Natasha Cucullo ’15 transferred to Wesleyan her junior year from UCLA, and her contrasting experiences with fashion in California and (the currently very cold) Connecticut give her quite the background. Cucullo is a champion clothing layerer and American Studies major, focusing in visual culture and media studies. She brought her trademark sass to The Argus to talk about what style means to her.
The Argus: Can you tell me a little bit about what first stemmed your interest in fashion, and how you define your interest in fashion?
Natasha Cucullo: I think I was a really oblivious child, but my mom, when I was really younger, would shop at like Daffy’s. I don’t think it exists anymore, but she’d get us all these crazy things. And then, in seventh grade, I obviously went through my Juicy and Abercrombie phase, and after a while, I realized that was not for me. So I think it was, 10th grade where I started to actually care about clothing and not care so much about what other people were wearing. I guess that’s also when I started looking at blogs. There was one, Miss Pandora; she’s from France, and I was like, “Oh my God! French people! Sooo cool!” Tthat’s when I figured out that clothing was a cool thing to do.
A: How have you been involved with the fashion industry in the past, and how do you envision yourself being involved in it in the future?
NC: When I was at UCLA, I was part of this group called “Fashion and Trends at UCLA,” and they would host a fashion show every year. And I was part of the editorial team, so I did a lot of photo shoots, and reaching out to designers and asking them if we could use their clothes. The real designers were more like, “Eh, I don’t know,” but a lot of the, not even up and coming, but just random boutiques in LA would give us clothes.
Then I’ve done some like brand research, and I interned at a magazine in California when I was there. Like, where I see myself going? I definitely want to be involved after school, but I have no idea what venue I want to go into.
A: How does the fashion scene at Wes differ from that of UCLA?
NC: Completely, actually. When I was at UCLA, the first year, I tried to wear, like, all of my clothes, but walking to class took like forty-five minutes on a good day, so when people complain about walking around here, I’m like, “oh you silly sillies”…. I think it’s really exciting to walk around campus here because everyone has a different look, and everyone pretty much owns what they’re wearing. Like, regardless of what category you may think you fit into, there are all kinds of people around, and I think it’s very inspiring to walk around here. But at UCLA it was not the same.
A: So what exactly do you like and dislike about style at Wesleyan?
NC: I like that people make an effort when they go to class, or don’t have to make an effort, it’s very optional; but it’s also great to see that people are experimenting with their clothing and their shoes and their whatever. What I don’t like… I think I wear a lot of impractical clothes, but I think it’s to an extent. When the snow’s 12,000 feet above my head, I’m not gonna wear my really nice shoes; I’m gonna wear my snow boots. That’s what annoys me. But maybe it’s just because the snow’s pissing me off.
A: What’s your key to dealing with dressing for the insane amounts of snow on campus?
NC: I’m really struggling, because I’m wearing only three types of shoes right now, and it’s hampering all of my clothing options, because I’m short and all of my pants are cuffed. They don’t fit into my rain boots or my snow boots. But I guess my M.O. these past couple weeks is do-not-give-a-shit, so wear sweatpants and stuff, and then counteract that with, like, actually wearing an outfit later in the day.
A: So how would you describe your personal style in three to five words?
NC: Quirky, for sure. I would say, like, acknowledging my shit; if I’m wearing something, I’m in it for the cause.
A: Who would design your dream wardrobe?
NC: I would say the Man Repeller, yeah, just her entire life.
A: Would you say fashion is something that should or shouldn’t be taken seriously?
NC: I think it should be taken seriously, but it should have humor infused into it, because if you can’t laugh at yourself then there’s no point in being a human.
A: Where do you draw style inspiration from, both on and off campus?
NC: On campus, in a lot of my classes, especially the classes we’re in this semester [the Sociology of Fashion]. And the Man Repeller, obviously…and just, random blogs, and music videos. Basically, if I like something, then I’ll try and find clothes in my closet that look similar to that and do my own thing. Rihanna for sure, she’s amazing. And I guess like, now I use Facebook more so as a place to like look at Style.com and all of those things, and Complex… if I see something interesting, then I will stalk it.
This interview was edited for length.