Millie’s Mind: talking feminism and style…

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I have some wierd habit of befriending my older sister’s friends. First Iris and those retro gals (remember my last shoot?)- now I’m on skype to my sister’s 15 year old dancing buddy Millie. I just had to do an interveiw as I see her every Tuesday for tap classes and she never fails to impress, with her laid back adrogynous style. I shot her and her for our latest photoshoot…so I decided I’d interveiw her too…

-Hey Millie! You seem really into fashion. What is fun about it all for you? And when Did you start focusing on how you dress? 

Hmm, well I’ve been told I was into it from a young age, but I think really from year 8 perhaps- I started by just wanting to keep up with trends, but now I want to express myself through what I wear rather than impressing others. I think I like the whole creative side of it all, its just another way to express yourself, how you feel and create art through another…medium I suppose.

-When you’re dressing, how do you put together an outfit?

It kinda depends on how I feel, I mean, today I’m wearing some dungarees, but I’m quite practical so I felt like it was a bit too Summery and threw a leather jacket over the top- I always think about where I’m going and how I’ll dress for the occasion. If I’m going out I want to make an impression and be original;  I still focus more on how comfy it is, but it also has to be practical. What do you think about the terms hipster…? I’ve been often told a few times I’m trying to be indie or hipster, but the definition has changed alot over time- it used to be when you’re really unique and stuff, but now so many people are trying to be it, it’s become mainstream. I always try to not go by being indie or hipster, but rather, how I feel like.

-What are your favorite stores and why?

I like Urban Outfitters (although they’re quite overpriced) as a main reasource and charity shops, but I always want to have somewhere new or challenging! I like ‘Beyond Retro’ (Brick Lane) or Rokit, as I always feel like I’m going to find something that suits me and I really like. I would include Topshop in that statement, but I’m not sure anymore- I’ve developed to liking more unique brands, which is why I mainly like the bottom floor of Topshop Oxford Circus now-a-days, where they have the up-cycled vintage and independant brands. I always feel like I can rely on getting something I like there- I feel really annoyed when I go shopping and don’t get something…

-Who Inspires your wardrobe?

I’d say that I used to really like certain people and try dress exactly like them, but I’m happy to have grown out of it. Now I look at what people where and what my friends where, and just random people from the street, not just one person and enterpret it my way, taking bits from everywhere. Now I just buy what I want to. Are there any people though who you think dress well or who you aspire to be? {LIKE} Any obbsessions or phases you’ve gone through? Well, urm, I’ve gone through lots of different phases, obviously Tavi has been a really inspirational figure, but I used to really like Alexa Chung: I love how she’s quite tom boy-ish, but not completely un-feminine- she makes her outfits simple, but manages to keep them somehow quirky! Taylor Momsen, who was in gossip girl a while ago was another, I used to like her rock-chick style, but I guess she just went a bit over the top. Are there any figures from way back, {LIKE} Bridgette Bardot, or Edie Sedgewick or just people from TV shows? I am into I’m into the whole retro thing. I guess it’s cliche to say Audrey Hepburn, but it’s not just her fashion. It’s her. Everything. She’s so classy. But taking a wider perspective on vintage muses I think I love all the classics really, not just the celebrities though, {LIKE} anyone I see anywhere…Is there anything else, not just fashion wise, that you’re obsessed with right now? Umm yes, many things, mainly my art. It’s my favourite subject and I want to go into it as a career so I have been trying to get as involved in it as possible, I’ve had my first exhibition of my (and others) life drawings recently, my pieces are up for £50 each, there are three. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s a start, they may not even sell at all. I’ve also been trying to do as many pieces at home as I can while it’s the summer hols, especially large scale! :)

- That sounds awesome…Do you pay attention to trends and are you interested in designers? Do you think the blogs you follow affect your style?

I’d say I don’t really go with the whole trend thing. If someone were to say: ‘denim was in’ it wouldn’t make me wear more or less denim than usual, you know? I don’t tend to keep up with those things, and if I did, I wouldn’t be concsious of it. I would love designer’s stuff and it would exciting to go to {LIKE} London Fashion Week- the atmosphere would be cool and there’d be so many trendy people there…I’m into it, I like it guess, but it’s not like WOWOWOW. I mean, every so often I’m like: ‘I love that’, but only because it’s cool-if I can build up a small collection of designer clothes when I’m older that would be nice. Basically I’m quite into labels, but not obsessively- I don’t really aim to get certain things that are really expensive just because they’re really expensive. I got a Vivienne Westwood Cardigan (from a charity shop) a while ago and I was like: “ohhhwoooooo” but really it was just like any other jumper, except it had the ‘oh-so-special’ label. Blog-wise, I read so many I don’t know them by name- but I read lots of magazines and have a whole collection vogues on top of my wardrobe…Blogs probably affect how I dress sub-consciously, but I wouldn’t notice haha!

-Here’s a big question with lots of little extras inbetween: What Do you think about feminism, are you a feminist? If not, why not? 

I’ve never actually considered myself a feminist or done anything about it really. I listen to my friends talking and I’m a supporter of people who are…(I dunno)- I guess I am a feminist if I’m a supporter, but not strongly and I dunno if I could be that commited…Do you think that without really knowing, the reason you’re kind of alienated by the idea of being a feminist is because you’ve come to think that to be a feminist you’ve got to be perfectly consistent with your beliefs and never having doubts and stuff? I dunno. I’m still figuring it out. I change my my mind about things all the time. With everything. I don’t think I consider myself to be defintely not a feminist, because I agree with most of the things they say, but I’m not sure. Maybe I am. Media tells us alot of things we ‘should’ be and as girls we are told {LIKE} you cant be smart and be pretty, you cant be a feminist and interested in fashion, you cant care about makeup or clothes if it’s not for the sake of what other people (usually men) think…What are your thoughts on that? Do you think it’s impossible to be interested in fashion and be a feminist? I think it’s perfectly possible to be both. You can be anything and be interested in fashion (except being interested in fashion and not being interested in fashion haha)- it’s even more so as fashion is a physical thing and feminism is like a mental thing. On a deeper note, lots of people who say they’re interested in fashion are actually only interested in keeping up with ‘what’s in’ and the trends and what people say is cool and ‘right’. I think a feminist interested in fashion is actually interested in fashion for them. They’re more interested in how they can express themselves in the way they want and that’s what’s special, rather than to keep up with everything. I think the two can mix, if you let your personal style take over and ‘do it your own way’ and make your own descisions and not to care what other people think, like feminists do, you can TOTALLY BE BOTH <3  Tavi says “reconcilling all these contradictions I was feeling made more sense, once I understood that feminism isn’t a rule book, it’s a discussion, a conversation, a process…” Does this make you feel more oblidged to be a feminist? I love Tavi. She’s a great explainer. I think it makes everything less pressure-ish and more just like the way you feel. Yep.

-How do you think the media affects the way girls think about themselves and the way they dress and does this have a bad affect do you think? I think it can have a bad and a positive affect. I think some people can use magazines and media which comment on, for example, how ‘celebrities look fat in a picture’ and ‘this person or that person are trying to go on a diet’ or something can obviously be quite negative- as it makes girls (and boys) think more about the way they look, and just, it raises false expectations. With so many images of somewhat ‘perfect’ models and airbrushed faces and stuff, it makes girls feel worse about themselves really…On the other hand, I think media, like magazines and stuff can be used as inspiration. For example your blog, I use it as inspiration, rather than ‘how I should look.’ I don’t really think trends make girls limit themselves in the way they dress, {LIKE} come on, you have choice, make your own descisions- but I guess it could…With women, society makes us think we’re supposed to look sexy, so other people can benefit, but you’re not supposed to actually be sexy so that you benefit. But being a girl isn’t about being sexy all the time or getting your strength from that. Do you agree? Yes, I think that the whole sexuality thing is totally wrong, I mean yeah sure you can look nice and dress with a certain sexuality or sexual feel perhaps to feel more feminine in yourself but I don’t think that should be for anyone but yourself- or your own benefit…Also, Do you think it’s important to do what you want and to not let people set expectations for you or decide your image for you…? Sorry about all the deep questions… Urm, I do think that is important, YES. And Do you think most people are afraid of dressing a little stranger or cuter because they’re afraid people will think they think they’re so great. Like people will be like, “OH, SO YOU’RE ALL ARTSY NOW?”I think they do…I mean, I’ve always wanted to be all crazy and stand out. But then I was like: “I don’t want people to notice me for the wrong reasons”…I’m not {LIKE} overly brave, but if I’m out with my friends I guess I stand out more than them…though I don’t think the way you dress reflects how brave, or socialable you are- it doesn’t make me better than them or anything. I dunno, I’ve just always wanted to make everything more creative because that’s who I am: to make my room look cooler, to make my art-books like that, and I think it’s from the same area, the way I dress, I just want to make everything, for me, the way I want it.  I used to dress the way I do, just to stand out, but now, it’s more for myself and I’m kind of growing out of ‘I’ll do this for someone else’ crap…My friends all dress differently. But I think they all inside want to look nice, like the way the media says or how shops say rather than the exact definition of how they feel. I dunno. We all have different styles and everyone feels conformed to mainstream sometimes. I think alot of people don’t dress like they want to because they are scared of peoples expectations for their personality to match that…

Thanks Millie, for such babe-in’ ANSWERS DUDE. Here’s some quickies just to lighten up this DEEP DEEP chat :cD

-TOP TEN- 

Describe your style?

Ok um…
Ooh err I think it changes from day to day but mainly grungey.
Sometimes though, I like to be more bright ‘n’ go for more of a quirky
look, colourful, with my some tie-dye or acid wash tops for example.

Three favorite items of clothing?

Ahhh I wear everything so much.. ok, my… Leather jacket
I have to say, my high waisted washed out black denim shorts annnddd my
navy docs (Doc Martens)… Although my favourites change from day to day really!

You in Three words?

Tricky
one, ummm Artsy. Friendly. Excitable. That’s four isn’t it…? Oh well…

You’re stuck on a desert Island, what 3 things do you bring?

Ok, can I say
just a friend? Someone to talk to haha. My ipod otherwise. My bed. A
phone to call for help perhaps ;c)

You’re about to lose your hearing…what do you listen to?

About to lose my hearing….Argggaahhh!
ummmm probably a baby laughing, thats gotta be one of the happiest noises. Or
just my ipod of course. DUH.

What d’you want to be when you’re older?

I want to be an artist!

Weirdest Dream EVER DUDE?

Weirdest dream, umm I have sooooo
many, I once had a dream that I really needed the toilet so I went in
a resturant and then they fined me lyk £200 because I didnt buy
antything but used the toilets. I was on a school trip ‘n’ everyone was
waiting for me while I had an argument with the manager :c/ kinda
random.

Favorite Place in the world? 

I would just say anywhere with family and friends. But thats probably an annoying answer haha soo probably on holiday in the pool in the sun with the fam :c)

What era would you go back to if you could?

Ooh umm I think most eras are awesome for different reasons. The 80s maybe- because they were so bright and colourful and rebellious haha!

You’ve just met Tavi (Gevinson-DUH) [but she has to rush off to the Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 13 catwalk show- next to her BFF (Ophelia Horton- who's sitting next to Petra, DUH) and Courtney Love, with Stevie Nicks behind (DUH) and the whole ROOKIE readers and staff in her handbag DUH DUH DUH]

Soooo…..

What is THE ONE question (that no ones ever asked her before EVER NEVER) that you ask?

DUH! Could I ask… DO YOU WANT TO BE MY FRIEND? ;c) or many WANNA GO SHOPPING SOME TIME? I think those would be pretty banging questions… 8c)

-Ok, thanks Millie for such an UBER-LY awesome interview and I hope it hasn’t been too boring! See you soon! 

You too! xx

Comments
4 Responses to “Millie’s Mind: talking feminism and style…”
  1. Tiki says:

    This girl has such great fashion and sense of style!! I love these kinds of articles!!!!

  2. Phoebe Nuria says:

    I loved the interview! Gorgeous photos, and awesome outfits!!

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