On Vintage Fashion, Inspirations, and Do's and Don'ts: Q&A With Jonathan Bodrick of B.O.R.N. To Style
It was a calm Wednesday morning-a little dull, honestly, but it was brightened up instantly by Jonathan-I was invited by fyi, to interview Jonathan Bodrick, host of B.O.R.N. To Style. I've never interviewed a show host so I'd be honest and say that I was a little nervous before the phone call: thoughts were running in my head like: "Will he like my questions?" "Is he nice?" "Am I gonna experience a major mental block in the interview?" Can you blame me? It was my first time lol!
When Jonathan picked up, I was greeted by his sweet voice and immediately, that made me calm down. It was a fun and insightful interview, and I could never forget his infectious laughter that would always make me chuckle on the other line whenever he'd let that out. That dull day turned out to be pretty interesting as I learned and re-learned a bunch of fashion tips and principles from the fashion maven himself.
Recently, BIO rebranded into fyi, which stands For Your Inspiration, a lifestyle channel featuring shows that will inspire your taste, journey, style, and space and B.O.R.N. To Style is one of the featured shows.
B.O.R.N. is actually a fashion shop situated in Harlem and stands for Borrowed, Old, Refurbished, and New and is centered on personal fashion makeovers that aim not only to change a person's appearance, but his/her outlook and perception of him/herself as well. The fearless team of five headed by Jonathan Bodrick-fashion stylist and owner of B.O.R.N. shop in Harlem-transforms every woman who walks by their door and seeks for their help in each episode-from scouring the client's closet to rummaging at B.O.R.N. and going shopping in downtown New York, Jonathan and his team provide all the stylish aid they can provide to help each and every client see themselves in a whole new light with the help of fashion.
Click READ MORE and read my insightful interview with Jonathan Bodrick!
M: Could you tell us, why do you love vintage? What does it have that most styles do not have?
J: Because it has such a story to it. I come from a family of storytellers. You know, everybody, you can go out and get the latest and the trendiest outfit, but then everybody has it on. You see it so much. But then once you can go into a vintage shop or just a consignment shop, and then just have something that somebody owned before you - you know, maybe she was the queen of England, maybe she was an heiress or a baron or something and lived in a big mansion. You still that feeling and that history of knowing that somebody treasured and valued that piece of merchandise and then you own it. You know, then it’s yours. And then hopefully after that it can go down and be passed down to somebody else. So that way, it makes it very special.
M: In relation to the first question I asked you, which is why you love vintage. Do you have any tips on how to style vintage clothing or an outfit?
J: The tips with styling a vintage outfit would be - mix it up. Do because B.O.R.N. stands for Borrowed, Old, Refurbished, and New, so I always go up to going thrift shopping, but I also love the high- end designer labels as well, but I just didn’t want that head to toe because it wasn’t that special so I just mix it up because if you don’t, you could come across looking costume-y, like you’re on a play or you’re a character and something so kinda’ mix it up and try to look & see what’s really the trend that’s going on. ‘Cuz I know like when I was doing over the summer time, a printed Hawaiian shirt, Prada was doing the printed shirt so it’s good to just have references to what’s current, what’s in style right now and then search out some vintage pieces to blend and mix with that-it makes it more interesting.
M: Who’s your biggest fashion inspiration?
J: I’m remembering this time because somebody had asked me before and I totally forgot at that time. Ralph Rucci. Chado Ralph Rucci. He’s my favorite-the way that he drapes clothes, the simplicity of the clothes, the texture, the models that he use in the show down to the music that he uses-he tells a fantastic story. I think he’s the best that ever draped the dress and dressed the woman. He’s very under the radar. His things its exquisite and they’re pricey-they’re very expensive, but it’s worth every penny or just to look at the show. I would suggest anybody to watch a Chado Ralph Rucci show-he’s the master and bestest ever done it for me.
M: I like reading a lot of fashion tips especially on closet must-haves because with fashion blogs, they just have so many suggestions and sometimes, you can just, you know, get lost and buy whatever they recommend. Of course, it’s best to take it from the fashion expert. My question is, do you have your own version of 5 closet essentials? Almost all articles and Bloggers and other writers would say it’s the plain white shirt, the blazer, the slacks, but I’m just curious, do you have your own? Something you can suggest aside from the classics.
J: I like a great-fitted blazer. I like a wonderful trench coat like timeless pieces that you can mix and match. But then again, I like polka dots and stripes and colors. I like mixing patterns a lot. I’ve always done that. It’s something like, it’s the juxtaposition of something that’s just not right and it’s kinda’ off just a little bit-just off a little bit and people won’t understand it and that makes me happy. Color makes me happy. You know, if you have that brooch that you put on your blazer, like for a guy, like who would…Pharrel. I love Pharrel. Like now, he’s doing like vintage Chanel long chain. You know, I love that - like he mixes that feminine and masculine thing together that just works! You know, you have to make it your own whatever you’re doing and even if it’s a hoodie and it’s a sweatshirt or whatever. It’s just like, maybe just put a brooch on it. It’s like, it’s so different, it’s like “Wow! I never thought of that!” “You know what, I couldn’t do that!”- this is what people tell me all the time. “Jonathan, you’re the only one that can wear that. I wouldn’t even do that. I didn’t even think of that!” Like it becomes a trend then. You know, it’s like those things that’s so off that just makes it so right. Because you have the confidence to pull it off. To me, confidence is the best accessory.
M: You already mentioned that polka dots and blazers, they’re essentials for you. How about shoes?
J: For me I love color. I love color right now. Yeah, my Oxfords, I have an orange and a blue. Especially for men now. I just love that and then if you do like a black shoe, have polka dots socks on or some pink socks on, or just something that’s, you know, just no socks on. High Water pants, like just something that throws people off and don’t understand it, but it just like works. Like I think with the men’s shoe, always have the bottoms or the soles re-done. You know, always have the taps on to make it last longer. I am a particular stickler on shoes: they always should be well-maintained. It never could look old. I don’t care if you’re on jeans, but if you have great shoes on, that just really pops the outfit and it looks thoughtful and it can make an outfit look expensive as well.
M: How about bags? Because personally, I love bags so I’d love to hear your thoughts.
J: Oh! Forget it - I love bags too…I carry Jack Spade. I love that. I love the Jack Spade bags for men because they have like that pop of color at the bottom, it’s like a canvas and then it’s really waxy at the bottom so they come in orange, and purples, and greens. I love Paul Smith. Paul Smith because of that retro and he always has really bold prints on his bags. I love a Balenciaga bag for women. I love Balenciaga. I love Givenchy. I love, love, Balenciaga.
M: Most people, they wanna be trendy, especially the young ones here in the Philippines and those who have blogs-they wanna be trendy, but what I’ve noticed is that others, they just end up looking tacky. In your opinion, how can one can stay in trend, but still look put-together and classy at the same time?
J: I get a lot of inspiration from International magazines. You do the Harper’s Bazaar, the Vogue, the International is really the fashion. Because I think here, people can get sucked up on H&M and all the other fashion things and you know, whatever! Thank God for Pharrel and for Kanye West and A Set Rocky-like I love that! A Set Rocky is like Harlem-he’s in New York, he’s like this thug kinda’ rapper and he wear a leather tunic that’s down to his knees with a baseball cap on or a different color-it just makes it more acceptable. And then how about when Kanye West wore the Celine woman’s top?! Like that was blogged all over-they knew it was a woman’s top-it made it okay that guys can go into the woman’s department and wear it! It doesn’t take away from their masculinity! You know, so it’s not like we’re just over doing it and over putting stuff on that just doesn’t like go-look into the magazines, look and see what people are wearing and put your twist on it. You know, then you kinda’ doctor it up to make it your own.
M: If there’s one fashion era that should come back and stay forever, which one should it be?
J: The 70’s. I love the 70’s. I just think, you know that, that real kind of funky style, you know, the bell- bottom pants and just the big hats, and the color, you know, the denim and suede and all the mix match, the platform shoe. It has such a demanding kind of presence and swag to it. You know, I just love the women just look foxy, you know, the afros, the big glasses-that was like soul train! That’s soul train to me-I love that!
B.O.R.N. To Style debuted in fyi, Philippines on October 10, 2014. Here's the episodic guide:
Corporate Class To Creative Sass
NOV 7, Friday 8pm (SIN/HK)
Emotions run high for the B.O.R.N. team this week, with former lawyer and single mom, Coco, and international model and documentarian, Chelsea Freeborn. Now that Coco's sister's children, which she raised since childhood, have grown up and fled the nest, Coco has made the brave life changing decision to move from the corporate world to the creative one. Coco only knows how to wear clothing appropriate for the courtroom and needs the team to help her channel her new creative side. Chelsea Freeborn, supermodel turned documentarian, is looking to get funding for her new film project and needs the team to help her look like the hostess with the most-ess. The guys only have a few days to pull the perfect outfit that will stand out and get the funds Chelsea needs for her film.
FROM BASIC TO BOHO
NOV 14, Friday 8pm (SIN/HK)
It's an exciting week for B.O.R.N., as they transform Carmen from basic boredom to boho chic, and style Jackie Cruz star of the hit series Orange is the New Black. Carmen is a professional dancer who is looking to go back to school. Since she's been in a touring dance company, she hasn't had to worry about dressing herself for over 10 years. Carmen enlists the B.O.R.N. team's help in finding something she can wear to class and on job interviews while still maintaining a vintage style. Jackie Cruz, star of Orange is the New Black, enlists the team's help in order to find the perfect dress to wear to the Season 2 premiere. Tension runs high when the guys realize they're missing a key accessory for one of the looks they've pulled for this major TV star.
PRISON DRAB TO PROFESSOR FAB
NOV 21, Friday 8pm (SIN/HK)
This week the laws of fashion are in full effect at B.O.R.N., as they help Criminal Justice professor, Cory, and up and coming drag performer, Daphne Sometimes. Cory has spent much of the last 10 years working in prisons while getting her PhD in Criminal Justice. She has had to purposely dress down and drab in order to gain inmates' respect, but now that she's in the classroom, these outfit choices are no longer making the grade. Cory's style icon is Kate Middleton, and it's up to the guys to take Cory from dreary and drab to classic and fab. Daphne Sometimes is an up and coming drag performer who is scheduled to perform at several spots during NYC Gay Pride weekend. The guys know just how over-the-top Pride can be, so it's up to them to really push the envelope in order to make Daphne stand out at an event that hosts millions of people.
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