Growing up in a Filipino-German family of eight children, Rachel Hall, the lovely and talented woman you see on our cover, always sought to accomplish something big.
“Even as a child I wanted to achieve my name as an adjective,” the Slidell native tells me over coffee.
Now, I imagine that I’m like a lot of guys who have always considered fashion to take inordinate amounts of time and energy. But going from a noun to an adjective? That’s work, son.
Hall wears a black leather pencil skirt, white and black button-up blouse and black and metallic heels.
They’re geometric, she tells me.
Maybe someday someone will see an outfit like this one and say, “That’s very Rachel Hall.”
Fashion site Refinery 29 recently put her in the spotlight, and the LSU graduate has modeled for New Orleans-based Ottilie Brodmann and for a little coffee company called Starbucks.
By day, Hall works as a designer for Trahan Architects. She views fashion as a natural extension of her profession and hopes to meld the two for her own line.
“Fashion is about sheltering your body,” she says. “It’s very architectural.”
It’s not that I don’t want to look good all the time, I tell her. I do. I think it’s often a matter of credence.
A lot of men simply don’t trust fashion—at least not as far as they can throw a $75 sterling silver tie clip.
Why? Because it changes so often.
“Fashion is never finished,” said Jesse Eisenberg’s rendition of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. It’s in constant flux, a conversation between culture creators and culture consumers, and therein lies its power. Conversations require commitment.
But just as with business, when it comes to style, confidence means everything.
We’ve all seen someone fashionable and thought, “Yeah, but I could never pull that off.” Hall dismisses this as a lack of self-confidence, not a lack of style.
“If you like something and you’re drawn to it, that means there’s something of your personality in it,” she says.
Certainly, “The clothes do not make the man” is a worthwhile affirmation of the power of personal substance over style, but the popular proverb is being put to the test.
A Northwestern University study published earlier this year by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that our clothes not only say a lot about us; they say a lot to us as well.
Testing what researchers have termed “enclothed cognition,” it was revealed that subjects performing tasks in a white coat they were told was a doctor’s coat made fewer errors than those without coats or those given the same white coat and told it belonged to a painter.
The researchers concluded that, despite the age-old saying, clothes appear to hold a “strange power over their wearers.”
Strange power? Self-confidence? Geometry? Style, it seems, is a significant responsibility.
So what should the less fashionable among us do when we face sartorial snares? Thankfully, Hall has a suggestion for that, too.
“Just get it in black.”
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Bad Guys, Good Eats! Pop-Up Dinner at Restaurant IPO
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