A Fan’s Style highlights the personal tastes in music and fashion of ordinary people.
Stephanie Elmir, 22, is an actor and writer who I am very fortunate to call my friend. She is a first-generation American and daughter to hardworking parents from Lebanon and Honduras. Her upbringing and background make her wondrous, curious and insightful. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
A couple of weeks ago, I called Stephanie to chat with her about her about her kooky style as well as taste in music. Here’s the conversation we had over Facetime while I made some pasta:
So, briefly tells us about yourself, Stephanie.
I’m an actor and a writer. Born in Miami, moved to L.A. to follow my dreams. Scared but excited; every day’s an adventure. I love all of my friends, they are all smarter and better than me.
Well, that’s clearly a lie. What do you do for fun?
I just lay in bed and watch TV. Well, like everything I do in life, my work is fun. I’m never bored. So when I have time off, I’m usually doing work anyway.
Nice. I think everyone wants that in life. So it’s great that you do. How would you describe your style?
Trendy, boho, print, Meg Ryan/Stevie Nicks. A 70’s and 90’s mashup.
If you were to be in any music video from any era for any song – even one that could not have had a music video because it was way too early in time – what song would it be for?
Oh my God… Uptown by Prince.
Nice! I thought you were about to say Uptown Girl, Billy Joel.
*Laughs* Well also Uptown Girl, Billy Joel.
So, do you know what a desert island disk is?
No. What is that?
It’s basically the concept of “You’re stranded on a desert island! What do you bring?” but with albums.
So which ones would you bring? They can be compilations, like a Pizza Hut CD.
When I was young we had this CD that they gave us at Pizza Hut. It had like some 90’s hits and Lenny Kravitz.
Oh, okay. Ahh! Give me a sec. What is my taste in music? Ahh!!! *Searches through library*
- Blur, Parklife
- Carly Simon, No Secrets
- Shakira, Pies Descalzos
- Metronomy, Love Letters
- New Order… “the one with Bizarre Love Triangle” (Brotherhood)
Do you have music that reminds you of LA and music that’s more Miami to you?
Miami… ah. Jens Lekman is my Miami music.
How come? *Laughs*
Mostly because you and (our mutual friend) Ann-Marie introduced me to him and those are some of the best moments of my life, listening to him while hanging out with you guys.
And yeah, it just reminds me of how nostalgic I am for Miami even though it’s like… Miami.
What music did you grow up listening to at home with your family?
She’s a great example for you. She’s also Lebanese and Latina!
Yeah, that’s why my dad always talks about her. He’s like: She’s Lebanese, why can’t you dance?
Why can’t you be like Shakira?
Now, you love clothes, you work at a thrift store, you’re an actor, a fashionista!!! What are some garments that you cannot live without?
I always need a high-waisted jean. A bootcut one plus also a skinny high-waisted one. I love flowery dresses, especially if they’re long, 90’s Meg Ryan type of dress, and I love wearing sunglasses.
True. You’re very kooky with all the groovy patterns. Would you say the music you like influences your style?
I think so, my taste in music is basically “funky stuff that you can dance to.” I love disco music a lot, so anything with a bop.
What music were you into as a teenager?
My Chemical Romance was my favorite band *laughs*.
They’re like The Beatles of emo.
They’re honestly really good! I still listen to their music a lot.
They have good songs.
And Gerard Way is a great vocalist.
Yeah, he’s great. His voice is very operatic.
Yes and the thing is, all their albums are good. They don’t have a bad album and they never did the same thing twice, which is good.
Any guilty pleasures?
Not a lot of my pleasures are guilty. Uhh… I guess, Taylor Swift *laughs*.
What era? I like the song where she’s kind of rapping with Ed Sheeran, unfortunately. I was like “I hate that I enjoy this.”
Yeah, that’s the thing – all her music is really good.
She’s a good songwriter, she’s just so annoying.
She just makes me mad, and every time I listen to her on Spotify I just – ah! I can’t! She has a lot of bops.
Nice. So, I read once – but it’s a rumor – that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had their first dance to Tender by Blur.
That’s a sad song!
It was foreshadowing… *laughs*
Both singing: Oh my baby, oh my baby, oh why, oh my…
Now I have a rapid-fire round for you:
Okay, I’m ready!
Britney or Christina? – Britney
Blur or Oasis? – Blur
Beatles or Stones? – Stones
Bieber or One Direction – One Direction
Miley or Selena? – Miley.
Selena can’t sing!
No. At least Miley can sing. She’s problematic though, ugh — love her.
Cats or dogs – Both. I can’t choose.
Okay, I respect that. I would also say both. I can’t choose.
L.A. or New York? – L.A.
*Stalling* Um… Chicken or beef?
Uhh, it depends? Chicken?
That’s a stupid one, ignore it. Sushi or pizza? – Pizza
Stripes or polka dots? – Stripes.
What’s your dream gig as an actor?
Hmm… like a Marvel movie.
Oh really. Who would you play? A superhero, or like, Cobie Smulders?
I would be like America Chavez who’s like the Latina superhero there who like looks like me with the curly hair and everything, brown skin. Though I guess I would have to like… exercise.
I mean, by that point you’d be rich, so you could get a trainer. Anything is possible with money!
True. Anything is possible with money.
Right? *Pasta in mouth* That’s the one thing I’ve learned.
You’re right. I could totally do it.
Yeah! If you could be on any show, which one would it be?
I feel like “Search Party” or “Chewing Gum.”
They should make an American Chewing Gum with you in it!
Oh my God. I would write that show. Yo, I just want to be Mindy Kaling.
Honestly, I see it happening. Who was your first celebrity crush?
I think it was Daniel Radcliffe. He’s a cutie!
I’m in love with him. I got into Harry Potter like last year *laughs*. Did I tell you? I was super late.
What! I didn’t know you did?
Over Christmas, I watched them all with my brother. I grew up – When I was in Colombia, we would go see them, but I would always miss one in the middle and they were dubbed. I would enjoy them but was always super confused. It’s like when you go see The Avengers and you don’t know what the fuck is going on but you’re like “…cool.” That’s how I felt watching Harry Potter.
And so, I finally got to see them all and… Daniel Radcliffe, super dreamy.
He’s so cute.
Definitely. Who’s your musical crush right now?
Any recent celebrity sightings in L.A.?
I met Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale! Well, I didn’t exactly meet her. I was in the line for the bathroom with a friend and she was waiting behind me in line, and then I ran into the bathroom because I didn’t wanna do that. Then from inside the bathroom, I heard my friend talking to her like “I love you in Riverdale, you’re great!” Then I saw her for a little bit and walked out real fast.
You’re so sweet. I think – from the few encounters I’ve had – that people like when you’re shy and not in their face. I don’t know. I’m sure she would’ve been like: “hey, want a pic?”
When I was working at Whole Foods, I met Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.
It was around Christmas. A friend had tipped me on him being from here and visiting frequently. Anyway, I was bagging when I saw a man’s back with a mop of hair and I just felt this strong energy coming from where he was standing. I remember thinking, “Is that…? It can’t be him. Nah…” But then, he turned around — and it was him! I told my friend who I was bagging for and she told me “I don’t know who that is, but you better go and talk to him if you’re a fan!” and I said “nooo”.
It took like ten or so minutes for me to finally do it. He was on another register, so I went up to him very quickly and said like “Hi! I don’t want to bother you because I know you’re like shopping and all, but I’m a big fan! Okay, bye!” and I walked away without letting him say anything back because I was so embarrassed.
*Laughs* Oh no!
I went back to bagging and a minute or so later he came up to me and said “hey have a nice day!” and patted my back. And I went “aw thank you!”
That is so sweet. Didn’t that happen to you with Iggy Pop too?
Nah, I didn’t meet him, but again, I saw him and didn’t wanna bother him. It was Record Store Day and he was at Sweat Records just hanging out. The whole time I was in my head like “this man has worked with Bowie, this man knew Lou Reed. This man… This man is Iggy Pop!” I was just stunned.
It was so casual – he was just sitting in the middle of the store. So I didn’t want to make it weird because he was just chilling.
Wow, beautiful! I love that Thurston Moore came up to you and was like “have a good day!”
I know! …Well enough of that… Is there anything else you’d like to add to your super important fashion profile?
Not really! Ah… I need cheap easy recipes to make at home.
Just buy a rotisserie chicken and eat that with everything. And frozen vegetables are great because they don’t rot and they’re already cut.
Okay, you’re right. I will. Thank you!