Q&A with Chris Curran aka @thisisallihavenow
Name: Chris Curran
Birth year: 1992
Location: Richmond, Virginia, USA
The Story of Chris’ Instagram Feed
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Chris: My journey using Instagram is a pretty personal one for me.
Basically, I experienced a loss that completely changed my life. I had to put my life on hold for a few years in order to seek therapy and recover. During that time, I was spending most of my day alone. I found myself with a lot of extra time, so I decided to take up a hobby to direct my energy in a healthy and productive way.
I started using Instagram in 2015 because I’d always been interested in fashion and I found that dedicating myself to a daily outfit diary was an easy thing to do every day. It was therapeutic for me.
At that time, I felt like I wasn’t ready to enter the world around me, but Instagram allowed me to feel like I was still connected to the rest of the world. I was excited to connect with a bunch of really friendly and creative people, and that inspired me to really explore who I am and how I want to present myself. That, and a newfound interest in photography, really helped me in my recovery.
I’m happy to say that I’m in a much better place nowadays, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s partly due to the really amazing and inspiring folks I’ve met through Instagram.
T: Why Instagram? What are your goals?
C: I started using Instagram because it was the medium that best allows me to present the content I want to show people.
For all of its problems, I still think Instagram is the best medium to connect with people based on photo content.
As far as goals, I don’t have any, really! I’ll keep doing it as long as it continues to be fun for me. I’m just really stoked that people care enough to follow me and tell me they dig what I’m doing.
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
C: Ha! That’s a good question. I check it every time I get a chance, so I’d say less than an hour a day. I used to have a bad habit of just posting photos and closing the app and forgetting about it for half the day.
One cool thing about Instagram’s algorithm is that it kind of forces me to engage with people in order to spread my post to a wider audience. I think a gentle reminder to be social is good for me. As a result, I use Instagram more than I used to these days.
T: How do you take your photos?
C: I set up my DSLR on a tripod most days. I use a remote to take a picture, but sometimes I convince my girlfriend to help me.
T: Which tools do you use?
C: I use a Nikon d3400 camera with a 35mm Nikkor lens. From there, I edit my photos using Lightroom.
T: What’s your editorial flow?
C: It’s funny because I had a flow going until just recently!
I would post two full outfits and then a third shot for outfit grids or detail shots of my shoes. I stuck with that for a pretty long time, but I started to feel limited by it.
Now I just kind of post whatever. I wake up early most days, so I usually post in the mornings. I’m all about routine, so you can expect a post from me at 9 in the morning (EST/EDT) like clockwork.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos? And why?
C: I’m fortunate to have a really photogenic backyard! It’s got a big garden and a lot of brick walls to use as backdrops. It’s also really easy for me to step outside and take a picture while I let my dog run around in the mornings.
I go to other locations occasionally, but that always takes more planning so it’s rare that I have the chance to explore. The city of Richmond is chock full of inspiring backdrops, so I hope to get out more in the future.
Chris’ Style and Denim Preferences
T: How did you get into denim?
C: This has a lot to do with my recovery as well. At the time, I was obsessed with change. My life was changing so drastically that I loved the idea of wearing a pair of jeans that could document that moment in my life.
I was craving tangible proof that I was developing in my recovery process, and a pair of jeans was exactly the canvas I needed to express that need.
I was a lot like my fading jeans. Not broken, just different from when I first put them on.
T: What’s your favourite feature of jeans?
C: The cuffs! There’s nothing cooler to me than a pair of chunky cuffed jeans and some sneakers.
T: How do you wash your denim?
C: I just throw them in the washer in some cold water and hang dry them. I don’t think about it too hard.
T: What’s your favourite denim brand?
C: 3sixteen has a special place in my heart. I hope they do more things with their Classic Straight fit, because those are my favorite jeans by far.
A close runner up is a brand I haven’t actually had a chance to try: orSlow. Their attention to detail and the fabrics they use in their pants is unmatched.
T: What’sg your favourite fit? And why?
C: I’m all about straight fits! I’ve tried slim and tapered fits in the past, and they just aren’t as comfortable. I’ve been into slightly oversized fits lately, so for me, the less taper the better!
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
C: I’m in the process right now of thinning out my boot collection! I think by the start of the fall season this year I’ll be down to one or two pairs.
I really love moccasins, so if I’m not wearing sneakers, I’m usually wearing my Quoddy bluchers.
T: Which sneakers do you wear?
C: I love big chunky runners! The New Balance 990 series is my favorite, and I have several pairs in a few different colors.
I just picked up a pair of Stepney Worker’s Club canvas sneakers that I love a lot for this coming summer.
T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?
C: My hat! I have a few that I rotate and wear when I don’t feel like combing my hair. I have several from Corridor that fit my head really well.
T: Where do you buy your gear?
C: The internet mostly, and secondhand from eBay or Grailed if I can.
There’s also an awesome local shop in Richmond called Jackson and James, they stock a lot of great brands and Mike the owner is an incredibly nice guy!
T: What’s your monthly clothing budget?
C: Haha, I don’t want to think about how much I spend on clothes. I don’t really lay out a monthly schedule, although I probably should.
If I like something and it makes sense financially, I’ll go through a process of deciding how much I actually want it before I eventually go for it.
If I want something new, I try to sell something I don’t use or like anymore to help offset the cost and make room in my closet.
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
C: I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter how expensive or exclusive your clothes are. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing them, then what’s the point?
I’m all about experimenting, so disregard what people tell you about how clothes should fit and figure that out for yourself!
Also, don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to one style or look! I like to take elements from a bunch of different styles that I think compliment each other well. Conforming to one style can get very boring very quickly, so don’t be scared to switch it up!
Fashion is supposed to be fun, so have fun with it!