Dancer Style | Kosta Karakshyan

From dancer to fashion guru. That’s the story of Kosta Karakshyan. In 2014, Kosta launched his blog ‘Cool Gear Cavalier’. He features a variety of men’s fashion and lifestyle trends. “My blog celebrates fashion, art and travel. It’s a place to get inspired. I want to help others discover their own sense of style while allowing others to know me a bit better in the process. It’s a win-win, no?” Kosta says.

Dance to Fashion

Kosta practiced the art of dance before going off to college. He had made a good profession of it. After working a dancer for a while, Kosta decided to try to pursue other passions. “I decided to take a year off to redefine my interests and goals in life. This left me with only a part-time job. I had an itch to work on something creative that I could call my own,” Kosta says. Kosta took interest in fashion at a  young age. Creating his own blog was a no brainer for him. “As a child, I remember spending my afternoons in my grandma’s apartment. I often played around with some elastic pre-tied bow ties. Every time I heard the doorbell ring, I would put not one, but two of them so that I look extra presentable to her guests!” Kosta recalls.

Practicing dance also influenced Kosta’s interest in fashion. “From an early age, dancers are required to wear a lot of different costumes. It forces you to learn about clothes. Your costume will have a large impact on your performance. You learn what works for your body as of lines, shapes and colors. You eventually start designing your own costumes for some projects. With over 16  years of ballroom dance experience, I can’t help but have opinions on dresses as well as menswear!” Kosta explains.

Inspiration

Kosta has found himself inspired by many different sources. He admires many fashion icons Alexandar McQueen, Tom Ford and Stella McCartney. “Alexander McQueen is an incredible visionary. He always provides social commentary on beauty, justice and politics through his art form. Tom Ford is an aspirational tastemaker for what luxury means. His designs are always in style.They are always perfectly designed and just raunchy enough. Stella McCartney is an innovator in style and technology. She deserves the utmost admiration for her efforts on sustainability. I also admire the way she breaks the mold of cruelty in fashion,” Kosta says.

Kosta also finds inspiration from many other sources. “I’m obsessed with Cakeboy Magazine and Hello Mr. I take interest in the queer topics they tackle. I also enjoy reading books. I’m currently skimming  two educational dance books. One is for anatomy. The other is about conditioning for artistry and acting. You need both influences,” Kosta explains.

Combination of the Arts

In just two years, ‘The Cool Gear Cavalier’ has gathered a hefty following. Kosta seeks to inspire each and everyone of his followers. He discusses a variety of concepts. He also uses a variety of platforms to get his points across. He has recently redesigned his blog to allow it to be more interactive. “I want to build a more engaged community for the blog. I will be incorporating more lifestyle, fitness and dance content. Also I will include a monthly personal post that gives a glimpse into what I’m going through in my life. I want to be more transparent. I want to show my readers these steps are my way of doing it,” Kosta says.

Kosta has many future projects in the works that will allow him to combine his love of dance and fashion. “I have a lot of upcoming projects over the next few months. I’m performing European choreographer Sasha Waltz’s work.  It will be an evening-length concert of the Columbia/Barnard Dance Department. I’m also collaborating with photographer Kevin Chiu on bi-weekly studio shots of Columbia students. I will be directing and styling them. It is good preparation for the Lunar Gala Fashion Show in February that I will be directing,” Kosta says. 

What style/fashion accessory is your favorite?

I love a fun and original pair of sunglasses or jewelry with a story or meaning. Bracelets and pendants definitely play a big role in my wardrobe. I love building memories surrounding each piece when I wear it.

What is a staple fashion item that every man should have?  How should they use it?

The new staple fashion item is the black chelsea boot. If you’d asked me a few days ago, I would have said the white dress shirt. But, the boots have become surprisingly versatile. I see them styled in so many different ways, be it with a full-on suit, or a bomber and jeans.

If you can/could consider yourself an expert in one area of style/fashion, what would it be?

I don’t think you can really be an expert in any type of art form as there are so many different schools and opinions. You can be well-educated about it, but I’m still not there.

Can you give me a tutorial on how people can best incorporate that style/fashion advice in their life?

Just buy the pair of boots and wear them with anything. Look for inspiration on the streets and identify what you’re attracted to. Then make it your own and rock it better.

Kosta Karakshyan

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