‘IT’S ALL ABOUT COSTUMING’

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By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

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At about six feet tall, with his always-on mascara and mop of jet black hair tousled just-ever-so, Blaise Lucarelli was made to stand out in a crowd.

“My parents named me Blaise, so I was destined to be different,” he tells redbankgreen‘s Human Bites.

Different? How? Well, it can hardly be reduced to words. One must experience Blaise, a larger-than-life Red Bank native and aspiring fashionista now working — and, he’s the first to tell you, performing — at Dor L’Dor, a womenswear shop on Broad Street.

On hiatus from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising to gain experience in the fashion industry, the Red Bank Catholic alum returned to the borough  after taking a couple years to live in New York, where he says he really started to feel comfortable with who he was. While there, he had a beauty mark tattooed next to his right eye.

“My mother always told me, ‘know your audience,’ ” he says. “I’m never going to change who I am, but I can change the level or degree of who I am.”

Name: Blaise Lucarelli

Age: 24

Town of residence: Ocean

Job: Right now I’m the acting assistant manager at Dor L’Dor, and I also do the visuals for this store in Hoboken, and I also act as a liaison working with a buyer to assist her in the merchandising.

Is Blaise your real name? It is my real name, Blaise.

What was it like growing up Blaise? I loved it. It helped form my personality, because people had not really not heard of it that often. It’s something that set me apart, and it kind of set me up for the position I like. I always said that I’m more comfortable on stage in front of the crowd than in the crowd. It’s just become who I am.

Definitely the things and the people that inspire me and that I gravitate to are all that kind of person, that standalone, individual kind of a person — Marilyn Monroe, Christina Aguilera, Dita Von Teese — all of these people are very, very strong personalities. And you have to be fearless in your choices, be it life choices, fashion choices, anything like that. Because it’s about fulfilling who you are and living who you are without the worry of judgment.

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Tell us about the path that brought you to this point in your life.
I definitely would say that my experiences, maybe good or bad, have shaped who I am. I’ve always been different and it all kind of has been fate. You know, my parents named me Blaise, so it kind of has always been destined to be different, to be who I am. And I was a sponge. I take in everything that interests me and make it part of who I am, and it’s become part of my personality. It’s almost like as a character actor, you take in what you see and you make it into your personality.

I left school because I wanted to get into the business and I came across this job, and it turned into something absolutely wonderful. I definitely thought that maybe I was going to be just a salesperson, and our owner, who is unbelievable, really noticed my talent and the possibilities that I had and is really running with it. And I think that’s definitely a part of the appeal of our store, the fact that it’s so genius-ly executed.

One (or two) words to describe your style. My style is boundary-pushing, in the fact that I think — well, I know – I mix women’s wear and men’s wear to create my own look. I believe that most clothes do not have a gender. A dress, yeah, that’s women’s clothing. But most clothing doesn’t have a gender, and I feel like the world is really focused and really concerned with boxing. And I think fashion is a great way to make other people see that there is no box. It’s a fantastic form of expression. I just like to push the boundaries, like to dress the way that I want, but I also like to make people think. It’s all about costuming. Every day that I get dressed I think, what is the costume of the day, like they say in Grey Gardens. What am I going for? What’s the mood, what’s the feeling, what’s the look, what’s the era I’m inspired by today?
So what do you do on Halloween? In Halloween I dress as myself doing something. Like last year I dressed as myself going to a masquerade ball. Because I don’t want to be somebody else. I like being who I am, so why would I dress as someone else?

Describe your most perfect outfit.
There is no such thing. I could never pick one outfit. What I’m wearing today is my perfect outfit. What I’m wearing tomorrow will be my perfect outfit for tomorrow. I mean, in a general sense, my perfect outfit would be something the completely encompasses and states what I’m feeling and what I want to say.

Favorite accessory? I’m a big necklace person. Chains right now are big, studs are really good. I also am really enjoying lucite, like plastics and ropes. I like cuffs. Boots are really hot this season. I sometimes wear huge, oversized round glasses. Everything. And I also love making things that are not clothing or jewelry into jewelry. Like string, wrapping it around your hand and making it something like that. I once wore a duct tape roll and painted on it and made it into a bracelet. It’s definitely about making things that aren’t something something.

Name your top three fashion ‘must haves.’ A good pair of jeans, mascara, and draped — this is such a hard question — some sort of draped tank top or shirt or something with exaggeration. A top with exaggeration. And a pair of boots.

What is the absolute last thing in the world you would wear? There is nothing. There’s nothing I wouldn’t wear. I’ve made a shirt out of a pillow case before. You know, I think that garbage bags are underused in fashion.

Who’s your fashion muse? Strong, chamelion-like women: Christina Aguilera, Dita Von Teese, Marilyn Monroe, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

What? Because they bring hobo. They make poor people look glamorous by spending a million dollars. I also love David Bowie — he’s fantastic — Freddie Mercury. All of them. Push the boundaries. I bet you everyone thought I was going to say Lady GaGa.

Maybe, yeah. I love her but it’s become popular.

Would you wear meat? Yeah. It depends on the outfit, though. It’s probably not good for your skin. Your pores would probably tighten and all, but you’d probably smell and get some form of E. Coli on your skin.

Let’s say you’ve been invited to the Betsey Johnson Fashion Week after party. What do you wear? A suit jacket with exaggerated balloon sleeves, slim-cut pants, an oversized satin bow-tie, a tuxedo shirt and heel-less boots by Nina Ricci. And a rhinestone where I usually put my beauty mark.
What’s your typical day like? I wake up, I do my makeup, I figure out what I’m going to wear. I pick out usually one item that forms what the rest of the outfit’s going to be. And then I either go to work or I do something fantastic, whatever it may be — go to a bar, go shopping, go visit friends.

Do you shop at Dor L’ Dor? I do buy pieces. A lot of pieces that are certain looks. A lot of really great draping. There’ll be certain necklaces that really grab my eye. All of the clothes are fantastic but most of them are dresses that I can’t really wear because they’re women’s clothing, but we have certain pieces that just hit that point that could go either way that I really love, and wear.

Ru Paul or ESPN? ESPN. RuPaul is fantastic. I feel like that question is a little stereotypical, like, Oh, he’s gay, so let’s ask about RuPaul. No, ESPN.

Do you have a favorite team or a favorite sport? Baseball, and of course the Yankees.

Leather or Lace? Both. No choice. You can’t.

Barbie or Ken? Both. It’d be a fun time.

What’s more important, good shoes or good food? Good shoes, because it’s just important to have good shoes so that you can work off whatever you’re eating. And plus, what you eat, in my opinion, I feel that what you wear speaks more of who you are than what you eat. A lot of people will eat anything without any question or concern. But it takes a real person to choose what they wear, because some people are close-minded and they won’t be as open to clothes as they are to food.