Julie Pierce – Style outside the box

Julie Pierce, an inspirational activist with a unique style

I met Julie when she and husband Charlie joined the Save Newtown from WestCONnex group.

I loved her style and started to look forward to meeting up on the barricades to see what she might wear … even with our daggy protest T shirts.

She very kindly agreed to this shoot. I know it might look like we were on a pub crawl, in our defence we did the shoot the week Sydney did 40+ days in March.

Q Who are the designers you like?

Poiret; Charles James; Elsa Schiaparelli; Rei Kawakubo; Issey Miyake; Valentino; the late (great) Alexander McQueen

Australian: Akira Isogawa; Alpha 60; Easton Pearson; PAM; Romance Was Born

Q What sort of clothes appeal to you?

Interesting, creative designs – but designs which are wearable. Gotta be wearable! I love looking at a dress, say, and being struck by a clever, unique construction technique. Really admire and appreciate the skills and experience that designers and patternmakers – particularly patternmakers, employ to come up with something clever. Beautifully hand finished couture pieces (I pretty much only see these by the time they’re vintage…my budget not running to current couture) really make me swoon!
I’ve always been drawn to ethnic handmade clothing- the juxtaposition of pattern and colour, the additions of embroidery/appliqué, beading. Am completely besotted by traditional Japanese fabrics and have taken apart many vintage kimono, haori, etc (which, by the way, are invariable stitched together by hand), and relish the challenge of making up a modern garment. Much of the challenge comes, of course, from the fact that a kimono, say, is put together with panels of fabric which are woven in a very narrow width.)

Q.Do you have any style Icons?

Can’t say I have any style icons, really… Cate Blanchett always nails it on the red carpet I think, and Tilda Swinton is very chic.

Q. How Do you feel about getting older?

Can’t say I’m a big fan of getting older and birthdays which mark decades are particularly mean. Of course not big on the alternative, either.

Q. Do Magazines or Ad Campaigns talk to your generation?

No, not really… (this isn’t a new article, but very apt:

Q How Do you approach fashion compared to your mother’s generation and I think in your case your daughters.

Not sure of my mother’s generation as a whole, but feel pretty confident in saying that women of my mother’s generation and socio economic level who loved fashion and were fashionable were much more likely to adapt, make do, and use high fashion as an example to follow rather than imagine themselves actually ever purchasing a high fashion couture garment or handbag or shoes. I know my mother spent a great deal of her time refashioning skirts, dresses, lengthening/shortening, adding this/ taking away that. When I was a child growing up in Los Angeles she used to go into the children’s departments of expensive department stores with a little note book and make sketches. She would then haunt the charity shops and buy clothes (with beautiful fabrics – this was the early sixties and the charity shops were chockers with post war and fifties style full skirted dresses and coats no longer stylish) which she would take apart to make me copies of the clothes she had sketched. I know it sounds like some sort of Dickensian fable or something, but is absolutely true. She always said that she taught herself to
sew because she could never afford to have bought the clothes she loved, ready-made.
My daughters and their friends, on the other hand, are rather more likely NOT to pay much attention to high fashion, but rather to pick up on street style trends or edgy local designers. Very few, if any, of these girls know how to sew, and would be far more likely to dream of actually buying something from Acne or Opening Ceremony at $400-$800 a pop.

Q Where are the clothes in the shots from?

The black jumpsuit is from PAM – shoes from Windsor Smith- fan from Peace Corp days in the Philippines (it’s one old fan!) The black dress is from Alpha 60- shoes are at least ten years old, have no idea where I bought them. Blue check dress I made- shoes from Gorman. Anything else in the photos is undoubtedly from an op shop.

Q What are the most important things in your life as you get older?

Cherishing and being mindful of every day; speaking out and acting upon important social and political issues; and continuously challenging and reassessing my ideas and beliefs.

I just thought I’d add a shot from Julie’s very cool house…..we will also do another shoot in winter, you should see her new coat!

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Comments 3

  1. Thank you Lorrie! How flattering and kind of you choose me as the subject of your blog. The pics are gorgeous…
    Big hugs!

  2. Love the shots and my fave dress is the blue check dress! Great style and musings. I agree with you Julie re ethnic handmade clothing – the craft of it can be quite amazing.

    I’m loving ‘meeting’ the locals and thinking what a great doco series this would make….pub crawl and all

  3. What a gorgeous post, and some beautiful thoughts Julie about your Mum. She sounds fantastic.

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