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.