The first time we saw Lydia Hudgens pop up in our Instagram feed, we were hooked. Call it love at first scroll, if you will. It was the asymmetrical silver streaked bob and the statement making glasses and a look that says, I’m here to change things, and changing things, she is. While we asked Lydia to style some of our clothes and get in front of the camera, we also find her work behind the camera equally compelling.
She’s becoming known in the industry as a growing number of change agents, helping evolve what’s defined as fashion or beauty. Lydia bring depth and high fashion to women who have been long ignored by the media. As she pushes the boundaries in her work as a photographer, she’s personally working on getting out of her own comfort zone in front of the camera.
When asked about why she doesn’t smile on camera, she told us that it’s something she’s working on and that she recently posted a smiling pic on IG and it did quite well. She also talks to us about not believing in hidden talents, a new first during Pride, and why it’s a bad idea to put a tv in your bedroom. See more of Lydia’s work and her smile here.
Hometown: Antioch, CA
Current home: Union City, NJ
Current profession: Photographer/Influencer
Hidden talent: I’m not sure I believe in hidden talents anymore, tbh. I’ve tried to really reign in all my supposed talents, as a freelancer, to pay my bills, be creative, etc. Not much else is secret. I used to want to be a writer, but once I went to art school that changed as well!
Greatest achievement/accomplishment/proudest moment: I think the moment the first ever plus streetstyle went live for NYFW by Amanda Richards at InStyle magazine. It was less about myself and more about what we were actually doing and trying to portray—that plus can be confident and daring but also edgy and fashionable with a voice.
On your desk: Lots of plants currently. I’ve been working in my kitchen a lot lately because I admit I think I made the mistake of putting a TV in my room. I get easily distracted by Queer Eye, horror movies and YouTube videos. David Dobrick will be my downfall. Jenna Marbles however, she can most assuredly stay.
On your nightstand: Currently sans nightstand, I use my palette bed to store a bunch of books, usually a glass of water, hand cream, lip balm and my fan’s remote—I’m a polar bear and have to be cold at all times.
Outfit in top rotation: Currently my Eileen Fisher overalls—they aren’t plus sadly, but her sizing is very oversized so I’m really happy in her XL as a 14/16. Also anything and everything Cole Haan—I’m on my feet all the time for work and these have been saving me!
On wearing black: It’s funny because it used to be my go-to, like my everyday uniform. But the last few years I’ve realized while I still own black I rarely gravitate to it for styling. Especially since I’m so fair, I find that color just brightens my mood and makes me happy. White also is becoming a fast favorite. An all white outfit just makes me feel so chic and MONEY. Immediately.
Staying ahead of the curve: I don’t know about staying ahead of the curve but I’m constantly experimenting, in fashion and in life. Trying new trends, trying new proportions, shooting with new people, new clients, new photographers. I think it’s all about trying to gain a new perspective on things, working with others really helps broaden your perspective.
When life throws you a curve: I try to take it in stride. I’m a Virgo and so bad at last minute changes. I write everything down and like to have a daily plan of what I want to do. Even forcing myself to do something I didn’t plan that day is like forcing a child to eat vegetables. I’ll do it but, grudgingly. Something I’m trying to work on... LOL.
The advice you’d give to your younger self: Be open, talk to others, experiment with color, try new things, wear what you want to wear and whatever you do, DON’T SELL YOUR HASSELBLAD. I wish I could go back to shooting all film but I feel like I fell out of love with it and it makes me so sad. Trying to dip my toes back in slowly but surely.
Style secret you’d like to share: Just put it on. Also don’t be afraid to dip into straight sizes - while I get a little annoyed that brands don’t make my size there’s no harm in trying something that is oversized on your straight sized friend because it’ll usually fit. I’ve been experimenting a lot with more “unflattering” styles and finding I absolutely love them. I’m tired of just being so concerned with finding and cutting a waist. Sometimes I want to just billow and be a cloud.
What is your Pari Passu size: B3 in tops. B4 in bottoms.
How would you describe your shape to another woman to help her find the right fit: I’m definitely a pear shape—more hips (though not a lot of butt) and a smaller waist with a smaller chest. I have super long legs and a short torso so a lot of the times certain styles don’t work on me. I often have to alter or tailor pieces because they’re always designed for the hourglass woman with perfect proportions.
Follow Lydia on Instagram for all of her latest style obsessions.