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chantelle oliver

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?


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

Women with messy hair.

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

Women who do not wear makeup or wear a lot of makeup.

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?

Chinese slippers, 4 years old, only the velvet kind.

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

Only buy things that pop raven-ishly from thrift store racks and are under $3.

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

Wear only dresses.

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


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

Building upon the millions previous steps.

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

I live in Canada so I have multiples of mou boots.

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

A lace bracelet to my best friend from Helsinki-10

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


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

She liked purple and has a hunch but I don't talk to her.

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

I wear costume jewelry because of my grandmother.

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

At 14 I got beat brutally for my style so I decided to only wear white and beige to be safer.

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

Only everything.

16. Please describe your body.

Skinny, long.

17. Please describe your mind.

Busy, curious, lazy.

18. Please describe your emotions.

Extreme and sometimes, sleepy.

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

Hair in two braids, unwashed/unbrushed for one week. Floor length polyester brown/white/beige peacock feather pattern dress. Canadian white trash flannel shirt over splendid brand wrap sweater, mou boots.

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

In every way. In an Umberto Eco way.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

Best friend from childhood, my husband I try.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

Not at all, except to entirely change my career path.

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

Style is taste. They mean how I say without words.

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

All the polo clothes from when I was 16.

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

No bras.

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

Writing. Dancing. Shopping. Bathing.

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. I dress in my favourite clothes to calm down.

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?

Discernment is being decisive. I am very decisive.

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 mother taught me nothing, not even how to get dressed. My father lowered me into dumpsters to find him plaid shirts but gave me no advice.

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

Unbraid my hair, wear black eyeliner.

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

Having a quiet mind in public.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

It is a secret.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

Artful disorder of self.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

Clean, shiny, new, bought, angry.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

If it is a dress with a low neck and made of an artificial fabric and not black and handmade by a dead woman I will wear it. Often.

36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

I don't look at myself before going out.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I don't get dressed in the morning. I just hang out.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

Warmth and dignity.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing up means I will have something upsetting on.

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

A prison jumpsuit.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

Huh? That changes.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

White trash. I wear what white trash people with money and education wear.

43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?

I wore only pale colours and brand names so I would not get my ass kicked because I didn't know how to not be weird.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

Nothing. I am never professional.

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

I don't workplace it.

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?

I wear navy Target 10 year old yoga pants with caulk stains and a tshirt that says I AM A GOOD CANADIAN from a thrift store with caulk stains for doing pilates and yoga. And trapeze.

47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?

Sometimes I wash the uniform. But the caulk remains.

48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?


49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

I have a dress from 1989 le Chateau that is navy sundress w white flowers that was all I wore for a year while living in a car on the road in every state of the USA. It reminds me of freedom.

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?

I have a man's body. I wish I had a penis so bad I named my yorkie jesuspenis.

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

Frontier America 1850s (as a woman passing often as a man).

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Sometimes. When my partner dr's the photos.

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


54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

Napoleon. Emily Dickinson. Stephen King. Laura Holt. Cormorants.

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?

Can't remember.

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

I could dress like anything.

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

I am totally comfortable with my body. It's amazing. I am in wicked shape.

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?

I am probably delusional but no.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

Stop it.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

I hate perfume it makes me sneeze.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?


62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

I wear none.

63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?


64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

Vintage clothes from all over the world, collected over 25 years.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

I can't think of one. Maybe my henrik vibskov cape coat because it is cosy.

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

I keep this 1960s shirt I got at Fred Seagal. It is so beautiful I just touch the woven ribbons.

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?


68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?


69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

I'd keep nothing and have a fresh start.

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?


71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

Frye boots. Wore them last week.

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

Smythe jacket. It made me a woman.

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

Comfortable showgirl headress.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

VERY organized.

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?


76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?


77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

When I go on road trips I visit stinky dumpy thrift stores.

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?


79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?

I am a horror writer.

80. How does money fit into all this?

I am cheap and that thrills me.

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

Lip gloss because I'm always dehydrated.

82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?

"you have great legs, that doesn't get old" - first real boyfriend's mother who went on to be mayor.

83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?

Again with the chinese slippers.

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

May 20 1973. Orangeville Ontario Canada, Stratford Ontario Canada (where Bieber is from)

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


What kind of work do you do?

I am a writer and a fixer.

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

Married. I hate kids.

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

Just joking!

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

The fonts are neat for a survey.


I think it best if you do that by visiting my twitter: @twot

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