Understand what I’m saying? Neither do I! Here’s My interview in English:
What is Qwear?
Qwear is a fashion blog geared towards the lesbian, queer, and trans community; as well as folks who are gender nonconforming. Since its inception in June 2011, Qwear has emerged as a community for dandy queers and fashion enthusiasts to ask questions, share experiences, and submit photos of their sartorial triumphs. It’s a blog that celebrates gender nonconformity and body positivity. It’s pictures of pretty shoes. It’s the love of my life.
Who is Sonny Oram?
I’m that kid in the back of the classroom with the big glasses who can’t stop drawing all over the assignment. I love anything visual, artistic, musical, and creative. I’m not myself if unless I’m in the middle of a project. I’m white, Jewish, female assigned, queer, genderqueer, and among the tiny percentage of the world that is privileged enough to get the chance to answer this question.
How would you define the concept of “queer fashion?”
I suppose technically the concept of “queer fashion” expands into an alternate universe every time someone queer identified gets dressed in the morning. I hope not to dictate what is it via Qwear, but rather to explore it according to what people are putting out — as well as share my personal style aesthetics.
While queer fashion is limitless, I do believe that queers have our own unique experiences and identities that affect our clothing choices. Those of us who are feminists and environmentalists love a good thrift find and comfortable fit. We also like to break down gender norms through fashion, whether our presentations don’t fit the binary, or we choose to mess with the idea of what women/men are supposed to wear. In my circles, certain dandy menswear items —such as bow ties, suspenders, and vests —have become “markers” to express our queer identities.
We have read that you are a graphic designer. Would you at some point design fashion also?
I love the position I’m in now where I can promote all my favorite brands and help direct them on the community’s needs. I generally enjoy working from the marketing end and the blogger’s perspective, but I’m always open to new possibilities! I’ve been kicking around ideas with my friend over at Unbound Apparel about collaborating on a small line of casualwear that spreads a message about our values on freedom of expression, but nothing concrete yet.
How long do you take to pick your outfit in the morning?
Occasionally if I’m trying something new I end up with my entire wardrobe strewn over the room. Otherwise, not long at all. 10 minutes or less. But my wardrobe is still fairly small, so I don’t have that many options.
Do you think that lesbians have a different fashion style from straight girls?
I think that lesbians have unique experiences that affect their clothing choices (whether it’s conscious or not.) It’s not an either/or situation, but I think it’s nice for lesbians to have a fashion outlet outside of all the heteronormative blog spaces. The lesbian community has a history of feminism and other types of political activism that may affect their wardrobe and style choices, but this is not to say that many straight women don’t share a lot of the same values and styles.
Is it possible to achieve this look for an affordable price?
Absolutely. Some styles are more expensive than others, but many of my best-dressed queer buds are expert thrifters and their wardrobes look far more expensive than they are. I do recommend setting some money aside for nice shoes, if you have the capability. Shoes so often make or break an outfit, and the right pair can turn a budgeted ensemble into a fashion goldmine. I’ve had some of my best luck getting designer brand footwear marked down at TJMax or the Tannery.
What is the essential type of clothing to achieve the queer-look?
There isn’t one queer look, but there are plenty of essentials I could recommend for any wardrobe — like at least one pair of brown and black shoes, matching belts for each, and blazers.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I’m pretty much obsessed with all Jenna Lyons’ outfits and everything at J.Crew.
Can you give us some fashion advice?
Don’t be afraid to mix colors and patterns in your outfits. People can get bogged down thinking they need to match everything. Also, button that collar button, baby!
What are the essentials for this summer?
Patterns, jewel tones, boat shoes, shorts, seersucker… NOT Hawaiian shirts!! (Omg… seriously Tommy Hilfiger?)
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.