What Are You Wearing?

Reanna "MissConstrued" Diehl's Spikes and Gothic-Glam Designs

By day, Reanna Diehl does the nine to five thing at a Scottsdale law firm as a paralegal. However, at night -- or practically any other hour she's awake and not clocked in -- the fashion designer is swamped with making her custom snapbacks, camis, or swimwear pieces for her label Missconstrued and it's Fifth Street boutique.

Diehl says she's a big believer in "daring fashion," which means peppering her couture with spikes, studs, spangles, and other funky adornments, as well as some lace trim. It adds a stylishly unusual and punky verve to her creations, some of which she considers to be evidence of her self-described "Gothic glam" style. Diehl often wears many of her own creations -- as well as those of Project Pinup and others at the shop -- and wishes people in Scottsdale would as well, or at least be a more daring with their looks.

See also: Reanna "Missconstrued" Diehl Creates "Chicks-For-Gays" Fashion Parodying Chick-Fil-A Controversy G-String Runway Show Brings Unique, Unusual, and Risqué Swimwear to Monarch Theatre

Diehl's fashion flair can be seen at her shop and at Jen Deveroux's fashion events (like last month's G-String runway show), and at the parties that the Missconstrued crew has started throwing in Scottsdale.

She told Jackalope Ranch that her designs are inspired by some unusual influences, not the least of which are the films of Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas and Dark Shadows are her favorites) and the post-hardcore music of Pierce the Veil. She discussed how both have factored into her work, as well as her favorite places to shop, why she's big on bows, and why she's on a mission to shake up the homogeneity of Scottsdale fashion.

What are you wearing right now? Right now I'm wearing a Project Pinup necklace and a bow by Torture Couture. These jeans are from Hot Topic, they're actually a mint color, which is a hot color this summer. The top is from Hot Topic too, it's a cami. That's my secret place to go, it's a weakness of mine.

What is the last item of clothing that you purchased? I like to go thrift shopping from time to time, so I went thrift shopping and I got myself some nice workout shorts (laughs). I buy stuff all over the place.

What sort of fashion do you create? I definitely love the spikes and stuff for sure. I call my designs more of like a "Gothic-glam" type of design where it has some aesthetics of the Gothic trade that are spiky or with dark lace trim on the outside. But I also like it to be bright and fun, so I tell everybody it's "Gothic glamorous" style. I don't really know what else to call it because it's so random. I also call it alternative fashion because it lumps it all together, but it's mostly the Gothic glam type of thing.

What's the last thing you designed? My snapbacks, they're a popular item so that's an every night thing. I'm making hats every day of my life. I'm working on some nice new tops that I'm coming up with that are a little showy. They're kind of like swim tops, they're short, little like mini camis.

What's your favorite thing that you've ever created? I would have to say Cataclysm's piece from the Medusa runway event, because it was kind of challenging. I used yarn and all different kinds of foreign materials and made it into an art piece, actually. It was very challenging and messy and fun to create.

What's your favorite item of clothing in your closet? Honestly, that would be my houndstooth-print shoes that I got in Vegas. And I love, love, love my hair bows. I have this massive collection of hair bows from obviously all the designers here. Every time I'm here I buy a new one.

What's your creation process like? I'm influenced from all over the place. Usually it's some crazy imaginary thing that I get in my head when I'm driving. I'm like, "Oh, that would be really cool to make," or "Someone hasn't made a clear swim suit yet, I'm going to do that!" They're like random ideas that pop in my head. That's why usually my collections are really small, I have random inspirations from all over the place.

Like what? Who are some of your style icons? Oh man, I'm influenced from so many different things, it's hard to say that there's one that influences me at random. My biggest influence isn't really a designer, it's Tim Burton, who's more of an artist and who obviously who inspires a lot of people. You know, I'm really drawn to the dark arts. I'm more inspired by music. Pretty much what I listen to just inspires me to create and go.

Which is? I listen to Pierce the Veil a lot, they're my favorite band. So, I'm inspired a lot by them and I listen to a lot of rap music, so different things like Atmosphere. I'm all over the place.

What do you like to accessorize with? Bows. No really, that's like the main thing in my life is my hair bows and I'm always rocking some bracelets but I wear a lot of whatever designer is selling in my store most of the time, so like Project Pinup and Torture Couture.

Where are your favorite places to shop? I used to love to shop at Electric Ladyland but I haven't been there in a while though. I like to shop at really eclectic places and support small businesses, so I'm always trying to go to a bunch of different boutiques and poke in and see what's new and get some new ideas for fashion. So my closet's random.

Where would you love to have a shopping spree? If I could have a shopping spree anywhere? Oh my God, it would be on Melrose in L.A., because all those stores are my favorite so far.

What's one fashion trend you can't stand? That's a hard one. I am not a big fan of patterns. I agree with mixing and matching patterns because that's awesome, if it's done right, but if it's done to like an explosion? Way overdone. It gets really busy and it doesn't appeal to me. I see a lot of big-time designers going that direction.

What's a childhood memory of you and your clothes? I used to wear my clothes backwards like Kris Kross does, because I was obsessed with them for awhile. That was something that I'm a little embarrassed by when I see photos. Or the '80s bangs. I used to wear those huge, huge wave of bangs and then have these enormous chunky earrings on that were way too heavy for my head when I was in sixth grade. I was rocking some pretty unique fashions.

Name five items every woman should have in their closet. - A good pair of spiky heels - A nice cincher - A few pairs of some really good leggings - Hair accessories - A nice array of clutches.

What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? People just need to be more daring. You go out into Scottsdale and you see the same repetitive fashion over and over again. It's like everybody shops at Bebe. Then whatever the most recent high trend is, it's like it's covering Scottsdale. Me and Bri Bridge were talking and we said Scottsdale needs us. They need us to go out there and show them how to be daring and mix and match and go out there and be edgy.

So is MissConstrued Scottsdale on the horizon then? Honestly, me and Bri started hosting events every first Tuesday of the month at American Junkie. We're going to start doing a fashion showcase once a month there and try and flood Scottsdale and get them to know what's going on. We're trying to get a little bit of events going on out there and see what we can do with it.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.