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Julia Fox’s Stylist Stares Camp Right in the Eye

Briana Andalore has a reverence for the eccentric—shocking, right?

Richie Shazam
Julia Fox's Stylist Briana Andalore in Her Closet
John Novotny
Julian Stoller
Photo Assistant:
Ben Draghi

“Drag queens kind of raised me,” muses stylist Briana Andalore, as her friend and hair stylist coifs her black and blonde extensions into the perfect ponytail, "in the sense that they were who I looked up to." She’s wearing a John Galliano newspaper print robe and Pleaser platforms, which she has, of course, tweaked slightly to her aesthetic liking. If you don’t know Andalore’s name, you know her work. She’s the force behind Julia Fox’s headline-making sartorial charades. The New York native has cultivated a sense of style that has, by proxy, grabbed the world’s attention and reflects her downtown upbringing.

It wasn’t just drag queens that shaped her outward expression, but the whole of Greenwich Village in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. This historically-steeped geographic location valued individuality, in all its forms, but particularly after hours. Andalore grew up smack in the middle of it, just off Washington Square Park, near Bleecker Street. “Nightlife was a big part of my DNA,” she explains, “just being around queer people—that makes up a big part of my identity.” She started school on Christopher Street, home to the gay bar and historic landmark, The Stonewall Inn. The icons of both the era and the area instilled in her a reverence for the flamboyant.

Naturally, Andalore tried on different identities for size at a very young age. She describes her middle school experience in Gramercy Park as a much less friendly-to-the-unique space. There, she attempted to assimilate into mainstream culture. It didn’t work. “Within weeks I became a goth,” she reflects matter-of-factly, “because that's who I really was, I feel.” The hair, makeup, and nails turned black as the influence of Sublime, 9 Inch Nails, and Deftones journeyed from her boombox into her closet. This all happened by age 12.

Over the next few years, she tempered that bitterness with a little sugar. “I was like a candy raver, goth girl because I liked pink, Care Bears, UFO pants, and black makeup.” At this teenage inflection point, the stylist’s creative energy began to attract others vibrating at the same frequency. She met Fox and their other close friend Richie Shazam around 15, with whom she now sits front row at international fashion weeks. They bonded over creating the wildest looks to garner access to nightclubs like Room Service and Elbow Room. “Everybody got dressed up, and it was glamorous, and it was fab,” she recounts. “Yes, I was underage, and yes, I shouldn't have been going to these places, but I was very persistent.”

Andalore credits her large personality (and its manifestation in her clothing) for her admittance to said spaces. She built her sense of style on the experience of testing the limits of fashion. The budding collector and her friends pieced together treasures from stores on Broadway and Astor Place (it should come as no surprise that Andalore still likes to shop at S&M stores). “I was this force you couldn't reckon with—I mean, you can tell that my style is a little eccentric.” This reverence for DIY glamour persists. The day we visited, Andalore had slept very little the night prior. She was up all night putting together one of the creations (with the help of designer A’kai Littlejohn)—a black strapless dress adorned with exaggerated plastic bows.

At 22, Andalore and Fox expanded upon their process of crafting extravagant looks and launched their own clothing line, Franziska Fox. “It was everything I always wanted to be,” she says. “I always wanted to be a designer. I always wanted to work in fashion.” From dressing up Barbie dolls to outfitting herself for a night at Hiro Ballroom, fashion was always the only option. Today, her approach to styling isn’t that far off from what she’s always done. “I'm kind of a sourcer,” she explains. “That's the best way to describe my skills.” They need a factory to produce? She finds it. They need an obscure look from an in-demand collection? She tracks it down. “I’m a problem-solver, so it was a natural progression to go into styling.” Her friendship and collaboration with Fox merely elevated her work to a global platform. “I think the world finally saw what I could offer with Julia because I was able to do whatever I wanted to do, which was anything and everything.”

“Getting dressed is a different experience today,” she continues. “My way of dressing is less personal than it used to be. I’m more [focused] on expressing my style on other people.” The self-described “Gaultier girl” is not always turning a look (her “anti-fashion” grocery store ensemble is sneakers, leggings, and an oversized T-shirt), but that shock value is still her sartorial raison d’être. “It's about electricity. Even if we're not going anywhere, sometimes I put on those looks because the world should see them,” she says.

Whether she’s dripping in Diesel at fashion week or running to the grocery store in a t-shirt and leggings, one thing remains constant: a pair of cat-eye glasses atop her nose. “I just can't see,” she counters when I ask about the motive behind this signature piece. “What else was I going to do?” She tried contacts but they weren’t for her. “It just became another accessory that I, unfortunately, have to pay for.” The utilitarian need spawned a fanciful assemblage of eccentric eyewear, all with similar cat-eye shapes. “I'm a collector, a sourcer of things.” And as we’ve all seen, the sourceress wields her power for the good of fashionable free spirits everywhere. Shop her closet here.

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