8 juillet 2021
Brigitte Bardot, Naomi Campbell, Jane Birkin… Icons are endless sources of inspiration throughout decades. And it shows. Filled with nostalgia, Writer Claudia Clark has dedicated her entire Instagram account (@itsclaudiaclark) to their former glory and talks about the importance of romanticizing one’s life as she shares hers in her own blog.
Your favorite decade is the 70s, why and what does this era mean to you ?
I would say it’s my favorite era because of how it’s portrayed in cinema and in history books, the 60’s were this epic and game-changing decade of progression, civil-rights, war and, innovation, even within fashion, tech, automobiles etc. Afterward, there seemed to be a sense of calmness within the country to build in a new direction and slowly begin to start thinking outside the box. Capitalism was on the rise and with that, people started buying things and the majority of the “stuff” that was being made was made to look cool even if the technology was useless. I mean, it was cool to eat cereal, just the way the packaging was made, there were big budgets for everything, and because of that, you could put creative people in chairs that could give more character to all the little things from a cereal box to architecture. But also, none of that could be true and it could all come down to escapism - me wishing I was in a different time that looks simpler and easier on the eyes.
“When you go somewhere new you almost feel allowed to become someone else.”
Romanticizing one’s life and being the main character have become kind of a trend lately on social media, but why and how do you do that ? How has it changed your life ?
Funny enough, I think that’s a trend that has been around since the 60s/70s but it has been shown only by big corporations in advertisements. Now it’s much more in your face with influencers and Youtubers, they can literally say it to us, rather than show us in a photo shoot or with an illustrated ad. Because of that, it makes things a little “self help” I feel. I honestly like it, it’s very inspiring to see this and to know that the world is changing, normal people can now have a voice and influence others with pure intentions. There’s never been anything like this before. As for me, I would watch a lot of films growing up that touched on channeling your inner hero, a lot of heist films, Guy Ritchie films, Molly’s Game, Thomas Crown Affair, Fisher King, films like that…
It makes you want to feel more alive or alive haha. The only way how is to follow the ones that have, if you feel like you don’t like your job, or hate your life in the town or city you live in; if it was a movie you would figure it out and you would leave. The feelings wouldn’t pass on and you just continue in misery, no one would watch that. We want to see change and solutions, that is what inspires us, going with your gut and acting on it; it’s viewers witnessing a character caring about themselves and not just adjusting to their surroundings. We all want that for ourselves but it’s hard to know the first step, for me my first step was getting out of my hometown and seeing what I liked without the influence of childhood friends or family. Dressing a certain way that I never had before. When you go somewhere new you almost feel allowed to become someone else.
You are a writer, you even have your own magazine/blog where you fill in all the staff positions, but what has lead you to this ?
Honestly, filling in the staff positions is just me making fun. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert or even a designer, but I have been making little magazines or newsletters for years now, I have mainly done it for a small group of friends when I was dating someone and the situation was very stressful. I would make an entire (newsletter) to let out all the steam and would feel better afterward. This grew into writing more commercial topics and slowly building an audience like now. I’ve learned from other designers in the past in college but have never really gone down that road. I’ve just mainly focused on the writing.
“Watching an edgy film with immoral tales really has me thinking afterward, it gives you something to talk about over dinner.”
You write about your own experiences in a Carrie Bradshaw way, why ?
I would say that’s because of influence from watching the show growing up and also when I write I think it’s important to address the fact that I don’t know everything and I’m still trying to figure myself out as the years go by. I do value my experiences and try to live as leisurely as possible, spending over saving, smiling more than frowning, it’s important to be conscious of those little things and be alright with sitting around and “thinking to pass the time.” Carrie Bradshaw does that perfectly, she experiences many things and makes sure that she finds out what she doesn’t want and is okay with herself, even though she’s still unsure of what she does want. I resonate with the character a lot and I feel a lot of us see ourselves in her.
Who are your greatest muses and inspirations ?
My greatest inspiration is definitely cinema, over the years I’ve grown to love a lot of offbeat writing and films. I would say these are what I hold close to heart but more refined work gets the most respect, like Croupier or Baby Driver. I love a good romance film that checks off all the boxes like Fisher King or Meet Joe Black. Watching an edgy film with immoral tales really has me thinking afterward, it gives you something to talk about over dinner. The music-soundtrack that typically plays in these films I love to listen to throughout the day, a lot of B-sides from Jazz to Samba.
I love what is pleasing to the eyes and the right music that gives the mood the final touch. As for good writers that are stimulating, I’ve been reading Joan Didion and Henry Miller, I know Henry Miller has gotten a lot of flak for some of his earlier work but the mysticism that comes with it has really changed me. I now question most things to find a silver lining.
According to you, what is an icon ? What do all the women you post about on your Instagram account have all in common ?
In my opinion, an Icon is someone different and memorable, you have to be remembered for the way you challenge others. Naomi Campbell is a great example. She’s passionate in ways that may be unconventional and she sets the bar high in elegance and beauty, all things we aim for. If you just have beauty, if you just have elegance, but nothing unconventional or left of center then you’re here today, gone tomorrow. All the women that are shown on my account are women that have stuck around over the years, they have or they are aging gracefully, they look similar to someone you could know - at least in my opinion.
"There are so many people to look at, it ruins the charm and nothing feels special or carries any substance."
Your Instagram account is filled with the nostalgia of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s icon women corresponding to certain beauty standards that are no longer the norm, are the era of the icons over ? How do you view the evolution of icons in our society today ?
I definitely think it’s the end of the icon, but I could be wrong and the new icons are happening now and we don’t appreciate them until their runs are over. I think a lot of people today are going about things for only a quick gain, rather for money, likes, subscribers, but never seem to be playing the long game. And I think that has resulted in a lot of exploitation and saturation. There are so many people to look at, it ruins the charm and nothing feels special or carries any substance.
What is fashion to you ?
Fashion to me is an accessible romance that everyone can experience, it enhances your walk, how you hail a cab, how you order coffee, and beyond. It’s an art form that will never die.
On your website you tease us with a novel coming soon, can you tell us a bit more about that ?
So nice of you to ask! I’m working on a debut novel that will be based on my life in Wisconsin during my early twenties and experiences in New York and France. It’s definitely a piece of work where I’ve done a lot of soul searching. It’s been a pain to write but I’m nearly finished.