Identity

Barbie Ferreira Learns How to Dress with Confidence

In this "How to Behave" episode, Barbie Ferreira meets with a dressage instructor and club kid to learn the nuances of personal style.
October 11, 2018, 4:31pm

In this episode of How to Behave, model and host Barbie Ferreira attempts to learn the ins and outs of style. "I like to think I have my own look, but not everyone gets it," she says. "In my career people are always wanting me to have a more sophisticated street style—whatever that means."

In an attempt to achieve a classier look, Barbie calls upon Louisa-Marcelle Eadie, who according to Barbie is "the most proper lady, in the most proper field." Eadie teaches dressage, an equestrian sport that puts an emphasis on appearance, and she hopes Barbie can find inspiration in the sport's stylish sophistication. "For dressage we want to look elegant because that's the beauty of our sport," Eadie explains. "When you look the part, you feel better. When your clothes fit properly it helps you keep your form tidier. Nobody wants to see a slob show up."

Eadie puts Barbie in a classic dressage outfit: white britches, a white button down, a stock collar, a navy blazer, and riding boots. While Barbie admits she feels "very fancy" in the outfit, she ultimately decides that this level of structured style is a bit much for her.

To get the down-low on fashion from someone who approaches it with more freedom, Barbie introduces us to downtown club kid, Nicky Ottav, known for his outrageous night looks. Barbie heads to Ottav's Bushwick apartment where the two get ready for a party he's hosting later that night. Ottav has Barbie try on almost every garment in his colorful closet while he explains that his style is about more than simply standing out. "It's out of respect for this as an art form, and the people who existed before us who made this a tradition in New York in the first place," he says. "It's all about queer expression and being out there in whatever way works for you." Before the two head out, Ottav styles Barbie in a baby blue mini skirt and a frilly off-the-shoulder top.

Though she explores two very different style interpretations, Barbie leaves the experience with one takeaway: "Talking to Nicky and Louisa, I learned it's not about what you wear but how you wear it," she says. "Hold your head high, rock your look with confidence, and people will appreciate you for it."