Brooke Wise Leans Into the Fantasy of Going Out This Spring
The curator wears Dolce&Gabbana’s Spring/Summer ‘21 Collection at home in Los Angeles.
This spring, we are all about leaning into fantasy. To usher in the new season (and to say “ciao!” to our collective flop era), we’ve linked up with LA-based curator Brooke Wise for a dress-up session with Dolce&Gabbana. Brooke’s sharp sense of humor blends harmoniously with her knack for color, and this is all channeled into a personal style that can only be described as everything. So who better to fantasize with about going out (but not, you know, out) in style? We’re talking colorful patchwork, dramatic silhouettes, patterns that pop, and boots made for walking. The overall vibe of Dolce&Gabbana’s Spring/Summer ‘21 Collection is extravagant optimism — because after a full year of laying low and rotating between 50 shades of grey sweatpants, it’s time to level up.
Brooke’s job as an art curator has resulted in an imaginative eye trained for detail, and her amusing approach to life turns any situation into a party. Does she not make her home look like the hottest destination we’re all dying to get into? We spoke with Wise about the impact of getting dressed and its powerful ability to elevate your mood, even if you’re just donning a skirt to sit in your backyard and soak up the sun. Without further ado, let’s get dressed up and get lost in the fantasy.
First thing’s first: were you always this stylish?
I’ve always been a little all over the place when it comes to style. I’ll get really excited about a certain outfit and then look back at it a year later in disbelief over how I was ever drawn to it. It took me a long time to stop feeding into trends and hype. I’m now in a place where I’ve started dressing in a way that works for me personally vs. what I’ve seen in magazines, on social media, etc.
Did you play dress up when you were younger?
Definitely. I still have Polaroids of me at 5 with my grandmother’s wig, my mom’s long leopard nightgown and giant ivory bangles. My sister Chloe and I would dress up and film things on our VHS... it was insane and maybe iconic.
Describe your current personal style. Has it evolved at all over the past year?
Like a lot of people I know, I’ve absolutely grown apart from tight denim or anything restrictive on my body. My style these days has evolved into a pant-less parade of loungewear or fabulous items that I can’t wait to wear outside — but happily wear on my living room couch.
Does your career as a curator overlap with your fashion sense?
As a curator, I’m constantly absorbing and being influenced by art and artists. I think being drawn to certain patterns, colors and, most of all, individuality, impacts my search for pieces of clothing and my overall fashion sense, just as it does with my process around curating artwork.
Tell us about how color plays a role in your personal style.
I really like color, and I gravitate towards it when shopping or searching for a new wardrobe piece. If an item is colorful and has a wacky texture? Even better. My go-to color for anything will always be burnt sienna.
Where do you look for inspo when it comes to dressing up?
I’m definitely inspired subconsciously by everything I read, watch, and see out in the world, but a piece of clothing or accessory can inspire an entire look for the whole week, or even a month. If I’m really excited by a vintage purse find or a canvas blazer from my mom, it’ll set the tone for what I put together for a while.
Where would you go in these Dolce&Gabbana looks if you could go anywhere?
You could 100% find me in the shiny rainbow patchwork skirt anywhere from a New York bodega grabbing a bagel to a gondola in Venice. Also the patchwork denim pants... I know I just swore off denim, but since these are loosey-goosey and I’d be happy to wear them anywhere. I’m picturing a fresh-off-the-plane lunch at an art show moment. I’m drooling over the idea of non-lockdown life.
What are you most looking forward to as the world begins to normalize again?
Traveling. I’m never taking that for granted again. I’m already planning a trip home to Montreal, Miami in December, and maybe a Europe trip before that. I’m also very excited for the mundane activities I took for granted, like grocery shopping.
Why do you think it’s important to get dressed up, even when you have nowhere to go?
Self-love and self-care are a large part of fashion for me. It’s similar to how, if you’re having an off mental health day, they say to try and get up, shower, and eat. If I’m not feeling amazing mentally or emotionally, dressing up really does improve my mood. When I feel good and confident, I’m also more driven to get things done. There are endless reasons to dress up even with nowhere to go, which I think has largely helped with my pandemic anxiety and mental health.
Any advice for readers looking to step up their personal style this spring?
Don’t be scared to try new things. There are no rules. Trends don’t matter, body type doesn’t matter, age and gender don’t matter. Wear what excites you and makes you feel good.
Brooke Wise is currently working on a super-secret project for the Tom of Finland Foundation for Pride Month. You can also stay tuned for her annual Halloween comedy film festival, Aloha from Hell, this October. For updates on her curatorial projects and jaw-dropping looks, follow her @wisebrooke.