Dutch. 31. Fashion Anthropologist. Part-time Philosopher.
In this business we have the pleasure of meeting people from all across the grid, out there doing incredible things. However, there is one person in particular where the melding of real life and work life is undeniably prominent. Charlotte Corstanje is a fashion anthropologist whose form of communication and self-expression is all she adorns her body with on a daily basis. Spurred on by her passion for clothing, its history and the significance it has in today’s world, she’s building an impressive portfolio towards the ultimate goal of becoming a full-fledged clothing consultant – essentially, someone who’ll teach you how to feel comfortable in the clothes you actually want to wear, but aren’t quite sure how. The best part? Charlotte is as much bark as she is bite, inspiring and educating others one eccentric outfit at a time.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I am feeling vulnerable. Sometimes I’ll be at work or other times with friends, and I’ll catch myself telling a twisted version of the truth because I don’t want to be confronted with something at that particular moment. In the end though, I know that this is just a manner of postponing what will eventually come out. The truth always prevails, and so it’s best to be honest and listen to your feelings, no matter how hard this might be
What is your current state of mind?
Confusion. Who am I? Who would I like to be? I am educated as a fashion anthropologist (one degree in fashion and another in social and cultural anthropology), and have always embraced the combination. The deeper I dive into the subject, the more I realise how much I want to be a part of the larger discussion. How do we choose the clothing we wear? And what do we communicate with that choice? How does this affect our identity? Individually, culturally, locally, globally? I have always followed my curiosity. But lately, due to questions of inclusiveness, I have come to question my own (privileged) position in this world. Who am I? Who would I like to be? What am I willing to give up? Identity, identity, identity.
When and where were you happiest? What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The best place in the world no matter when or where is the beach, especially when it’s drizzling so lightly that you feel refreshed without truly getting wet. In this moment, when it’s quiet and there are so few people around, you suddenly become aware of your surroundings in a way that you might not have if it was a sunny day when you’re so relaxed you forget where you are. It’s everything: the water, the breeze, the sand. The patterns and endless repetition of the rolling waves makes me happy. Like being hypnotized by watching a flame, except at the beach it’s total immersion.
Finding herself in a period of discovery, Charlotte’s research is taking her to new levels of awareness. The big question: identity, with a capital “i”. To what extent can her role in the fashion world tackle subjects such as diversity, and what exactly do these choices mean for her as a woman, especially one in this industry? This renewed energy and shift in perspective is the kind that stirs big change in a person and we can’t wait to see how this will manifest in her closet too. In the meantime, we’ll be waiting for the next almost-not-quite rainy day to experience an immersive session at the beach, à la Charlotte Corstanje.
Dive into Charlotte's world here.
Header image © Justine Leenarts, for Elle magazine
Body images © Charlotte Corstanje