Meet Nina Grodahl
Art student Nina “gets all Kerouac and Ginsberg-esque” when answering our questions on style, and confesses to her long time feather habit!

Dec 03, 2013 08:43
by Missy


Our photographer Camille Walsh suggested Nina for a shoot, "She's beautiful and has a really unique look, I reckon she'd be a great subject". And boy, was she right!

Nina welcomes us into her arty share house, with a warm smile and a lot of laughs. The house is so inviting, stuffed to the gills with antique collectables and paintings. Wearing a coloured turban, black dress, and brightly coloured tattoos, Nina poses with her best serious face, before breaking into frequent laughter and chatter.

Great head scarf

Nina, as a young art student, what is your view on the intersection of fashion and art?

"There is a massive intersection between art and fashion, and I see it all the time going to art school!  There are some truly amazing styles being worn at school, and everyone has awesome hair styles too. I think it's because there are no rules when it comes to self expression at school, which is really comforting in a sense. I like to bring wearable art into my look, I love big jewellery and I'm always trying to push the boundaries on how BIG I can wear it". 

Dangerfield black spotty dress

ring close up 

undercut in hot pink 

quote 2

Let's talk hair! How long does that awesome hot pink stay vivid, and where do you get your hair done?

"The hot pink in my undercut stays vivid for quite a while, around 6-8weeks. I get my hair done at Blondes And Brunettes. I have an amazing hairdresser who understands my individual style and we connect really well. I love asymmetry, especially with hair, so I'm open to a lot of different styles but you have to be ready for a drastic change as shaving half your hair off is a pretty permanent look!"

"With an undercut, I get the best of both worlds. I've had long hair for a while and like to put it up in messy styles or a topknot for when I'm in the studio. As I love my long hair I've experimented with different fringes, I've had bangs, thick fringes, lots of curved and asymmetrical fringes. My undercut has had many incarnations too, it started off small and grew bigger and I've had it shaved really close for a super edgy look".

Front door shot

Heart of gold

beaded bangles

crazy dress details 

Where is your favourite place to shop, and favourite stores?

"I love to shop at Dangerfield, I wish I could buy everything in that shop! I also frequent pop-up stores, but my favourite places are second hand stores, they have the individual and unique otherness I like. But my ultimate favourite place to shop is online! My favourite store is BlackMilk Clothing, I wear a lot of black and love changing that up with a pair of funky tights and BlackMilk tights are the best! They are really well-made, fit really well, are designed and made in Australia and express posted, I can't fault them!  I buy a lot of my shoes online too, I love boots and sneakers. I have big feet and found this website that specialises in larger sizes it's called Barefoot Tess make sure you follow the fitting guide is my advice, and of course my all time favourite Dr. Martens these beauties last forever!"

Home girl Nina

You told me a story about how some people feel they have a right to comment on your style, it's obviously quite controversial! Why do you think people feel they have a right to comment?

"I used to work at a place that seemed to attract some clients, who would negatively comment on my appearance with brutal putdowns. I don't know what makes some people think it's ok to comment on another person's look, let alone a stranger! I guess being tattooed, pierced and having an undercut is somehow threatening to some people, and something about my presence and look touched on an insecurity in themselves, and unfortunately they would tell me to my face."

"But you know, at the end of the day I know those comments really had nothing to do with me personally, it's really a projection of their insecurities loaded with judgement and stereotypes. They don't know my story or who I am. I just wish some people would remember that manners are not old fashioned, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

NIna Grodahl close up

Tattoed girl on chair

Tattoo quote

Where did you get your tattoo done, and how long did it take you to decide on what you wanted?

"I got my tattoo done at LDF Tattoo in Newtown by Gus Honey. He is amazing!  He is so talented, especially with colour and flowers.  After chatting in the initial consultation, he managed to get in my head and see my tattoo as I imagined it. My tattoo is inspired by the artist Katsushika Hokusai and I sat with this design for about a year before getting it done.  I believe if you can be as excited about the design a year from when you first envisaged it, then it's destined to be on your body!  My tattoo is family portrait where the most important people in my life are represented by the flowers". 

Art student in bedroom


Fashion is so fascinating because it reflects on ideas of tribalism, do you feel you dress to express who you are?

"I dress to express who I am. In all honesty, I don't follow fashion or trends closely enough to know what all the cool kids are wearing. I like to express what is me, and sometimes that fluctuates, which makes it hard to pinpoint at times. I’m attracted to interesting shapes and textures, unusual geometry, patterns and colour schemes that scream of that something else. I’m really not sure what that something else is but when I see it, I know."

"In terms of tribalism, I think it all comes down to self expression, even if it's subconscious, it's a way to identify ourselves. Be it from underlining individuality, to identifying with particular groups or subcultures, or being totally up to date with the latest styles, it's all some form of expression."

Earrings made from feathers

These feather earrings are beautiful, did you make them?

"Yes, in fact, I have a secret feather collection! I kept my little collection a secret from my house mates for a while, I guess I was slightly embarrassed at having an obsession. Then one morning we got talking about 'weird' things we do and my house mate walks us all into his room and pulls out a draw full of feathers!! It was the one of the happiest moments of my life!"

"Growing up, my family kept parrots and we would collect their fallen feathers after they malted each year. I've always loved birds, and have continued to collect feathers wherever I go. Now I make frequent bush walks and camping trips to collect. Because my family had to give our birds to a new family when they moved, I made these tribute earrings in honour of those beautiful creatures that had been a massive part of my life."

Dangerfield dress

Street style wearing dangerfield

Nina, how would you describe your style in three words?

"Unique, bold and big."

Supra dress in metallics

Who or what do you find inspirational when it comes to style?

"When it comes to style, I feel inspired by people who are confident in who they are and totally comfortable in their skin. Being an art student means that most of my money goes to art materials which doesn't leave a lot left! So I keep my eye out for bargains, I find most of them at thrift shops like Vinnies but the best place for amazing finds is Savers in Melbourne. I love that place!"

Spotty dress by dangerfield

Thanks to Nina for the multiple frock changes, for the lovely chatter, and for letting us into your great house to shoot. 

Big thanks to, to Camille Walsh, for capturing Nina's gorgeous self so well!

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