She carries herself with a classic poise and a confident walk. Trendy and detail-oriented, Anna Stainsby’s style features an unexpected mélange of creative pieces that form a unique look that speaks for itself. Though her space is simplistic, her closet is multidimensional, filled with everything from graphics and leather pants to vintage pieces and floral print dresses. From the poetic air of her aesthetic to the recent launch of MICK, her online magazine, Anna is a true creative icon in motion.
Q: Describe your style/aesthetic in three words.
French, Romantic, Rock ’n’ Roll.
Q: If you could raid any one person’s closet, who would you choose?
Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. Everything she owns is eccentric and unlike anything anyone else wears. She also has the best collection of crazy coloured, patterned, and textured shoes. While shoes should last more than a season, below the ankle is where you can afford to go crazy. A wild shoe changes your whole look instantly. Though Leandra does own a couple good classics, she’s reinvented a couple pairs for her own line, M by Man Repeller. Gucci’s loafers are classic, but after seeing them on every foot these past few seasons, the black fur-lined pair is beginning to get tired. Leandra managed to revive the shoe by imbuing some life into it, designing a pink velvet loafer and another in red and blue shiny patent leather- they pack so much punch in a wardrobe! I’d kill for either.
Q: Does your style change according to your surroundings? (i.e. Do you dress differently at Queen’s vs. at home? What drives your outfit choices?)
To a certain extent it does, though I try not to let my surroundings dictate what I choose to wear. Back home in Toronto, I don’t second-guess wearing a dress over jeans or wearing leopard booties with an Edwardian flowered maxi and a straw basket. At Queen’s (although I have worn that exact outfit here) I do a little more. But I try to remind myself to stay true to my own style. Plus, there’s nothing better than combining two pieces in your wardrobe that you never would have thought of pairing and feeling like you’ve expanded your closet!
Q: Do you have a favourite or go-to piece in your closet? What is a staple for your wardrobe?
My Maje slip dress is a go-to when in doubt. It has all these amazing details like the two different types of lace in the front and leather straps that upgrade it from a regular slip. I wear it to go out at night or during the day over blue jeans or a turtleneck.
Q: Where do most of your clothes or things in your space come from? (i.e. stores, brands, thrifts, homemade, etc.)
I would say a majority of my clothing comes from Zara. They’re great for finding trendy clothing at a reasonable cost, but I’ve also found some classic, long-lasting pieces there, too. I still have tops I bought from Zara in grade 7. I collected a few Aritzia pieces when I worked there (their leather pants will never go out of style) and, although their stuff is more expensive, it’s nice to invest sometimes. I have a few vintage pieces, a few items stolen from my mother’s closet, and lots of graphic tees stolen from my brother!
Q: Do you own any sentimental or idiosyncratic pieces?
A few years ago I found two pairs of Miu Miu shoes at 70% off. They were from the 2013 F/W collection, with the sexiest, pointiest toes. I managed to get the flat patent booties and the knee-high, buttery leather boots. Whenever I wear them, I instantly feel dressed up. The boots have the loudest heel in the world, so when I wear them to Stauffer I have to walk exclusively on the balls of my feet. My housemates have texted me a couple times calling me out because they could hear me walk in from the second and third floors. But, when I’m not in the library, I love to hear the sound they make. They’re unapologetically loud and so, so cool.
Q: How do you use your unique aesthetic to express your creativity? What does your personal style convey?
I’d like to think that my style conveys my confidence and creativity. I don’t think that people necessarily envision writers and poets translating their creativity sartorially, but why not? There’s this quote by Ann Demeulemeester that goes: “Black is not sad. Bright colors are what depressed me. They’re so… empty. Black is poetic. How do you imagine a poet? In a bright yellow jacket? Probably not.”
While I do share affection for black and neutrals, I am a poet who loves yellow. Maybe not a canary, but definitely a mustard. Sometimes writing gets a little dark. Putting on a red lip and a good blazer truly provides light and often inspiration.
The artists I feature on my site, MICK Magazine, are also huge inspirations for me. I get to interview painters, writers, photographers, and musicians, and they’ve made me want to be more creative in my day-to-day life, whether through my clothing, my prose, or both!
Q: What inspires you? (i.e. style influences, creative inspo, people you admire, inspiration in your daily life)
The idea of coming up with something new and unique is definitely a force that drives me. Monotony is boring. I really look up to people like Erin Wasson or Blanca Miro who have such distinct, effortless style. Instagram is a great tool to find stylists and bloggers, but oftentimes I’ll find myself following and looking up to people who aren’t necessarily in the fashion industry but who have a unique aesthetic or style.
I was also raised in France, so I’m always looking back to my time there, from the clothing my mother and I collected in Europe to what my French friends are wearing. There’s timelessness to French style that I try to emulate and vary upon.
Q: If you could self-identify as one piece of clothing, what would you be?
Although I don’t own it, I’d have to say any Alexander McQueen dress. I’ve never seen a McQueen design that wasn’t fusing at least three concepts together. They’re contradictory pieces of art that really seem to mirror the multifaceted quality of human nature. They fuse romance, Edwardian and Victorian fashions, British punk rock, and excess together, and truly epitomize everything that inspires me in the worlds of art and fashion.
The launch of The Closet Chronicles is featured in our latest issue, Exposed. Stay tuned for the continuation of the series online in the new year.