Sideara St. Claire is art. From her platinum blonde hair to her outlandish outfits to her expert posing skills, she looks like an abstract painting come to life. Because of this quality, she always looks perfectly out-of-place, and her most enviable trait is that she pulls everything off.
This is probably due to her sort of chameleonic style. Although she has a strong sense of self, she sometimes appears so committed to a look that she embodies different characters with different outfits. She has several staples—eye-catching headdresses and extravagant eyewear to name a few --but each look seems to have a new meaning; I take something different from every outfit she post on Instagram. Her knowledge of fashion is obvious, but she's anything but imitative.
But she's far more than her imaginative looks. If you, like me, desperately want a piece of her surreal, glittery world, you're in luck. She sells accessories on her online store, shopsideara.com, and 10% of your purchase goes to a cause of your choice. Her entrepreneurial spirit is commendable, but what I really appreciate about Sideara and her work is her refusal to be boxed in. She's an artist, an actor, a photographer—but none of these titles define her completely.
She is honest in the sense that she does not conform to these labels. And as a result her work feels enticingly fluid, interconnected almost, united by her rebellious soul, which makes it, and her, all the more compelling.
What work are you most proud of?
I am the most proud of every new thing I finish, so it changes. I am always surprised that I manage to make anything!! Creating new things is a constant surprise to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I don’t think I’d tell myself anything. I wouldn’t listen anyways.
Who are your favorite designers? If I’m being honest, I try to expose myself to a lot of work, and don’t often get tied to or even remember any one artist that I like. That said, Iris Van Herpen, Thierry Mugler, and Gaultier come to mind. Also some notable young NY designers I like include Rui Zhou, Voni Studio, Gao Di, and Hana Quist.
What’s the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?
Forgive myself on a regular basis.
What do you do when you’re feeling creatively overwhelmed? If I don’t feel creative, I try to consume other art or take a step away and do the other shit that needs to get done. If I feel full of creative energy but don’t know how to express it properly, I cry.
Do you find deadlines helpful or hindering to the creative process? Deadlines are instrumental to my creative process and absolutely help me get things done and come up with creative solutions.
What does style mean to you? Feeling confident and like yourself in what you wear, authentically
What memory do you find to be most creatively inspiring? Painful or confusing memories really end up fueling a lot of my work. I hate the tortured artist trope but my inspiration does not usually come from joy. In a way that is helpful, because I know that no matter how hard or dark things get, one day I might be able to create something I like with it. It’s not always that deep though, process wise... sometimes I just have ideas and I’m not focused on where they come from.