Raquel Undheim is one of my oldest fashion partners in crime. The first time we did a photo shoot together, we were 13-year-olds with duffel bags full of ukay-ukay clothes at a sleepover. Since then, our photographic adventures have led us everywhere from abandoned beachside hotels to our school chaplain’s yard. After a separation of three years, it felt fitting to meet up in New York City this summer and explore Brooklyn together, shooting and talking fashion for old times’ sake.
Name: Raquel Undheim
Currently living in: New York
Signature item: Oversized jacket
Favorite thing in your closet right now: Large jacket with too many designs going on
What’s your earliest clothing-related memory? I wore a skull tank top with a bow in the 6th grade and thought it was really edgy.
How did growing up in Manila influence your style? When I lived in Manila, I kind of lost touch with what was “cool” in America. I just started wearing whatever I thought was stylish. With garments being a lot cheaper in the Philippines, I was able to buy a lot of random clothes and experiment to establish my own style.
Were there any non-celebrity figures that played an important role in the formation of your personal style? I remember being in middle school and always looking up to the most creative people in high school and following their example. I think I always wanted to wear clothes that made me look older and more fashion forward.
When did you first become interested in fashion? Probably when I lived in Manila. I was privileged to live in a community with people from many different countries where I became interested in other cultures and styles.
Has your style evolved in the last three years? If so, how? Definitely. This is kind of depressing, but I feel like living in New York has influenced me to wear a lot more black. I also tend to stay away from dresses and skirts. My style has also become more minimalistic.
Are there any fashion rules that you follow yourself even if you wouldn’t recommend them to others? Most of the time, I feel like I look either boyish or homeless. It’s not for everyone. A lot of my clothes are pretty baggy. My body type is kind of boyish and I usually am drawn to clothes with a masculine vibe. However, I do like to change it up a bit every so often and go for a sleeker look.
Do you prefer to frequently re-wear things that feel right or do you like having lots of options and changing up your look every day? I have clothes that I buy and just don’t wear, because I feel better in a select few garments from my wardrobe. I’m lazy and I do tend to frequently re-wear things that feel right, so basically I’m guilty of clothing items sitting in my closet that never see daylight.
If tomorrow were your last day on earth, what outfit would you pick to wear from things you already own? My jelly shoes, American Apparel jean shorts, and an oversized t-shirt. Comfy and simple.
Do you have any clothes that you think are really uncool that you still wear anyway? If so, what are those clothes and where do you wear them? I have some PINK sweatpants that I wear when I don’t care what I look like. I also have a shiny bedazzled blue hat and leopard jumpsuit that are very sentimental.
How do you feel about makeup? Is it a part of your life? I don’t have a lot of makeup. I try to not wear too much, but I definitely use it most days. I’m all for covering up blemishes, but not caking on so much that my skin turns a different color. Everything in moderation.
When do you feel most beautiful? Probably after working out and taking a shower.
Are there any outfits or clothing items from the past that you don’t wear anymore that are particularly memorable to you? What are they? High school uniform and sparkly shoes.♦
Like this? Meet some of my other crushes here.