Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. This edition, Gabrielle is featuring Sienna, a London-based queer style blogger. Sienna was born and bred in Norway, but moved to England to study Psychology in 2015. She has now graduated with flying colours and living the dream life in London with her girlfriend, Aquira. Last year, Sienna began a journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle and found a passion in that. She launched her blog this summer, on which she share outfits, sustainability stuff and lifestyle updates! Throughout her online platforms, queer visibility is central, too. (Feature photo by Erika Gabalyte @erikosphotography. All other photos by Aquira Bailey-Browne @aquariab)
Gabby: Why is queer visibility in travel and fashion important? How do your platforms help create space for members of our community? How do they challenge mainstream travel and fashion platforms?
Sienna: Queer visibility is always important, as it increases tolerance and safety for the queer community. When it comes to travelling, safety is particularly important. I have been backpacking in South America in the past and never had to worry about anything else than being female in risky areas. My heart sunk when my girlfriend and I realised that as a female same-sex and interracial couple, we have a ton of extra things to consider when planning our travels. We do not want our relationship to limit us, but we have to put our physical and mental well-being and safety first. Travelling to destinations where racism, homophobia and macho-culture is allowed to flourish must be carefully considered and planned. I hope my platform will help enlighten other female, queer and POC travelers about the challenges we face, but also show that it is possible to see the world! When we go travelling I would also love to meet queer locals and tell their stories to spread awareness about their situation, whether it is good or bad.
I also believe queer visibility in fashion is important. Queer fashion can blur stereotypical gender norms. Fewer limitations mean more potential that we can use to express ourselves and create unique styles. I want other queer and non-queer people to feel confident in themselves, but it is particularly important to me to show that queer can look however you want it to look. I am quite “typically feminine” myself and that’s just as okay as all other gender expressions.
In sum, I hope my platforms are positive contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community, that, together with all the other amazing individuals and couples who are visible in social media, show that being queer can mean a million different things, that we don’t have to adhere to expectations associated with labels, and that healthy, authentic love comes in a lot of different variations.
Gabby: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Sienna: My style and my identity is sometimes one and the same. My style is the shell I put on and what I want the world to see, as well as what I feel is comfortable and in line with who I am. In regard to sexuality, I do not feel like my orientation influences my style much at all. The only thing would be that I am very inspired by androgynous people and styles. I feel my style is feminine, but I am not afraid to experiment. Feminine to me can mean so much and is not at all about the traditional associations to for example dresses and skirts. In fact, I find suits very feminine. In a way, I guess that’s one way of knowing that we are redefining femininity!
Gabby: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
Sienna: My biggest fashion icon is not a who, but a what. It’s London. I can be so uninspired, but stepping out on a busy street gives me a lot of energy and inspiration. I get inspiration from everywhere – classic fashion enthusiast answer. It’s true though. People I see inspire me, celebrities and influencers inspire me, cool architecture and locations, music, art, photography, high fashion collections, moods, life, nature, and so on!
Gabby: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
Sienna: Last year, I started educating myself about the fashion industry. Before that, I bought stuff from the high street and cheap online stores. That was my biggest fashion fail. Today, I aim to only buy sustainable clothing made from quality materials by responsible brands. Second-hand shopping is a favourite! I want to truly appreciate each piece in my wardrobe. I’m still working on that.
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?
Sienna: Just believe in yourself, follow your dreams and spend as much time as you can on the things you are passionate about. I believe success will follow. The most important thing is that you are happy and comfortable, whether we’re talking about travel, fashion or anything else. If you feel outside of (or between) traditionally masculine and feminine styles, you may be contributing to a less binary perception of gender, which I think we can all benefit from.
Gabby: Tell us something unique about you!
Sienna: I struggled here, so Aquira helped me: I’m Norwegian and I can’t ski!
Gabby: What can we expect next from you?
Sienna: Aquira and I want to get more personal on social media. We want to do more YouTube videos and make some cool collaborations happen. We’re also planning our travels, so hopefully there will be some travel content in 2019! I have so many ideas, dreams, and projects – there’s always something exciting around the corner.
Gabby: Where can our readers find more of your style and adventures?