Words by Tanya Grimson
August 14th, 2019
Historically and sociologically, clothes have always played a large part in how we live our lives and how we choose to project ourselves to the world. Clothes have defined generations, allowing mass global movements to be represented from the perspective of what was worn at that time.
Clothes are more than just textiles that keep us warm; they tell stories and carry memories. They have the power to express without words the way we feel at any given moment; the power to move our moods, boost our confidence and make us feel more alive! From the power suit that gave you the courage to go after your dream job to the outfit you wore on that memorable first date with your other half — these are more than just clothes, they’re success stories! So it’s only natural that we want to take care of them, enjoy them, celebrate them, and make sure they last. Long live clothes!
Which is why, for the next three months, maven46 is teaming up with Comfort to uncover the psychological and positive impact clothes have on our lives. Much like us, Comfort is all about clothes and how they make people feel — and we’re not just talking about feeling fresh and clean, although that is always nice. Together, we’ll be delving into the wardrobes of four Irish trailblazers who uniquely use their clothes as a means of expression that has, in one way or another, helped drive or played a part in their successes.
We are launching the series today with the wonderfully vivacious and captivating leading lady of TV, Nadine Reid. Not only have Nadine’s bold but beautiful wardrobe choices won over our television screens, we also strongly believe in her message of no one size fits all and the idea that we should wear what makes us feel happy. Nadine encapsulates Comfort’s mantra and personifies the positive power of clothes. And so, without further ado, press play on the video below.
We caught up with Nadine during our video shoot to delve deeper into her bold wardrobe choices, how important heritage is to her clothing, and how we can all find the inner queen within us.
Why is it that you are drawn so much to bold, vivid colours?
I wore black clothes for ten years when I worked for MAC Cosmetics and as much I liked it, it was like attending a beautiful funeral. But when I wear colourful clothes it celebrates my Caribbean, African heritage and colour makes me feel happy.
Do you think the clothes you wear are an extension of your personality or is it like stepping into a character that you have created when you get dressed?
I think all of us have different characters in us and it depends on how you feel, so if you are feeling particularly powerful on the day, then put on something powerful and it brings it out of you. But even if I am not feeling as positive on some occasions, when I put something bright on, it makes me feel more bright and happy-minded. It may also be a bit of a character play but that character is within me anyway.
You are seen as a body-positive role model for women, how do the clothes you wear play a part in that?
I am just Nadine who happens to be in a bigger body; I would be the same if I was in a smaller body but if someone thinks of me as being body-positive and if it helps them feel more confident in themselves, then I am delighted. But I only see myself as a woman who enjoys dressing feminine and powerful, and I believe I would feel the same way about myself regardless of my shape and as long as I get to dress for me — that’s what makes me happy.
Have you always been so confident in what you wear?
My family played a big part in shaping my confidence. When my mum would go out for a special event or something similar, she would go ‘out out’ in what she wore; our family would always just go for it. And because of our skin tone, colour looks great and we would always put a lot of effort into our hair, jewels, to make-up and painting our nails and clothes; it’s a big deal for our family when it is a special event or occasion, so that’s normal for me. I carry that with me, it’s a family thing. And, as I have got older, being confident in my body is something I have learned over the last 10 years and as my style has evolved, I have grown into that.
How do you decide what to wear when you are going to be seen on national TV?
For TV work, I always try to introduce some colour and I love seeing it on TV — I am used to being against grey or green backdrops when filming outside in Ireland so why not stand out? And, as the saying goes, ‘be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.’ That’s what I think really works for me.
Where did your appreciation for crowns begin and how do they make you feel when you put them on?
I have always channelled an inner regal theme, and I think every woman deserves to feel like a queen and it’s important for me as a black woman. When I think of my ancestors I always imagine these stunning African queens and warriors that would be drowning in jewels and diamonds and crowns and beautiful materials from all over the world. I have always channelled this and then milliner Margaret O’Connor lent me a crown for an event and I put it on my head and I adored it.
When I wear a crown it reminds me that I am a queen and that I am deserving and that we are all deserving of feeling like a queen and that is why I love them. There is actually a crown named ‘Nadine’ now and that’s a lovely feeling.
How has your wardrobe evolved as your career has changed?
As a makeup artist, even though I had to wear black, I would always play up my make-up and make it more of a feature. I would also wear different textures and add feathers, velvet, tulle or sequins so I could still be creative with my clothes. Working in TV I can be more myself and more colourful with my approach as I want to stand out, I want to feel and look confident, and I want to be noticed. Colours such as vivid reds and oranges not only work so well on screen but on my colouring as well. These colourful statements have then allowed me to recognised by people at home.
Clothes are more than just clothes. They have power; they tell stories; they carry memories. Comfort knows just how important it is to care for our beloved clothes and make them last. Together, we’re celebrating how extraordinary clothes really are as we delve into their psychological power and the stories behind them.
Long live clothes!
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