Arts

Fashionista Mimi Leggett ’13

Mimi Leggett ’13 not only has an impeccable sense of chic and trendy style but also hand-crafts almost everything she wears. Leggett spent most of her childhood wearing a school uniform. This inability to express herself drove Leggett to teach herself to sew in the fourth grade. Since then, Leggett has been creating anything and everything, including skirts, dresses, tops and even jewelry from scrap fabric. Leggett said, “At home, I have two closets that are overflowing with piles of clothes that have been given to me by my older sister, mom, grandma, and even friends. They are not even necessarily the cutest clothes, but I just hate throwing them away, because I always have ideas to remake them.” She can easily whip up a creative skirt or dress, even one skirt she made entirely out of ties. “I either start with a plan and completely change it as the piece comes along or simply start with a piece of fabric and make it up as I go along.” Leggett’s favorite hand-made outfit was the dress that she wore to her eighth grade graduation. She recalled, “I stole this hideous dress from my school’s costume closet. It was red, white, and blue, floor length, and had three tiers of chandelier skirts. I sewed it in and made it a lot smaller, cut all the chandelier layers off, and played with the design a lot. It just felt so good to turn something so ugly into something really cute.” Although she has little time, Leggett finds herself drawn to funky jewelry. “I used to have a thing for…really big earrings. My favorites were these huge green earrings that I made out of stained glass that I bought from a really cool beading store in Cambridge.  I mean, I probably won’t ever wear them, but they’re just really fun to have!” Leggett was featured in the West Quad North Fashion Show last year, before she entered Phillips Academy. “It was really scary but also so much fun. I loved getting to show my clothes, but it was so scary because the show was three days before I even knew if I got into Andover.” She will design ffor this year’s show as well. Depending on whether or not she has a plan, Leggett takes anywhere from one hour to a couple of days to finish a piece. She said, “It took me maybe three days to finish my line for this year’s West Quad North Fashion Show.” One has to ask, where does Leggett get her incredible fashion sense and inspiration to create such resourceful pieces? Leggett often peruses fashion magazines such as “Vogue” and “Teen Vogue” for up-to-date trends and possible designs. “Also, whenever I go to New York, I try to pick up a Bergdorf Goodman catalogue, because it always gives me great ideas.” Leggett reveals her guilty pleasure of buying fashion books that have both pictures and small interviews with fashionistas. “I once read a book on Japanese ‘street style.’ I wasn’t planning on suddenly dressing in Japanese street style, [but] it is still really interesting.” She also adores reading the fashion section of the New York Times whenever she can. “My parents will often send me little clippings that they think I will like or appreciate,” she said. Although Leggett does not have a specific style icon, she loves Lady Gaga. “I wish I had the guts to dress so out there like [she does] and take myself seriously.” “I just love knowing all about the many expressions of fashion, and I know it sounds cliché, but style will always be a big part of who I am.”?