My Style: Meg Hart

Photography by Brooke Taylor

Meg and I met in second grade. Outside of my own family, there is no human in my life today who I have known for as long as I have known Meg. And for as long as I have known Meg, I’ve thought of her style as something like the embodiment of a box of only the best crayon colors dressed from head to toe in patterns, layers, and bigass jewelry and hair accessories. It’s a look I’m neither confident I could pull off nor one am I compelled to try, but one that always makes inexplicably happy to see–which I think is exactly what Meg is going for.

Name: Meg Hart

Residence: Indianapolis

Occupation: Public High School Art Teacher

Where did you grow up: Zionsville, Indiana

Define fashion.
I used to love watching Bill Cunningham On the Street on these fun little YouTube videos where he’d talk about what he saw people wearing around New York and sussing out fashion trends like a detective. I feel like fashion is noticing trends in a way that people are deciding to dress or adorn themselves and creating those trends. One thing I tell my students is that, by the end of their time with me, I want them to have taste. And I don’t care if it’s good or bad taste because I don’t really believe in that anyway. I just want them to know what they like. In a world where we’re bombarded with advertisements, knowing what you really like and wearing that is fashion to me. In my classroom I have a big thing on the wall that says “everything is interesting” and I feel like every kind of thing you can put on the human body is interesting if you take the time to actually look at it and give it attention. So, to me, fashion is creating and noticing trends and being aware of all the possibilities for how you can dress yourself.

What is your earliest memory of a noticeable interest in fashion?
My mom dressed me very well in very cute things. She’d get me these matching outfits with leggings and a big sweater with my hair tied up in these rainbow ribbons. I specifically remember my first grade teacher always complimenting these outfits and thinking to myself that I must look amazing. I definitely felt amazing.

Describe your personal style in four words or one phrase.
Eclectic, friendly, storybook, and evolving.

What’s your go-to item in your closet?
Any kind of flowy or boxy dress that I can just throw on without having to do anything else. It is a whole outfit in one item. It’s the best and so easy.

Who or what influences your style?
Right now I’m obsessed with this show called The Last Kingdom, and while I’m watching that show I’m not thinking oh, I want to dress like a medieval woman, I’m just thinking How can I add things that will make me think of The Last Kingdom during my day because I’m a little bit dressed like it? So, I’ll be drawn to an item like a structured vest or I’ll start braiding my hair. Another influence came from a Youtuber–their name is totally escaping me–that said that a good antidote to beauty standards is style. For me that feels really true. I can ignore a lot of trying to look a certain way by trying to look interesting. I just want to look like a cool little museum piece.

Name your favorite fashion icon. 
Iris Apfel because I love jewelry. Big, bold jewelry. And she has an incredible jewelry collection. Also, I love people who embody the idea that there is no such thing as dressing for your age. That you can dress however you want to at any age and Iris just has all these beautiful, statured colors and patterns. 

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
I particularly love it when an individual account is capturing the background of their home as part of the image and not just the clothes. #statethelabel obviously isn’t an account, but it’s the thing that really got me into fashion on social media. I also really enjoy individual accounts like @homerunballerina, @shokotatara, and @aceandjig.

Who are your favorite designers, and what do you like about their designs?
So, really I just like different labels more than a particular designer. State the Label’s a great example. They’re a very small group of women and they make these small collections that they put out a couple of times a year. The last collection was inspired by a childhood storybook that one of them loved and was called “A House is A House.” And it’s this contained little collection that’s hand painted and hand sewn, ethically sourced fabrics—it feels like this precious object. Then there’s this Swedish brand called Gudrun Sjoden. They’re inspired by folk art. It’s very layered, kind of like a magical grandma folk style. Nooworks that is a brand from LA that takes female and femme illustrators and puts them on clothing. So you can get something like a jumpsuit in any of these illustrators’ prints. Another one is ace&jig. Their products are handmade, ethically sourced, beautifully patterned garments. They do a lot of combining patterns that you wouldn’t think would be together, you just want to rub your face in everything you see on their Instagram. 

Best fashion trend?
Jumpsuits. They’re so cute and fun. They look cool and classy. Like you’re an amazing gardener. I like the jumpsuit.

Worst fashion trend?
I wouldn’t categorize something as the worst, but I would say that my least favorite thing—I’m into the ‘90s stuff for teenagers except for the hairy and fuzzy stuff. There was a dress I saw the other day that was like orange hair on this tiny dress—and I just cannot abide. That dress is not for me. It looked very muppet-y. 

Best fashion trend?
Jumpsuits. They’re so cute and fun. They look cool and classy. Like you’re an amazing gardener. I like the jumpsuit.

What emerging fashion trends are you noticing right now?
I don’t feel like I really know, but I will say that maybe sweatpants from the pandemic turned into dressy soft pants with a cinched waist. Which I think is very cute. You know, stretchy, nice quality, beautiful pants. Get ready.

Speaking of what’s next, what’s next for you? What goals are on your list?
Well, after two years of making almost no visual art, I’m now feeling super inspired. I’ve been drawing things I really, really love and  have a vision for a personal art show.  I also just finished my masters in Humane Education and have started this account called You Belong Here and hosted a few creativity-nature based workshops in the late summer and fall of 2021. I’d really like to find someone to partner with who is at that intersection for visual art, creativity, and nature and to teach a couple of classes together and see what possibilities exist around Indy.

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