SLUG Style: Eliana
How many people do you know who can take butch fashion elements and make them look hyper-feminine? Eliana’s style pops, and she’s got the club kid scene, early trap and a litany of hairstyles backing up her overall vibe. “I am your friendly neighborhood lesbian auntie, absolute icon and meme queen extraordinaire, obv.,” she says.
Every month, “SLUG Style” features a distinct and unique member of the community and asks them why they do what they do. Exploring more than just clothing, SLUG Style is an attempt to feature the people who give Salt Lake City flavor through personality and panache.
SLUG: What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.
Eliana: I am inspired by any flamboyant rejection of the binary, baby! The NYC club kid scene in the late ’80s and ’90s is like the epitome of that to me. They went absolutely balls to the wall, pulling every extremity out of all these different genres of fashion, music, and art. They didn’t let social binaries dictate their expression. That’s v. hot to me.
SLUG: What are your interests or hobbies? What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about?
Eliana: I’m a music student, so I guess I mess around and make music or whatever :p. I don’t think people would guess how much I’m into Southern phonk/crunk from the ’90s. DJ Paul, Three 6 Mafia, Prophet Posse, DJ Screw, Paul Wall, Princess Loko … all artists who really inspire me. That era of music completely influenced the modern trap sound. I love making trap/hip-hop music and hope to be a producer some day.
SLUG: On your Instagram account, the photos you post of yourself and friends are colorful and wacky. What brings out these fun personae?
Eliana: I’m not sure—I think I’m just a colorful and wacky person so maybe that comes through in the pics I post. 🙂
SLUG: How does your hair shape the way your style comes together?
Eliana: As is the case with most queers, my hair has gone through quite the transformation since coming out. I’ve had the bisexual bob … gay baby mullet … shaved head … pink hair, all the classics. When I shaved my head, I felt oddly dysphoric for a while. But I think that was only because I was used to presenting for the world in a traditionally “feminine” way, and the shaved head felt like an abandonment of that. After I got over the initial dysphoria, I felt way more empowered to play with my masculinity and even go hyper feminine in ways I hadn’t before. It was a fun phase, but what they don’t tell you about shaving your head is that the grow-out process is brutal. Now my hair has grown out to more of a shag. I feel like I look like a sexy, casual biker from the ’70s all the time, which has inspired me to go a little more grunge with some of my looks.
SLUG: What parts of the queer movement do you feel come out in your style?
Eliana: I always say that I feel like I’m in drag when I’m stepping out in a look. Playing with fashion feels very akin to drag for me because all of my looks feel like different personas. They’re all micro expressions of me. Wearing a wild outfit gives me the opportunity to showcase a version of myself and to occasionally scare small children. We love!
SLUG: What are your trademarked elements of your style that no one else does quite like you?
Eliana: Hyper femininity in a butch way.
SLUG: Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?
Eliana: I am always so scared to run into people I know while running errands because I look like a “before” picture 99% of the time. The energy I’m usually giving is very haven’t showered in a couple days.
SLUG: Where/in what contexts do you feel like people would see your style in all its glory?
Eliana: When I’m out with friends on a Saturday night, bar-hopping and inevitably ending up at Twilite or The Trapp, where I will likely (in a radical act of feminism that nobody asked for) free the nipple. #bossbabe #girlboss
SLUG: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be?
Eliana: Sexy, sexy, SEXY!!!!!!
SLUG: How has your personal style evolved over time?
Eliana: I’ve always played around with my style. I grew up in a very small and conservative town in Utah County, so wearing anything besides a Hollister T-shirt and those bejeweled Buckle jeans (OMG, remember those?) was seen as very risqué. I liked stunting on my townie peers, acting like I was the main character with my fingerless gloves from Hot Topic being like, “These normies don’t get me.” In my preteen years, I thought I was a goth or something, and actually, I still feel like—at my core—I truly am a goth GF. When I first moved to Salt Lake, I went through a two-year phase where I was obsessed with pink, and everything I owned and wore was pink. I grew out of that and then got really into minimalistic skater-bro style. Now I’ll just wear whatever I want. I can go from Paris Hilton’s LV Bag chic to Gerard Way’s side-bang Couture real quick. It all depends on how I’m feeling.