An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Alternative Dress Codes

The choices we make about what we wear are influenced by life present, lives past and our ideas about our future selves. Expressions of values, aspirations, heritage, understanding and the physical shape of our bodies build a rationale for dress that transcend narrow commercial views about fashion. Instead they give us broader perspectives that honour our reality as well as our aspirations; and connect our psyche with our fibre and fashion choices.

Free reign parrot fashion

There was a bet, an ill placed bet, between a friend and my boyfriend and the loser was supposed to buy me the parrot headband. He lost. But then my boyfriend said he didn’t want me to have it so she bought it for me anyway.

My approach to fashion is that you should wear something every day that makes you smile. It’s hard not to smile when you look in a mirror and see a parrot. I think if you’re wearing a parrot on your head, then you’ve got kind of free reign or licence to do whatever you want.

But basically the way I approach it is that I pick one or two things that I want to wear that day and then the rest of the outfit comes because I try and like construct a story around it and think what this imaginary person in this imaginary situation would do. So today I really wanted to wear my new Alexander McQueen trousers I got last week and they’re obviously very military... so I came up with the idea of this woman who is in the fashion militia who has to go on this secret mission in the jungle, hence the parrot. And then the vintage military jacket followed and my shirt with epaulettes so it just becomes a silly little thing that I do…”

London - December 2012
Photograph by Tim Mitchell

+ More views from this story