Guess who actually dress up like dramatic haute couture fashion in real life? Meet the standing out Laura Ziba Caraway. As a self-proclaimed thrift store girl, the 27-year-old is interestingly different. Besides being a model, Caraway is also a third year costume design student here at Academy of Art University. Let’s hear how she embodied elaborate fashion style as street wear.
Q: Laura, you look incredibly fabulous. Tell us about what you are wearing today.
A: Right now I’m wearing this blue rhinestone dress. It was only for four dollar at a thrift shop near my house in LA. My corset today is from Isabella Corsetry. The fabric is really beautiful so I made a matching bra – I hand sewed it. I often wear net stockings with lace pattern on windy day like this. These comfortable suede boots are from e-bay. I’ve been wearing this Guess velvet jacket for four years now and I use the black Uniqlo scarf as a belt. My bag was from Ross; it is a Jessica Simpson.
Q: I still can’t believe that you can find the best things for under then dollars. Talking about corset, you remind me of Victorian tight lacing.
A: Yeah. I’ve been doing corset training since I was 15. I wear it for seven to twelve hours each day. My waist now is at 24 without the corset − with it on, I can get down into the 16.
Q: Who do you consider as your icon in the fashion world? I guess, Mr. Pearl in here?
A: I adore Mr. Pearl and Dita Von Teese. But the must influential icon is Amanda Lepore - she is a transgender woman with huge red lips and a thin little waist. Another style icon of mine is the character Vampira, played by Maila Nurmi in black and white movie - Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Q: You have a very distinctive look, how would you describe your fashion style?
A: I call myself an alternative artist. People try to call me gothic or punk and I think that’s kind of juvenile and distasteful. I like to dress my art, that’s how I tell people.
Q: Alternative? Can you specify it?
A: The idea is from the 80’s Japanese Rock Band like Visual Key and Dir En Grey. They wore black, corset, and colored hair up. Most of my inspiration also came from manga, especially the work of Yoshitaka Amano. I mixed the Japanese influence with the vintage black and white picture.
Q: Can you name out five things that define your signature look?
A: For the last ten years, I’ve been noted with my corset, green hair, make up, tattoos and nose ring. They have to be together as a single whole.
Q: Who is you favorite fashion designer?
A: I love Rick Owen, Lee McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Franco Moschino. My favorite of all of them is Thierry Mugler.
Q: Mugler! The corset King! I can see how you explore vintage fashion, but what do you think about contemporary fashion?
A: Sloppy. I want to see man and woman dress up again. Fashion felt more personal back then and we have lost that essence.
Q: My last question, what items do you think every girl needs to throw out from their closet?
A: The Victoria Secret sweatpants that says JUICY on the bottom.
Follow @sisterbonez to see more of Caraway’s pictures