Style File: Minnesota Native Ethan Cline

By Lora Hlavsa

Although the Macalester student body is relatively fashion conscious as a whole, there are few that match the passion for design of Ethan Cline ’13. One of many natives of Minneapolis at Mac, Ethan debunks the myth that Minnesotans live in snow boots and Michelin Man jackets. Instead, he displays an innate passion for minimalist design, wearing pieces that accentuate the simplicity of fashion. This week, the Psychology and Japanese double major and I discussed everything from innovative designers, his aversion from traditional menswear, and the internet’s role in the fashion world. What are 3 words that describe your style? Minimal, Structural, Textural Was there anything in particular that inspired your admiration of fashion? Specific designers are very important to me. In the fashion world, I think designers that bring something interesting to the table are few and far between. I admire designers like Maurizio Altieri (of both Carpe Diem and Avantindietro) and Carol Christian Poell (C.C.P.) for completely rejecting the trends and norms of the industry and making extremely high quality and innovative garments that can stand on their own without the glittery, mundane fakery of the fashion industry as a whole. I admire designers like Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester for their consistent and powerful aesthetic directions. I admire Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo (of Comme des Garçons) and Yohji Yamamoto who are at once both playful and avant garde. Other designers whose work drew me to fashion include Helmut Lang, Alexandre Plokhov, Takahiro Miyashita, Raf Simons, Martin Margiela, and Hedi Slimane, among others. They’ve all done inspiring work. Recently, I’ve been following an Icelandic designer named Sruli Recht, who recently produced his first full clothing collection. The styling, materials, and shapes in the collection are all really strange and it doesn’t really remind me of anything I’ve seen before. I like that. I’m hoping to check out his work at a shop that carries it when I’m studying abroad next semester in Tokyo. If you could have dinner with any fashion designer or icon, dead or alive, who would it be and why? It might be cool to meet Rick Owens. Learning about him and his work while I was in high school was central to the development of my interest in fashion. I’m not really into in most traditional menswear (read: The Sartorialist), so seeing his work and drawing ties to things I was interested in was important. How do Minnesota winters influence how you dress? Do you think that the frigid weather is a detriment to style? I’m on my 21st winter in Minnesota, and I can’t remember the last one I was dressed appropriately for. I always hear people complain about wearing essentially the same thing every day during the winter months. Barring minimal variations, I do the same thing year round, though, so I’m fine with that. Where is your favorite place to purchase clothing? Because it’s hard to find what I like without traveling, I shop online for the most part. There are a number of online communities where I buy and sell clothing with others, allowing me to get stuff at below retail value. It’s a nerdy hobby of sorts, and allows me to discuss fashion with others while living in the Midwest. In terms of physical spaces, I really like The Archive, a small menswear shop in San Francisco that carries a lot of my favorite designers and labels. The owner is always super friendly and relatively unpretentious, something rare in that sort of retail. What are some online communities that you would suggest to people looking to revamp their own closets? It really depends what you’re looking for. There are a handful of them, and likely many more with which I am unfamiliar. They can all be found with some quick googling though. If you know what you want and you know what size you are, chances are you’ll be able to find it (often below retail) somewhere online. Suffice to say there are better deals to be had than whatever is on eBay. The #internet is great.