British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood unveils a characteristically visionary take on Bulgari’s iconic Serpenti Forever design.
“There’s this passive activism that’s going on. I think to be a true activist you’ve got to get your hands dirty, and I am”
personal heroines, the Divinyls’ Amphlett and the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, her evolution into a frontwoman is part loud rebel but with a soulful vulnerability, a mix reflected in fetish-y wet-look Ellery leather pants and vintage T-shirts or flowing Stevie Nicks blouses and schoolgirl pinafores. Working with Chanel, she says, allows her the freedom she craves. “They’re so much about me putting together things that are my own style.”
She’s now comfortable with clothing as statement, like the slogan T-shirts of the past few seasons bearing the words of writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, or those that subtly identify the wearer as part of a tribe. Manfredi believes in saying something, and platform as privilege. “I think the personal is political, especially for women. Anything you say that’s truthful about your own experience is a political act.” It’s a sentiment not far removed from the new album Girlhood, out this month, that addresses the search for a sense of self and the complications that come with love.
For someone who has engrossed herself in the literature of Virginia Woolf and Margaret Atwood growing up and began writing poetry again today as she undertakes a creative writing course, Manfredi believes words that are backed by action are the most potent. “Yeah, it’s very cool to be political now,” she says laconically. “There’s this passive activism that’s going on. I think to be a true activist you’ve got to get your hands dirty, and I am.” A regular speaker at Keep Sydney Open rallies, she’s currently working with the Indigenous Darug community of Sydney to preserve its language through printing dictionaries. With one of the songs on Girlhood titled Yanada, a Darug word meaning moon, she and the band have also been visiting communities in the Blue Mountains and working with artist Jacinta Tobin on some “secret business”, which she “can’t really talk about” right now. No matter, she speaks powerfully enough in myriad other ways.
CHRISTIAN DIOR BOLERO, $5,100, T-SHIRT, $940, SKIRT, $4,800, AND CHOKER, $530. LOEWE SHOES, $875.