Cultured Carrots: Emily Chambliss Is Bathroom Fabulousby Carrot Creative
Carrot: So you’ve been doing this thing called Bathroom Fashion Show on Instagram for three years. Explain the concept, and the origin story.
Emily: I've always been into fashion, playing dress up and designing outfits for fantastical occasions. Growing up, I'd plan out and illustrate my outfits so I could catalogue my creations. Eventually I got a digital camera and then a phone--now I don't typically draw my outfits, just snap a photo. Instagram seemed like a good place to chronicle it so that's what I do now.
At first I didn't tell anyone about my Instagram because I was embarrassed. It's still fairly embarrassing, but now I can't stop. I keep it restricted to office bathroom selfies showcasing my fashion at work.
C: Is featuring fashion content in the bathroom a subtle dig at the fashion industry that sometimes can feel snooty or over-produced?
E: Not intentionally, I just feel very comfortable in bathrooms. I spend a lot of time in them. I work with the bathrooms I have. Our current bathrooms have boring, grey doors, but as a background, they put more attention on the clothes and create contrast. I like playing with the floor tiles with shots of my shoes and a perspective that messes with your sense of depth perception.
C: What kind of response have you gotten from people since you’ve started? Are they random or mostly coming from friends?
I've been "recognized" by friends of friends whom I am just meeting. It's flattering. It doesn't happen often. No one has openly criticized me yet. Thank you for that.
C: Has anyone every walked into the bathroom while you’re snapping a shot? What was that like?
Yes, but I quickly jump off the counter and pretend like nothing suspicious is going on. I try to be sneaky about it. I think I've been almost caught like 2-3 times, but I'm very quick about stopping what I'm doing, so I don't know if it counts. I usually keep an ear out for footsteps approaching the door so as not to be interrupted. I can't do it with other people in the bathroom...unless they're participating. So far, I've featured a few other people on @bathroomfashionshow.
C: You’re pretty consistent in your venue (bathroom) choice. Do you think you might change your location over time. Perhaps a shoot in the bathroom of the Ritz Carlton?
E: No, because I like rules, and I must obey the rules of #bathroomfashionshow. It has to be a work-related bathroom. Creativity has the opportunity to thrive in the midst of constraints, but I'm also a person who loves systems and being regimented. I enjoy the consistency, establishing and following parameters.
C: Selfies became completely common in a very short amount of time. Do you think it’s a fad or are they here to stay?
E: They will stay until something better comes along. Soon we will have our own drones taking photos of us at our best angles and making the appropriate comments/edits.
C: Fast forward 5 years and pretend you’re still doing the series. What fashions are you sporting in the bathroom mirror?
E: Given the cyclical nature of fashion, there may be some repeats in 5 years. Probably some early 2000s stuff. In the future, I'm hoping that womenswear will be more functional, always have pockets, and be comfortable. I hope high heels go out of style and nightgowns for daywear becomes a thing. I'd like to see menswear incorporating dresses and skirts. I think well-made, gender ambiguous/neutral fashion is the future.