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The Monday Style Edit: Style Profile - Paris Geraniotis, With Love by Bug
Good morning! Today, I’m bringing back a favorite series, Style Profiles, which went on hiatus back in the fall. The reboot is kicking off with a lovely first guest. Artist Paris Geraniotis is the face behind the Instagram account With Love by Bug, a fun, colorful and always stylish follow! I recently caught up with her to learn a little bit more about what inspires her work - textiles, watercolor, florals, crafting. She also has tips for those interested in creating their own garments. Read on to meet Paris and learn all about her style!
I love the bright colors and fun patterns you wear - both in your store-bought and self-designed clothes. What inspired your love of pattern and color?
Ah what a great question! Since I was little, I’ve always been drawn towards bright colors and florals. I’m not sure what it is…but certain combinations just bring me so much joy. I can’t help but smile! But then, as I got older, I was socialized more into “how” I should dress. Like a sponge, you almost automatically start dressing like your peers, and for various “ perceived “ standards and codes.
If I’m being honest, it wasn’t until the Pandemic when I fully reconnected with my love of color and patterns. All of that time alone really forced me to reassess how I was dressing and who I was dressing for. The answer should always be myself!
If I like a piece of clothing or a fabric, my heart sings a little. No joke! So that is my process now for determining what I want to wear and create.
How did you get started creating your own clothing? What would be your advice to someone who's interested in learning to sew their own clothing?
When I was younger, I took a few sewing classes over the summer, and a fashion design class in high school. However, after that my sewing machine went untouched until the Pandemic! I remember being at home in 2020 and in search of some fun new dresses. The options were so limited, that I finally was like “I know I can do this!”
I had this great pink and white striped fabric from Rifle Paper Co stashed away, and within a few hours I made a basic shift dress with it. Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than making a piece of clothing that you love. And then I was hooked! I haven’t stopped sewing since.
For new sewers, the most difficult part is learning how to use your machine. Threading the needle, the bobbin etc. takes some getting used to. If you have a machine (or even if you don’t !), I’d see if your local sewing store offers classes. Once you have a few classes under your belt and you feel comfortable, you’ll be good to go! And always start with an easy project - like making napkins or a table runner. Etsy also has lots of fun patterns for clothes, and is such a good resource!
What's your favorite garment you've ever made and why?
This is a hard one! I feel like each year I make a few dresses that I love and wear them all the time until I can’t wear them anymore.
However, if I had to choose, I think it would be the blue and white dress I made for my engagement party. Originally I’d sewn a completely different dress for the party…but when I put it on, it just didn’t feel like me. So I scrapped it and started again! The final dress has the most beautiful blue and white floral pattern, with a v neck, slightly puffed sleeves and a tiered skirt. It’s timeless, and I find myself wearing it again and again!
Moral of the story is always go with your gut. You know what feels most authentic to you, and when you wear that item of clothing, you’ll be unstoppable!
You post such beautiful illustrations/paintings, floral arrangements and garments! What have been your biggest influences as an artist and what type of work do you enjoy creating most?
Well thank you so much for that compliment- it means a lot! I find inspiration from all over, whether it be from a book from the library, an image I find on Pinterest, a beautiful flower I see on a walk, or a little detail on an antique chair at a museum! I am constantly snapping photos on my phone (don’t ask me how many!) of anything that catches my eye. And travel! Travel is so inspiring and helps get me out of my routine, which I think is important.
Currently, I am really enjoying creating custom paintings for clients. Recently, I’ve done a few animal portraits and graduation gifts, which are so fun. I’m a big believer in celebrating special occasions, so I love being able to help the gifter make a really meaningful and one-of-a-kind gift.
But I’d also like to figure out how to offer some sewn items as well. Sewing for me is very personal and each item I create is a little piece of art. Due to fast fashion (and fast everything), it’s a bit hard to convey this concept of fashion as art to clients. However…I’m willing to try!
Your creative work and your clothing/accessories really seem to echo and complement each other. How would you define your style - both your fashion style and your style as an artist?
I would consider my style to be feminine maximalism with a touch of whimsy. More is more!
After I was in Greece last summer, I also understood why I love blue and white so much. It’s literally in my blood! The blue of the sea and sky contrasted by the white washed buildings is a perfect anchor for my style. When I don’t know what to wear, I’ll oftentimes find myself reaching for one of my blue and white dresses.
All images appear courtesy of With Love by Bug and may not be reproduced elsewhere.