Hayley Evans, Style Raven

Confession: I’ve eloped with the West Coast.  Having arrived from the Canadian interior (Ontario) in July 2012, I discovered there is something about this slice of earth that is immediate, breathless, energetic, ragged, wet. It is an edge, after all, a line of iconic rocks that bite into the belly of the Pacific abyss. This is a place of intense beauty, where watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains has become an after-work ritual for many — including myself. It’s also a place of fragility, buzzing with quiet omens of seismic disaster, geological prophecies that one day this part of the planet will shake itself off into the ocean… but let’s not over-think this right now. And when it comes to politics and culture, they don’t call this the “Left Coast” for nothing (although, of course, it’s not a perfect term). All of this — the literal and figurative “edginess” of the West Coast — has a lot to do with the way I write, with the way I envision and identify with my community, and, of course, with the way I have sculpted my personal style.

Olympic Mountains

View of the Olympic Mountains 

“Fashion is instant language,” that famous guy (Miuccia Prada) once said. And it’s true. No matter what barriers we might construct around ourselves, fashion can be a way for us to communicate so much about ourselves — our philosophies, passions, desires — facets of our inner identities that may otherwise be concealed. This is an important concept for me, as a passionate introvert; fashion is my way of communicating my interior life, my strengths and my creativities. Fashion, for those who choose to use it as such, can operate as a powerful and silent language.

So: Why, the “Style Raven?” I’ve always had a fascination for ravens; black omens of the skies, those elusive yet ever-present creatures that haunt our cultural imagination with everything macabre and mysterious. They’re emblematic of the ragged west coast — they’re everywhere in Victoria, and, importantly, they are boundary-defying, passing with ease and adaptability between the spaces we call “nature” and “urban.”  Fashion, I believe, can function in a similar way. We can choose our fashion fluidly to match or defy our surroundings. And fascinating and empowering things happen when we challenge prescribed fashion “boundaries” while discovering our own personal style. Fashion is intensely exciting. And that’s what I want to do here on this blog, not only share with you how my personal style has developed and continues to do so, but explore how context and culture influence and inspire our personal representations.

Kim Jay

Photographer Kim Jay

Helping me on this project is the incredibly talented photographer, Kim Jay. The photos on this blog will be her work, unless otherwise noted. Personally and professionally, she rocks. She is a visionary with that camera of hers, and has an amazing distinctive-yet-adaptive personal style. Like myself, she loves the diversity of the west coast, and it shows in her work. I’m lucky to know this gal and I encourage everyone to check out her website, found here http://www.kimjayphotography.com/, and her tumblr: http://kimjayphotography.tumblr.com.

Till next time,
– Style Raven

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Model and styling: Hayley Evans
Photography: Kim Jay Photography