By Eric Sellers and Michael Shaw Talley, PQ Monthly
In a city teeming with fashion, personal expression, and trendsetters, we want to get into the heads of some of Portland’s stylish LGBTQ icons. To us, style is not made in magazines, malls or on television; it’s personal. That is the reason for this style deconstruction.
Marc Tobia (Stacy Stl Lisa), Age: 28, Occupation: “Professional” / Artist / Entrepreneur
PQ: What age were you when you realized style mattered?
MT: I was 12 when I got into style. It was the summer before the 7th grade, and I wanted to impress on my first day of school. I came in 70s platforms, raver pants, and a button up…I thought I was so cool and fashion forward. At the time, I was really interested with what future style and sounds of music would be like. I was really into cyber-punk/goth, and Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, electronic music and Orgy was what I listened to. Orgy really influenced my style at that time.
PQ: Who gives you a style boner today?
MT: I love what Brooke Candy has done for platforms. That music video by Grimes for “Genesis” is like what David Bowie did for his song/video “Ashes to Ashes”—getting the upcoming club kids who are presenting the underground that will later influence mainstream fashion. My friend West has and is always a big inspiration for me…He is really good at marrying high-fashion with street-wear punk; Helmut Lang was made to climb fences in. I’m also loving the current Health Goth trend; it’s a perfect blend of Yoga Mom aesthetic/comfort, with tech fabrics, and all black—wearing all black is something you can’t really go wrong with. I love comfort as much as I like clashing/this doesn’t make sense/practicality outfits.
PQ: What is your most valued article of clothing you have purchased?
MT: I have a lot of pieces I love. I don’t have one piece of clothing that is most valuable to me. I try to find pieces of clothing that have something interesting about the cut, texture, color, and will always be compelling.
PQ: Smells? Are you all natural? Soaps? Sprays? Discuss. We wanna know brands!
MT: I love an all-natural smell. During the weekend I usually don’t wear deodorant, but during the week for work I do. It’s one of those sensitive things where some people hate the smell of colognes and some people hate the smell of all-natural…I didn’t wear or own deodorant for probably five solid years, but once I began a more “professional” career I decided it was one of those things I should adopt and didn’t care. When I do wear deodorant I try and wear natural products (you know, the type that wears off really quickly), because I initially stopped wearing deodorant because of how bad it is for you—seriously, I had to go to the doctor once because my deodorant was giving me a bad reaction from all the crap that’s put in it.
PQ: The soundtrack of your closet, what’s on your Style EP?
MT: Grunge, Techno/Electro, Punk/Art fag music, Minimal/Ambient
PQ: EAT, DRINK, SCENE. What do you nosh? What’s your sip? Where are your haunts?
MT: I’m kind of boring and have a terrible habit of eating at the hot bar of New Seasons, ALL THE TIME. It’s just so easy and there are so many choices! Otherwise, I go to the Red Fox, drink a vodka-soda-bitters, and munch on bar food. I love nachos.
PQ: Shoes! O my god! Shoes! What do you have? What do you need? Brands, color, styles? Let’s
MT: I’m really, really bad with shoes. It’s the one thing I always admit to being bad with when it comes to style. I have a pair of combat boots that I have worn since the 8th grade (I had clown feet when I was a kid), but rarely do now, since they have been torn up to the state where water will come right in…I usually wear a pair of shoes until they are fully worn out; holes in the toe will not even stop me. I love platforms for that reason, because they last forever and make you feel like you are walking on the moon. Right now I have this pair of Nikes that are woven with thick bands that are unique. I’d like to get shoes with more color; most of my shoes are simple and black.
PQ: Forever young! I wanna be forever young! What do you slather and slop on to pamper
MT: Coconut butter. Usually at night, just because it can make me smell like popcorn. Baths/saunas/hot springs: sometimes great for your skin (hot springs definitely are), but mostly great for muscles and relaxation.
PQ: You’re going to a party…you stop by the market …what do you bring?
MT: A straw, if in drag. Otherwise, beer…hard alcohol if it’s a group party, non-BYOB.
PQ: You’re going on vacation! Where would you go? What one item is a must bring?
MT: Berlin. I want that techno. Item to bring: shoes to go crazy dancing in.
PQ: Who is your favorite artist, fashion designer, musician and why?
MT: Leigh Bowery: I wrote my art thesis on him. He was very ahead of his time, and crossed over so many genres, and brought high-art and low-brow art to a level that is both real and attainable. For fashion, Marc Jacobs usually has great stuff and shows. Alexander McQueen always knew (and his House is still bringing it) how to make great high-concept clothing. I also love Comme de Garcon. Bjork is like Leigh, always ahead of her time, concept, sound, thoughts.
PQ: What’s your most irritating fashion faux pas?
MT: People saying you can’t do this or that, or what is and what is not OK. For example, people that hate on sweatpants being worn out of the house. ..I love an LA Yoga Mom look — it’s just so comfortable and who knows when you might get pulled into a pilates/yoga class?