Tina Brand’s approach to fashion is inspiring, wardrobe covetable, her style is fresh and exciting that also reflects the story of her life.
1. Who are the designers you like?
Pamela Easton, Roksanda Ilincic, Kenneth Ize, Rosetta Getty, Duro Olowu, Akira Isogawa, Alistair Trung, Ruchika Sachdeva, Paul Smith( men).
2. What sort of clothes appeal to you?
Clothes to wear with ease, bold colour, prints and weaves which have some connection to my layered heritage, unrestricted but structured shapes. Pockets always. Embracing slow fashion. My clothes mostly have a connection to something that matters to me- whether it’s a piece bought on a memorable trip, made for an occasion, or because I respect and admire its designer. I still wear a few things from decades ago – my clothes aren’t driven by current fashion but by my personality.
3. Do you have any style icons?
Apart from some of my friends both male and female, they include stylist and fashion editor Ibrahim Kamara, the singer Solange, British architect India Mahdavi. Closer to home: style doyenne Lesley Crawford, art world luminary Wendy Whiteley, Pritzker prize winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
4. How do you feel about getting older?
I fluctuate between shock and indifference.
5. Do magazines or ad campaigns talk to your generation?
The run of the mill magazines don’t engage with my generation comfortably. (unless it is a specialty magazine) Generational and also racial diversity needs to be better represented in ad campaigns. I seldom see people like me in the general media, and especially design magazines. It is disappointing that the media does not genuinely reflect Australian communities more inclusively.
6. How do you approach fashion compared to your mother’s generation?
As a working woman who also spent time involved in various charities and enjoyed an active social life, my mother had a varied wardrobe for all occasions even though she only ever wore sarees. Cotton hand looms for teaching high school in the hot tropics, but outside of work, she was a fashionista with a beehive, frosted lipstick and the latest silk sarees.
For me, following a life in North America which included many more formal occasions, it suits me now to be more relaxed and individual about dressing . Australia is so good like that.
I love shapes and fabrics that reflect my background; for instance, I like a long slim skirt under a longer length tunic style top which is a nod to the baju kurung worn by Malay women where I grew up. I love Indian silk and brocade fabrics, traditional wax batiks and ikats from SE Asia, and from spending my university years with Ghanaian, Nigerian and Zambian friends who became like family, I feel particularly fond of African music, culture and ….. wax cloth. Some of these elements are expressed in some of my clothes.
I don’t really sweat over what to wear and have fun mixing and matching.
Once I know my wardrobe is functioning efficiently with the different elements making up what I require, I ditch the planning, pulling things out to wear according to how I feel on that day. It is a lovely freedom not afforded in every society as I’ve come to learn, so I do savour and appreciate it.
7. Where are the clothes from in the shots?
Navy cropped pants and top are
American Israeli brand Ruti, sneakers are Stella McCartney.
Sunglasses by Raen.
Blue off the shoulder dress is Pamela Easton, sneakers are Paul Smith.
Jewellery: vintage American.
Matching silk georgette top and skirt made specially for me by designer Marie Astrid.
Feathered elbow gloves: Alistair Trung.
Earrings: Christian Lacroix
Shoes: Christian di Riccio.
Plaid jacket and skirt: made for me by Marie Astrid. Hand-loomed fabric for jacket from Cheesoon and Fitzgerald. Skirt is vintage Indonesian batik.
Pink top: Kow Tow.
Handbag: Aussie vintage.
Wrist wraps: Chan Luu and Ole Lynggard.
8. What are the things that are most important in your life as you get older?
For myself : family, health, friends, the arts, and the excitement of fresh experiences.
For the world: a return from excess and for taking better care of our planet.
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