MEET OUR MATE JULIET

Fashion. It gets a bad rap. People are quick to dismiss it as shallow and silly and surface-driven. You know, just... not very important. But they be wrong, because quite apart from the fact that fashion is obviously a giant, powerful business, yada yada yada, it's also a place all sorts of people obsessed with creativity can collide, find haven, make stuff... be appreciated. Fashion Land is a damn fine place to make like-minded friends. And it's where I met illustrator Juliet Sulejmani. And it's also where Juliet met Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen, or at least their creative echoes. To which she tuned in.

While Juliet had been painting, drawing and scribbling about fashion since she was a kid, she had a sensible day job in finance until she went to see the McQueen show at the Met came over all: No, no, no. I am in the wrong workplace. My career needs a serious shakeup. Like the sugar-rush from a donut? No, like something... bigger than that. But first, coffee? Oh, okay then.

Girl wears earrings by Christie Nicolaides, and drinks Juliet's favourite drink: coffee.

Girl wears earrings by Christie Nicolaides, and drinks Juliet's favourite drink: coffee.

 

Then she quit. And these days she does things like illustrate the Wardrobe Crisis podcasts, and fill books like Groundbreaking Fashion by Jane Rocca with charming drawings of people in clothes. She Instagrams. And she tells visual stories for a living, often via her alter ego the Girl.

Juliet Sulejmani illustrator

Now, you might have noticed that with her Louise Brooks bob this line-drawn lady looks nothing like Juliet. That's because Girl looks like the founder of Comme des Garcons. "Girl was initially inspired by my all time favourite designer Rei Kawakubo, but has evolved into my alter ego," says Juliet. "She is highly intelligent, funny and has the wardrobe of my dreams."

Rihanna at the Met in her Commes ensemble...

Rihanna at the Met in her Commes ensemble...

And sometimes she graces the cover of Vogue...

Juliet Sulejmani Vogue cover

Juliet can't remember a time when she wasn't obsessed with fashion. "From my fashion-loving mother to my close friends who had stacks of Vogues in their basements and editorial pages stuck all over their walls," to wearing CK logo tees as a teen, and "making our own scrunchies". (Seriously, Juliet? Who does that?! Maybe we should make a Wardrobe Crisis line of upcycled scrunchies?)

Vogue cover

 

Herewith, 6 questions with our Girl, Juliet SuleJmani:

1. Where do you live? "Melbourne, Australia."

2. What do you live for? (Ha!) "Having my perspectives challenged and  experiencing new things."

3. What is fashion for? (Oh God…) "Fashion is for beautifying the world."

4. That was a surprisingly reasonable answer to an unreasonably tricky question. Would you go up on the Chanel spaceship with Karl Lagerfeld, or prefer to stay on solid ground watching him take off…? "I'd prefer to go up in Elon Musk's Space Ex, but if Chanel's could actually take off and get me back in one piece I would totally say yes."

5. Which ethical fashion issues are you thinking more about these days, and why? "Excess. When I'm in a department store I can't help but look around at all the items of clothing around me, and thinking all this stuff is just sitting here belonging to no-one yet. And this is just one floor and there are another eight just like it in this particular store. But there are hundreds of this particular store in our country, then there's another department store with just as much stuff as well, and even more of these stores over the world... and then I start to feel sick about it all. Ever since I started thinking about this, I have been purchasing less of this stuff for myself, and buying quality pieces that I can wear and re-wear."

6. Paris or New York? "NYC."

Juliet Report goes to NYC