On one of those gloomy + crisp Vancouver days, we met up with one of our local muses: Vancouver style icon and freelance writer Lydia Okello. With a bright energy and a curious attitude, all of which was exuded through their warm personality and hella tight wardrobe, they had us at hello. Like did we mention that smile? Damn, they LIGHT UP a room. And while Lydia’s easy-going and cheerful exterior is a pleasure to be around in and of itself, what is beyond the surface is where the real goodies lie.
Fashion can be such a limiting word to label clothes, but Lydia breaks down those barriers with forward pairings of attainable basics for a finished look that is both relatable and interesting. When not writing, these effortless outfits are moments of self-expression and story-telling. They tell us how “that comfort, that confidence [of trying something new] is so beautiful, especially as a queer person. It’s step one in that self-discovery and confidence-building.” We love how they ignore rules and push boundaries for the sake of individuality and love.
Starting out in the fashion industry came naturally for Lydia. Working in retail at the age of 15 first sparked their interest in fashion while also allowing an outlet for them to explore this newfound interest through writing, modelling, content creation, and styling. “I love the freedom of expression and endless inspiration the industry allows.” We found this attitude such an amazing reminder of how much open mindedness, in all facets of life, only broadens your awareness. *snaps* Come through well-rounded people!! *snaps*
"I love the freedom of expression and endless inspiration the industry allows."
Because social media has in some ways broken down barriers, allowing for a more intimate conversation between media and reader, it really is a special space for voices like those in the curve community that need a podium to be seen and heard. We’re so grateful to be part of such an accepting, empowering, and impactful group of individuals. Lydia shares with us that life for them would be completely different without social media but, that it also played a role in their mental health standing. “The pressure to look perfect is amplified 100x, depending on what places you frequent. That can be really hard for folks with larger bodies.” Here at Halseene, we know the importance of community and acceptance so we got you, curves and all.
"The pressure to look perfect is amplified 100x, depending on what places you frequent. That can be really hard for folks with larger bodies."
Not only did we start Halseene to fill a part of the bridal market that was missing for curvy women, but we also wanted to make sure that we were able to represent people looking for wedding wear options where they could just be themselves. Whether you wear a dress on your wedding day or not– everyone deserves to feel represented, acknowledge, and loved. Lydia, you inspire us daily to keep growing. Style IS style.
For more on Lydia Okello and to see some of their work, follow their Instagram @styleisstyle.
Photos by Brian Van Wyk