Reflekt Muse: Quinn Salazar
Did anyone encourage your style when you were growing up?
I can’t say that anyone did. I remember that my mom couldn’t stand it. She would say that I just need to knock it off. It’s kind of just fueled by myself. It has been a lot easier now that I’m living by myself in LA because there’s a lot more unusual things out here, so I don’t get a lot of crap for it. Even when I was a little kid, I always wore hats my whole life, except sometimes not at school. It was against the rules. I kind of want go back to some of that stuff to some extent.
Are there any models or friends who come to your mind when rendering clothes in your art?
There’s an interesting relationship you build with those folks. That straw hat I have I thought was over the top but then I saw some friends wearing them. They seem really alive, there’s nothing stiff about it. JC Leyendecker dated one of his models and he became his boyfriend. He worked a lot with collars, which I really enjoyed a lot. I found out about it while looking up references for Sea of Kansas. I just like the way he does hands. The roundness of his nudes. I just love the way he draws people and bodies. Mine are almost like color studies, they don’t have that much depth yet. I can’t even compare myself to that guy. I can say he inspired me a lot, especially for my style. For nude modeling, what I tend to do with that is seeing their gestures. What the clothes do is imply status. Who the person is, and what they’re into. I do quite a bit of work that deals with both. What I’m really trying to do right now with freelance and classes is drawing and painting because it’s helps me learn too.
Are there any airs to your Dandy-esque style?
I guess so. I kind of just look for a clean aesthetic. Not necessarily proper, and I don’t think that’s how people should be. It’s like a piece of art for me so when people give it a lot of negative scrutiny, I think, “well then what am I doing it for”, but I’ve learned acceptance and I just do it for myself now.
Is it easy to find clothes that you really love?
There’s this website called Darcy Clothing company. Those items are kind of expensive but they last a really long time so it’s kind of worth it. In London, they still use the collars and wigs in court. These buttons that you use to attach the collar, you can get for a dollar. Since they aren’t in style they’re just available. I have quite a few that I’ve collected. It’s kind of my hobby. I like tall collars, ones that stand up 2 ½ inches tall. You can get a suit jacket, a vest, and a pair of slacks almost anywhere. I remember 9 years ago, if you wanted to get a suit jacket, good fucking luck trying to find it because they just weren’t in fashion. Now you can find them anywhere.
Is there a political or social message behind your dress?
It’s a beauty thing. For men’s fashion there really isn’t going to be someone who comes up to you and says that you look so beautiful today. Tattoos, piercings, all that kind of stuff fascinates me too, but I want to feel beautiful. If I come somewhere in a freakin’ suit, people perceive that I have some kind of wealth in a way. It almost creates a different body in a way. I seem like someone unusual or someone unique and recognizable. I’ve been trying to get into the S&M scene because I’m into the collar. I remember at some event that everyone was wearing black, I was wearing red pants and a blue shirt and everyone was like WTF? That helps for business and that kind of thing too.
What kind of attention does your style bring?
There are always comments, and it depends on where it’s coming from. I’ve got a lot of low self-esteem and depression, so it kind of helps me deal with it in a way. I have my own aesthetic choices and I‘m not trying to follow trends, though those things do influence me. But I‘m really just trying to be my own person. Freshmen year at Otis my aesthetic went under a lot of scrutiny at that time since they’re all other artists and they pick at your fear. I even tried to stop dressing the way that I do but it didn’t end up lasting. But for the rest of Otis, I really can say that I met a lot of people that I still know. And I really needed a lot of people. At first I had a hard time making friends, but when I finally did I was reminded what I want to do. I want to be an illustrator.
A couple times during graduation seasons, dudes will ask me if they can borrow a tie, or can I tie this for them. Some of my lesbian friends are inspired by the way that I dress. It’s almost like a presence bowtie social symbol. Men’s style really hasn’t changed at all though. There used to be more variation. It used to be a lot more flamboyant in 18th 19th centuries. I’m inspired by 19th century.
Is your look complete, or is it growing?
Now that I have all those things, I kind of want to get rid of some stuff but I always want it to be practical. I don’t want it to be for show but to have some purpose. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, that’s not my main goal. I need to be able to touch my toes without choking myself.Especially since I’m not imposing, but whimsical and characterized. Everything is covered except for your head. Yellow gloves. Girls sometimes think it’s cute. I can wear t-shirts and shorts too, I’m not against that in any way. It just depends on what I’m doing. I get kind of picky with materials. I like natural fibers. I’m not going to wear a wool three-piece suit right now. I’ll die. That’s just ridiculous. I just like stuff with structure better. I tend to work better that way. I certainly put a lot of thought into it. I definitely adapt to the climate changes, and in the summer I wear mostly linens because they’re breathable.
Do you have any words to encourage stylish guys out there who just want to be themselves?
I would say, just stop giving a fuck. You sort of just have to stop. A lot of people just question my sexuality and they convince themselves that I’m gay. It wouldn’t make much of a difference if I was, but you get that kind of commentary. Usually it’s from people who aren’t very creative. Men’s style is usually really stoic and there aren’t a terrible amount of options.
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