Frauen & Kleider //
21 Fragen an: Ruth Bartlett: A „Bad ass in a nice dress“ <3

17.11.2015 um 9.21 – box3 Inspiration Menschen Mode

JW Stilikonen

Als wir Ruth Bartlett in diesem Sommer kennen lernen, ist eines sofort klar: Frauen wie Ruth brauchen eine eigene Rubrik bei Jane Wayne. Es ist Liebe auf den allerersten Blick, denn Ruth ist nicht nur unfassbar smart und witzig, Ruth wechselt auf einem Event auch einfach mir nichts dir nichts ihren kompletten Look – und sieht zweimal so furchtbar fantastisch aus, dass wir uns gleich noch mal verknallt haben: Ihre wilde Mähne zwirbelt sie mit zwei Handgriffen unter einen Turban und ihr kunterbunter Zweiteiler wird gegen ein Knallbonbon-Kleid eingetauscht. Was wir uns daran abschauen sollten: Es ist eine Hommage an die Mode, mit jedem Outfit, jedem Accessoire und der richtigen Haltung zu den Dingen. Ruth macht es wie Sheila Heti, Leanne Sharpton und Heidi Julavite: hier geht es um mehr, als bloß um Mode. Es geht um die emotionale Sprache unserer Kleidung, um kostbare Besitztümer, die nicht mit Preisschildern zu messen sind, sondern ihre ganz eigene Geschichte erzählen. Das Gesamtkunstwerk ist die Liebeserklärung – und wir können es kaum erwarten, euch in unserer neuen Rubrik „Jane Wayne Stilikonen“ die inspirierendsten, verrücktesten und ganz besonderen Frauen da draußen mal genauer vorzustellen.

Aber zurück zu Ruth, denn diese Herzdame ist eine Alleskönnerin auf ihrem Gebiet: Art Direktorin, Illustratorin, Set Designerin, Fotografin, Stylistin und, ach ja – Stilikone, natürlich. Willkommen also in unserer neuen Rubrik voller Glitzer, voller Mode und vor allem voller Fragen an unsere Ladies. 

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Inspiriert von einem ganz wunderbaren Buch „Frauen und Kleider“, der drei Autorinnen Sheila Heti, Leanne Sharpton und Heidi Julavite, wollen auch wir den kleinen Liebeserklärungen der Mode nachgehen. Was steckt dahinter, was sagen Kleider über uns aus, in welchen Situationen begleiten und in welchen bestärken sie uns, unsere guten Kleider.

Zwischen Selbstreflexionen und Unsinn wollen wir es schaffen, den Wirbel um Mode anzuhalten, um zu schauen, was sich noch alles dahinter verbirgt: Welche Gedanken, welche Liebeserklärungen und welche Spleens. Es geht nicht um den nächsten Outfitspost, sondern darum, ein paar mehr Worte über sie zu verlieren: Um die Mode und ihre Ikonen im Heute, Hier und Jetzt.

Verhilft uns Kleidung womöglich auch zu Größerem oder hemmt sie uns in gewissen Situationen, weil wir uns einfach zu viele Gedanken darüber machen oder uns in einem Wirrwarr aus wiederkehrenden Trends, Inspirationen aus dem unendlichen Universum Mode oder dem Ratschlag unser Liebsten verlieren?

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Und überhaupt ihr lieben Kleider, was sagt ihr über uns und über Ruth Bartlett aus?

Wir geben ab, an eine besonders inspirierende Frau und Stilikone, die sich zwischen pinken Augenbrauen und wunderbaren Mustern verlieren kann, sich an kleinen Kleinigkeiten erfreut und uns neben bei einmal verrät, was für sie Schönheit bedeutet und was hinter ihrer Modephilosophie so steckt.

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Ruth kommt aus England, in Hong Kong und Brighton aufgewachsen, zog sie früh nach London, um letztendlich vor drei Jahren nach Berlin zu ziehen. Ruth backt sehr gerne, gerne auch einmal Cover von Schallplatten. Warum auch nicht?

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Außerdem war sie vor kurzen in Kalifornien, arbeitet an vielen freien Projekten und ist zudem der kreative Kopf bei dem Berliner Label Folkdays und für den Content jeglicher Art zuständig.

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Wenn sie etwas tragen möchte, ist ihr egal, wann und warum sie trägt es einfach. Ihr ist eben einfach danach. Sie lässt sich nicht vorschreiben, was wann passt oder was man wie tragen sollte. „Bad ass in a nice dress“, sagte sie, während sie mir lächelnd in ihrem Berliner Apartment gegenüber sitzt, um mir Frage und Antwort zu stehen.

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Na dann liebe Ruth und erste Stilikone im Jane Wayne Universum, legen wir mal los:

You are happy, each and every single moment in your life. What would you wear?

I feel happiest when I feel a little bit like a superhero or a genie, so I think it would start with a turban, pink eyebrows and a Swarovski heart bindi, and my favourite Terry De Havilland shoes. Once those are in place, almost anything else in my wardrobe will work just fine for me.

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Oh, and if I’m so happy, I’m probably in the sun so I would also be wearing my Fakoshima X Ria Keburia sunglasses.

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Are there any clothes which symbolise your vision of the future and your dreams?

I have a really great Rene Magritte dress by Opening Ceremony. I think it says it all rather eloquently.

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Your wardrobe is going to disappear. It is only one single thing you could rescue. What would it be?

That’s a difficult one for me since the combination of the pieces is what really excites me rather than one specific piece, so I’m going to cheat a little bit and say my jewellery. I have five rings and a necklace that I wear every day and they are all linked to a specific person or time in my life. Losing those would break my heart a little bit. If I really really had to save one garment, it would probably be my silk Ikat parka coat from Rianna in Berlin. It’s one of a kind, has the only hood big enough to fit my afro under, and is a real showstopper. When you wear it, the world is full of smiles.

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A shopping experience which changed everything? 

When I was a teenager – growing up in a very conservative area of the UK – me and my friends would escape sometimes and take the train to Brighton. At the time it was a very artistic and quite hippy community, and we were really inspired by the whole scene. We would change into outlandish – almost costume – outfits on the train and spend the days there shopping for second hand clothes, feather boas and glitter. Lots of glitter. Those trips were probably the first seeds of how I turned out.

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What was the first moment you consciously thought about what are your wearing and what your outfits stands for? 

I think I’ve always been aware of the decision making element of getting dressed, but it wasn’t so many years ago that I make a conscious decision to take things even further. It was about challenging myself to be open and honest in all aspects of myself and my life so I also had to apply this to my dress code. Challenging myself to become as strong and present in myself as the colours and patterns I wear gave me a new feeling of freedom and understanding of myself, but also transformed my aesthetic viewpoint in my work too.

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The first moment ever you were standing in front of your wardrobe and and thought about what to wear? 

I can’t say – it’s something I don’t really do. I find it easier to decide one item I feel like wearing that day, and I visualise the rest of the outfit from there. I know my wardrobe really well so I don’t need to look at it to see it.

Why do you love clothes or dresses? 

I don’t know if I love them so much as they are integral part of my personal journey in aesthetic values at any given time. They are only as important as everything else in my home or studio. I don’t believe in buying anything that doesn’t bring me some kind of joy.

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Why are they getting on your nerves sometimes? 

I can’t always wear what I’d like to because it’s not practical, and practicality is the absolute opposite of everything I really want to be wearing. Like, have you tried walking a day in Berlin in 6 inch platforms? Sometimes you have to listen to your ankles and do the right – but less interesting – thing.

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Influence on your wardrobe was coming from: 

I used to date this guy in New York and he was a total clothes horse. His wardrobe was probably bigger than mine is now, and full of colours and patterns. An average outfit for him would be a vintage two piece suit, a tropical shirt with mismatched braces, multiple beaded necklaces, penny loafers and an admirals hat. His collection of glittery jumpers was legendary, and he could always pull off the look. He gave me the space to experiment with my wardrobe. It was like a constant game between us to not be out done by the other. Then working and partying with GIRLCORE and then with the drag and tranny community in London pushed me even further.

Can we reinvent ourselves through clothes. Can we get closer to a role we envision for ourselves through clothes? 

Absolutely. Every day. Isn’t that what fashion – and more importantly personal style – is all about?

Fashion is culture? Is there any movie, a band or even a single song which influenced your style? 

I recently got told I’m basically just made out of 90s movies, so I would have to say Clueless and Tank Girl rank pretty highly on my list; but also the documentary Paris Is Burning is a pretty significant repeat player and The Rocky Horror Picture Show was probably my favourite film as a child. When it comes to music, it all plays a part, so it just depends what’s on the stereo that morning.

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How would you best describe your culture, your style and the connection of both worlds? 

It’s a very tightly packed world with infinite inspiration from all over the world and from every era, from different people, movements, art and media. My style reflects this exactly I think – there is no one specific angle and it’s different every time.

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Is there any style icon which has an impact on you?

I’m certain there are many, but the most constant one over the years would have to be Davie Bowie.

Your philosophy of style if there is any? 

Style over fashion, and of course: more is more!

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Women can be enchanting and inspiring. Who is a showstopper for you?  

Marina Abramovic. It’s not so much about her garment choices, but her attitude towards herself as an artist and a human. I think she might be one of the most transparent people I’ve ever met, and this gives her an air of realness and fearlessness that shines out of her. It’s breathtaking.

Beauty is for you?

Beauty comes through honesty. It has to begin on the inside to be expressed on the outside.

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Lets be honest. Is it only you who decided about your outfit or is there anyone else involved? 

Oh goodness! Each day my outfit is a result of my mood in the moment. It’d be really fun to have someone else try and curate my feelings into looks, but for now, it’s just me on the job.

Are there any differences between “ oh my goodness, I still do not  know what to wear and please give me something to dress up“ (everyday throw on clothes – like go to the store clothes) and “ today I dress up fancy“? 

Hahaha! There can be a difference, but I don’t think there has to be. For example, if you’re heading to the shop in your pyjamas (my favourite!) it can still be a strong look – it’s the process of deciding that what you’re wearing is awesome that makes it so, not how fancy or not fancy it actually is.

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Do you have any special relationship to your wardrobe? 

We’re in a deep, respectful, long-term relationship. Sometimes I get restless and think maybe there’s nothing left in the relationship for me – perhaps it’s time to move on. But when I take a good long look at it, I know we’re meant to be together.

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Fashion means a lot but not everything. What is equally important than fashion in your life? 

Magic, adventure, love and honesty.

Can you remember when we used to… Do you remember a time when you did not look at all as you look today? What happened? 

I look different every day for a thousand different reasons!

Rules in fashion are?

Be fearless in your choices whatever that means for you. Aside from that, I’d like to think there are no other rules.

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Merci liebe Ruth, für deine Ehrlichkeit, deine Zeit und dafür, dass du so bist, wie du bist!

Nun ihr, wer sind eure Stilikonen da draußen?

Zu Ruth Bartlett:
www.ourbartlett.com
Instagram: @ourbartlett

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