michael ragen

a big mess of elements

interview: Maggie Martine
photography: Dagny Piasecki
hair: Eric Jackson
stylist: Michael Ragen
makeup: Laura Kaululaau

A look into the fashion ideologies of stylist Michael Ragen, who has graciously contributed his talented eye to our photographic efforts.

If I handed you a yard of lace, red lipstick, some fur and chains and told you to create me a look, what would you create with these elements?

Hmmm... Well, I’d probably make a lace leotard with a sweetheart bust, which is strapless, with side cutouts, with tiered chains down the side. I would make the fur into a collar and also use it to cover the private parts of the body but only very scarcely. If I had enough, I would trim the rest of the leotard with it. Finally, I put all of this on a body and scribble all over it with the lipstick, maybe some hieroglyphs, eh?

Picasso represents artist, like fashion represents _________?

Gareth Pugh

Who are some of your favorite designers right now that you feel we should all be looking out for and why?

Ah, I have so many! Well as before-mentioned, Gareth has been my favorite for some time now. Albert Elbaz is one designer very dear to my heart. I just feel like his ideas of glamour are so modern and so fucking chic I wanna cry. Nicolas Ghesquiere is another I really look up to, as well as Julien MacDonald. Christopher Kane and Viktor & Rolf are a couple of my other all time favorites. A few newcomers I really like, Joseph Altuzarra, Louise Goldin, Mary Kantrantzou, and of course Alexander Wang. I really loved Acne's Fall 2010 presentation. I feel like these designers' futuristic designs are what are really going to have an impact on the future of fashion.

stylist Micheal Ragen
stylist Micheal Ragen

What do you think is a must for a woman/man to have in her wardrobe right now?

A really great versatile quality boot with an inner pocket just big enough for a switchblade or any item you always need even though you don’t have your bag on you.

How would you describe your style?

A big mess of elements I like, portraying my mental state/mood at the time. Taking cues from my favorite designers and trying to make it work on my thrift store budget.

If there was song to pick that best describes your thinking process when putting together an outfit what would it be?

Desire - "Mirror Mirror" or "Dans Mes Reves," probably a mix of both songs.

If you had to pick a shape as a personal icon what shape would that be?

A pyramid, for sure.

What inspires your soul?

1980's drag queens, Satan, the old lady in the wheelchair with her Dior bag, the group of freaks that got together and created the fashion industry.

I feel that all art is about perspective; everyone has a statement to be made. Fashion seems to be way more personal, because you are the one wearing the clothes. What is your point of view when it comes to the way you dress?

It’s really just about being true to yourself. I think the most stylish thing is when someone is just truly comfortable in their clothes. Make a statement about who you are with your clothes, don’t let some statement make you. Have fun, and don’t let this world full of trends overwhelm your own style.