How do I look?: Brix Smith-Start, stylist & fashion buyer, 47
Saturday 22 May 2010
Fashion is an incredibly powerful tool. It can change the way you feel about yourself and the way people react to you. It's important to have your own individual style, to absorb inspirations from trends, and to always be creative – to play and test the boundaries. Style changes with age – there are certain things which cease to be appropriate as you get older.
I don't belong to any fashion tribe. My style always has an element of the unexpected. There are times I look back on and think "I got that so right": aged six, in a fringed suede jacket and red cowboy boots; with The Fall [Brix was a guitarist in the band and used to be married to its leader, Mark E Smith], wearing a psychedelic black polyester T-shirt which I got at a church sale for 10p; in a Donald Duck T-shirt at Disneyland in 1972.
There's finite space in my wardrobe ... so I archive a few special pieces, and give the rest away. At the end of every season I invite a group of ladies, their nannies and friends, to a party at my house with a shop set up in my bedroom. I open the door and say, "Take what you want". Unless it's something really special, once you've reworked it a few times, it's time for it to go. Then somebody else can enjoy it.
I don't have a favourite outfit ... but there was this humungous chiffon black and white polka dot number I used to call my Prozac dress – every time I put it on it made me happy. But I wore it so much that people started calling me the Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, so that was eventually retired. This Rick Owens leather jacket is my default setting. Every time I open my cupboard my hand just reaches for it.
There's a glue stain on the ass of the dress I'm wearing in this photograph. I was out of my head on the glue fumes while filming a TV show at the Mackintosh factory near Glasgow and leaned back on a patch on the side of a table. The scarf is by the young Irish designer Tim Ryan. It's my favourite accessory of all time.
I cropped and dyed my hair white last year. The growing-out process has been extremely painful; I looked like Myra Hindley. I hate myself with a fringe, but that's part of the deal as the cut grows out. For now I have a few extensions. Once it's all one length again, I'll re-evaluate.
Brix is a presenter on 'Gok's Fashion Fix', Tuesdays on Channel 4 at 8pm.
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