels certainly make me feel attractive and powerful!
Best fashion moment?
When I was eight years old my mom and I were in Chicago and I picked out my most favorite outfit I have ever worn. It was black and white sequence polka dot ball skirt and a black sequence bolero vest. If I had that outfit in a grown up size I swear to you I would wear it everywhere. It was my pretty pretty princess outfit. Before my mom bought it she reminded me that it was very expensive and asked if I would really wear it. I wore that outfit to almost everything I could. It was so perfect.
Biggest fashion disaster?
T-shirt with a with a side clip, side ponytail, head band and stirrup leggings. I just can’t deal. I have asked my mom to burn all of those photos.
Favorite local event to get dressed up for…
I love Zoobilation! It is so much fun and I love supporting the Zoo!
Worst fashion trend
High Waisted jeans. They don’t fit me, they aren’t comfortable. I just.don’t.like.them.
Best fashion trend
If you had one question to ask a local designer what would it be?
Which fashion designer’s clothing is represented most in your own closet?
Last but not least, if you could wear any designer for a fashion editorial in any magazine which would they be?
Vivienne Westwood or Carolina Herrera in French Vogue