Look of the Week: Deena Butt ’12

Rarely does one find an individual who harmonizes classy sophistication and contemporary vogue like Deena Butt ’12 does. Butt’s chic assortment of clothing gives her away as both a New York and a London fashionista. As much as style-lovers try to imitate the trends set by these two major fashion hubs, Butt actually lived amidst the fashion craze. “I was really influenced by living in New York and London—fashion is everywhere, and it really becomes part of the culture,” Butt said. Butt shares a lot in common with one of her major style influences and fellow Brit, Alex Chung, a television presenter and trend-setter. Both of them have an urbanized, refined look that is hard to come by. To help keep up with the ever changing fashion trends, Butt and her sister exchange Chung’s most recent style choices back and forth via email. Butt loves Chung’s effortless and natural appearance, and although she strives to achieve that challenging demeanor herself, she sometimes falls short. “I would like to pretend that I don’t [put much thought into what I wear], but I do, because when you are wearing something that looks nice or is different, you feel good,” Butt admits. In addition to Chung, Butt also looks to Audrey Hepburn and Mary Kate Olsen for fashion inspiration, as well as designers Alexander Wang, Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood and Luella. Luella’s floral and youthful, yet whimsical and edgy feel matches Butt’s spin on classic apparel. Butt often incorporates black clothing into her outfits, because she finds black incredibly refined and classic. Even though this understated yet timeless look of debonair noir is one that students seldom try to achieve, Butt puts a personal twist on it. She incorporates more than just the standard black décor, utilizing textured sweaters and patterned accessories to embrace a quintessential urban consistency. Butt enjoys simple pieces that individualize themselves through detail. A soft, dark sweater with a Chanel-like trim and chunky buttons is much more appealing to her than just a plain pullover. She finds that studs, fringes, stitching and knits can make an unadorned outfit stand out in subtle ways. In addition to texture and detail, Butt knows that balancing her outfits out is key to putting ensembles together. With her British side comes the skinny jeans, but if her pants are stick-straight, Butt will pair them with a flowy top to create dimension and fluidity. She might also shake things up by matching a conservative outfit with a pair of spunky heels. Knowing Butt’s geographical and style background, it isn’t surprising that most of her wardrobe consists of mélange wear from Topshop, Zara, Selfridges in London and Barneys in New York. Besides those boutiques, Butt finds that “half the fun is going to stores that you don’t visit regularly and finding something you love.” Some of Butt’s favorite personal accessories include a cerulean floral, Topshop scarf, her peach colored Roman Holiday lipstick, a chunky gold chain necklace, and a pair of ebony French Sole flats. French Sole is her favorite brand of flats because Butt thinks “they channel the Parisian ballet flat look”. A pair of remarkably unique tortoiseshell sunglasses is one of her preferred wardrobe complements as well. They have a sleek wayfarer shape that calls back to the sixties, yet they still manage to embody a slightly urban feel. Butt said, “I bought them two summers ago from Topshop and still love them!” Overall, Butt’s modern take on haute clothing makes her chic style original. The epitome of New York high fashion at a prep school, Butt makes a refreshing appearance amidst a sea of boho and grunge.