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Ollie henDersdon

feminist, entrepreneur, model, founded house of riot

Do you have a love story in your wardrobe?

I have many love stories in my wardrobe. I feel really sentimental about my clothes, even when I’ve had it for years and I am never willing to let things go….. [I think].. that’s always the jacket I had an amazing night in. If I had to choose one, I would say, one that I recently made. I was walking on the street in Marrickville [Sydney] and I saw the most amazing fabric. It had large opalescent sequins on a stretch mesh fabric and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  So I went into the store and I bought some of the fabric and took it home and made a floor length ball gown that looked like a kind of mermaid. But after I made it, I have been really struggling to wear it because it is so feminine and like a Barbie dream that looks incredible but doesn’t really go with anything else in my wardrobe. Hopefully I will find a place for it or a friend for it.

Question: What’s one tip you live by to extend the life of your clothes?

I think things look good a bit grubby – it is a bit more punk that way.  I am also learning basic sewing skills. It is so useful being able to sew up that little hole – it makes all the difference.

Question: What’s your rule when buying clothes for yourself?

I actually don’t buy that many clothes. I am really into clothes and style but for me it is more re-creating things that you already have in your wardrobe to give them a new life.  When I buy clothes, if it is not second hand I like to buy stuff that lasts, stuff that is really good quality and that feels beautiful on your skin. That is what is really important to me.

Fair fashion is a feminist issue. 80% of garment workers are women but, on average, get paid 10-30% less than men for equivalent work. Paying a living wage to garment workers will overwhelmingly improve the economic empowerment of poor women.
— Action Aid (2015)