Hattie Stewart never stops giggling. It’s infectious, she’s a hoot. Her current solo show at London’s KK Outlet is under way, with a whole bunch of her now notorious, collectible doodles on magazine covers and, more recently, leather jackets. A Kingston graduate, Hattie now works for the likes of Rookie, House of Holland, Pepsi, and whoever else wants a big old dose of colour and weird magic injected into their brand. Her working style is instantly recognisable, and you’d be right in thinking that the nature of her work ties in to what she wears day-to-day.
When she’s not in her pyjamas in the studio, she wears lots of black, comfy clothes with odd, statement pieces and gifts from friends thrown into the mix. A lot of the trinkets and items she wears mean something personal to her, and so do the little tattoos all over her arms – most of which are drawn by herself – which represent personal memories and people in her life. God she’s great. Just in time for London Fashion Week, read on to find out what else hangs in the wardrobe of Hattie Stewart.
So Hattie, tell me about your hat
Oh my god I got it in TK Maxx! In winter I’m a big hat person. I also have a really giant big pink fluffy one from Tokyo that I was going to wear, but it didn’t got as well with my T-shirt.
When did you go to Japan?
October last year for ten days. We pretty much went with an empty suitcase so, oh my god, I did too much shopping it was disgusting. You can’t not when you go somewhere like that. I bought stickers, trinkets and glittery things, all the mad stuff.
What about your T-shirt?
It’s like death metal meets Britney Spears. It takes all the most well-known brand logos and replaces the words with musical names like Britney, Miley Cyrus and The Strokes. It’s made by Seth Bogart who runs a brand called Wacky Wacko. We’re doing a little swap so he’s sent me some fun bits and I’ve been making him a special vintage George Michael Interview Magazine cover. It’s nice, I feel like at the moment I’m just sharing a lot with people. They’re sending me stuff and in return I am sending them work – it’s so much fun! Even these jeans actually were a present from a friend for giving them a print!
When you do buy clothes where do you tend to go?
Mostly places like Beyond Retro and charity shops. Pah! I sound like a right cheapo. But actually, now that I’m earning a little bit more than I have been, I’m trying to invest more in statement pieces rather than buying a bunch of tat like I have been doing – and I do have a lot of stuff. But then I like searching for stuff, on eBay and things, and finding those odd little pieces.
"What do I search for on eBay? Usually something very specific. Like a denim kimono."Hattie Stewart
What do you search for? An era, a colour?
It’s usually something very specific. Like a denim kimono. I want to cover it in patches that I’ve collected from travelling. I also did a filthy little haul on ASOS the other day – I was really hungover, technically still a bit drunk and I thought, “I want loads of new shit!” so I bought so much stuff. Then it kept arriving, and online shopping is so addictive, once it all arrives you’re like, “fuck. I would never have done this in real life.”
So what did you wear on the evening of the opening at at your show in KK Outlet?
I’m all for comfort, so I just wore a turtleneck, black dress, tights, comfy shoes. Whatever is easiest to get drunk in I suppose. The less complicated the better!
Do you ever have to go to meetings with clients and stuff, and then do you think about what you wear?
I used to a lot. I used to be more considered about what I wore so I could be more presentable, but then as work kind of developed I got to a point where I could just get away with it. When your work is an extension of yourself, you can get away with wearing what you want. I mean I wouldn’t wear pyjamas or anything, I’m usually all in black but then the odd time I have a statement like this T-shirt, or my dungarees. I have a lot of all-in-ones. They’re comfy and easy and totally change your attitude: they make me so happy.
What about jewellery – what are the rings on your necklaces?
This one’s done by an amazing jewellery design recalled Katie Woodward, she does Crux London. I’ve been wanting one of the rose gold ones for ages. And then my friend found this gold ring in her pub and she gave it to me because she’s a babe! She gave it to because she said it didn’t "fit her sausage fingers!” And then I have my viper. I like silver, and I like pendants, I have a huge collection of ones that people have given me over the years, and some I have collected myself. There’s a shop in Soho called called So High Soho and they have the coolest selection of silver pendants and stuff, it’s my favourite place to sneak off to.
"I find it hard to throw things away. When I moved house last year I ended up giving away eight bin bags worth of clothes."Hattie Stewart
So when you get something, a git from a a friend or something that’s been passed on to you – do you hang on to it? Are you a bit of a hoarder?
Oh yeah! Especially when it’s a gift as well, because it means so much. I find it hard to throw things away, when I moved house last year I ended up giving away eight bin bags worth of clothes. It made me realise what a hoarder I was. I gave it all to the Traid charity because I was like “this stuff is too good to chuck, but I’m not going to be able to sell it either.” It felt good, but then I just went and bought a whole load more stuff!
I don’t really like to shop, I wanna be in and out of there in about an hour. But I do like things, special things. I still wear my school blazer, it used to drown me out when I was a kid and the sleeves were down here, and now when I wear it the sleeves are three-quarter length – which feels very weird! It still has my name in it!
In time for London Fashion Week kicking off on the 20 February, we have spent time travelling around London visiting artists and designers who may or may not be too busy to bother with following fashion, to find out what creative people really wear, and why. From dusty boiler suits and pyjamas, to homemade T-shirts and one-of-a-kind jewellery, the stories behind these creatives’ clothes are far more interesting than they are de rigeur. All photographs were taken by the wonderful Nina Manandhar who created the book What We Wore. Enjoy!