Color palettes inspired by Wes Anderson films. Making a new fashion decision every morning. Exploring the idea of what gendered clothing really means. All of this coming from 24-year-old Raleigh Nordhagen, who explores expressing androgyny through their style.
In Hunter Bay Coffee on Thursday, Nordhagen sat toying with a wool scarf (royal blue with bright reds, greens and yellows sewn in), and talking about what influences their style, a commentary on gender expression.
“When I’m feeling more a certain way in a day, I’ll dress in a certain color palette or a certain style of dress,” they said. “I’ll wear a more flowy shirt on a more feminine day. Sometimes it’s just T-shirts and jeans.”
Nordhagen, who just recently came out as trans nonbinary, said their style has developed from a place of lashing out at fashion norms to a place of embracing authenticity. In high school, people would comment on the style choices that Nordhagen made, whether it was tight jeans or suits.
“A lot of my fashion, I guess, comes out of spite from high school,” Nordhagen said. “People who were like, ‘You need to dress this way,’ or, ‘You need to do a certain thing.’ Well, you know what? No, thanks."
“Now I dress the way I want, and I’m always comfortable and it doesn’t really matter.”
Nordhagen said they get a lot of inspiration from famed director Wes Anderson’s films: color palettes, textures and moods. They said that they can draw a lot from these films, the way they define themselves by how they dress.
Nordhagen has fully embraced fashion as an expression of whatever way they may feel, exploring gender normatives and androgyny — the colors, textures and styles that appeal to them, the things that make them most comfortable. And Nordhagen said others should feel empowered to do the same.
“Don’t let the fashion industry tell you how to dress,” they said. “Whatever fashion works for anybody is what should work for them. You should dress in what draws you and what makes you feel good.”