Style Profile: TB McQueen, Colorado
Tristan Bowersox, a.k.a. TB McQueen, is a graphic designer and collage artist who sees fashion as a form of collage.
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Not Artificial (Ham Cravat) All clippings etched out of mags w/ a needle while at work. (actually some sort of pointy compass; I'm not sure what it's called) #collageart #fashion #sunglasses #shades #attitude #collagist #fashioncollage #analogcollage #analogueart #tornedges
Collage art from Tristan's collage Instagram, @tbmcqueen
Tristan describes himself as “a 31-year-old, gender-rebelling, hetero-leaning young man from Colorado.” On his Instagram style account, @mcqueenstyle, he aims to subvert the perceived gender of clothing. He also creates super dope glitch-inspired fabric prints, which are available to purchase on garments at livehereos.com and spoonflower.com.
Today we are showcasing Tristan’s brilliant pattern-mixing and other fashionable achievements. He’s dapper, bold, and elegant, whether in suit separates or a skirt.
Where did you grow up & where do you live now?
I grew up in east Kansas, then moved to Colorado after graduating from KU with a bachelor's in Graphic Design. I moved with my brother, and our parents joined us shortly after. None of us miss the bugs, the politics, or the weather.
How do you think your friends would define your style?
I had a good friend — who was also one of my best style mentors — who described me as "Liberace meets modern Instagram cool girl," and I have never liked anything anyone has said of me more. When I put outfits together, I always try to represent the masculine and feminine sides of my personality. I explore the masculine side of women's clothing and the feminine side of menswear.
The Liberace pants themselves are from Old Navy's Pixie Pants line (read "for women"), but to me they present masculine in the context of other menswear. I believe the shirt was designed for women as well. My intention is to challenge conceptions of rigidly gendered clothing, and to provoke consideration of what factors affect their perceived gender, aesthetic, social, and otherwise.
What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe?
I am a restless dresser, and I have to keep rotating my wardrobe to keep it from getting stale. (As the seasons change, I put a chunk of my clothes into storage so they feel fresh to me next year). As such, I don't think I have any one piece I'm fixated on. However, I love my bow ties, and my favorites are all from Neck & Tie Co. They are high-quality, impeccably stylish, and less expensive than the frankly gaudy ties you'll find at Nordstrom and other high-ish-end retailers (I'm biased against silk, though). Aaand I've just discovered they have sold their brand, and their online shop is no longer open. There goes that imaginary brand deal.
My second favorites are from Plum Ties. They offer bow ties in lots of prints that range from adorkable to chic. Buy them out before Brooke realizes what they're really worth and hikes the price.
What’s your biggest style challenge?
My dressing woes usually arise due to lax laundry practices, but if I have everything available to me, I often fall prey to analysis paralysis. I will get fixated on one combination, and follow it down several paths before scrapping it all and starting over. So I guess my biggest challenge is just getting out the door.
Which literary figures do you most admire?
My favorite book is The Cheese Monkeys, by Chip Kidd. Set in art school just at the point that Design becomes its own course of study (formerly taught as Commercial Art), the three main characters approach visual communication from vastly different perspectives. The professor of the class, Winter Sorbeck (up there with Cotton Weary on the list of best names in fiction) is a problematic fave, but I was drawn in by his arrogant, hardball approach to getting kids to use their brains. It was backed up by experience, and although he might occasionally almost burn down a classroom by lighting a student's work on fire, he was ultimately tough-but-fair. Imagine a more understated, world-weary Gordon Ramsay.
Who’s your style icon?
I'm influenced by everyone pushing the boundaries of gender conformity, but in particular, I like Iris Apfel, Esther Quek, Elliott Sailors, Janelle Monaé, and the eternally dapper Donald Glover. I have also been constantly inspired by the #queerstyle community of Instagram, including Qwear's own A.L. Major, Mindy Dawn Friedman, Alok Vaid-Menon, Rachel Jayson (See Rachel on Qwear!), Bhairavi, and countless others.