To celebrate the release of our Refined Harness collection we sat down with photographer, videographer, model Tom Goddard to get his take on dressing how you want and what role gender has in what you wear.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I think my personal aesthetic is reflected in my work. A little bit gritty, 90s, fluid, also has a humorous aspect. Like even in a “high fashion” part of the world like Paris, I’ll walk around with a Hello Kitty bag and loads of Hello Kitty and Tweedy Bird rings. Without sounding cliche, a bit random and a bit messed up. Picking pieces from everywhere. I can have some design pieces, which I love but I’ll mix them with a £1 pair of jeans. Whatever looks good regardless of gender, or regardless of price well not really because I’m on a budget
Do you ever dress for other people, to get a reaction or response?
Oh, for sure. I like to take the piss in what I wear. I like to open it up to other people even if they’re looking at you in a negative way. I’m like; you’re looking at me, you’re looking at my bright pink Hello Kitty bag. I don’t just want to look chic or just streetwear, why don’t we just mix it all together? Make some different, a messed-up vision that brings all these different aspects together.
Do you ever dress in a certain way to alter the way you feel?
Yeah, I think so. I think a lot of people have what I’d call “power pieces”. I have some clothes that I like to wear to castings that make me feel sexy, powerful, loud and confident. What you wear can make you feel like the best version of yourself. You can mix different pieces together to achieve a different effect. It’s not just showing people what’s you’re feeling but changing it as well. I have this designer long sleeve, black top that has a weird cut-out that makes me look like some weird black swan….. but in a good way. And then these amazing black flared jeans that are just vintage but they just like tuck you in all the right places and then flare out and make you look like some weird gazelle.
When did your interest in how you present yourself begin?
I’ve always felt like an interest in fashion. But I think uni for me was a big, eye-opener. I couldn’t really express myself while being the only queer guy in my village. But then at my arts uni everyone was just wild, it was great, meeting all these arty people made me confident that I can dress how I want. I’d had all these thoughts, what I want to wear, or how I want to present myself within the world. And now I’m able to do so. Uni showed me diversity and the outdated views that were in my brain.
What role does gender play in your outfit choices?
With gender, there’s no boundaries. You don’t need to be so rigid with what you put on your body. It’s so personal what you want to communicate. I’m quite free with gender, I see myself as male but I don’t actually care. It’s all about comfort and what you want to express. We’re now in a more open time when we don’t need to use outdated perceptions or have these hurdles of gender and women’s specific looks you must wear.
What would you say to people wanting to experiment with how they present themselves more?
Look around at people whether they’re male or female or look at the weird kids. I love celebrities like Little Nas X or Harry Styles, people who mess around with gender and aren’t so rigid. They’re not afraid to wear female pieces, frills or little silk shirts, see how they’re like playing with fashion and experimenting. But I can’t point you in one direction. Looking around everywhere will open your mind to what’s possible, beyond what looks “good”.
Where do you want to see fashion heading?
To see everyone stop limiting themselves and take away boundaries that are put upon them. People to be more open and express the feelings they’re feeling and communicate who they are as a person, regardless of gender. And try not to take on outdated views within fashion. I think fashion right now is good in terms of its diversity, and it’s still moving. It’s not amazing, but it’s getting there in terms of diversity or casting, just not just to deal with gender but a broader range of shapes, sizes, and colours. I would like fashion to communicate that there’s not one perfect look. It shouldn’t be that serious. If you like it and you feel comfortable just be open and free. Don’t listen to rigid, outdated opinions. Wear what the fuck you want to wear.
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