Book­store man­ager Jenna Todd.

Jenna Todd — Book­store man­ager

Metro Magazine NZ - - Contents - TEXT — FELIC­ITY MONK / PHO­TOG­RA­PHY — JOE HOCK­LEY

My nana is a re­ally big knit­ter. She knits all of my jer­seys. I’ll send her a pat­tern — she lives on the Gold Coast — and she’ll just knit one up. I’ve al­ways got her work­ing.

We use mostly 1940s pat­terns; I re­ally like the shape of them, and be­cause I wear a lot of high-waisted stuff, I like how they are cropped.

My favourite is a grey em­broi­dered jer­sey ( 03, over­leaf). It’s just so cool. It shows her em­broi­dery skills as well. When I wear it at work, ev­ery­body com­ments on it. I’ve down­loaded the pat­tern and emailed it to cus­tomers, so there might be a few of them around.

Nana taught me how to knit and so it’s some­thing we do a lot to­gether when she vis­its. My hus­band laughs at us be­cause we just sit and knit and talk and drink wine the whole time and watch TV. It’s our idea of a per­fect week­end.

I mostly started wear­ing vin­tage be­cause, when I used to go shop­ping, I couldn’t find stuff that fit­ted me be­cause I was just too small. My favourite vin­tage store is on the Gold Coast; it’s called Ret­rosheila and it’s run by this guy called Gre­gory. I usu­ally go over there to visit my nana and end up spend­ing shit­loads of money in his shop. I let him know I’m com­ing and he brings in stuff from home for me.

I ac­tu­ally saw this out­fit ( main photo) on his In­sta­gram and I was just like, “Oh my god”. Nana went down to the shop with her tape mea­sure and mea­sured it all up and was like, “Yep, it will fit you”, so they sent it over. Soon af­ter, I was asked to be a judge for the Ock­ham New Zealand Book Awards. It was a ca­reer high­light for me. We read 50 books in eight weeks. It was crazy. My boss was re­ally amaz­ing. I’d work down­stairs in the shop till 12pm, then go up­stairs and read till din­ner­time, and then read till mid­night. By the end I was do­ing a book a day.

I had in my mind that this out­fit was what I was go­ing to wear, be­cause of course when you say yes to some­thing like judg­ing the book awards, you are al­ready think­ing about the out­fit you are go­ing to wear to the cer­e­mony.

Then they told me that the theme was go­ing to be gold be­cause it was the book awards’ 50th an­niver­sary and I was just

Nana taught me how to knit, so it’s some­thing we do a lot to­gether when she vis­its. We just sit and knit and talk and drink wine the whole time and watch TV. It’s our idea of a per­fect week­end.

like, “Fuck­ing yes”. I was the hap­pi­est ever. It’s so fun to wear; you rus­tle around. It’s like a walk­ing cur­tain.

I had my wed­ding dress ( 01, pre­vi­ous page) way be­fore I got mar­ried. I got it from the vin­tage store I worked at for a cou­ple of years in Dunedin. It’s now called the Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety, but it used to be called Modern Miss, and it is one of the best vin­tage stores in New Zealand. I saw this and I was like, “I want that dress”. I went through this phase where I bought quite a lot of gowns. I’m al­ways that re­ally over­dressed per­son at a wed­ding where peo­ple might look at me and go, “It’s not your day”. But it’s such an ex­cuse to get re­ally dressed up.

I had it in my closet for years. I’d put it on to wear but then I’d take it off again. It never felt quite right. When we got en­gaged, I thought, “Oh, I know what I’m go­ing to wear”. We went to Las Ve­gas and got mar­ried at the Viva Las Ve­gas wed­ding chapel. We had 40 peo­ple from around the world. And we par­tied for three days.

We asked our friend Lucy to take a cou­ple of shots of us be­fore the cer­e­mony, so we went across the road from our ho­tel to this place called the Fun City Mo­tel, which is like a no­to­ri­ous pros­ti­tute place. I love the way the sun is hit­ting Stu’s glasses.

The dress fit­ted per­fectly. It had all I wanted in a wed­ding dress. I love the colour as well — I didn’t want to wear white. I’ll find some­thing to wear it to again.

I was given the clutch ( 02) by my Great Rab­bit (my name for my greataunt). My great-grand­fa­ther brought it back from Egypt af­ter World War II. He was 16 and he signed up for the army a lit­tle bit early — he lied about his age. He worked on the mo­tor­bikes over there and then came back to New Zealand and opened a butch­ery in Haw­era. I met him just once, at my dad’s 21st. I use it as a clutch. It’s quite del­i­cate — a pretty handy size for go­ing out.

I went through this phase where I bought quite a lot of gowns. I’m al­ways that re­ally over­dressed per­son at a wed­ding where peo­ple might look at me and go, ‘It’s not your day’.

My Life in Clothes, page 70.

OP­PO­SITE PAGE— Jenna Todd in the out­fit she wore to the golden an­niver­sary of the New Zealand Book Awards, for which she was a judge. THIS PAGE—( 01) The dress Todd wore when she mar­ried Stu Har­wood in Las Ve­gas.

RIGHT—( 03) The grey jer­sey is her favourite piece of knitwear, made by her Gold Coast­based grand­mother.

BE­LOW—( 02) The clutch Todd’s great­grand­fa­ther brought back from World War II.

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