It took getting a degree in Psychology for Lori Quast to realize that her only chronic illness was her addiction to fashion. “I started suffering from my addiction from an early age; it seduced me into never trying to fit in. At 13 years old I knew I wanted to help people, and I decided then to become a Therapist. Technically, I have kept my promises of helping other people. It is just that now, I believe that Fashion Therapy also plays a great role. I really believe that a better dressed world is a happier world”. Lori is the Editor of fashion blog seedofstyle.com. She hails from Montego Bay, where she attended the Mt. Alvernia High School for Girls. She later on attended Excelsior Community College and Northern Caribbean University. She has lived and worked in Washington D.C., and New York. She now resides in Düsseldorf, Germany with her German husband Jens Quast.
Where in Jamaica are you from?
I was born and raised in Montego Bay, St. James. But I moved to Kingston at 16 for Community College (EXED) and then moved on to Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Manchester while pursuing my four year degree. So I have a soft spot for those two other parishes, too, because I literally “grew” up there as well.
How did you end up moving to Germany?
Wow, I do get that question a lot. Especially from Germans who literally swear (and I agree) that Jamaica is a paradise. But as we Jamaicans like to say “long story short”, it was for the oldest reason in the book, love. I worked for the Government of Jamaica for a little over four years as an Immigration Officer. One day, after processing a German lady, she unexpectedly declared that she had a son and she basically wanted to play match maker. I gave her my info but I honestly had no real interest, it’s just that she seemed like a nice lady and I didn´t want to seem rude. Her son, was also so embarrassed that his mother actually did this and he didn´t call for months!
When he called, I had already gotten accepted into a Masters program in New York and was planning on moving there. We hit it off immediately as friends and I even tried to introduce him to some nice girls. He showed no interest in being set up with other girls and we remained friends, even after my move. He even came and visited me in New York and when he left, we missed each other terribly. I ended up visiting before my school semester was scheduled to start and I never left.
What inspired you to create Seed of Style?
My husband was and still is amazed at how I combine pieces of clothing, with deliberate detailing every day. It is art to me and I am very passionate about fashion and he encouraged me to document it. So did my friends and family, as well. I figured it would be a great way to not only share my personal style, but also inspire other women who honestly enjoy fashion but have a hard time keeping up with trends and being inventive about creating outfits. Plus, I love writing, and interacting with people and helping them, in whichever way I can (make-up tips included).
When did you first fall in love with fashion?
I fell in love with fashion at a very early age, and when other young girls were busy combing Barbie’s hair, I was more concerned about how many changes of clothing came in the doll set. My mom, though, was my first fashion designer. Back then in the 80’s, people were still using dressmakers almost exclusively and my mother had such a strong sense of style, dressmakers loved making dresses for her. Of course, it helped that she had a great figure, too.
You seem to like vintage fashion. Why is that?
Vintage – aka ”ole bruk”. I like vintage for very obvious reasons, firstly, because I enjoy being an individual. And yes, living in Germany, I have access to H&M stores like on every corner. But then, so do literally millions of other women. Buying vintage guarantees that you will be the only person in an outfit at a party, at church or an event.
Secondly, you can find so many designer classic labels at crazy low prices in Vintage stores, you would be seriously amazed.
And lastly, the quality, clothes made from the 50´s-90´s, rarely have the “Made in China” tag, enough said…
How would you describe your own personal style?
I am always overdressed, lol. No really, my personal style is a lot like the music downloaded on my phone. It´s all over the place, I am not tied down to personal rules and biases based on preconceived cultural norms or stereotypes. My dressing is eclectic, fun, rarely sweet, surprisingly modest, but then rebelliously sexy, it´s… it´s me.
Describe your fashion mission?
My mission in life, which of course includes fashion, is to help people. I studied Psychology, and I really think that I was placed on this earth to help people. I was taught the value of assisting individuals from inside out, a higher self esteem makes a world of difference. I believe that everyone is beautiful the way they were made, and I believe that with the right clothing combination, we all can accentuate our natural beauty.
Has the popularity of your blog taken you by surprise?
Yes, I am quite humbled in fact. I have persons from over 140 countries visiting my blog monthly and the Seed of Style’s Facebook page is really growing into such an awesome and warm community. I wouldn’t mind more Jamaican support, though, I know that we have an insane amount of style!!!
Fashion tip for the season?
Fashion tip for the season: Oxblood is the new black and fashion tip period: save all your clothes! Well, not all of them, but pieces that you have a hard time parting with, keep them. I would be in fashion heaven now, if I had all of my mother’s shoulder pad 90’s jackets in my closet. There is nothing new in fashion, it just takes a 15 year break and then it hits the runway again.
Which designers do you love right now?
Karl Lagerfeld for women, in spite of the fact that I think he is terribly insensitive. He is a still a genius. Raf Simons for men, his designs are brilliant and Burberry everything as a brand in general.
Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?
Truthfully, other fashion blogs, I follow several actually and streetstyle fashion leaves a longer lasting impression than any runway show. I love seeing other women and men bring it on a budget!
What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more of us wore?
Sexy jumpsuits, can´t wait for their comeback!
You seen to be a natural in front of the camera. Are you venturing more into modeling?
I have been doing model poses since I was three, that explains why it seems as if I am a natural. No, not venturing at all into modeling, I just like the camera, lol.
A phrase you use far too often?
It is German, and not a very nice word. So, I won’t repeat it, we have enough not so nice words in patois, “no use” sharing new ones. The runner-up phrase is “It’s not that serious!”
What’s your super power?
It’s not a super power, but I am convinced that I can read people’s minds, lol. That might just be connected to the fact that I studied Psychology, though…. But don’t burst my bubble.
What food brings you comfort when you are disappointed?
None, not big on the whole pity eating thing, it is totally not healthy. But I do love shopping when I am stressed and that is also not very healthy for my finances, either, haha.
What other fashion blogs would you recommend?
Ethnic Truth (fellow Jamaican)
African Prints in Fashion
In a nutshell, your philosophy is?
Life is a mirror of King and Slave.
Thanks for the interview. Any closing thoughts?
No, thank you for interviewing me. A little lipstick goes a long way, ladies.