A structured Preston wardrobe full of eBay and opshop treasures.
I think I’ve always been obsessed with clothing. I’ve always been a big opshopper because I quite often find the best clothing second-hand. My parents divorced when I was very young which was still taboo in the 70s. I had a mother who was raising three children so there wasn’t a lot of money, that may have fueled my obsession. I always felt as a child that I didn’t have the latest, trendiest kind of clothing, but when I got to year 11 I went to a different high school and made a friend I could swap clothes with, so that helped me experiment a bit more.
When I first moved to Melbourne (I’m from WA) I was like, this is fantastic! The opshops here are amazing, particularly in the wealthier suburbs where you can get some really high quality pieces. I’ve found Krista Larson, at the time I didn’t recognize the designer but I could see the quality. I love going home and researching the brands and seeing how much they go for. I think the finds can be so exciting; once I found a jacket from Japan, people say it feels like little furry rubbish bags. That was from the Preston Salvos and I almost never find anything there. Coming from a textiles background, I’ve always loved making and finding wearable art.
For a while I worked at the Australian Ballet Company and went to all of the openings so I had a lot of opportunity for dressing up. I’ve had a career change to Art Therapy at a hospital; now my clothes are likely to get paint on them and need to be easy to wash and comfortable. I’d love to be a bit more adventurous there but I’m not brave enough. I wear a lot of stretchy Kondo Tricot or Lounge Apparel.
I love the Rundholz or Lagenlook styles, a bit layery, a bit structured. I’ve been more focused on structure in clothing rather than pattern, often that clothing tends to be monotone or black. There aren’t many spots in my wardrobe, sometimes I’ll add a stripe. I once put a stripey t-shirt on that I loved but it made me feel sick and I’ve since heard that some people are affected by stripes. They don’t bother me on other people but definitely if I see it on myself in a mirror. I feel kind of wrong if I’m not in the right outfit. If I wear too much color or pattern I feel that it overpowers me.
I pay slightly more attention to body shape these days. I don’t think I’ve ever been into slinky, t-shirty clothes and it can be nice to hide behind some structure. I look for comfort a little more the older I get. I like to try and wear things I can wear Birkenstocks with; my feet don’t tolerate interesting shoes as much as I get older.