Erin Crawford’s hair has been dyed blue for only around four years, but it might as well be her natural hue.
“I love my blue hair,” said the University of Iowa student. “A lot of people ask me why I haven’t done a new color or if I’ll do a new color, but I just feel like the blue has become a part of how I look. It’s a part of my face now.”
Whether she’s walking down the streets of Iowa City or vlogging from a music festival, Crawford likes to stay “immersed” in her own look — “incorporating little bits of me,” she says, from her azure head to her chunky black boots.
The Chicago native pegs her personal style as alternative, Goth, scene and “all over the place” — “A lot of people on the internet would describe me as an e-girl, unfortunately,” she said — with plenty of metal chains and studs, band T-shirts and black. She’s purchased much of her wardrobe from thrift shops and merch tables, as well as shops she’s encountered while traveling in cities such as Harajuku and London.
“From a very young age, I was really interested in putting weird things on my body or altering what I was wearing or how I looked,” she said.
“I feel like fashion is kind of my life. I’ve been dressing weird forever so I couldn’t see myself stopping that.”
Despite her emo aesthetics, Crawford doesn’t shy away from colorful garments and accessories. She often draws inspiration from Japanese fashion and rainbow-draped YouTubers such as Pixielocks.
“If you looked at her, her style is the exact opposite of mine,” Crawford said. “She is very much pastels, bright colors, all pink, lots of pink. But it’s just the way that she coordinates her outfits that I like very much and the way she grabs pieces and makes things her own.”
Crawford is also heavily influenced by the dubstep music scene, which is the focus of her own YouTube channel, rinnyea. She’ll often gear up and attend bass-heavy music festivals around the country and world, from 515 Alive and Kosmic Kingdom in Des Moines to Forbidden Kingdom in Boca Raton, Florida and Rampage in Antwerp, Belgium.
“When it comes to the music, I feel like there’s sort of an emphasis on creativity and openness and people just dressing wildly and openly and completely freely, and I really like that,” she said.
While she might break out her most fun outfits at fests, Crawford said she’s not afraid to be herself and stand out in her daily life.
“When it comes to fashion, I feel like it’s our one opportunity to give that first impression to people. It’s a mating call, if you will, to other people to say, ‘hey, look, this is probably what my personality is going to be like.’”
“The way I think about it is that the clothes I’m wearing make me happy, I really like looking at them and ultimately if you’re around people who don’t like looking at them, is that a worthwhile interaction you want to have?” she continued. “It’s more about you, so if you’re comfortable with yourself, that’s all you need, 100 percent.”
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Fashion Forward is presented by Revival.