Victoria Tentler-Krylov’s “#fallstyle”

Fashion trends these days are as likely to emerge from TikTok and Instagram as from runways and the carefully curated pages of glossy magazines. In her cover for the fall Style & Design Issue, the artist Victoria Tentler-Krylov captures the scene at a favorite spot of the influencers (and would-be influencers) who roam New York City’s streets, searching for the perfect backdrop for their videos and snaps. I recently talked to her about how she keeps track of the many ways that fashion and style seep into our lives.

Where do you find inspiration for your personal style?

It depends on my mood at the moment. I really love the nineteen-fifties aesthetic in design, architecture, and fashion. I would have loved to wear the hats, gloves, and full skirts—those amazing silhouettes. But my actual day-to-day style tends to be restrained and neutral, with a lot of black and gray—that’s the architect in me. I admire Charlotte Gainsbourg’s style. She always looks incredibly cool and effortless without being loud or trendy.

Has the pandemic changed the way you dress? Are there items of clothing that you’ll never go back to?

Like many others, I fully embraced athleisure during quarantine. I wore a pair of Uggs that my husband had given me a long time ago all the time, even in summer. Recently, I happened upon them and they really brought back those claustrophobic, uncertain early-pandemic days. Now that we are more or less back to normal, it still feels like a gift to be able to go to a party, or to travel, or to check out a new restaurant. I find myself giving a lot more thought to clothes. It takes more time and effort than wearing Uggs, but I love the challenge.

Do you use social media as a source of inspiration, or do you prefer keeping your eyes open when you walk the streets?

My eyes are always open—I never want to miss anything interesting! I follow all the artists and illustrators I admire on Instagram. The platform gives them a place to share their process, including the messy parts. Before Instagram, I never had an opportunity to see the rejected sketches. I also get inspired by movies, TV shows, music, people, magazines, museums, travel, billboards, ads, books, supermarkets, and so on. Not to mention everything I see in the streets!

Do you sketch ideas on the fly, or do you prefer to snap pictures to remember visual ideas?

I always snap pictures when I walk in New York. Recently, after spending a day in the city, my phone was full of photos: a gallery-show opening, seen through a window in Chelsea; trapeze gymnasts at Chelsea Piers; and some safety barricades along the West Side Highway. I even have a video of an enormous cruise ship, with all its waterslides and basketball courts, slowly gliding past Little Island, the lucky vacationers on board yelling and waving to the people watching them. (I have no idea what I’ll use this video for, but I’m so glad I have it, because I can’t get that scene out of my head.) Pausing to sketch takes a bit more planning and time, but I always have my iPad with me. I love to camp out on the grass, or sit in a cafe to sketch.

You’re working on a children’s book about urban public spaces. How do you think those spaces are best utilized?

This book will look at public spaces in cities all over the world, and how they serve to bring people together. For example, I plan to juxtapose the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square with the Sha Tin horse races, in Hong Kong, and the Fèsta de ła Sènsa, in Venice, to see how those events use the space, what it means for the local culture, and how the spaces bring the community together in different ways.

See below for more covers about style:

Find Victoria Tentler-Krylov’s covers, cartoons, and more at the Condé Nast Store.

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