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Sarah Millman

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

Going out at night after a day at the beach - fresh sun on my skin, hair heavy and thick with salt water post-ocean swim, freckles out, black liquid liner on lids.

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

yes. older, graceful women with gray chignons wearing natural fabrics are my favourite. a certain type of french vibe also resonates. women who wear denim well. teenaged girls in street wear: big gold door knocker earrings, bigger attitudes, and bodacious bods.

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

confidence and happiness and a certain "chillness"

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?

watching Juliette Binoche in 'Three Colours: Blue' & Irene Jacob in 'The Double Life of Veronique' when I was 17 was a big deal to me. I also loved and adored Aaliyah's style from the beginning of her career through until the end of her life. I didn't get exactly what any of them were doing for many years, but eventually I realized that it was something about how they dialed back their beauty - a pared down simplicity?

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

If you have the cash and you love an expensive and fun piece of clothing, buy it. Even if you will be tight for money - you'll feel amazing every time you see that piece in your closet.

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

wear the same pair of (expensive) jeans over and over and treat them like shit. same with (expensive) t shirts and sweaters and shoes. buy little, but nice, then ruin with too much careless wear.

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

at the beginning of our courtship, my now-husband advised me never to wait on purchasing an item I loved. that life is too short to wait, and that we deserve to feel good in our clothes. previous to that I was ashamed to spend more than very little - my art school, small town "humility" held me back.

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

head first, spontaneous, irresponsibly, full of love

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

jeans. they are the best invention for the modern woman. I am really hard on my clothes and they stand up. If you get the right pair, they make your ass look great.

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

yes, as a costume designer, I often come across things that would be great for others but not myself.

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

90's revivalism. I think it's ugly. All of those bad stretchy fabrics? But I'm old, and I realize that. And I think it looks good on lots of young girls.

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

I have inherited my mom's thin(ish) phyisque with fuller hips, and a smaller chest. She shone in 70's silhouettes and fashion, and I in turn, adore that era. The cuts work best for my body.

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

Yes. A bunch of my friends adhere to a natural fabric/well-made garment mantra that helped me let go of my art school penchant for 70's polyester dresses.

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

When I met my husband. I merged my french "je ne sais quois" fetishism with a push from him to go a bit more bold. It's when I started mixing kind of wild designer pieces into my wardrobe.

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

Hmmm. I guess I try not to consume too much? Repeated wears, investment pieces, shirking trends except for the occasional exceptional, weird item. At art school I wore a flight suit for a semester as a feminist (?) statement (?)

16. Please describe your body.

Currently - 8 months pregnant with a very large belly and the biggest breasts of my life.

17. Please describe your mind.

scattered, fast moving, excitable, generally searching for optimism

18. Please describe your emotions.

a lot of love & happiness, quick to anger, quick to tears, a lot of compassion.

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

Odin coconut incense perfume, rose oil, black liquid eye liner & black mascara, a short black quilted dress by the Danish line Ganni, black socks & black brogue flats with double gold buckles.

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

It makes us who we are as individuals! It brings us together with what we admire and align ourselves with, and separates us from what we dislike.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Directors of films I work on. Actors in films I work on. Actors who I sometimes style. My husband.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I'm not sure. I don't know if they do, currently.

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

I hope I have style. I don't know if one is more important than the other. Taste is good for interior decorating I think. I do wish I was better at that, but style is easier for me. Taste feels like it's for people from old money, which I don't have. Style feels like anyone can access it, it's a journey of the self.

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

Yes. And over-sized $500.00 Acne sweatshirt. Stupid.

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

Shop in the men's section? Buy oversized dude sweaters to hide a tummy and save money and make your legs look long?

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I hope so!

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?

yes. adopting the Jane Birkin - dress up when others dress down, dress down when others dress up appeals to my gemini nature.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

I know what I like in fashion, film, and music. I know what I like in a wine when I taste it, but feel lost when it comes to seeking it out. I think any discernment I have comes from my age, from going to a conceptual art school, from my politics. But I wouldn't say I have "discerning taste". I change my mind a lot & have a tough time with decisions in many areas of my life.

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

My mom dressed in easy shapes that looked good on her body. I learned that a boat neck looks flattering on most people from her. Otherwise, no. My father didn't raise me, and my mother is far more thrifty and gentle with her garments than I.

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

I've never learned anything about make up other than that I like black liquid liner because it helps define my eyes, which are deep set. I like when my hair is clean but messy. I like when I have a good pair of worn-in tight jeans or a nice high heel shoe that is really frivolous or a too-short mini dress that shows lots of leg but then dressed down with a flat shoe.

73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?

A vintage Barbour coat. A vintage Chanel purse.

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I have excess cash and stamina

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

I like a spicy, woodsy, incense-y fragrance. I like to layer flowers with oils - rose and oud or iris and musk.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I never have any because I spend it as soon as I get my hands on it. I like to LIVE!

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

I wear perfume everyday. I wear under-eye concealer and mascara most everyday.

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

May 28th, 1976. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Currently residing in Toronto.

What kind of work do you do?

I'm a filmmaker, writer, and costume designer.

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

Married, first baby on the way.

How do you feel after filling out this survey?


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