Angela Kote currently resides in New York City. She is a senior BBA student at The New School Parsons, working in music as a manager and publisher for R&B/Pop artists. She has a background in fine arts and fashion, having worked at brands like Tom Ford, Burberry and The Academy Collection as a public relations and creative member.
We dress up and we dress down, either way we are making a statement. The thing about style is you can’t really get away from it; it’s everyone’s nonverbal expression. We are saying something about how we feel, about who we are, meanwhile also delegating what others will think about us.
Patti Smith once said, “My style says, look at me, don’t look at me.” I can relate to that message. My weekday uniform consists of black, white and grey. Black seems so subtle but the cut, the fit, and the length is what can make a simple black and white outfit stand out.
Even though I often opt for black, I still do dress to challenge myself and to have fun. If that means one day I feel really feminine and want to show that off and the next day I want to dress like a boy and that feels sexy to me, I wont be afraid to go there.
I work in the music industry, and luckily for me that means I never have to worry about being conservative unless I want to. As a woman working in a field dominated by men however, I also have to make sure that I am clear that what I have to say and what I think is much more important to me than the way I come dressed to the office. I would never say to a woman that to be taken seriously she has to play herself down, but what I would say is that there is a time and place for everything and that’s being able to dress smart.
I have developed one secret in fashion though that makes any outfit, conservative or not, feel good to me. My secret is that I love the way a contradiction looks. Mixing lace for example with a heavy leather jacket, or wearing a chic fur coat with workman timberland boots, or a woman wearing a black pant suit from the men’s section.
I think women are complicated, I think we have so many different sides to us and so much we want to say to the world. We are innately feminine each in our own way, but our ambitions make us tough and our passion makes us sexy, and styling ourselves according to those different sides can be such a creative outlet for us to project what we are about.
In fashion there are definitely rules, but rules are meant to be broken and knowing when and how to break them is the key. When I am putting my looks together, I dare myself to make things work that I would never think do. I like things that are a bit off; I have to make it me so I get to wear the outfit instead of the other way around. That’s the thrill of fashion, to experiment and express yourself, because it can really say so much about you without any words.