Instagram fashionista Emily Harris’s handle @springfaerie is an accurate description of her sense of style.
Harris, ArtSci ’16, is inspired by vintage feminine looks, with a weakness for anything floral and flowy. She can often be found in 1960s-inspired dresses and light fabrics.
The self-described “vegan fairy lady” fills her Instagram account with vibrant colours, whether she’s dressed in laid-back overalls, cozy knits or posing with a flower in hand. I caught up with Harris to discuss Queen’s campus fashion and ethical shopping considerations.
You have quite a popular Instagram account. Does that play a role in your style?
I have 3,244 followers on my account @springfaerie. Just like everybody else, when Instagram came out I got an account. For the first couple years, mine was pretty ordinary. Then I started following a lot of accounts where there were really high-quality photos and I found that I really liked the accounts that were dedicated to [portraying] specific things.
I started getting more selective about what I posted—only things that were more whimsical and ethereal. I think my account is a true representation of my personal style. I have one pair of jeans—but I have more floral dresses than anyone I know.
My account is vintage and old and I think this reflects my style too. I have never been drawn to really crisp or modern-looking items. If I had to put a date on it, I’d say the ’60s.
What impact has your decision to go vegan had on your style?
I went vegan over Christmas break after being vegetarian since high school. With veganism, you can’t wear wool, leather, even silk. My problem was that I already owned several clothing items of these materials. So what I’ve decided to do is wear these items until they wear out. I have found that I pay more attention to where clothing comes from. I’m learning lots and it has required a lot of research.
What are some vegan lines you recommend?
A lot of people have probably heard of MATT & NAT, which is a high-end faux-leather goods line, with absolutely gorgeous bags and wallets. Many people also don’t know that Stella McCartney herself is a vegetarian and refuses to use leather or fur in any of her designs.
What’s your go-to outfit?
My go-to outfit would be a floral dress of any kind, belted, with cozy tights, a knit cardigan and some flats or booties.
Where do you look for style inspiration?
My mom is definitely my biggest style inspiration. She’s an actress and a high school drama teacher, and she’s always fostered confidence and creativity in me. Growing up as an only child, her and I played lots of dress-up and make-believe, which I think has translated into my style today. That may be why I usually go for a vintage vibe in my style choices.
If you could change anything about fashion on campus, what would it be?
I’d make it less darn cold here! I think when everyone is so bundled up it is harder to show off your personal style. For me, I really love lighter fabrics and skirts — definitely not meant for Kingston winter weather.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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