Style Standout: The Contemporary

Style Standout: The Contemporary
Rachel Naomi Greene, 28, of Hampden wore a vintage black sweater dress that was a gift from a co-worker and Steve Madden black suede lace up ankle boots from now-closed Loehmann's. (Photo by Karen Jackson, for The Baltimore Sun)

It was dark in the old KAGRO space where The Contemporary was showing off the "Bubble Over Green" lighted art installation. And Rachel Naomi Greene, 28, was dressed in her usual all-black ensemble. But the Hampden resident's aesthetic was easy to see from all the way across the room.

"My motto is to dress as if you're going to run into somebody important. Never be caught off guard," said the hairstylist who works at Sprout on 36th Street.


Greene said she found her 1960s-based fashion inspiration at an early age.

"Jackie O was my style icon. I remember being 11 years old and thinking she was the most stylish person in the world. And Barbara Eden in 'I Dream of Jeannie,' too. I loved all of her ensembles. I don't know why I loved the '60s so much, but I was always drawn to that," she said.

But Greene sees a deeper significance in style, as well.

"I think [fashion] is very important culturally. I like that [Vogue editor] Anna Wintour says she can look at a photograph and tell what was going on in history based on what the people are wearing," she said. "I think it's so much more important than just getting dressed and covering your naughty bits."

HER STYLE: "Deco/Mod – straight lines, geometry, simplicity.

HER ENSEMBLE: Vintage black sweater dress with white-stripe accents that was a gift from a co-worker. Black sheer pantyhose. Steve Madden black suede lace up ankle boots from now-closed Loehmann's. Vintage shearing hat with pom-pom ties she found on eBay. Glasses from Pewter double diamond earrings from Doubledutch Boutique. Banana Republic black knit gloves with bows at the wrists. Movado watch that was a gift from her dad. Woven straw handbag from Malaysia she found at DC's National Gallery of Art gift shop. Prada black wool coat with flared skirt she got at a Philadelphia consignment store.

PASSIONATE FOR PANTYHOSE: "I think beautiful things are beautiful in part because they're delicate. And pantyhose are one of those things. They don't do much. They don't keep your legs warm. I think people don't wear them because they're so expensive and fragile. And the cost-benefit ratio does not make it a worthy investment. But I feel really pretty in them."

THE HATTED HAIRSTYLIST: "I'm a hairdresser, which is funny that I almost always wear hats, or head coverings; turbans and scarves. Often my hair is completely concealed. But I think they're very glamorous and stylish. I think hats can really make an outfit, just like I think pantyhose can really make an outfit."

HER DARK DECREE: "I almost always only wear black now because I focus on the design and construction of an item; the fit, the fabric, the way it drapes and the way it feels. [That] versus getting distracted by a very cool print, and then it's not a flattering cut or something."

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