The Ephemeral Identity of Penny-Rose

I quit shopping for new clothes in March 2010 because I was disillusioned with the mass produced affordable items in chain stores and the hideously expensive more stylish items in designer stores.   I followed fashion by reading Fashion Quarterly and Simply You (two excellent NZ magazines) in 2010 and 2011 but stopped buying any magazines because of the advertising in 2012.  I don't follow fashion by buying from stores, I believe in making my own fashion. 

I shop at op shops, online on Trademe,  and vintage clothing stores.  I have been known to acquire items from "lost and found" boxes and picked up lost items in the street. I re-fashion existing items from my wardrobe and have sewn a number of new items from fabric stashed from Spotlight splurges or vintage fabric bought from sales.  Many items I buy are taken home to meet "Mr Scissors" and "Mrs Stitch Ripper".  

In 2012 I vowed to "not buy new" and to try and be "space and cost neutral".  This includes craft items such as fabric or wool, so although I still visit Spotlight for a bit of haberdashery, I make sure I scour the thrift stores for my sewing and craft needs first. 

I have developed quite a crush on polyester - and find myself inexplicabley drawn to colour combos and textures which my mother would call hideous.  When I imagine her reaction to these items I find myself smiling.  I used to wear plain clothes and a lot of black.  Now I wear patterns and colours daily.

I regularly conduct an “audit” of my wardrobe and try to resell items or give to charity, or to rag recycling.  Giving to charity is very important to me and part of the motivation to give up consuming lots of Made in China (Crap).  That is not to say that all MICC is Crap but there seems to be an awful lot of it around.  Some retro inspired items which have a MICC label have made their way into my wardrobe, but as time goes by I am drawn less and less to the modern retro look and more to my own style. 

I look to vintage eras for inspiration, ranging from 1940s austerity to the flares of the 1970s. Two of my style icons are actress Diane Keaton and designer Vivienne Westwood.  I love man-style ~ Marlene Dietrich in a suit, David Bowie, and Bryan Ferry.  I also love the 1930s bohemian look ~ a look I captured when I went to the Wingatui Ball.  I am also a dyed in the wool trade unionist and have an interest in work clothes and uniforms.  The diner waitress smock, the lab coat, the cleaners jacket, and the house coats and shirt dresses of the 50s and 60s all appeal to me in terms of functionality as well as fit and style.