Nov 15, 2013 04:54
When I asked Jen to be a subject for our Real Women Real Style series, we were at a party dancing, and Jen was wearing the bold, spotty tights and shorts. She gave me an instant and excited "Hell yeah!" for an answer, before breaking into a big smile. This is Jen - generous, flamboyant, and up for anything that sounds like fun.
Later at the shoot, Jen said, "I had a think about how funny it was to be asked to be a subject, as I've hardly bought anything new for a long time, except kids' stuff and quite a few op shop and online bargains!" I had to reply, "This is exactly the point Ms Jen, it's your attitude and love of fashion that matters, not your budget".
How would you describe your typical day in terms of wardrobe choices?
"Most days I am thinking about practicality and adventure! While I am always looking for new and interesting ways to put together what I have, my style needs to stand up to the day's tasks of motherhood - with two small boys I've got to keep it real. I always need to be ready for a pillow fight or a yoghurt covered hand reaching out for a cuddle. I still love to dress beautifully, but I don't want to be too precious".
Tell me about this great green dress?
"Funny you should ask! I make a line of dresses from organic cotton, I wanted the perfect wear anywhere dress, one you can wash and wear and go. You can find my full range at www.gratefulheart.com.au".
What's your style philosophy?
"I love to have a theme tying items I wear together, which can be very subtle, but to me it makes all the difference. I also tend to let one piece lead. It could be either a piece of jewellery, clothing or shoes, I find these outfits work the best for me. Ultimately, my style philosphy is to have fun and remember it's who you're being not what you're wearing that matters".
Who or what do you find inspiring in terms of fashion?
"People that are true unto themselves, that make up their own rules and have the guts to express them."
What are you on the lookout for when you are out shopping?
"Anything ethical, organic and made of natural fibres. I am that weirdo who checks the tags to see what it's made of, and bargains of course! I really love to score unique finds at local markets, second hand stores and garage sales, it's like a treasure hunt. But sometimes you just need something basic or new and then I will head online, or to the nearest mega-mall to see what I can find."
This is such an incredible one-of-a-kind frock! Where did it come from?
"This dress was made for me by my sister, Lynda Moylan. She a whip-cracking circus performer, and also a costume maker. She's incredibly creative, more than an artist – actually - she is art! When you're out with her, you never know what crazy scene she's going to stir up with her whip!"
"This ring is a handmade ceramic piece and is from Mrs Peterson's pottery, she makes such beautiful things. All of my friends have one or more pieces of her jewellery. The bag I've had forever, it was a market buy."
Have you always been interested in fashion and style?
"Yes. My mum has always been very stylish and I remember admiring the art of her outfits as a young girl. I remember having favourite clothes as a girl, how they made me feel. It think my style echoes my life's journey, from pushing boundaries as a teen, to questioning the way women are expected to dress. And now, what do my clothing choices mean to the world at large, what is the impact? I see fashion as a reflection of our cultural consciousness, but style to me is about caring, and I do care".
"This is another crazy piece my sister made for me, this skirt, and the brooch! We've just added a limited collections of her skirts to the website, they are all handmade by Lynda."
"I think my motivation for dressing as I do is a culmination of my aesthetic nature, my concern for the environment, motherhood - and my generous curves! In terms of dressing up, I do love a good wedding for a dress up event!".
Have you always had style?
"I think I have always had style, just what that looks like has obviously changed considerably over the years. These shoes I think I brought in Bali, the jeans are Witchery but I found them at an op shop for $10. The jewellery I have collected over the years, mostly from markets, my fingers often reach for colour, and in this case turquoise!"
You obviously love statement jewellery, where do you source it?
"They are usually treasure hunt finds or from an overseas holiday, and quite often gifts from awesome friends and family".
Latest online shopping buy?
Blessed Earth is ticking a bunch of my boxes. It's on sale, organic, ethical and oh so soft! Singlets and rainbow socks, joy!
I did a great swap with my sister. A Tree Of Life dress I have been happily wearing at special events for a few years, swapped with a brand new dress by Katherine she bought on sale. Now that my friends, is a serious bargain.
Thank you so much Jen for being our Real Women Real Style subject this week. And thanks to Camille Walsh for documenting Jen's fantastic style!
If you loved the khaki dress in the earlier shots, you can find it online at www.gratefulheart.com.au. They are made from organic cotton (and with love) by Jen herself!
PHOTOS by Camille Walsh
Our HUGE thank-you to Camille Walsh at camillewalshphotography.com.au