Houston Style Setter: Darenda Weaver
DJ Darenda Weaver is a one-woman British invasion. The Houston tastemaker who spins with Space City Mod Club and all-female DJ collective Here Come The Girls talks mod-style inspiration, her love for Twiggy and how the UK stole her heart.
How do you describe your style?
I was always pretty unique, even in high school. Early on I started listening to punk rock music and as a result I developed this punk style. After that I started developing a passion for British culture and mod culture. Ever since then I’ve been absolutely obsessed with mod clothing—A-line dresses, geometric patterns and Peter Pan collars.
What is your favorite decade of fashion?
I love the '60s —the fashion from this particular decade is just so cool. But I also like some fashion from the '70s. I’ve been really hurting on the vintage clothing front lately. I sold a lot of my collection to buy a scooter and now I can’t find pieces I love anywhere!
We love your mod look!
Thank you! I used to work for Blackbird in Montrose and the Leopard Lounge a while back. At the Leopard Lounge we would go to this warehouse and sift through piles and piles of vintage clothes. I’m pretty sure this warehouse was just a compilation of items that never sold from different thrift stores. Through this I was able to build a pretty stellar collection of mod and '60s apparel.
What inspires your style?
As far as fashion goes, music has inspired me the most. I also enjoy watching old films from the '60s and was able to learn about the fashion from that time through them.
My other source of inspiration comes from British fashion icon Twiggy as well as Peggy Moffitt. Both women were so iconic in the '60s and that era just speaks to me.
How did you develop your passion for British culture?
I have never been to the UK but I am just really drawn to that area of the world—it's kind of like a fantasy to me. I grew up loving the Spice Girls and after that I started to delve deeper into British culture. It seems like an amazing place. Right now, I’m working at British Isles in Rice Village and I get to talk to people from the UK almost every day and learn even more about the culture. I’m saving right now and will hopefully plan a trip over there sometime next year once I am finished with school.
What’s the weirdest vintage piece you’ve purchased?
I purchased some vintage tanning goggles. Those are pretty funky! I love them but I don’t even know what I am going to do with them. In fact, they are still in the packaging. I don’t know if I would trust them enough to go tanning with them but I still want to keep them just because.
Where do you like to shop?
One of my favorite shops is actually not even vintage. It’s called The Carnaby Streak and it’s a British company. They hand-make mod-inspired dresses. I have one in particular and I have to say it is my favorite of all time. It’s this red, white and black dress with one arrow pointing down and the other arrow pointing up. It’s very much reminiscent of The Who. Locally, I’ve been known to peruse Retropolis over on 19th street in the Heights, as well as Replay and The PLACE Upstairs.
How do you manage to tie your passion for fashion and music together?
Well, I’m a DJ and through that I’m able to share a lot of the music I love with people around Houston. And because music has a direct reflection on my fashion, I am able to combine the two together.
I started collecting records when I was 12 years old. My collection started with a lot of punk and power pop records, and then I started getting into more music from the '60s. I do a '60s garage and psych night at The Continental Club and I also have a night at Space City Mod Club. I don’t have a home where I do a monthly at the moment, so right now I’m all over the city.
I also host a '60s show every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. on Rice radio (96.1 FM). I’ve been doing that for about a year. I usually bring all of my records with me—it’s been really fun!
Do you sport the mod-style makeup too?
I’m really bad at doing makeup—I need to experiment around a bit more with it! I do try to wear the heavy eye makeup with the false eyelashes. I love that iconic Twiggy look with the white eyelid and black crease. If I do something like that than I usually wear a nude lip with it.
For nude lips, I’m really into the NYX brand. Right now I’m wearing a lot of the NYX Lip Lingerie. It’s like professional makeup but with a reasonable price tag. I also use ELF eyeliner almost every day.
If you had one thing to say about fashion, what would it be?
I’ll say two things. I feel like our bodies are like a canvas and the clothes we wear are our paint. You have to express yourself through fashion otherwise no one will remember who you are. Also, I think people should experiment and go back in time with fashion. Experience the fashion of different eras and let it inspire you.