15 Feb 2016


How old we're you when you developed a style that felt like your own, and what impact did the media & advertising have at this time?

I started to grasp the idea of ‘personal style’ when I was about 11 or 12 when skateboarding was huge in Australia. I really got caught up in the expressive style of the sport and destructive behaviour that came with it, which was easy for me because I was already a shithead of a kid. I would watch skateboard video’s non stop, watch video hit’s every Saturday morning and ate cereal 3 times a day to Malcolm in the middle’s theme song narrating my mood. I loved life and started having compulsion’s to express creatively every day at this point. Mum and Dad weren’t super wealthy so I never got over the top nice clothes earlier on which was fine for me because I spent most of my time destroying them. Every so often my friends and I would steal super baggy clothing from weekend markets and sag around in them all day at the skate park and exploring the urban/natural environments in which we lived.

I never really gave any consideration or care to the products we were wearing because we got them for free or super cheap so everything got ripped and scuffed. While I kept my skate face on through school and moving around a lot of things were happening on the sidelines, collections of large plastic insects and dinosaur toys grew abundant in my room. Fathoming life without toys never sat with me, I couldn’t give them away like most other kids growing up instead I would dissect the huge bags of toys from my favourite to least favourite in groups. Delicately I would pull the figurines apart and tie string or anything roped/linked around the different loose parts to make necklaces and rings. I’d only wear my jewellery in my free time and at the skate park where I was free to swing my toy heads around my neck at every pop of the deck without anyone questioning my methods. I did fear from being accused a mutant or something at school so I hid my jewellery under my clothing which I now look back on and feel I should’ve just mutanted the fuck out. I distinctly remember a feeling like the jewellery gave powers and made me more confident just knowing my skin and the plastic were intact. I guess that was a chapter of my life where I felt more satisfied in collected styles at once because it was the first time I formulated my own get up and felt comfortable in it.

If you could only dress in shades of one colour for the rest of your life, which would it be?
 I can honestly sum this up with a great quote from Yohji Yamamoto “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – yet mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.”

I can safely say that black would be my choice when it comes to being covered forever in it’s mystery. Black represents the beginning of time for me, it was the canvas in which everything was made on and defines half of the physical world with white. I feel like people pay more attention to the individual as apposed to their clothing when black is present. There’s less distraction from pattern and colour leaving more room for the person to be present, but still allowing great enigmatic possibilities for the opposite to work with.  

When I’m wearing black I feel random people’s assumptions about who I could be in this complex society run wild and this is somewhat empowering for me. I’m addicted to the unknown and I like making other people feel it and question it for better or worse, either way the experience is something new like a gift. I really appreciate minimal aesthetics when it comes to my personal clothing ‘saying little but giving more than enough to talk about’, is what blacks perplexing shade expels to it’s audience, or at least I think it does =)
Do you dress for yourself, others or the occasion?
 I find that most of the time I dress for myself unless I’m in an extremely professional environment where clients are on the line, but I find that I need to first impress myself before I can start caring what anyone else is going to think about my get up. Most of my time is spent painting murals outdoors designing in the studio or meeting up with people to talk art and ideas so I don’t necessarily need to dress to impress, I always stick to the clean black look.

Ultimately I think as soon as we have enough money to start buying clothes for ourselves we begin to consider how our family, friends and general public are going to react to our choices. In the past I used to really care about others people’s reactions to my attire, which I think was a good thing at the time. I used to wear some pretty atrocious fabrics and quickly learned what worked well for me on a personal and public level through various eccentric trials. A lot of the time I enjoyed dressing against the grain just to see people’s reactions, any reaction was a good one for me, I think this is something that still subliminally rules my life. Now days I generally like the idea that what I choose to wear could provoke comment and sometimes create a conversation but still go unnoticed if need be.

 My layered black clothing composition plays different roles for different social situations but never changes it’s aura. From my painting work environment to classy dinners then casual catch up’s with friends everything stays black creating the illusion of formality and helps me stay in tune with my calm side being an ADD possessed vessel.  

What inspires your main & most obvious output of creativity? Does the same inspiration also influence your wardrobe choices?
Clothing is a huge part of my inspiration when it come’s to putting my brush to paper, most of my artworks incorporate the human figure with stylistic fabrics defining its existence among my compositions. Architecture, natural life and unworldly objects also inspire my artwork and clothing, I really enjoy breaking things down to admire the simple truths and characteristics of an item. 
Most clothing I source for myself is put in my illustrations as well as my fashion, both share an evolving connection and constantly glean the art world for inspiration. I like to feel connected to my creative side 24/7 and dressing with the same aesthetics I use in my black and white artworks help me to stay in touch with my childish side and feel mentally balanced. 

Is your style a product of organic development or conscious construction?
I feel everything that happens in my life is somewhat an organic development, I don’t necessarily believe in fate but I do believe that a person’s life is constantly being introduced to different scenarios that act on a timeline being random sometimes. I feel the same way about fashion and pretty much everything that has ever existed, start and finish are so similar with experimental toppings in the middle making it an organic art form. My style is consciously constructed every time I wake up in the morning to put my clothes on or buy products from clothing stores and online sources. When looking back on my fashion it grew and changed over long periods of time, reflecting an organic simulation and similar to evolution.
 First was sports clothing then Hip Hop and Punk clothing through schooling, which then moved into less obvious styles through University. Studying fine arts at RMIT really helped me question labels, symbols and other miscellaneous definitions as products, I felt uncomfortable wearing certain materials and labels just because it was over promoted or the fabrics were poorly made but appealed to a popular genre of clothing. Now days I’ve completely disconnected myself from major clothing brands unless it’s collaborated with talented designers or the fabrics have a unique taste without the walking advertisement feel. Small company’s, sects, art groups etc who work hard and deserve respect for innovative design will always have my support and love.
 Looking back on my stylistic journey I feel settled in knowing my escape from less conscious decisions about clothing, wearing all black is a point in my life where all my past colours have mixed together and collected to create this illustrious dark shade. Just like mixing all the colours from the colour wheel with paint, eventually you’ll get a dark grey black tone.
Instagram: @soleveins

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