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Sydney's Neo-Harajuku Maximalist: Catching up with 14STRK
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N: Hey Elle! How's it going? I've been following your work for a while, and I'm so excited we're finally chatting! Can you give our readers a quick rundown of your background? Also, where did the name 14STRK come from?

E: Hi! It's been going well :) I'm so grateful and happy that I've been on your radar for a while and excited to chat as well.

Hi readers - I'm Elle, a freelance stylist, photographer, art director, and content creator based in Sydney, Australia.

I'm interested in vibrance, romance, dreams, and maximalism. Haha, I get asked about my username quite a bit but it's not that interesting really. When I was 15, I created a name for an imaginary fashion brand called 14strike. 14 for my favorite number (the house I grew up in) and strike because I thought it sounded cool. When I made my Instagram at 17, I used the name, removed the vowels because short usernames were trendy at the time, and it's stuck ever since.

N: You describe your fashion approach as maximalist, which I think is very refreshing. The energy exuding from your work reminds me of the street photography of Fruit Magazine, which (back in the day) illustrated the evolution of trends in the Shibuya and Harajuku areas of Tokyo. Can you break down the references that shape your fashion perspective?

E: Someone online once called my style 'neo-harajuku' and I really liked that.

I definitely take a lot of inspiration from 90s-2000s Harajuku fashion, as well as a mishmash of various eras and subcultures. 2010s party girl looks, goth lolita, 90s raver fashion, archival runway looks, and many more. I think fashion for me reflects my current state of mind and feelings.

So some days I'll dress very colorfully, and others I'll dress in all black. I don't feel restricted to be any certain way. It's a lot of fun that way.

N: Speaking of subcultures, do you think the hyperspeed at which trends emerge nowadays allows for true fashion subcultures to form? Some say trends come and go so fast that it's almost impossible for lasting communities to emerge. What's your take on this?

E: Historically, fashion subcultures have often been a reaction or resistance against mainstream society. Visually signaling yourself as part of this subculture was saying something about your ideals, who you were, and what you stood for.

But because clothing and trends are so fast now, I think "true" subculture has dissolved in some ways. Anyone can choose to be part of "x-group".

Aesthetics which originally had a lot of meaning are a lot more purely visual now and there are positives and negatives to that. But I think communities will always exist, whether they are online or in person.

N: What are your favorite brands right now? Any hidden gems?

E: Sourtai, Caro Chia, Briar Will, Karla Laidlaw, Ghostboy Club.

N: We have seen you collaborate with Rico Nasty, styling her during her Australia visits. Can you share the story of how that collaboration came about?

E: I actually took her photos for the Australian and American tour, and just styled a few shoots + shows on the US tour.

It actually came through TikTok. We had been mutuals for a bit, and she hit me up to hang out when she came to Sydney. Of course, I said yes.

Then she asked if I knew anyone who could take photos and I was like "I can!" I had only just started photography when I said that. I'm so lucky and grateful for the opportunity.

N: 3 years from now, Elle is ____?? Fill in the blank for us.

E: Elle is...

continuing to strive and do the best she can :)

All images courtesy of Elle

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