Meet The One and Only Gabriella Karefa-Johnson - This Week's ShirtMuse

We begin our series on #shirtfiends with this vibrant, fiercely opinionated and defiant original who sets the stylistic tone at Garage Magazine, freshens up the pages of American Vogue and stole my heart on the sidewalk outside a fashion week dinner some seasons past. She brings joy and shrewd insights wherever she goes.

Every subject is presented with the same three questions about the meaning of uniform. 

 
What Does Uniform Mean to You?

I kind of feel like uniform dressing is the final frontier in my self-actualization. Right now, I'm still trying (and at times failing) to throw together a *lewk* every time I leave the house because what I wear is still my primary means of communicating who I am to the world. I kind of hate that fact. A uniform feels grown-up, and sophisticated, and self-assured. What you see is what you get. That's the mantra by which I aspire to live my life. I want to be a bitchy old spinster with a closet of mens shirt, chunky old Céline shoes, black men's trousers and not a single fuck to give. I also strongly suspect that my only accessory will be a late-in-life Great Dane named Dame Judi Dench. 

How Do You Think A Uniform Can Empower (or Disempower) You?

I think there is something incredibly freeing about standardizing one's outward image. I can't think of anything more baddass (or chicer for that matter) than being at equal ease at the bodega as you are at a cocktail party -- unburdened by people's judgements or expectations or the pressure to subscribe to environmentally contingent "dress codes." It's the ultimate fuck you to a pretty dumb system of policing appearances. It's also easy. I am a fashion editor by trade, I deeply appreciate and love clothes and feel there is no more fluid medium to play with, but in my everyday life, It can be an enormous pain to dress oneself. I can't count the amount of times I have nearly succumbed to cardiac faillure while sprinting to my cleaners 45 seconds before closing to pick up the one suitable black tie option I own. Who needs another place to run to? 

Who is Your Uniform Heroine or Hero?

Tonne Goodman is my uniform heroine. She dresses with almost scientific precision. The white pants, the Charvet scarf, the Dries jacket and roomy underpinning... Heaven! Tonne Goodman is, essentially, the Joan Didion of minimalist dressing.