Robert Alvarez is a busy man. So busy in fact, that he didn’t have time to sit down for a regular interview. Instead, we had to run him down on the set of Justin Zweifach’s film thesis (or Beta, as it’s normally known), where he was working as a costume designer. There, surrounded by actors in the process of dressing and undressing, he sat down with the Argus for a brief chat about his role in the movie, his entrepreneurial ventures, and what it takes to become a Wesleyan Style Icon.
The Argus: When we asked you to be a WesCeleb, were you surprised?
Robert Alvarez: Yeah. I mean I was glad, I was flattered. I thought it was just for Psi U presidents and heads of lit mags.
A: Speaking of heads of magazines, what inspired you to start Method Magazine, especially when this campus already has the best possible publication?
RA: I led you into that, didn’t I? Well, The Argus fills a certain niche, but there are certain things it can’t do because of the mere fact that it’s a bi-weekly. We wanted to do more in-depth articles, more photography, and create a particular kind of interface. We wanted to have more discussion of culture.
A: What’s the story behind the name?
RA: Well, it’s a play on Wesleyan being a Methodist university. But it’s also about a method, as in a particular way of doing things.
A: So what are you doing on this set?
RA: I’m the costume designer.
A: What qualifies someone to be a costume designer for a film?
RA: Oh, that might be a loaded answer. I art directed Conor Byrne’s thesis, and I might be considered by some to have a good aesthetic eye.
A: What does the job entail?
RA: Basically sourcing costumes for everything, working closely with art directing people and understanding what the director was planning with his aesthetic and then executing that in a way that’s well-curated.
A: Where do you go to get all this stuff?
RA: Well, there’s a policeman in the film, so we had to go to a costume shop for that, but usually we just ask friends to borrow clothes. Some of its my own stuff. I’m actually wearing this shirt because I had to give my own to one of the actors – I don’t really listen to Metallica.
A: Are all those actors wearing their own lingerie?
RA: All the women are in their own lingerie or friends’ lingerie. None of it’s mine. I’m not going to share mine – it’s far too expensive.
A: What’s this movie about, if you’re allowed to tell me?
RA: Oh I can tell you. I think I can tell you. This movie’s about the end of the world and the main character’s just trying to get laid.
A: Is that what you would do at the end of the world?
RA: No, I’ve already been laid.
A: So do you have any plans for the end of the world?
RA: Look good. No, that’s not it. Own the world as it goes down.
A: So what else are you up to?
RA: Since this summer, I’ve been working with a few other students on a fashion video production company – Harrison Schaff, Jack Pierce, Ezra Nachman, and some other contacts from New York and L.A. – it’s called BLKSQR [pronounced blacksquare—ed.]
A: And what does a fashion video production company do?
RA: We pair with designers to create a video that is more like an extended advertisement for their lines, and sometime we’ll do our own editorializing so we can pull from multiple designers. So far we’ve done two videos, one with Jeremy Scott, and one with the Brooklyn designer Samantha Sleeper.
A: How do you meet these folks?
RA: Business contacts. One of the people who’s working on it does fashion P.R. but mostly we’re just using our own resources.
A: Would you consider yourself a Wesleyan style icon?
RA: Oh that’s so self-aggrandizing. I would consider myself someone who is seen as a Wesleyan style icon.
A: Is there any secret to the way you dress that you can share with our readers?
RA: I have a dream every night, and when I wake up, everything just comes to me.
A: So it’s more of something you’re born with?
RA: Yeah, it’s intuitive. I don’t really try that hard.