Gavin Plooster is highly considering going into the field of computer science.
It'd be a good fit. The 24-year-old Southern California native's life is deeply immersed in and influenced by Internet culture, from the way he thinks to the way he fashions his everyday looks.
Plooster has lived in Phoenix for over 10 years, and currently works in on-campus technical support at Arizona State University. He hopes to dive much further into the world of computer science.
"There's a field called data visualization that I think I'd be good at," Plooster says. "It's all about gathering data and presenting it in a way that effectively shows the information in a whole new way."
While Plooster jokes that the line of work mostly means he'd make a lot of graphs, presenting information in new and interesting ways is something he already does with his very Internet-influenced style.
"I'm definitely influenced by the way Internet culture impacts identity," he says.
Plooster wears what he thinks looks cool. He'll pair a skirt with one of his favorite t-shirts, some bright or chunky shoes, and sometimes throws more feminine looks into the mix.
His style and the many different identities he shifts between while dressing keeps Plooster's looks fresh, but he also acknowledges a nod to many styles created by Tumblr culture.
"The look I have right now," he says, "is very 'Health Goth.' It has an Internet vibe, some urban and nature vibes, and also mixes in more feminine touches."
Health Goth, as explained by Plooster, means taking a sort of tribal, earthy mentality and translating it to an urban environment in which your landscape is your nature.
"A representative image might be some ferns with a Monster Energy Drink and a computer. It's a lot of athletic clothing mixed with bright neon colors, moving away from funky vintage prints," Plooster says.
Health Goth is one of many styles that got their start online. Seapunk -- represented by waves, the color blue, and beach-bleached hair -- was popular a couple of years ago, and with this movement came things like Slimepunk, Icepunk, and Treepunk.
Outside of these internet movements, Plooster grabs inspiration from artists like Alice Glass of Crystal Castles and Sadie Pinn of the band Crim3s. There also the Tumblr account he gets makeup inspiration from, Heroin Granola.
"Fashion lets you present an image to both yourself and other people, but I really like the idea of not just being one thing in terms of an identity," says Plooster. "I don't want to end up being perceived as just one thing. I change up my look all the time."
What are you wearing? I'm wearing this silk flower button-down and crushed velvet skirt that I found at Gracie's Family Thrift Store. I'm also wearing a wrestling shirt that I got from Goodwill. It's one of my favorite shirts. I'm in some black tights and Nike Hyper Drive sneakers. Both my spiked necklace and bracelet are from a store on Mill, and my watch and chain is from Gracies's.
Where do you usually shop? I usually shop at Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill, and Gracie's Family Thrift.
(Editor's note: Jackalope Ranch writer Andie Flores works at Buffalo Exchange.)
What was the last item of clothing you bought? These huge clunky black shoes that are probably four pounds each.
Name five things every man should have in his closet. Let's do a gender-neutral list: 1) Some tight, black skinny jeans 2) Chunky black boots 3) An over-sized black t-shirt 4) One spiky garment, like the spiked choker I have 5) A pair of brightly colored sneakers
What's a trend you can't stand? I am kind of getting over pastel and neon hair. I had crayon yellow hair once and tried to go white, so I get it. It seems like now if you're a "cool kid", you have to have pink hair with purple tips. I don't like it especially when I see this hair trend paired with a flower headband.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. The only one that comes to mind is when I was really young, and for some reason I hated the color black. My mom always liked to wear black dresses. I would just cry whenever she wore one and begged her not to wear black, so she would change into pink or something. Now I love black and wear it all the time.
What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? It's really hot here, so you better invest in a cute pair of shorts or you're going to be miserable.
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