Bri­tish shoe de­signer Ni­cholas Kirk­wood un­veils a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally vi­sion­ary take on Bul­gari’s iconic Ser­penti For­ever de­sign.

VOGUE Australia - - Contents -

“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.

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