Acidic florals, plush berets, leopard platforms and Gussie Larkin, possibly the true definition of groovy, baby! As a Wellington local who exudes creativity (Mermaidens, the band - dah!) she emphasises her bubbly personality through clothing and has become an iconic creature of the city.
Gussie was fortunate enough to grow up with a disco pant wearing, retro Tupperware packing mum of fun by the sounds of it. With a chunk of her style and individuality inspired by her, it seems like the two would really pack a punch together. I guess you could say this bloodline is infectious, and we all wish we were apart of it.
Since a young age Gussie has always noticed her personal style, at the age of five recalling her favourite red wool houndstooth dress with a 60's round collar. Now, she has continued the obvious flare for the 60's and 70's, her wardrobe consisting of bright paint box colours, psychedelic patterns and trims of sheep shearling - hardly any space left for the boyfriend!
Looking back at her high school self Gussie was always in realms of creativity. She took an 'I don't care attitude' to her wardrobe but would also secretly seek her mums approval. From sewing her own clothes to committing radical clashing of patterns, she was relieved she had to wear a uniform for the majority of the time, claiming she takes too long to get ready and really took the pressure off. In her last year of mufti Gussie and her girl gang wore heels and wedges, making school a real dress up. They'd gush over new music, bands and the gigs they planned to sneak out to as they itched to finish their schooling years.
Gussie and I sat and had a cuppa pre dress ups and I managed to pick her brains about life, style, music and the city we live in. WARNING: Her bubbliness is contagious, tread carefully - or don't.Tell me about your style?
As a Wellington creative on the scene, how do you feel about the city?
Well, I'm always op shopping. I feel more comfortable wearing clothes that make me feel covered up. it's not a body confidence thing - I just like silhouette of long 70's dresses. Summer is always hard because it's just too hot and I want to add layers! I've always pinched clothes from my mum - she has amazing outfits. When she goes out she really goes for it.
As a kid, what did you want to be?
Wellington is the best place to develop your creative roots. I say roots because I think you get to a certain point where you need to take it somewhere else. It's been amazing musically because I have such a good network of friends who are musicians. It's a beautiful city and a creative community I'm comfortable in.
What's some of the biggest challenges you've faced?
Finding the balance between paying your rent, working on freelance jobs and being creatively fulfilled. And time, time to write songs, time to practise and maintaining a sense of excitement when you've been in it for so long, I think sometimes you can feel trapped in New Zealand, but it takes going away to come back and really appreciate it.
Whats your advice to anyone growing up?
Figure out what you like, what makes you happy. Whether it's music, books or clothes. It's easy to look at what other people are doing on Instagram...don't waste your time on that because you're going to figure out what you like and that brings it's own confidence. You're the one that's important, what you need is important.
What about your younger self and relationships? What would you change?
I let boys dominate my thoughts a lot. I worried about what they thought of me, and I think a lot of young girls do that. I've been listening to an RNZ podcast recently called Bang! and it’s really made me think about how there's just no discussion about women's pleasure in relationships. We never had any awareness of that growing up! Sex was just something that get’s ‘done’ to you and I think that’s a huge misconception that needs to be addressed in young women.
If I could go back I would say to myself always think about how another person is making you feel, if it's not good take a step back. You've got the right to feel good too!