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Renee Rowland

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When i'm wearing my favourite things. especially my wizarding trousers, sparkly cargidans/jackets and a hat. and laughing.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

yes. confident women who are wearing something unusual, something novel, wearing things differently and bravely. and women who defy the rules.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

Shoulders back, ready and easy smiles.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

when i realised there weren't actually any rules and that i feel better imperfect and wild looking than matchy matchy, glossy, fashionable, kitteny. That no part of my spirit is sleek and tidy and uniform so i shouldn't force myself to wear things that don't represent who i actually am. i realised this when i moved to London a year ago. I'm 30 years old.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Buy things that excite you and that will endure more than 5 washes.
Always go back and get that dress, those shoes, that hat that you keep thinking about.
Never accept bags. always carry a canvas/reusable one.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

That there are no rules.

You're 30 now, no more bodycon.

To single women: you are a credible threat. dress like it.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

when i read: You don't have to be pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female". (Erin McKean)

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I try to plan everything. Over the last couple of years i've tried to accept that nothing goes to plan. and yet i still think plans are great. and lists. got to have a small triumph everyday like scoring off something on a list.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

elasticated waist band dresses. because i love to eat. a lot.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

unfortunately not. I stick to books.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Hipster jeans. please please please please never come back into fashion. High waisted jeans have changed my life. i hope that the strength of fashion dictation on the high street ends so that high waisted jeans remain on the high street.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

we have the same ankles, the same legs. they're great because we can run for miles and dance and swim and cycle and they take us places. but they don't conform to the 'ideal' leg shape. they are thick and muscular. not long but npt short. robust, certainly not dainty.
Mum never wore skirts or dresses, I try to most days.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

All the time. but the end product is so different they would never know. My friend Jess once made a choker that looked like a black octopus around her neck. i've made several variations and always have a good time when i'm wearing it.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

its been a slow evolution. parts acceptance, parts discovery, parts forgiveness. its still evolving, as i learn what works and what doesn't and what i can depend on and what i should let go / stop attempting.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

i feel guilt in buying cheap clothes. i try to buy clothes where the true cost (environmental, human) is reflected in it's price.

16. Please describe your body.

athletic. womanly. capable.

17. Please describe your mind.

curious. energetic. obsessive.

18. Please describe your emotions.


19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

hair: nondescript bun, not low, not high. fits under cycle helmet.
wizard trousers (black loose fitting peg legs with shooting stars on them).
black t shirt.
fabulous vintage cardigan, sparkly, ruffled.
mascara, lipstick. no earrings. a charles dickens pendant given to me by a friend on my 30th birthday.
work shoes (shoes kept under desk at work. nondescript heels)

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

v. important. it's our daily expression, should any one care to notice.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

Taste: objective
Style: subjective.

Style is your choice, your expression. Taste is another's judgement of it. I'd rather have my own style, however ugly and illfit, than get someone's approval of my choices.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

Hipster jeans. multiple pairs. ugh.

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

Today i dressed like a Wizard to remind my colleagues and myself that i am not like them and never will be.

I work in a nondescript, dull as dishwater, ubiquitous navy blue pinstripe cufflinks black brogues bank office HQ.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

A hat, trenchcoat and Dior's Hypnotic Poison.

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

Rebel with all my might.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

never. I wouldn't be who i am without boobs, bum and hips?

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

Amish America

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?


What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

10/12/1983. New Zealand; London

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

conservative, rural

What kind of work do you do?

banking industry

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?


Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

Written at the end of Saturn's return in my stars. coming out of a long hard slog and heading into something great. i will dress accordingly.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?


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