Collection Series: Willa Bennett

This week we’re featuring Willa Bennett, a sophomore who studies dance, poetry and women’s studies. Willa collects headbands and backpacks!

H: Tell us about your collections. What do you collect and why?

W: Since I started dancing in fourth grade, I’ve kept all my ballet slippers, pointe shoes, tutus, and crowns from my past dance recitals. I somehow still find them all so beautiful and I’ll probably never be able to throw them away. I also collect socks, soft striped shirts, and flannels. My favorite flannel is my new black watch flannel which I recently got in North Carolina when I attended a dance festival there this summer.

It’s kind of silly because you’d probably think of me as overly feminine by my collections, but I don’t wear makeup, carry a purse, and I don’t think anyone that knows me well would ever think of me as “super girly” or “feminine.” I just think my identity as a ballet dancer sort of drives my room and clothes appear more feminine than I actually am in reality.

H: What are some of your favorite things to wear?

W: Usually, my favorite things to wear include some of vintage princess dresses which I’ve accumulated from different vintage stores over the years. However, recently, I’ve been interested in raw denim and I have more than enough navy blue and white striped shirts to clothe everyone around me at all times.

H: How does your identity as a dancer inspire the way you dress?

W: Since I am a dance third at Sarah Lawrence, I have dance class every morning. That really influences the way I dress when I wake up because I physically have to be in dance clothes most days.

H: How does your home state of California inspire the way you dress?

W: I’m from Southern California where it truthfully is always sunny and beautiful. I never even owned pants before coming to Sarah Lawrence. I don’t even think I understood the concept of winter before moving here last year. But from this, I’ve definitely learned to love darker colors, soft sweaters, jackets, and cashmere socks.

H: Who or what inspires your style right now?

W: Emma Portner, a dancer my age who just left Fordam University to do her own freelance choreography, specifically inspires me at the moment. One of her most recent dances is improved to a slam poem where she appears dancing with her girlfriend in blue and white stripped boxers, a white tank top, and a choker. Not only do I love both dance and poetry, but her aesthetic is very individualized and connected to her artistry which I find pretty beautiful. Dance is something I am constantly thinking about and therefore it is pretty evident in the way I dress myself.

Hannah Gottlieb-Graham is a sophomore studying dance, art history and women's studies. In her spare time she enjoys writing articles for Surface Magazine and College Fashion, cooking vegetarian cuisine, gallery hopping, shooting film and making her own perfume. Her weaknesses are Wes Anderson and good champagne. Insta: @sweetsweetnoir

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