Tara Logsdon's Label-Loving Stylishness

When Tara Logsdon is looking for some fashionable fabric to use when giving unloved teddy bears from thrift stores a makeover, the artist often utilizes stylish swathes cut from the designs of Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

This "rehabilitative surgery" performed on plush toys for her "EKL Bearmy" is just one of the ways in which Logsdon demonstrates her love haute couture. Her closet, which is filled with clothing bought at stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, is another.

You can thank the artist's grandmother for both her yen for high-end fashion and her bear project (EKL is her grandma's initials).

"She was so into fashion she would always wear Pendleton, it was one of her favorite brands," Logsdon says. "She was also a master seamstress and would take us to the fabric store and allow us to pick any pattern and any fabric and would make us the clothes we wanted. It was amazing, like being a fashion designer with an expert seamstress at your disposal."

Not everything in Logsdon's wardrobe comes from big-name designers, however, as she also likes to "mix and match vintage and new stuff together."

What are you wearing?
Joe's Jeans, a gray and white striped Charlotte Ronson halter top with pockets, black Skytop shoes by Supra, a House of Harlow ring, and a name necklace that reads "Legend" [for her son].

What's your favorite outfit to wear?
I am in love with leggings and basic T-shirts at the moment with lots of jewelry and either sandals or high-top sneakers.

What's the last item of clothing you bought?
A strappy white zip-up Tracy Feith dress with lace eyelet ruffles around the bottom.

What do you like to accessorize with?
I love chains and vintage pieces. I have that House of Harlow ring that I can't stop wearing, along [with] rings from Heidi Abrahamson and a Spanish designer named S'Pauli. But my favorite piece is my Mercedes pimp ring that belonged to the man who died inside Holgas before the artist inhabited it.

Where do you shop normally? 
I do most of my shopping online. When I go out in person, I like H&M, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Savers, and Goodwill.

What's the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
A pair ALDO ankle boots with wedge heels that have Aztec designs on them. Aren't they super badass? Kinda need these.

Where would you love to have a shopping spree?
Neiman Marcus. I know that's pretty obvious, but there is a reason. They have all the clothing I think every girl would dream of being able to go in and just purchase in bulk.

Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes:
My grandmother was the biggest fashion influence on me. She had high-end tastes and always went for quality. She taught me how to really look at clothing. The cuts, the fabrics, et cetera. She would take me shopping and buy me expensive jeans and then make me promise not to tell my grandfather how much they cost because it "would kill him." 

She had a tradition that every granddaughter would get the fur coat of their choice for their 16th birthday to wear to their school dances. When my sister was one she chose a rabbit fur and since I was along and not old enough to get mine yet she bought me a sweat shirt that had a bear on it and the bears body was made of faux fur. She died about a month and a half after that so it was the last thing she ever got me. I have it framed on my wall now.

Name five items every woman should have in her closet:
1. Flattering jeans
2. Classic black dress
3. Leather jacket
4. A good hand bag
5. A good pair of sunglasses

Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage?
Jewelry. Or evening dresses from Halston.

What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix?
Stop wearing cargo pants, unless you are in the military or a photographer they are unnecessary from what I can tell. They give everyone saddle bags and they are just heinous.

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