Name: Catina Ponticello
Location: Chicago, IL
What do you do, in your own words, and how long have you been doing it?
Collecting as many “hats” as possible since I can remember! There as never been one thing in particular I have wanted to do. As long as what I do allows me to travel and weave a complex international web of humanity and healing, I will be quite content. This fall I start nursing school here in Chicago, which feels like the biggest missing piece to my personal holistic health philosophy. I’m also completing my 200 hour yoga teacher certificate the summer and hopefully my TESL certificate as well. Other than that I get my dance on where ever I can. I love all things Hello Kitty. In terms of making them $$$ I get my hustle on by serving and bartending at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy.
What is your personal fashion philosophy? Throughout the long and painful journey of going from a size 8 to a size 16 and then back down to a size 6/8, I learned a lot and finally feel like I know how to dress my body. I pay close attention to proportions and am fueled by my desire to be unique as possible. If everyone else is wearing grey I’m wearing as many colors as possible.
Where do you like to shop for clothes?
The continent of Asia (Catina used to live in Thailand) , Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Forever 21, and of course thrift stores.
Who are your personal style icons and influences?
Mostly my friends, Gwen Stefani, Rupaul, Eddy Monsoon, Björk, and M.I.A.
If you could live in any era of fashion history when would it be?
The 1920’s, when women’s hem lines first went way up simultaneously as pants finally became haute couture. However currently EVERYTHING I’ve loved since childhood is currently en vogue! It’s bittersweet really: animal print, metallics, sequins, fringe, ombre/dip dye, black and white, rainbows, tribal patterns/ethnic clothing, stripes, hyper color, neons, tasteful tie-dye, holographic anything, beading, embroidery, natural stone/crystal jewelry, the colors citron yellow, sea foam green, cerulean blue and hot coral. It’s nauseating, but on the plus side there’s more for the taking than ever.
What are your current favorite clothing pieces, accessories, and beauty products?
My ChuYuWear earrings designed by Hana Kulovic, Tarte MultiplEYE lash enhancing liquid eyeliner- this stuff applies like a dream and wears forever, Sally Hansen nail polish and stickers, and coconut oil- it’s the only product I need on my hair and skin.
You are currently studying to become a yoga instructor. How has your yoga practice informed your body image and sense of self confidence? Yoga has been a part of my life for a long time. It wasn’t until I start teacher training this winter that it really changed my union of my mind, body, spirit, and spiritual practice. I practice vinyassa yoga in a hot studio and most often only wear a pair of biker shorts and a sports bra. I’m forced to see my body in the mirror at all angles in some not so attractive poses and have finally been able to let go of the negative, judgemental thoughts that don’t serve me. This period has been the first time in my life when I have gained weight in positive way since my muscle mass has vastly increased. I never knew I could feel this strong and healthy!
If a design house or clothing line approached you wanting you to develop a line with them, who would you want it to be, and what kind of pieces would you create?
I don’t follow designers, but Alexander McQueen has always impressed me with he use of color, pattern, and material choice. His passing was probably the most tragic event in fashion history. The pieces, mostly dresses, would still be in his ingenious avant-garde style crossed with my adoration for Indian sarees, South-East Asian patterns, Thai hill tribe embroidery, and Japanese kimono fabric.
Any general style tips for our readers?
If it doesn’t make you feel good don’t wear it! Always be bold with color, black, although classic, is safe.