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In conversation with Courtney Trop

“Swamp-fairy-grunge with a graceful attitude”

Top and skirt Vaquera, corset vintage, shoes Miu Miu, necklace and rings Bond, earrings Panconesi

In this day in age, hearing the phrase “personal style blog” may come with a wave of skepticism and mild disinterest (after all, doesn’t this apply to literally anyone’s instagram profile — from my grandma’s to your neighbour’s dog’s?). But in this whirlwind erratic trends, insatiable self-indulgence and a ruthless algorithm, Courtney Trop is different. In fact, she is the blueprint for how personal style has become a tool for self-expression that anyone is encouraged to showcase (and be celebrated for) online. Born from Blogpost’s golden days, Trop’s blog @alwaysjudging began its reign of online fashion spaces over a decade ago, and continues to streamline her eclectic vision — now more authentic than ever. Always channelling “an energy I feel within my bones” through personal curation, Trop exemplifies how style goes way beyond just pieces of cloth and becomes an intrinsic and reflective part of one’s identity. She describes her current look as “swamp-fairy-grunge with a graceful attitude”, as she bravely waves goodbye to the mainstream to give way for something that just feels right. And we’re absolutely here for it! Alongside a beautiful editorial by Cody Lidtke, we caught up with Trop to chat about the ever-changing landscape of creative practices, her lesser-known upbringing and life now.

What’s the fist thing you judge when you see someones outfit?

Does their energy match the way they dress? A person can make anything work, and own any style if it feels inherently them. I look for ownership and overall attitude to match the fit. We live in an era full of posers, because the internet is a vessel for anyone to copy styles that don’t really make sense for their character. In a more simple answer, I look at their shoes. Shoes tell a lot about a person. Is comfort important? Logos? Color? Iconic styles?

Do you miss the Blogpost days? Blogpost or IG?

You mean do I miss Blogpost and Instagram days?! Because now it’s all about TikTok. Did you read my bio on IG? Yes. I miss both, Blogpost, and IG. Content is becoming more and more disposable and consumers are digesting it at a faster speed. If I could, I would go back to the days where I put a full ten hours into one project. Before IG added reels, I used to make short films and edit them in an actual editing program that took hours. When IG started making this process more commercial and seamless, I weirdly got uninterested. This past month I finally started focusing on reels and started my TikTok, because there is no other option. Change with the times or become obsolete. Trust me, I’ve tried to hold out for so long, but here I am, not wanting to admit it, TikTok is actually fun. UGH.

You’ll always be an icon for the blogspot generation. Who is/was yours? 

Awe. TY. Blushing really hard rn. FASHION TOAST, DUH. Do you even know what Indie Sleaze is?! Rumi and I became very good friends shortly after I started my blog, so this is ironic. I was working at Reformation when the store used to be tiny, located on 3rd street in Los Angeles, and the sales employee before me left a tab open that read “Fashion Toast”. I opened the lingering tab, and was confused as hell. I remember trying to figure out if this was an online store that I could shop Helmut Lang or Rocco bags? Or was this a newspaper? Neither/Both!

Trousers Sally Lapointe, underwear Fleur Du Mal, shoes Margiela, hat Heather Huey

Trousers Sally Lapointe, underwear Fleur Du Mal, shoes Margiela, hat Heather Huey

What gives you the ick?

Isabel Marant wedge sneakers. I had two pairs, and no I don’t want to show you pictures of me in them, or talk about it any further.

First thing you do when you wake up?
Hot yoga/cuddle my dog named pig.

A trend you think is overrated?

Trying too hard.

Current favourite piece in your wardrobe?

All time — Black leather Alaia 90’s double breasted jacket.
Current season — Rusty brown leather flight style bomber with detachable black shearling collar AW23.

Best self-care ritual?

Lymphatic massage at Ricari Studio in LA/NY — I always feel top notch after
Skincare — Vampire PRP with stem cells at Modern Aesthetica.

Full look Thom Browne

Something you wish more people knew about you?

Where I came from. Pittsburgh, PA, Shaler Area, blue collar working class. Poverty and straight up lower middle class. When I moved to LA at 20, and saw the way people outside those classes lived, I was shocked. As a child, most of my friends lived in trailer parks, duplexes or very modest homes. I graduated in a class of 500 kids and if I had to guess maybe three people had passports and twenty people at most had been on an airplane once or twice. Attending fashion events was very overwhelming for me, because my education growing up was not very good, and sometimes I would feel lost in conversations. Above all, I didn’t understand which fork or spoon to use at fancy dinner parties or events, there were too many to choose from! Often times people get it twisted and think I came from some sort of generational wealth, because I had some designer clothing in high school. The only reason I had some those is because my family was involved in some business and it landed me with some nice clothing to make up for all the trauma I went through since the day I was born. I lived a double life. The clothes I wore were not reflective of the environment I grew up around/the financial state me and my family were in at all times. Every day I thank the universe this girl from Etna/Shaler, PA made it out.

Sweater, jacket and gloves Drome, belly chain Plutonia Blue, trousers and boots R13

Trousers Sally Lapointe Pants, underwear Fleur Du Mal, shoes Margiela, hat Heather Huey

Sweater, jacket and gloves Drome, belly chain Plutonia Blue, trousers and boots R13

If you could change anything happening in the world right now what would it be?

People would be nicer to each other and treat themselves and each other with more respect and kindness. Everyone should take action on any issues they care about in their real life, not just behind a screen by posting pictures and words. Do more say less.

What is the future of fashion?

I HAVE NO CLUE. I assure you, every year it gets faster and faster and I cannot keep up anymore. I’m just doing my thing, those who want to follow, follow, and those who don’t like what I do, no one is making you watch!

Trench Kwaidan Editions

Trench Kwaidan Editions

Top and skirt Vaquera, corset vintage, shoes Miu Miu, necklace and rings Bond, earrings Panconesi

Photography by Cody Lidtke

Styling by Emily Benziger

Hair by Rebekah Calo

Make up by Andrew Colvin-Medina

Words by Evita Shrestha