All decked out for serious clubbing

When it comes to mixing, these women bring the house down.
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Take six female DJs out of their everyday environment and put them in clothes that shine. You might not expect these women to wear such clothes, but they are all business people in their own right. They are also at the cutting edge where music and fashion meet: what they play reflects the way they dress, and vice versa.

Sarah HB, 27

Her show on Kiss FM on Saturdays goes out between 11pm and 1am. She has a regular night at the Sub Club in Glasgow on Friday nights. In addition, she has dabbled with producing music for catwalk shows. "I'd like to be a politician of music," she says. " I'd stand up in Parliament. Music, be it Beethoven or Apache Indian, is the best tonic there is.

"My clothes don't reflect the music I play at all - they're the complete opposite, in fact. I like everything from Donna Karan to SportMax, Jigsaw and Calvin Klein to Levi's. I'm not a fashion victim or follower. When I'm in a club, before I play, people look me up and down - I think they're quite surprised by my normalness. I like elegant, unfussy clothes. The way you look is important, but I don't want it to detract from the music I play. Music and fashion are integrated in a big way. Take Helmut Lang, who designed this dress. Someone told me he collects DJs' mixtapes and uses them as inspiration while working. I'd love to do the music for a Helmut Lang show. It works both ways."

Shawia Adda, 27

As well as DJ-ing, Adda has her own record label. She has a weekly radio show on Skyline FM (94.3FM) and plays a mixture of funk and soul, swing and world music, as well as "trip-hop" (experimental ambient hip-hop). Her DJ partner is Oona-Cloud.

"There's a really strong African influence in my sense of dress. I combine all sorts of things, at all levels, including price and style. I mix influences from Africa, France and London, which results in a look that is colourful and warm. It is important for me to dress up when I play out - it is part of our image. The way I dress reflects the music I play - people would know just by looking at me that I am not into house or rock. They'd know I'm into some sort of black music. I wear baseball caps and trainers, which reflects my interest in hip-hop; my hair is a strong element of my image - I wear lots of hair wraps.

"I dress up more at night, and wear brighter colours. I shop at markets - Brixton second-hand market, Camden, Portobello and crafts markets, as well as charity shops. I like the high street shops Warehouse and Jigsaw for the odd garment, but I don't go clothes shopping - I pick things up as I see them on my travels. I always find bargains at the Kensington Designer Sale. Because I'm a mum, I spend a lot less than I used to on clothes. On average, I spend about pounds 100 a month. My image is not really important on a daily basis - it just evolved. People who follow the sort of music we play are quite mature - between 25 and 30. They tend to dress in a similar way to us. We can relate to each other."

Claire Stokes, aka Soda Girl, 20

She works as a DJ while studying for a degree in French at University of London. She plays her mix of funky house ("nothing hard at all") at Ministry of Sound on Saturday nights. "I love the shoes, and I've got a suit a bit like this at home, but not as nice," she says. "I love to dress up and really glam it up with Pussy Cat (her DJ partner), but sometimes I just wear jeans. I'm a student so the amount I spend on clothes depends on how much I've got at the time. I like Katharine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood, Gaultier. If I haven't got much money, I go to Sign of the Times and the Dispensary, or Hyper Hyper. Per month, I usually spend at least pounds 100-200. Most recently I have bought a few pairs of summer shoes from Red or Dead, and a fitted jacket from Hyper Hyper. DJs have a reputation of not really caring about what they wear, but I quite enjoy dressing up, which I don't really have a chance to do during the day at college.

"The way people dress varies from club to club - if they make more of an effort, it's nicer. People who go clubbing purely for the music, usually at hard techno clubs, wear clothes that are comfortable to dance in. At more fashion-conscious handbag clubs like Malibu Stacey, where the music is more disco/housey, people go to dress up and be seen as well as to enjoy the music. I don't notice much of a difference in the way people dress city to city. At a club like Miss Moneypenny in Birmingham everybody really dresses up."

Oona-Cloud Denniston, 22 Oona-Cloud partners Shawia Adda and is a singer/songwriter, too. "It's good for you as a woman being behind the decks - you're in control of your environment. The music I play - a mix of mainly black music - is reflected in the way I dress. I'm mixed race - Celtic, Irish and Jamaican - which also influences my style of dress, which is uniquely English. A lot of stuff like fabric that I'll wear as a sarong and jewellery comes from my mother from her travels in Africa. I shop at Brixton market for jewellery, the Merchant of Venice for good- value suede and denim jackets. I also like to have clothes made by a friend, Arthur Peters. He will make up a well-tailored suit for pounds 90 if I supply the fabric. I feel more comfortable in tailored clothes that fit properly. I've just become a vinyl junkie so clothes are my second priority. In a good month I spend about pounds 100. I thought this suit in the picture was beautiful - I like clothes that are cut well and make you feel good as a woman. I felt very glamorous."

Wendy Douglas, 29

As well as presenting The Word on weekday evenings on Kiss FM, she also does one-off stints at clubs.

"I can't describe my own style - I like lots of different music and I dress in lots of different ways. One day I'll wear a sexy flowing dress and the next I'll be in a pair of combat trousers and a T-shirt. I'm not really into high street chains. I have friends who are up and coming designers and I pick things up from them. On average I spend pounds 50-300 per month. I recently bought a suit quite similar to the one I'm wearing in this picture. My clothing tastes are as diverse as my musical ones, which cover anything from ambient hip-hop to soul and R&B."

Sarah Chapman, 28

Based in Brighton, she DJs in clubs all over the country as well as internationally, specialising in happy house, garage and American house.

"There's nothing likeDJ-ing," she says. "It's the biggest buzz there is. The way I dress changes regularly - it depends on my mood. One night I might wear a pair of plastic Charles Jourdan sandals and a longer Forties- style skirt from Oasis, then the next night I'll be in a black A-line mini and a fluffy pink bra top that was made for me. I've got a thing about pink at the moment - I even have a pair of pink Patrick Cox loafers.

"For work I wear mainly disco, funky stuff, but my wardrobe falls into two categories - dull daywear and funky clubwear, and the two don't cross over. I probably spend less than pounds 50 a week.

"I choose my clothes with clubs in mind. I think the punters expect me to look the part. A lot of DJs don't dress up, but I like to make an effort."

Photographer: Gary Wallis Stylists: Jo Adams and Melanie Rickey

Make-up: Lee Pycroft at Premier Hair and Make-up

Hair: Gary Halliday using Sam McKnight Definitive Styling Range

Sarah HB: gold body by Abe Hamilton, pounds 95, from Space NK, 1 Earlham Street, Thomas Neal, London WC2; Way In at Harrods, London SW1, and the Abe Hamilton sale shop, 28 St Christophers Place, London W1, 0171-613 4710. Metallic A-line dress, pounds 180, by Helmut Lang from Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1. Orange strappy

sandals, pounds 115, by Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1

Shawia Adda: classic single-breasted jacket, metallic/cotton mix, pounds 295 and matching hipster trousers, pounds 195, by Copperwheat Blundell, available from Way In at Harrods, as before, inquiries 0171-724 6777; gold python backless loafers, pounds 140, by Wannabe by Patrick Cox, 8 Symons Street, London SW1

Claire Stokes/Soda Girl: gold metallic jacket, pounds 275 and matching trousers, pounds 115, by Iceberg, from the Iceberg Boutique, 82 Brompton Road, London SW3, 0171-225 0515, and Ricci Burns, 15 Old Bond Street, London W1, 0171- 495 5229. Silver sandals with perspex heel, pounds 89.50, by Charles Jourdan, from 39-43 Brompton Road, London SW3, 0171-581 3333

Oona-Cloud Denniston: white A-line flared jacket, pounds 169, with matching loose pants, pounds 95, by Whistles, 12-14 St Christophers Place, London W1. Cream suede sandals, pounds 185.00, by Gina Shoes, at 189 Sloane Street, London SW1, 0171-235 2932

Wendy Douglas: metallic suit, pounds 365, by Future Ozbek, from Browns, as before. White patent loafers, pounds 95, by Wannabe by Patrick Cox, as before

Sarah Chapman: white pearlised leather one-button jacket, pounds 540, and matching leather trousers, pounds 330, by Joseph, 23 Old Bond Street, London W1 and 26 Sloane Street, London SW1; metallic knit sleeveless top, pounds 39.99, by Astuces, 78 Regent Street, London W1 and 31 Kings Road, London SW3, 0171-434 4373; blue glitter Disco Dolly sandals, pounds 44.99, by Office, mail order and inquiries 0181-838 4447

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