In GLAMOUR’s May 2012 issue, we let you look into the warbrobe of the strikingly stylish Nicci St Bruce, and got her top tips for fashion that’s as creative as it is beautiful. Because you couldn’t get enough of this trendsetting blogger and designer, we sat down with her to talk about shoes, shopping and the sartorial habits of her city.
Tell us about your entry into the world of fashion – and what made you decide to start Vamp Clothing?
When I was four or five my mother signed me up for drama academy so I’d have somewhere to exert my energy (I was and still am horribly ADHD), and I really feel like my love of dressing up came from the theatre. (It’s probably also where I learned to wear so much makeup, they don’t put that stuff on sparsely). Costume design and fashion design are, in my eyes, divided by such a thin line – who’s to say that what I’m wearing today isn’t a costume? The transformation from one character to another is, in my opinion, just as meaningful as the transformation from Monday Nicci to Tuesday Nicci. I started Vamp in 2010 when I was at fashion school and I felt like I needed to put what I was learning to good use, really. In the beginning I would make the garments myself and even though I have a team who do that now, I actually miss sitting in front of my sewing machine. I never thought I’d say that!
Your blog is named citykidssting.com, and the city in question being Cape Town. How would you describe Cape Town style – and is there a unique City Bowl style?
Cape Town style is like this book in which no chapter follows on from another. There’s really no formula to it, in my opinion. I feel like there are so many different sub-sections of popular culture and art and fashion in this tiny 6km radius of our City bowl that you couldn’t categorise it if you tried. It’s brilliant.
How would you describe your style in five words or less?
Ever-changing. Cat hair probable.
‘Hipster’ is a word that’s often associated with ‘Nicci St Bruce’…
People will always try and put labels on things. I think it’s part of the human condition to associate and categorise accordingly – it definitely makes us feel more comfortable when we have sorted things into categories. I really don’t mind what people call me, as long as they spell my name right.
How was the feedback on your GLAMOUR.co.za ‘Today I’m Wearing…’ style diary?
The Style Diary was such a fun two weeks and I got great feedback from it! It made me want to do more personal style related posts on my own blog, and to really document how I change over time with regards to style.
What’s the best thing about having your own clothing label?
Going out and seeing people in the clothes! It’s also amazing going through fashion blogs and seeing girls wearing the stuff that they’ve ordered online. It’s such a great feeling. I feel such a connection to the clothes that when they’re out there its such a treat to see where they end up afterwards. (I am aware this sounds crazy). I feel like an artist seeing one of his paintings in a gallery when I see someone rocking a Vamp dress in person.
We love the videos you’ve created to show off Vamp’s collections. What inspired them?
Thank you! I feel like film plays such an important role for me in the creative process. A lot of my inspiration comes from moments in films you’d never imagine, like ‘Weekend At Bernie’s (it’s a long story). I’ve always wanted Vamp to have that extra medium which people can experience and connect with. The director that I work with, Jade Mulvaney, is also a huge inspiration. She sees things that no other human being would pick up, it’s crazy. (She’s planning on moving to Europe – can we make a GLAMOUR petition to keep her local?)
Nicci’s best tips…
…for online shopping
This is something I never did when I started buying online- check the different shoe measurement charts. Just because one chart says you are a US 8 does not mean that a certain brand thinks you are! For instance, I am a US 6.5 but Jeffrey Campbell size charts differ slightly so I am a JC 7.
Don’t be scared to be a little out there. If someone pulled it off 40 years ago, you can pull it off now!
Have your pieces that you know you’ll wear everyday, and then work on building a little collection of different styles from there. I’m not a fan of the whole 40-different-bracelets-up-one-arm trend, but then again, I am currently wearing 6 rings in the shape of different animals, so who am I to talk?
Be comfortable in your shoes. If you look insecure in a pair of shoes, it will show. When you buy a pair of shoes, don’t think about shoe trends, think about your attitude in them. Two years ago I ordered a pair of MiuMiu stacks covered in cats because at the time they were the shoe of the moment, but they were so not me and so I never worn them. The Boyfriend is still saying ‘I told you so’. (Men don’t get it).