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We Did a Photo Shoot With 2 of Our Coolest L.A. Readers

by Anna LaPlaca
Photo:

Kat Borchart; Styling: Sissy Sainte-Marie; Hair: Brian Fisher; Makeup: Karo Kangas; Manicurist: Mimi D | On Chrystal Brooks: Monse top and trackpants; Tibi shoes | On Chrystian Brooks: Paco Rabanne top; Tibi blazer, skirt, and shoes

Between bringing you a curated shopping experience and showing you how to wear the season’s best trends, there’s one aspect of our job as Who What Wear editors that we really love: connecting with our community. Whether we’re asking you to share how your hometown influences your style or letting you teach us how to wear the season’s trickiest trends, we’re always keeping an eye on what our readers are up to. (Want to stay connected with us? Be sure to use #WhoWhatWearing on Instagram so we can see your outfit posts, and join our Who What Wear Insiders Facebook group, where we chat about everything from insider shopping tips to must-have product finds.)

But we wanted to take things offline with our readers, too, so last month, we put out a casting call to work on a styled shoot with members of our L.A. community. Enter the Brooks sisters, a duo nailing it with their modern approach to vintage-inspired style and a unique ability to both emulate one another yet stand apart as twins. Chrystian and Chrystal have cultivated personal styles all their own as they’ve grown up together, but each plays a complementary role to the other—always on the same wavelength, as they say.

In their fun photo shoot, we brought spring’s most vibrant looks to life, from translucent PVC to soft shades of lavender. Each look explores our April theme of “freestyle,” the idea of dressing outside the trend cycle and really owning your own style. This idea is evident in how the sisters embraced each of the three spring styles, whether it was a play on pastels, textures, or sporty tailoring, on their own individual terms.

Photo:

Kat Borchart; Styling: Sissy Sainte-Marie; Hair: Brian Fisher; Makeup: Karo Kangas; Manicurist: Mimi D | On Chrystal Brooks: Assembly New York top; Calvin Klein 205W39NYC dress; Intentionally Blank shoes; Hannah Jewett earrings; Building Block bag; COS bag | On Chrystian Brooks: Topshop top; Assembly New York trench coat; Topshop skirt; Maryam Nassir Zadeh belt; Chanel boots; Topshop earrings; Building Block bag

Seeing each sister’s style come to life on set was easily the best part. Between shots, we sat down with the Louisiana natives to talk about their style influences, their distinctive tastes, and what they love most about being twins. “Even though we do wear the same clothes, we wear it differently,” Chrystian explains. “I like to dress it up. She likes to dress is down.”

It’s the influences they do share, like getting raid their grandmother’s closet growing up, that have shaped their approach to fashion. While Chrystian gravitates more toward long, flowing silhouettes and Chrystal’s style bends to a tailored and at times sporty aesthetic, both sisters agree that they share a deep appreciation for vintage clothing.

Photo:

Kat Borchart; Styling: Sissy Sainte-Marie; Hair: Brian Fisher; Makeup: Karo Kangas; Manicurist: Mimi D | On Chrystal Brooks: Assembly New York top; Calvin Klein 205W39NYC dress; Intentionally Blank shoes; Hannah Jewett earrings; Building Block bag; COS bag | On Chrystian Brooks: Topshop top; Assembly New York trench coat; Topshop skirt; Maryam Nassir Zadeh belt; Chanel boots; Topshop earrings; Building Block bag

There’s no surprise, then, that their style to be quite so personal. For Chrystian, it comes down to finding The One while vintage-shopping: “Whatever is different, whatever I haven’t seen anyone else wear, I go for it.”

As both the Brooks sisters prove, “freestyle” is all bout pulling inspiration from unique and really personal places. In fact, the first time they remember being interested in clothing was going to their grandmother’s house. “She has everything—flashy clothes and all different coats,” Chrystal shares. “We probably started noticing how unique her wardrobe was when we were back in middle school. We would go and try on her clothes and play dress-up.”

Photo:

Kat Borchart; Styling: Sissy Sainte-Marie; Hair: Brian Fisher; Makeup: Karo Kangas; Manicurist: Mimi D | On Chrystal Brooks: Nanushka top and bottoms; Maryam Nassir Zadeh heels; Lemaire earrings

You could say we had them do something similar on set—or at least it felt that way. The first looks involved exaggerated tailoring and a subtle nod to athleisure’s current stronghold in the trend cycle. This was Chrystal’s favourite of the day: “It was oversize, and I always find I like oversize pieces.” On the other hand, it was a pastel purple look—the last of the day—that was Chrystian’s favourite: “I was excited to be styled in looks that I normally wouldn’t pull of.” Lastly, a play on see-through and plastic pieces managed to push both sisters out of their typical sartorial realms (but looked pretty amazing, if we do say so ourselves).

In the fashion world, there’s a long-held fascination with twin style, something the Olsen sisters’ omnipresent influence certainly played a role in shaping. But it’s another stylish sets of twins that the Brooks sisters cite as a major source of inspiration: Cipriana Quann and Tk Wonder. (Kali Uchis and Kelsey Lu are other big influences.) The rare yet marvellous thing about being a twin? “Having someone who knows me well and can help me grow,” Chrystian tells us. For Chrystal, the best part about being a twin is “knowing I have someone to go for anything. We teach each other new things every day.”

Photo:

Kat Borchart; Styling: Sissy Sainte-Marie; Hair: Brian Fisher; Makeup: Karo Kangas; Manicurist: Mimi D | On Chrystian Brooks: Maryam Nassir Zadeh top and jacket; Mr. Larkin skirt; Céline shoes; Lemaire earrings | On Chrystal Brooks: Nanushka top and bottoms; Maryam Nassir Zadeh heels; Lemaire earrings

We can see how something as expressive as what you wear gets magnified in twos—getting to double up on one trend means each sister will interpret it in a way that’s all her own. Not unlike the way a yin-yang sign balances seemingly disparate elements in a complementary way. Or, more simply, double the fun.

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