14 Nov 2015


If you couldn't express yourself creatively, how would this impact the way you dress?

Expressing myself creatively has many facets and one of them is fashion, but it so inherent in me I couldn’t imagine the kind of person I’d be without creative expression. I don’t think about fashion too seriously though and have a lot of fun wearing my clothes. The more time that I spend at my part time jobs wearing plain, practical clothes, the more eccentrically I will dress on my days off; full pink outfits, floral on floral print, crazy tights, weird layering, bigger jewelry. In the same way if I haven’t created art in a while, when I come to making something I have all of this inspiration and energy built up ready to flow out of me. I feel like I have this creative force and when it is restricted, it doesn’t fizzle out but instead it builds up until it's set free. It doesn’t grow though unless it is constantly given attention and love, like a child.

What inspires your style more profoundly, internal/external influences? 
My general style comes from external influences but what I wear day to day depends on what I am feeling internally. My grandmother was a fashion designer and works in high fashion and my mum is a graphic designer so they began my love of beautiful and interesting things from birth. I feel inspired by a myriad of things in my surrounding world from the very mundane to the extraordinarily complex and this filters into the art I make and the way I dress. I like the idea of a fusion of multiple styles and don’t feel limited to identify myself with one type of dressing. Maybe this comes from my deep love of travel and absorbing different cultures. After I have explored a new country I have so many images in my head and have absorbed so much it brings new energy to the way I dress and embellish.

How would negative comments towards your self-formed style affect you now compared to 10 years ago?
I am a lot stronger now than I was when I was 12. At that age you've experienced so little and are really growing into a very new form of yourself. It is harder than when you’re 22 to know what your body is about and how you can express yourself through clothing. But even from a young age I was always quite sure of what I liked and not easily swayed by what those around me did or wore. I may not have been doing or wearing what everyone else was but I could never mold to something that didn’t feel like me, I’ve always had that strong intuition. Over those 10 years I've finished school, travelled through 7 countries, had multiple jobs, graduated, fallen in love, had exhibitions and made a lot of artwork which have all influenced me and in turn the way i dress. I am more aware of what it is to be a woman, have had more time to experiment and collect clothes that feel good on me and have been looking at the world and people for a lot longer. I understand a fraction more of the world and a hell of a lot more about myself.

Do you believe in 'dressing to your body type'?
I believe in dressing in what makes you feel rad more than dressing to your body type. The idea that we have to dress to our body types has negative connotations as it encourages people, women especially, to assess what are their 'worst features' and hide them. There are definitely silhouettes that suit different bodies but I think it should come from your own intuition of what makes you feel the best about yourself rather than wanting to cover up and be ashamed of a part of your body. I like to think of getting dressed like making an artwork, it’s kind of like a spontaneous painting where you place things next to or on top of each other and see how they will sing. This obsession that our society has with body assessments and being concerned constantly with attractiveness just holds us back and gives us false ideals about where our value lies. My value is not in the clothes that I wear, clothes are for the most part an individual experience. It lies in what I create with my hands, how I use my mind, how I connect with other humans and the energy I put out into the world.

Would your style alter if you suddenly came into great fortune?
 I don’t think my style would change much and I wouldn’t start buying all the big brands just because I could but holy shit I would buy a lot more clothes, and SHOES. I think people can get a bit swept up into the cult of a hot brand and forget what makes the actual piece desirable to them as an individual. I pay more attention to texture, silhouette, colour, symbolism, comfort, print, cut and pattern than to the actual brand. I never leave the house without my fingers full of bling and some big earrings, particularly in favour of sassy hoops. Oh and I do love a good trawl through the op-shop, I don’t think that would change if my bank account was fuller, plus its not as harsh on the environment! 

Instagram: @catecoogowers

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