Instead of shuffling through her dresser for inspiration in the morning, 22-year-old Emily Gort looks through a box containing craft supplies such as pom pom balls and googly eyes.
“If I’m out wearing jeans and a T-shirt, I feel like I don’t want anyone to look at me. I feel like anything other than this is a costume,” she said.
She described much of her style as “childish” with ’90s Japanese grunge music influences and often feels uncomfortable wearing mainstream clothing. “I feel like really done-up makeup, really-done up nails and really done-up hair is too ‘adult’ for me, so I’m not super into it,” she said.
Many of her accessories are either handmade or come from thrifting. Every day, Gort makes an effort to wear something different than the day before. “Somedays I really like wearing miniskirts and other days I’m wearing really big, baggy track pants. Another day I’m dressed like a cowboy or bright pastels and a tutu,” she said.
Gort often alters her natural height with footwear. The 4’ 9” student often wears “ridiculously tall” platform boots to express a clownish appearance. “I’m really short and I like being really short, but I just like the look of chunky footwear,” she said.
In her experience, the only venues Gort where can find common ground are at conventions such as the Waku Waku Convention last month in New York City. “There are a few people who are into the same thing I’m into. It was super refreshing,” she said.
Gort’s style originated around the age of 12 while she was studying at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, a public school with specialized courses, also known as a ‘magnet school.’
“I was just like a typical kid. I watched TV, got decent grades and had a couple of friends,” she recalled.
Gort, who grew up in Las Vegas, said that despite living in upstate New York for four years, her style has still not adapted to the cold weather. In response to low temperatures, she wears flamboyant coats with pins, layered socks and colorful hats.
Similar to the coming fall season, Gort’s fauxhawk has changed several colors within the last six months from bright orange to silver and now, turquoise. “Older people will sometimes ask me, ‘How did you get your hair green?’ It’s annoying, but I’m used to it,” she said.
After Hudson Valley, Gort wishes to ultimately work in digital media overseas in Japan. “I’d much rather be happy making a comfortable living than making an insane living and being absolutely miserable,” she said.