Kurt and Sophie Talk Hometown Style and Hidden Talents: An Interview with P[h]assion’s Fearless Leaders
Director of Community Engagement, Deanna Duxbury
Starbucks was crowded this time around so I took our fearless leaders to the Premium Café next door.
Deanna: Hey guys! Sorry about the location change, apparently Starbucks is popular- who knew?
Sophie: Hi! Sorry it’s been so busy.
Deanna: It’s no problem! Mind if I jump into some interview questions? Light and fun, I promise.
Kurt: No, go ahead!
D: Okay, so where are you from?
K: I’m from a little town outside of Toronto.
D: Me too! Where about?
D: I know where that is! I'm from Burlington. And you, Sophie? From Montreal?
S: Not Montreal actually- I’m from Connecticut.
D: How long have you been in P[h]assion?
S: I’ve been with P[h]assion for 3 years! I actually started as a clothing coordinator and have been moving up ever since.
K: I first got involved 2 years ago and started in Social Media.
D: Look at how you’ve grown! Now you run it! That’s amazing. More personally, how’s the style in your city and how is it different from Montreal?
K: Good question!
D: Why thank you, I try.
K: In my town everyone (the guys at least) wore Sperry’s, DC sweaters, the button up shirts- that kind of style. Wearing a button up with like two buttons down was fancy. I mean I did it too- let me just find my…(pulls out student card) See, I look like a baby.
(Note: Yes, this means that you should totally ask to see Kurt’s student card picture)
D: Young Kurt! You’re so tanned there. You, Sophie? What was the style like in Connecticut?
S: Everyone dressed very…preppy. It was a very wealthy area. Everyone wore J-Crew and I remember it was a big thing to wear colourful scarves. I used to be much more colourful and wear a lot of bright accessories. I remember that the girls all wore like the frilly tops and I bought one just because everyone was getting one.
D: How much has your look changed since you’ve come to McGill? Or, in general, what are some major differences between first-year you and you now?
S: First year I used to look much more colourful, as I said. I’m much more calm now, like toned-down and classic but with a twist. Everything is more muted since coming to Montreal and now I’m more minimalist.
K: Yes, your style is very unique. No one dresses quite like you, it’s nice.
D: Agreed, very stylish!
S: Aw, thank you guys!
K: Kurt? How did you go from skater sweaters to being head-to-toe in black (which I definitely appreciate, I love the matching vibe at this interview)?
K: I also toned it down, definitely. Now, I pretty much just wear a lot of dark colours. I would brand myself…preppy but street wear.
D: Did you ever go through a wild fashion phase in your teen years (that you regret or find hilarious now)?
S: Aside from the ultra-colourful outfits I used to wear, when I was younger I went through a weird phase of making necklaces.
D: That’s not so bad- that sounds cute! I used to be a very punk/emo/angst kid so I always ask if anyone went through a regrettable fashion era or, like me, had a racoon eyes phase.
S: Really?! Yeah, I used to think it looked better when I was wearing like 5 at once. I don’t know how to explain it- I just wouldn’t do that ever again.
K: Oh, even last year, I went through a Yeezy phase. I wore matching pastels (a pink pastel hat and pink pastel shirt and such) and it’s not so bad but I’d never wear them all together again it was way too much.
D: Is there anything you think you can’t pull off but wish you could?
K: I would love to be able to pull off that effortless vintage look.
K: Yeah, like the effortless, aloof, “cool” kind of thing that I feel everyone in Montreal wears so well.
S: Yeah, I wish I could pull that off I don’t think I’m cool enough.
D: Nonsense! Oh, but speaking of being effortlessly cool- if you could be any persona in the fashion industry right now whom would you choose?
K: I don’t really have any designer I can name now, which sounds bad. I mean I love fashion and the industry but I don’t follow individual designers much. I will admit I love Kim Kardashian.
S: Hmmmm, Rihanna would be one because she’s just so cool. She can pull of anything.
K: I feel like she has a very raw, real style. Like it’s just her, no stylist and no one else.
S: But also Raf Simmons from Dior! The house used to be John Galliano but Raf changed the brand and made it so interesting- I just love him.
D: DID YOU SEE THE FEMINIST SHIRT? It’s amazing. Rihanna, among other celebrities, wore it in honour of the Women’s March! It’s from Dior, by the new Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
(Note: I’ll save you, Dear Reader, the gushing that happened over the general greatness of such an article of clothing. Just check it out here. )
D: SO- is there any kind of style deal breaker that would stop you from being interested in someone else? An example would be (in my humble opinion) popped collar polo shirts.
S: Hmmm, okay. I agree with the polo shirts. Also, colourful sweatpants.
K: YES. Colourful sweatpants definitely. Also, like the sweatpants with the really colourful shoes. The ridiculous ones. I own one polo shirt that isn’t that bad though-
S: No, that one’s nice. That’s fine.
K: Yeah, but the colourful sneakers and baggy sweatpants. God no.
S: For me at least, I think everything needs to be fitted. It just needs to fit you well. The clothes can’t be too loose or too tight.
Also, I don’t believe you should be too trendy. Like, I hate it when people are too on trend and trying too hard with mixing brands.
But, just put this as a blanket statement- I believe very strongly in holding doors for other people.
D: Haha, manners are very stylish!
D: A little bit of manners goes a long way.
D: That’s very true, I totally agree. Last question: If you had to do a last minute performance in the fashion show, what would be your act?
I mean, this is completely hypothetical, if the performers you scheduled weren’t going on and we needed stalling time and for some reason the entertainment fell on you.
S: I would sing. I did years of a ccapella in high school! But I didn’t really continue doing that when I got into university.
D: Really? You didn’t want to be “Pitch Perfect”?
S: I looked into a ccapella groups here but I just couldn’t get into it enough. So that’s my talent, I’d just start singing.
K: I think I’d roast people- like I’d take someone out of the audience and just roast them. I have a talent for insulting people and I think it’d be great. I worked at Just for Laughs last year, and the best part is that you get to go to all the shows. I watched the roasts and it was like, well I was laughing but also like “Oh no!”
It was cringe-worthy but also hilarious.
(Note: I laughed very hard at this statement and it’s important to know that I almost titled this interview “I have a talent for insulting people”: Kurt, Sophie and Other Hilarious and Mildly Worrying Things)
D: Oh my god. Just put all the names of the committee into a fishbowl for the picking and see everyone on the team run out as soon as you come on stage.
K: Yeah, that’d be the idea- I think it’d be amazing so that’s what I’d do if I must.
D: Anything left to add?
K: I think, “Why is P[h]assion and ACCM important to you?”, can we make that a question?
D: Of course!
K: It’s just because they are so amazing, they invited us to the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit and were just so friendly. They’ve been so open and welcoming with everything and I’ve learned so much from them. I mean, I’m not sure if this is explicitly in P[h]assion as a mandate but the LGBT community that ACCM supports is also really important to me. At least for me, I was still in the closet when I first got to Montreal. In all my years at McGill, I’ve never fully had a cause to devote my money to but I’d love to stay in touch with them for as long as possible.
S: I agree with Kurt, they’ve just been so wonderful to us and so involved. When Roberto approached us he was just so prepared with so much information, I’m learning every time I encounter them. For me, this cause is really amazing because it makes me want to put out a good show for them.
Contributing to this cause makes it so much more worth it to do the P[h]assion show. We just wanted to clarify that we are very, very excited to work with ACCM and it’s a great organization to support and we are proud to support it.
Safe to say, we love you guys.