Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. For her latest edition of Style Dossier, Gabrielle is celebrating the style of BLAIZE (Chèa Calvert). BLAIZE is a thirty-year-old actress from Austin, Texas who loves to dress up, take pictures, and eat. Soon, BLAIZE will start school, hoping to get back into the medical field. One day BLAIZE hopes to run a successful organization for those who cannot afford healthcare.
Gabby: Tell us a bit about your favorite outfit and where people can buy it.
BLAIZE: I love clothes: prints and colors, accessories, slacks and jeans, tees and button ups and BLAZERS! With that being said, brands don’t matter much to me. However, Tommy Hilfiger, J. Ferrar, Chaps, Polo, Rocawear, Hurley (and many no-name-brands) are a few that I currently own. I absolutely love shopping, but I will not spend a lot of money on clothes. I shop for main pieces, such as, slacks, jeans, tees, blazers and button-ups at thrift stores and Goodwill. These places give back, so I can feel good about the shopping that I do. When I can’t fit something anymore, I give it right back. My hope is that someone else can have a chance to experience the excitement of putting together an outfit to be proud of. As for my accessories, I shop Austin 5, Ross, Marshall’s, Rue21 and Walmart. I recently started buying fabric from Walmart to use as my pocket squares, they have so much to choose from.
Gabby: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
BLAIZE: I honestly don’t just have single icon; I have many. My fashion icons are all around me, mostly those bold and daring people who wake up in the morning and choose to be different when they pull fabrics together to create a masterpiece of fashion. The ones that stand out in a crowd or at an office. Those pops of color that draw your attention and hold it for a brief second, enough to make you wonder if that person will allow you to take a selfie with them. Those people are my fashion icons.
Gabby: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
BLAIZE: My personal style has everything to do with who I am, what I like, what I wear, and how I wear it!
Gabby: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
BLAIZE: While it is important that everyone is visible, as LGBTQ people we must have a desire for success on every level just as much as the next person, because we all have struggled to fit within boundaries that were created. Every person comes from a different background and has different styles, values, and beliefs. This is why we have to push through the ignorance of some people, and hold on to the encouragement given by others. We must teach ourselves to balance strength, stability, love and patience. Of course, we must look dapper while doing all of the above! When you look good and feel confident, you perform well in whatever you do. When we are not confident in how we look, we tend to hide and not fully reach our full potential. Fashion paired with confidence opens the door of opportunity for individuality, to us and those around us.
Gabby: What challenges do you face in your profession, if any, as an LGBTQ person?
BLAIZE: I don’t believe I have faced any challenges out of the norm within my profession. Wherever I go and whatever I do, as long as I look good, I have the confidence to learn whatever skill is required of me, regardless of my flaws.
Gabby: Tell us about your biggest fashion or shopping fail!
BLAIZE: That’s a good one! I have made many mistakes in my life, but I have never, in my mind, failed at shopping. There are those times that you can’t find what you want but, there’s always something else around the corner. As far as fashion, I might have failed several times, I’m still learning my likes and dislikes and different styles.
Gabby: What advice would you give our readership? What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
BLAIZE: No Labels, No Worries! Find what you like, whether it is something to do or something to wear. Pair that with taking time to get to know yourself, rather than others telling you who you are. Date yourself and be the person you love. If you don’t love the person that you have grown to be, start making changes and CREATE the person you WANT to be. The key is to love yourself. Put everyone else on the back burner, along with rules and guidelines. Get comfortable with yourself. When it’s time for your close up, people will see the real you because you have created an amazing person that you love. You can’t label that! Make space for the yourself, the person you have created.
Gabby:Tell our readership something unique about yourself.
BLAIZE: I’m shy, except when I get in front of a camera. I like to stay to myself, but I like to get lost in a crowd. (It gives me a rush!) Additionally, some of the foods that I love are the ones I’m slightly allergic to. Lastly, I have been a local actress in Austin, Texas for three years.
Gabby: How did you hear about dapperQ? Why were you interested in a feature?
BLAIZE: I found out about dapperQ through Google. I was looking for a way to get my feet wet in the modeling industry. As far as me being interested in a feature, I just wanted to get my name out there. This feature is a great introductory piece for me! I appreciate dapperQ.
Joedee Reyes Photography