SHORT NOTE

When it comes to au­thor­i­ties on party wear, try a DJ who is a prac­tised hand at dress­ing for the oc­ca­sion. Alice Quid­ding­ton leads the way in mi­cro lengths. By Alice Bir­rell.

VOGUE Australia - - CONTENTS - STYLING KAILA MATTHEWS PHO­TO­GRAPHS DUN­CAN KILLICK

DJ Alice Quid­ding­ton is a prac­tised hand at oc­ca­sion dress­ing, lead­ing the way in mi­cro lengths.

For those who think be­ing a DJ is getting paid to party, Alice Quid­ding­ton’s hol­i­day sea­son is rea­son for pause. “Last year I had New Year’s Eve off, which was the first time in nearly six years, so that was nice. But I had to work the next day, so …,” she trails off, laugh­ing. “I know it sounds so­cial, but also you’re on your own a lot: you work from home; you’re by your­self be­hind the DJ booth.”

The petite sandy blonde – ‘bronde’ in beauty speak – is seated in a cafe in Syd­ney’s Padding­ton dur­ing a pro­longed rainy spell. She ar­rives dry and un­ruf­fled in a blazer and white T-shirt that have mirac­u­lously es­caped the mon­u­men­tal soak­ing the less-to­gether city dwellers among us couldn’t avoid. It is this com­posed pol­ish that has made her some­thing of an ac­ci­den­tal fash­ion plate. Af­ter hol­i­days to Ibiza and Greece in­tro­duced her to house mu­sic when she was younger, Quid­ding­ton, un­der the tute­lage of a close friend, emerged as a DJ book­ing club nights and so­cial events, more of­ten than not for the fash­ion cir­cuit.

Now Alice Q, the name she plays un­der, has the added ad­van­tage of be­ing able to of­fer the brands she works for an ex­tra layer. “A lot of the time they want to dress me in clothes if it’s a la­bel,” she ex­plains, some­thing her male coun­ter­parts ini­tially saw as an un­fair ad­van­tage. “I did get a feel­ing that they didn’t want peo­ple com­ing in and tak­ing work, be­cause of the kind of gigs you were getting as girls. I guess the fe­males were just tak­ing over that.” Fo­cussing on devel­op­ing her own mu­si­cal style – some­times disco, some­times techno and noth­ing “too com­mer­cial” – si­lenced her de­trac­tors. “A lot of peo­ple like to tell you how dif­fi­cult it is to get into with­out re­ally know­ing whether you’re ca­pa­ble or not.”

Hon­ing her own style has been akin to fi­ness­ing her mu­si­cal taste. “I just try to add my own lit­tle touch. I never re­ally wear any­thing too pol­ished or done. If I get given a dress I’ll try and mess it up with my hair or some­thing or wear sneak­ers,” she ex­plains. Chas­ing sum­mer around the world for hol­i­days and spend­ing the party sea­son in Aus­tralia for work, Quid­ding­ton finds she ends up in ab­bre­vi­ated lengths more of­ten than not. “I love short skirts,” she says, pair­ing them with boots or sneak­ers by Su­perga or Is­abel Marant to avoid be­ing overly done. “I don’t wear tight skirts with high heels so much.” If the night cools off she ap­plies that ap­proach to out­er­wear, reach­ing for over-sized leather jack­ets, blazers and chunkier bombers.

Grow­ing up in Bal­main in Syd­ney’s in­ner west, Quid­ding­ton grav­i­tated to­ward fash­ion from a young age. “My mum tells me that I used to have lit­tle pink love-heart glasses that I had to wear ev­ery­where with my hand­bag.” Now she mines her mother’s col­lec­tion of vin­tage

suede coats and 70s flo­ral maxis, to which she adds finds from her trav­els. “I just bought a vin­tage denim jump­suit in LA. There are a whole bunch of stores there that are amaz­ing.”

She’s more and more in­flu­enced by travel, fun­nelling her finds into her wardrobe, in­ten­tion­ally or not. “I was al­ways teas­ing peo­ple when they come back from Burn­ing Man and they’re wear­ing this whole new style – I call them techno shaman,” she says laugh­ing. “Capes and beads and ev­ery­thing. When I went this year I went to Mex­ico af­ter­wards, so I still had all my beads that peo­ple had gifted me, and I thought: ‘Oh my good­ness, I’ve turned into one of these peo­ple!’”

As she ex­pands cre­atively (she’s study­ing in­te­rior de­sign and has plans to launch a life­style brand one day), Quid­ding­ton is find­ing ex­pres­sion more and more in the phys­i­cal realm. “I’ve just wanted to be more vis­ual with my cre­ativ­ity. I don’t know why, it’s just changed. I’ve been paint­ing a lot; I do a lot of my own art­work,” she re­flects. ”Mu­sic, though, will al­ways be a style touch point, go­ing out as a point of in­spi­ra­tion. “It’s show­ing peo­ple what you’re wear­ing or getting in­spi­ra­tion from other peo­ple you don’t know, be­cause that’s re­ally im­por­tant. Other­wise you’re just in a bub­ble, and it just be­comes all re­ally the same. It’s re­ally im­por­tant. It’s cul­ture.”

Tom Ford dress, $7,250, from Har­rolds. Voodoo tights, $13. Acne Stu­dios shoes, $660. Above: Maje jacket, $815, and skirt, $395. Daisy top, $190.

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