Getting Dressed with Candice Lake

Playing dress-up with our favorite-ever street style photographer.

Candice Lake is kind of a chameleon… to say the least. Well, like, when it comes to clothes.

After all, she sort of exemplifies that whole “you wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you” thing editors always endlessly rant on about. It was almost serendipitous seeing her slip into look after look from Ann Taylor’s latest spring collection – each outfit felt like pieces straight out of her existing wardrobe. From mesh pencil skirts paired with Peter Pan-collared blouses to oversized checked coats and pants, Lake swaggered out of her closet (well, Athena Calderone's—she was kind enough to let us take over her Dumbo home for a few hours, because, like, what are friends for?) look after look with this sense of confidence to dodge out into the streets and chase after well-dressed women (and men!) with her signature Canon camera in hand.

While she may be the one behind the lens now, once upon a time Lake played model, too, so slipping back into the role came pretty naturally. “This is the easy part,” she joked as she ran back and fourth across her living room… in stilettos, nonetheless. So, how exactly does a girl go from subject to shooter and a lawyer in between? “When I was younger I always wanted to go to art school, but somehow I ended up at law school. A couple of years into it, I luckily fell into modeling doing the runway circuit. Somehow the idea of a corner office as a lawyer went out the window! A few years into modeling whilst in between shots on a Harper's Bazaar shoot, I asked the photographer if I could come with him on his next shoot to assist. That was how I began assisting fashion photographers and transitioned to the other side of the camera. I went back to university to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography.” See, kids? It could happen to you, too.

And while Lake’s style now is pretty spot-on, there was a time (read: high school) when she was a bit, um – how do we put this politely? – confused. “When I was 17, I must have thought I was Bob Marley reincarnated as I was wearing woolen headscarves and fisherman pants religiously! It was only after a few years of modeling when I fell in love with fashion.  I realized that everything associated with fashion was a powerful fantasy.”

See what we mean about the chameleon thing? Out are the days of Rastafarian-inspired streetwear and in are the ones of staples that won’t scream “I’m stuck in a mid-life crisis.” Oh, and when in doubt: a red lip.