AB­SO­LUTELY POS­I­TIVELY

The power of a great out­fit to turn that frown up­side down can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated. Here, six peo­ple with a strong sense of style share how fash­ion gives them all the feels

Fashion Quarterly - - Contents - BECK WADWORTH FOUNDER OF AN OR­GAN­ISED LIFE SYD­NEY

Six stylish folk on how fash­ion makes them feel

What items of cloth­ing al­ways put a smile on your face? I can’t go past a beau­ti­ful tai­lored blazer and my favourite denim jeans. It’s my go-to out­fit for so many dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions and al­ways makes me feel my ab­so­lute best. I pair this look with gold jew­ellery that I have a per­sonal con­nec­tion with, ei­ther a gift from fam­ily or friends, or a spe­cial piece that brings back mem­o­ries. If we were to open your wardrobe right now, what would we find? My wardrobe is very min­i­mal and un­der­stated — I’m all about chic sta­ples that are time­less. It’s full of denim, and black, white and neu­tral items in an ar­ray of dif­fer­ent tex­tures: silk, linen, cot­ton, wool…

What’s been your most ful­fill­ing fash­ion mo­ment? In the past few years, I’ve re­ally per­fected my per­sonal style, and I think that’s such an im­por­tant thing in any woman’s life. Stay­ing true to my style gives me the con­fi­dence to live each day to the fullest, rather than be­ing wor­ried that I’m not on trend.

Who em­bod­ies hap­pi­ness for you? Any­one who makes the most of ev­ery day and pushes them­selves to live their best life. It’s all about em­brac­ing the mo­ment and try­ing to see the pos­i­tive in a sit­u­a­tion. Is there some­thing of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance that has in­spired and stuck with you? Paris has al­ways had a spe­cial place in my heart for its cul­ture, his­tory, food, lan­guage and ar­chi­tec­ture. See­ing pho­tographs of this beau­ti­ful city in­flu­enced me from a young age, and now when I’m lucky enough to visit, I feel over­whelmed with in­spi­ra­tion.

Where do you feel most at peace? With my fam­ily in

Marl­bor­ough — al­ways.

What items of cloth­ing al­ways put a smile on your face? Vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing I own gives me some joy and plea­sure. Many of my pieces are con­nected to mem­o­ries, so ev­ery time I wear them, that ex­pe­ri­ence is brought to mind. I say if some­thing doesn’t make you smile, don’t buy it. Shop happy, with peo­ple you love, and only buy things that in­spire some­thing per­sonal in you. If we were to open your wardrobe right now, what would we find? One hun­dred per­cent com­edy.

It’s like a wa­ter­fall of fab­ric and con­cept on the cusp of ex­plod­ing — your head­line could read ‘Fash­ion de­signer found dead, drowned in his own cloth­ing’. The vista is con­fused, with vi­o­lent jux­ta­po­si­tions of colour and tex­ture, like a Max Ernst de­cal­co­ma­nia paint­ing in that there’s a ran­dom­ness in its sym­me­try of madness. I like it a lit­tle too much — busy wardrobe, busy mind.

What’s been your most ful­fill­ing fash­ion mo­ment? I’m not sure if this was ful­fill­ing, but World was sell­ing at Paris Fash­ion Week and we had a gor­geous show­room in a château off the Champs Élysées, across the road from Dior. Ev­ery af­ter­noon, I’d walk through the store, and espe­cially the dress room filled with gowns and cock­tail dresses priced any­where be­tween €10,000 and €100,000. It crossed my mind that maybe these pieces were just for show and no one was ac­tu­ally buy­ing them — un­til the Satur­day when I stepped into the dress room to find a vir­tual shit-fight among some of the most glam­orous women I’ve ever seen. I re­alised then and there that price was not the point. We live in a cul­ture here in New Zealand where the judge­ment of money is spe­cific and mas­cu­line, but there should be no judge­ment on how you spend your money — en­joy your wealth what­ever the level, in the way that suits you best, not in the way that our pre­con­ceived con­vic­tions and judge­ments al­low. Why buy a bach in Omaha with a mort­gage when you can have a free­hold Dior gown?!

How does fash­ion af­fect your mood? Clothes maketh the man — nude peo­ple have lit­tle or no in­flu­ence on so­ci­ety. Fash­ion does not ex­ist by it­self, it only comes to life with a per­son­al­ity in it, and the aim of fash­ion is to best rep­re­sent the strong­est side of your per­son­al­ity. I use my wardrobe and my prac­tice as a de­signer to dress and iden­tify the mul­ti­tude of char­ac­ters in my per­son­al­ity. Some days I play the role of the bash­ful li­brar­ian, some days the dom­i­neer­ing de­signer and some days the in­tel­lec­tual clown. I find cloth­ing can add a strength of con­vic­tion, a con­fi­dence or what­ever it is you might need to be at your most in­di­vid­ual. Is there some­thing of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance that has in­spired and stuck with you? Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is some­thing that has con­tin­ued to plague my imag­i­na­tion, and once I re­alised that I shouldn’t be try­ing to see Proust’s world with my eyes but rather see my world with Proust’s eyes, it be­came in­fin­itely re­ward­ing and in­fec­tious across ev­ery­thing.

Where do you feel most at peace? In my wardrobe. The study of my own madness and avarice as a way to dress my­self to be an ac­tive mem­ber of a sane so­ci­ety is the kind of self-flag­el­la­tion and dark com­edy only I can en­joy. Peace can also be a lit­tle mad.

What item of cloth­ing al­ways puts a smile on your face? The coat I’m wear­ing in this photo makes me happy. It’s warm, stylish and made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als — Scot­tish wool, pais­ley shawl and Cen­tral Otago rab­bit. It was made by Dunedin de­signer Jane Avery for her brand Lapin, which is French for rab­bit.

If we were to open your wardrobe right now, what would we find? When open­ing my wardrobes — plu­ral — you must be pre­pared for a bit of ev­ery­thing. You’ll find pieces by

New Zealand and in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers, all in very good con­di­tion, vin­tage, colour­ful and clas­sic, and made from pure prod­ucts like wool, silk, cash­mere, linen and cot­ton.

What’s been your most ful­fill­ing fash­ion mo­ment? I was in­vited to Wellington in 2014 to at­tend a film at the City Gallery called Ad­vanced Style, at a screen­ing ar­ranged by Cuba Street vin­tage stores Hunters & Col­lec­tors and Zig­gu­rat. There was a prize for the best dressed, and I won! What a thrill. I was wear­ing Yo­hji Ya­mamoto.

How does fash­ion af­fect your mood? Fash­ion is part of life and pos­i­tively in­flu­ences my mood. I think be­ing well-dressed and ap­pro­pri­ately dressed makes life eas­ier. My daily dress code is based on warmth and ease, de­pend­ing on the oc­ca­sion.

Who em­bod­ies hap­pi­ness for you? My fam­ily and friends. My life with Michael, my hus­band of 27 years be­fore his un­timely death 30 years ago, and our chil­dren, An­drew and Har­riet, was very ful­fill­ing, and my work as a nurse for 55 years brought me great sat­is­fac­tion too. Main­tain­ing good health also em­bod­ies hap­pi­ness for me.

Is there some­thing of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance that has in­spired and stuck with you? Van Gogh’s Sun­flow­ers, which I saw in London in 1963. Art is one thing that makes me very happy and to be on the art ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee of the Dunedin pub­lic hospi­tal with its mag­nif­i­cent art col­lec­tion is very re­ward­ing. Ars longa, vita bre­vis: art is long, life is short.

Where do you feel most at peace? At home with my art, fash­ion, books, gar­den and cat called Pinot Gris. There’s so much to en­joy in my own en­vi­ron­ment and I like rem­i­nisc­ing about the places I’ve seen and the travel I’ve done. En­joy­ing the present gives me a sense of peace. I’m thank­ful for all of life’s ad­ven­tures and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Beck Wadworth says defin­ing her per­sonal style was a mile­stonesar­to­rial mo­ment.

“Clothes maketh the man,” says Benny Cas­tles, and we couldn’tagree more.

Pieces that put Kanoa Lloyd in her com­fort zone are just the ticket inher down­time.

Style icon Bar­bara Brinsleygets great plea­sure from a wardrobe well stocked and a life well lived.

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