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Guest Blog number 3 : Dannie-Lu Carr

Dannie is another extraordinary human being. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Immensely creative, beautiful, fierce yet compassionate, a teacher, an innovator, a director , writer, a feminist, and now I consider her a treasured friend. One of the best perks of making wearable art is the relationship that often develops out of the process of getting to know my clients.

portrait painting of woman wearing beautiful art
Portrait of Dannie-Lu wearing her wearable art

Here is a TEDX talk she gave about something she's termed The Hypercycle: a syndrome that all us creatives are sucked in to in this ever increasing consumer society.

OWNING IT by Dannie

One day, through a friend’s social media share, I saw Diane Goldie’s StyleLikeU interview. Not only was this woman speaking sense and truth around feminism and identity with a clarity that made me sit bolt upright. She was also wearing incredible clothing.

I didn’t hesitate to get in touch and ask if she could make me something and was very happy when she replied that she could. The process was like nothing else – what were my measurements? what colours did I like? What or who inspired me? – basically it was all about me as an individual in a way that fashion and clothing aren’t about the individual woman at all.

I’m a freelance creative myself and my writing, performing and coaching of others in creativity, personal impact and acting. All of this is about getting people to own who they are and tell the truth, no matter how dark, about what is really going on for them, so I felt such congruence with Diane’s art.

The first time I met her she told me how beautiful my body was. I choked back tears. Until that point I had directed so much hate and a lack of acceptance around my body for literally my entire life to that point. We talked about feminism, the patriarchal judgement around women’s bodies and so much else. I was still there 3 hours later.

As a child and teenager I went through hell. I went through puberty at 8 and a half and dealt with the stares and comments from so-called adults. I felt judged and unsafe. I learned very quickly that my body was an unsafe place to be. Years of crap ensued – judgements, lack of respect for boundaries and basically abuse around my body and my female-ness. As a result, I directed years of endless self-loathing, unknowingly, into my body.

Diane made me the most beautiful Oscar Wilde dress.

It is still my favourite item of clothing. It fits like a glove and I feel so amazing in it. There is nothing like an item of clothing fitting you properly to make you feel incredible. I also felt like I was fully me. That’s a powerful state.

Many clothes crush and shrink you, make you squeeze into them and if you fail to do so, we can feel terrible and like our bodies are somehow wrong. For the first time, by experiencing the opposite of this, I understood the whole thing. I chose Oscar Wilde because I have always identified with him – I share his birthday, I write and he lived an incredibly tough life and yet continued to see the beauty in it. I have so much love for Oscar. I always feel full of heart when I wear the dress. Plus the swish. The swish is incredible.

Since then, Diane has made me a beautiful Hunter S Thompson kimono,

a beautiful Angela Carter dress,

a flamenco dress, a Boudica coat

and a mermaid coat.

I have also bought many of her upcycled pieces from coats to dresses to ties and neckpieces. About a third of my wardrobe is now Diane Goldie. It’s quality and it’s expressive like nothing else.

Since meeting Diane and becoming a good friend as well as a client, my life has significantly changed. It’s a journey but I now own my body. I have never felt more comfortable in my skin or owned my space as much as I do now. I’ve stopped apologising or justifying my strong shoulders and curvy body. I’m honestly the happiest I have ever been in myself. A few months after I started to wear Diane’s art, I began weightlifting and doing CrossFit – all part of me owning my space, owning my body and giving it more love and respect. It is definitely a work in progress but I am less and less apologetic every day. And that’s a bloody happy place to be.

Feminism and subversive art have now become core things in my world. They are my sanity and through these things I have made so many new friends too. Diane has been central to this journey.

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