Hayley DankeComment

The Lady in Red

Hayley DankeComment

When I first set out to create Katherine + Margo, I hoped to create a space of inspiration for readers. I am inspired by the people around me. I feel that those who you surround yourself with are a reflection of you as a person and, furthermore, shape you into who you are. This year, I am proud to be surrounded by some pretty incredible people, including my roommate Catherine - or Cat for short!

 
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When I tell you Cat's favorite color is red, it’s not just a trivial fact. The color red is her life aesthetic. We’re talking everything from outfit choices and Instagram color scheme, to pots and pans in the kitchen – this girl lives for the primary color red. She puts careful thought into her style choices each and every day, contrasting with my quick decision of yoga pants, a sweatshirt and Birkenstocks. Cat's also highly organized with her school work materials – beautiful binders and notebooks filled with checklists and color coordinated notes. She’s an artist of life and I am simply fascinated. I sat down with my Art and Design roommate over a quality steak dinner in our apartment to further understand the root of her passion for art.

 
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Can we first just take a minute to applaud Cat for cooking a steak dinner? What a champ. Seeing how much preparation and personal choices go into cooking, I asked Cat if she views cooking as an art form in and of itself. She admitted that she feels it is an art form, for some. She doesn’t love the act of cooking as much as she likes “that freedom of cooking beyond the dining halls freshmen year and trying new things. Testing my limits.” Having been friends from last year and roommates this year I see this freedom and independent streak present in all her endeavors. We began to discuss what it means to be independent as a woman in this day and age. I point blank asked her how long she has been an "independent woman." She fiercely replied “all my damn life” and then proceeded to take a bite of our perfectly marinated flank steak. 

 

 
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Let’s backtrack a lil' bit. Many people take up art, or even art appreciation, as a hobby. Where did the drive to pursue art beyond an innocent interest begin and why? Cat explains to me how she only decided to attend a university for art during her junior year. However, she had a long-time interest and development in art. She was in art classes inside, as well as outside, of school starting at age five. I’ll be the first one to brag that Cat is a math genius, yet she explains, “it didn’t feel right compared to my other classes.” She trusted her gut instinct and is now thriving in her interesting and I'll be it, rigorous, art courses. This girl doesn't get out of class until 10 PM! I cheers to the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design student - for she knew what she wanted and she went for it. *clapping emoji*

 

If you’re thinking Cat couldn’t get any cooler, just wait. She’s an Urban Outfitter’s creative director and social media coordinator. She’s constantly running out the door, camera in hand, photographing, styling and directing shoots for UO’s Instagram.

Here is some of her published work for your viewing pleasure:

 

 
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I take a couple bites of the roasted potatoes Cat crafted and ask her about her personal style. It’s effortful and effortless all at the same time. She begins to laugh admitting “I don’t know if this sounds a little cliché lol, but I think my style is alternative. I draw more on the grungy chic side.” I am not sure why there is such a backlash against the world “alternative,” but I would definitely agree. You can catch Cat at any given time wearing something a little ~edgy~ or unique. She tells me how Urban Outfitter is the primary source of her clothing, as it if for many, many women, and men for that matter. I press her on if shopping at Urban Outfitters makes her basic and strip her of individuality and independence that she loves. She admits “yes and no. I think that it’s all in the way you style it. I think the way we style it online and stores promotes not being basic – mixing patters, colors, etcetera.”

 
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In a nutshell, Cat, the lady in red, is an amazing source of inspiration – fashion, work ethic and values as a human being. She is the type of person all people need and would be lucky to have in their lives.

Follow her for a red hot feed: @catmarchenko

The very best,

H