Fashion Friday: Naomi Shilyanski

WSS takes a look at the style of Naomi Shilyanski ’16.

West Side Story: How would you describe your style?

Naomi Shilyansky: I would describe my style as eclectic minimalism. I like to keep it simple and chic, but I’ll usually have one standout piece/accessory per outfit.


WSS: Where do you like to shop?

NS: I love shopping at J Crew, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Nordstroms for quality classic pieces like sweaters, oxfords, jeans, and socks.

For unique one of a kind pieces– I love White Rabbit, Revival and Urban Outfitters. The local stores have a lot of vintage pieces as well as awesome clothes from small indie designers. Urban Outfitters has amazing outerwear, dresses,and denim shorts.

I also adore American Apparel because their shorts and skirts fit me perfectly and are equally simple and iconic.


WSS: What is your go-to outfit?

NS: Blue Jeans, my soft white t-shirt from Need Supply, a black leather jacket and my well worn Adidas sneakers. Comfort is key here.


WSS: Where do you get your fashion inspiration?

NS: I am influenced by style in the places I travel. For example, Soho in New York and The Arts District in LA are my two favorites. People in Soho tend to keep colors to a minimum and wear edgy, structured pieces. The style in LA is still predominantly neutral but people’s clothes there tend to be flowy and more casual, but still chic.

I keep up with lots of street style and couture blogs on Pinterest and Tumblr, so I get much of my fashion inspiration from those. I also love the styles of certain times– specifically the 60’s and early 70’s. I get ideas from looking at editorials from those eras.

I don’t try to emulate anybody in particular, however I do love the style of Audrey Hepburn– she dressed so effortlessly classy and chic, and the fashion blogger Leandra Medine (Instagram: @manrepeller). She dresses extremely individualistic and does her own thing. For menswear inspiration, I vicariously live through Kiel James Patrick’s tweed, cable knit sweater and flannel saturated Instagram feed (Instagram: @kjp) while wishing I was enjoying October in New England.


WSS: Do you have any advice for people trying to find their style?

NS: Wear what you like, and be confident while wearing it. Don’t hesitate if it’s not trendy, for if it looks good on you and you own it, you’ll soon be the one starting trends.


WSS: Is there any one person that influences you?

NS: My mother is very stylish and I have always looked to her when developing my own sense of style. She gives me advice, recommends outfit combinations and occasionally donates clothes to my cause.


WSS: Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?

NS: I love all my clothes, but at this moment, my favorite piece is a red T-shirt dress from Urban Outfitters. It’s extremely simple, but the length and cut couldn’t be more perfect.


WSS: Do you have a favorite accessory?

NS: I have a little gray quilted Kate Spade purse that I absolutely adore. The fuzzy wool material is really unique and classic at the same time. Plus, it is easy to keep organized because it’s so small.


WSS: How did your style change over the years?

NS: I used to dress fairly casual and athletic up until about junior year. I didn’t like the bold patterns, finicky cuts and extravagance of 2011-2013 fashion, so I just stuck to simple, comfortable outfits. But then I discovered minimalist style at the end of 2014, incorporated a few of my own elements and my style evolved to how it currently is now. I love the comfort and simplicity of the current styles, so I adapt them in ways working for me.


WSS: Did you face any challenges in finding your style?

NS: I’d say my height used to be my biggest challenge. I’m barely over 5’2, and many of the clothes I like to wear are designed for taller girls. However, I often cuff my jeans or get them tailored as a result. Being short also has its strengths too– you can wear oversized shirts as dresses and get away with it.


WSS: How do you think you dress differently than people at west?

NS: I’d say I dress simpler than most people at West. I’ve noticed that bold florals, fringe and intricate patterns are really in, and other girls really rock them. However, I tend to shy away from patterns or embellishments on my own clothes, as I am drawn to simplicity. I also wear much less color than most people at West, wearing neutrals more often than not. If I wear any color at all– it’s usually navy, maroon or olive green.


WSS: How does your style reflect your personality?

NS: I like to keep things simple and clean, however I am also a little offbeat, sarcastic and spontaneous. This shows in my style, as I sometimes like to include one ironically kitschy, uncharacteristically colorful item in an otherwise serious outfit. My chunky platforms, Cheap Monday blue faux fur and $5 pink plastic heart-shaped sunglasses being among them. I do this because I love complementing my usual simple way of dressing with a wild card item to keep my style fresh.


WSS: How did you get into fashion?

NS: I’m a visual artist and photographer, so self expression has always been a big part of my life. My fashion sense is just another projection of my artistic style: simplistic with retro undertones.


WSS: Do you have a favorite clothing season?

NS: I like mid-to-late Spring. It’s warm enough to wear dresses, skirts and sandals, but you can still rock leather without getting sweaty.


WSS: How does your lifestyle affect your fashion sense?

NS: I tend to always be on the go, so I’m drawn to wearing outfits that are comfortable and versatile for many occasions. I often tend to dress down for school, but I’ll swap the jacket, add heels and curl my hair ,and I’ll be ready for dinner out or an interview.


WSS: What is a fashion no-no?

NS: I personally think that ill-fitting clothes, neglecting personal hygiene and clashing patterns are best avoided. Other than that, everything else is fair game; as long as it’s flattering and doesn’t offend or gross out people.


Click on photo to view entire album on Flickr.


Naomi Fashion Friday by Paige Brazina