Fashion Quarterly - - Style -

“Some­times at work,

a beau­ti­ful dress or per­fect pair of pants is

the only thing that makes me feel ready

to face the na­tion”

What items of cloth­ing al­ways put a smile on your face? The jumper I’m wear­ing in this photo is a fluffy mo­hair cloud from Marle. It be­longed to my best friend, but she has a new­born and it turns out that mo­hair and breast­feed­ing don’t re­ally mix, so now it’s mine. There’s some­thing lovely about be­ing snug­gled up in­side a jumper that my friend and her lit­tle baby were cud­dled up in. It makes it even snug­glier.

The pants are an out­ra­geous pair of silk Dries Van Notens that I bought at Plume in Dunedin. I grew up down there and Plume was a place I’d visit just to run my hands over things, dream­ing about buy­ing them one day. The last time I was there, my flight got can­celled be­cause of fog. I took a taxi back to town and went straight to Plume be­cause I was like, ‘I’m a grown-up now and I’m go­ing to cure this bad luck with some treasure hunt­ing!’ So the pants were a salve on that cold, an­noy­ing day. They re­mind me of the good things about be­ing home, and when I wear them I feel like a kid in an adult’s silk py­ja­mas.

If we were to open your wardrobe right now, what would we find? My life has ac­ci­den­tally turned into a quest for the per­fect white shirt. I have an em­bar­rass­ing num­ber of them, maybe 20 or more. My favourites in­clude one that says ‘James Franco’ on the front that I bought in a gi­ant Tokyo depart­ment store, an over­sized men’s cot­ton shirt that I bought in Bali in a sweaty panic, and a long-sleeved T-shirt from Justin Bieber’s tour last year. De­spite that mono­chrome ob­ses­sion, I ac­tu­ally have lots of colour and pat­tern in there: red silk dresses, mus­tard knits and checked wool coats. I’ll try any­thing once — or twice.

What’s been your most ful­fill­ing fash­ion mo­ment? My most ful­fill­ing fash­ion mo­ment wasn’t even tech­ni­cally mine. I got married a year and a half ago and my brides­maids all wore pink jump­suits that the won­der­ful In­grid Starnes made for them. They looked so kick-ass.

How does fash­ion af­fect your mood? Some­times at work, a beau­ti­ful dress or per­fect pair of pants is the only thing that makes me feel ready to face the na­tion. In my down­time, I tend to wear things that make me feel like I’m be­ing cud­dled — they’re like silky, snug­gly, so­cially ac­cept­able com­fort blan­kets.

Who em­bod­ies hap­pi­ness for you? Prob­a­bly my dog. That guy’s ideal day in­volves sniff­ing stuff, run­ning fast and hav­ing a cud­dle. Oh to be so sim­ple and re­laxed.

Is there some­thing of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance that has in­spired and stuck with you? One record that I keep com­ing back to over and over again is For­ever Changes by Love, a won­der­ful big-band psy­che­delic-pop dream from the ’60s. I dis­cov­ered them in my early 20s when I started to re­alise ’60s and ’70s pop was es­sen­tial to a happy life. For­ever Changes is the per­fect Sun­day- af­ter­noon, dance-around-while-you’re-cook­ing mu­sic.

Where do you feel most at peace? In my bed, look­ing out the win­dow on a frosty morn­ing.

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