When we first opened up the shop in August, we were selling a mint green wrap top (pictured below) with huge ruffled sleeves that people were instantly drawn to but intimated by. I heard tons of comments along the lines of "this would be great for a holiday but I can't wear something like this in Edmonton" or "I really like this but could never pull it off."
Fashion can be intimidating, whether you follow trends or not, and it's easy to feel self-conscious when you try to step out of your comfort zone. But, personal style is also one of the best and easiest ways to express yourself, and we are obsessed with Tara Court's sense of style.
Tara Court, known by her Instagram handle Akward_Gazelle, isn't afraid to take some risks with her clothing and we're completely obsessed with every single outfit. Tara mixes local with vintage and trendy pieces to create outfits that are completely her own.
What is your fashion advice to future (or current) bloggers, Instagrammers, and fashionistas?
Break all the rules. I think it’s extremely strange that people have “fashion rules” so my advice would be if you love it wear it.
When and why did you decide to share your outfits and love of fashion online?
I feel like it was literally moments after I downloaded Instagram that I started to share my crazy wardrobe. It was so easy and extremely exhilarating for me because I got to share with people around the world without any face-to-face interaction. I do struggle quite a bit with social anxiety but my whole Instagram journey has actually forced me in the complete opposite direction. It’s pushed me to make new connections, and I can’t express how thankful I am for that. I’ve met so many amazing humans and discovered a lot of unique fashion brands and boutiques because of it, including PARK! As for hurdles, the internet can be a harsh place and people aren’t afraid to tell you when they don’t dig your style. While it can leave little bruises sometimes I just keep reminding myself we are all unique. If everyone liked the same things the world would be an extremely boring place.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as adventurous. I honestly love a little bit of everything. I don’t like to feel like I belong in a certain category. Explore all things!
Long sleeve mesh dress from PARKSHOP
Where does your fashion inspiration come from?
This is a hard one for me to explain. Sometimes I walk into a room and the decor will inspire an outfit I think would complement the space. So I guess my inspiration comes from my surroundings whether it be living or just an object.
What draws you to a piece?
I have to say the item itself. Half of my closet is thrifted. When thrifting, I’m drawn to an item before I even find out what the brand is. I love thrifting because it brings so many unique items to the table that you wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. I also do love slow fashion and local fashion - it does tend to be priced higher but it's for good reason. When it’s in my budget I love supporting local, slow fashion as much as possible. I would definitely be lying to you If I said the price wasn’t a factor, a good sale will also push me in the direction of an item!
How has your style evolved over the last 5 years?
I wouldn’t say it’s evolved in a particular way because my style is evolving daily - trends come and go and I absolutely love everything. One thing that has definitely evolved is as I get older I’m less concerned with what people think. I’m proud of my outfits and I wear what I love regardless of what anyone thinks. When I was younger I would change an outfit in a heartbeat if someone didn’t like it.
Are there trends you absolutely hated as a kid that you find yourself liking now? I used to hate wearing turtlenecks and overalls when I was little but now they're my favourite pieces!
To be honest there isn’t much I didn’t like but I definitely wasn’t sold on high waisted pants. “Mom jeans” were not my thing but now I absolutely adore them.
You definitely loved our boxing day sale! What is your favourite piece from PARKSHOP?
Omg, this is a hard question! I’m going to have to say the white PARK CURATED wrap crop top. It’s such a versatile piece that you can dress up or down. I actually think it’s supposed to tie in the back but I totally dig it in the front.
How do you want AkwardGazelle to grow in 2018? Can we expect a blog from you in the future?
I hope to continue growing creatively. If you look way back on my Instagram, I started taking pictures in my room and didn’t care about anything but my outfit. Now it’s the whole vibe from location to props. I treat it like artwork. I want to enjoy the whole picture not just a part of it.
I have put serious thought into starting a blog but to be honest a full-time job, Instagram and making time for loved ones can be overwhelming for me personally. I think balance is needed in life and I’m still trying to find mine. But who knows anything is possible. 😉