01 Feb 5 Style Lessons Courtesy of Dee Williams
New York is full of those girls. You know the ones—on the train, ahead of you in the line for coffee, on the ‘gram with an aspirational feed you can’t help but scroll 85 weeks deep into—that leave you wondering ‘why haven’t I thought to wear that?’ These are their closets. Welcome to 5 Style Lessons.
I’ve long been fascinated by photographers and the way they view the world, but particularly style. Don’t you think it takes a special someone to not only frame up a shot but see beauty where the untrained eye sees none?
I kept seeing @HiDeeXDee and #ShotByDee all over Instagram. She was photographing super dope girls for Donette Lowe’s Cozy Girl Squad. I wanted to get to know the shooter. See how she lived. Peek inside her closet. Thankfully, she didn’t find it too strange that I was cold emailing her, inviting myself into her home.
Meet Diahann Williams (she goes by Dee), you guys, a social media specialist at Ebony/Jet Magazine. She moved to New York from Los Angeles, California four years ago because she was bored. “I needed something new,” she told me in her Bedstuy apartment. “So, I quit my job and told my parents two weeks before I actually left.” She freelanced for a bit, hopping from couch to couch before she landed in her current role at Ebony/Jet magazine. She hopes to one day make her side hustle, photography, a full-time gig. “Right now, I’m working to slowly build up my portfolio and contacts. One day, I want to be a social media photographer. That’s the ultimate goal.”
She picked up her first camera in high school after her uncle — who usually took all of the family photos and was big on preserving memories — passed away. She’s been clicking along ever since. Keep reading to find out the five style lessons this photographer abides by when she gets dressed.
1. Comfort Is Key
“When I’m feeling the most sexy and in-tune with myself, it’s when I’m the most comfortable — in skinny jeans or sneakers. I’m not much of a heels person. I played soccer and ran track when I was younger. I messed up my ankles terribly, so anytime I try to wear heels, it’s a fail. Now, a chunky boot is as much as a heel as I’ll go.”
For the record though, I asked Dee to describe what her ideal aesthetic would be and she said “ tomboy with a slice of ho.” Think if Rihanna and blogger/model Aleali May had a baby — “camo pants and side boob,” she said. “You know that sliver of skin between your thigh-high sock and where your dress hits?”
2. Clear, Clean Skin Is Your Best Accessory
“I do have sensitive skin,” she told me, gesturing to the choker that she was wearing. “So, I’ll probably have a rash by the end of the day (Ed. note: I’m allergic to nickel, too!). “Whew, man, I spent so much money on beauty and skin care products. That’s the first thing you see when you look at me because I don’t have any hair.”
She is especially fond of Yes To products. And powdered charcoal that she likes to mix with Aztec Indian Healing Clay to make a face mask or even put it in water to drink every morning as a detox.
3. If It’s Not Black, It’s Wack
“I’m wearing all black, always. That’s the color I love to rock. It’s rare if I’m wearing another color. When I see anyone wearing all-black, I know that they own something, they work somewhere important. Unfortunately, Dee told me, her love of black clothing stems from an insecurity. “When I was younger, I was called names when I wore bright clothes because my skin is dark. I turned that into my fashion statement.”
4. The Bigger the Hoop Earring, the Closer to God
“Hoops are a win and will always be a win with any outfit for me,” she said. “Well, not for an interview, but other than that, hoop earrings are a statement piece for me.”
5. Spice It Up with a Choker
“Even if you’re sweats or a casual outfit, a choker will spice up any look,” she said about her last style tip. “You can be thrifty and make your own. Go to Michael’s! When I first started wearing them, I would just wear a bandana around my neck. You can get those for, like a $1 at the beauty supply store.”
SHOP THE POST
Dee is definitely fun, yall. I’m still stuck on her aesthetic — “tomboy with a slice of ho,” haha. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the girl behind the camera. Follow her journey on Twitter, Instagram, and her website, where you can see her portfolio.