Read Surveys (By Author)
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?
I discovered that it was ok to never wear jeans. I discovered black and navy perfectly fitted trousers. I understood how to buy clothes that fit properly.
7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?
I was told by my dearest and most admired friend "On days you feel chic, you look chic, everything looks chic. On days you bitch and whine, you look as bad as you sound, regardless of what you're wearing. You have taste, physical and emotional. Wear them both."
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Six pairs of the same fitted trousers, four in black, two in navy. Eight turtleneck lycra tops in similarly dismal colours. Two of the same coat in grey and navy. Three jackets in camel, black and grey. I buy the same things because I like having a classic look. It wasn't intentional, I fell into it through laziness but it's almost become me and I wouldn't change for the world. Even in summer.
10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?
I gave a friend a large floppy black hat for her mothers funeral. She now wears it at least thrice a week. Success.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
Wedged trainers. Anything with studs, floral patterns or brand names. Because I like clean, clear cut simplicty. I have a very complicated face and therefore feel I must not complicate and clutter my clothes or I'll look like a clown. I have the palest of skin, so I prefer black, white or very very light blue.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
My mother and I are poles apart. I have very long and thin arms and legs, and being a foot and a half shorter than me, hers are much shorter and wider. We have different style because we are very different, in body and mind. Her style, whilst chic, has had no impact on my own.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I stole my fathers suit to emulate David Byrne's Stop Making Sense get-up for a few weeks.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
I went to Russia. I was now myself.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
It's either extremely right wing, or extremely left. The viewer decides.
16. Please describe your body.
Long, thin limbs. Horribly long torso. Skin like pallid cheese. Gigantic bottom. Small waist.
17. Please describe your mind.
Despairing. Divided between East and West.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Erratic, intense, fleeting. I am very physically open but orally reserved.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
My hair is a very straight bob with no fringe. I am wearing black trousers and a black turtleneck and white Dr Martens Bethan (at a loss to explain them)
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
In one sense, it is a physical embodiment of me from all dimensions. In another, it's not and nobody is looking at you anyway.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
A pair of Vivienne Westwood moleskin jeans. It was before I knew how to buy clothes that fit properly. They don't. I had a complex.
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?
Every day. I dress the way I do every day because it gives me power over myself, and to some degree, others. It perturbs them that I dress with absolute consistency.
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 parents make no secret that they have great respect for how they look and the treatment of clothes. In Russia and Ukraine, appearance and care is of great importance. My first toy was a lint roller.