Minna Gilligan: what to wear to Taylor Swift, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie

The term “It Girl” is usually associated with beautiful, young, aristo-bohos living in London and caught by the paps effortlessly falling out of cabs outside clubs. But the internet has unleashed a new generation of multi-skilled “It Girls” whose interest in art, fashion, and music converges in their social media output.  One “It Girl” of the moment is Minna Gilligan, an artist represented by Melbourne gallery Daine Singer who also writes for the famed New York fashion blog Rookie and has just had a book of her musings called Time After Time published by Hardie Grant where her photo appears on almost every page.

Daily Review asked Ms Gilligan to turn her eye and her wardrobe to the arts by asking her to choose what she’d wear when she chooses to step out. 



A Leonard Cohen Concert

I love Leonard Cohen immensely. I have a large poster of him that looks down on me from the highest point of my bedroom wall. To a concert of his, I would want to dress somewhat like a beatnik with something as stereotypical as a black beret and turtleneck. I imagine it would be winter, as it is in most of his lyrical assertions, so I would also wear this amazing Japanese 1960s faux fur coat of mine to keep out that icy, possibly New York wind.




A Taylor Swift Concert

In somewhat stark contrast to Leonard Cohen, to a Taylor Swift concert I would go all out with glitz. While I wouldn’t exactly wear or carry the disco ball pictured, I would be pretty heavily into some metallic eye shadow and some sort of lurex bodysuit, perhaps. These metallic pink Gorman shoes are perfect for the occasion, and I’d probably bring along with me my daggy Lolita-esque loveheart sunglasses for fun. I like how Taylor Swift doesn’t take herself too seriously, and a concert of hers wouldn’t be the occasion to do so.




David Bowie Is exhibition

I actually did attend the David Bowie Is exhibition, and I actually did wear this incredible silver, gold and black Miu Miu leather jacket. I bought this jacket for a small fortune second hand on Ebay, an action which I harbor absolutely no regrets. It’s surprisingly versatile, and has enough of the Ziggy Stardust magic in the starburst decals to last a lifetime. It’s wild and unapologetic and yet somewhat sophisticated at the same time, not unlike Bowie himself.




The Surrealism Exhibition “Lurid Beauty’ at the National Gallery of Victoria

To Lurid Beauty I would wear this Opening Ceremony dress from their (posthumous) collaboration with the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. I love Magritte’s work. His imagery over time has been so saturated, and yet it still has presence and impact upon me as a viewer.

This dress is stupidly perfect to wear to a surrealist exhibition, so much so that I could probably stand against a wall wearing it and be considered part of the show. It would also be brilliant to have to have an ant eater on a lead – a la Salvador Dali, but I’ll take things one step at a time…




The State Library

I feel like libraries call for an outfit with a vague reference to some sort of 1960’s French version of Marcia Brady. Accessories should be minimal and matching, largely in primary colours. Mini skirts and Mary-Jane shoes work well as you sashay across the floorboards, block heels clipping in time with your step. The sound they make feels all too mature for you, but you can’t help but enjoy the presence and power it wields.




The Circus

I want to state that I wouldn’t attend a circus with animals incorporated into their acts, so this circus attendance would have to be purely a performative acrobatic type circus, with human performers. That said, I greatly appreciate the aesthetic of the carnival, with exaggerated sounds, gestures and aesthetics.

I dug this Romance Was Born dress out of my wardrobe because I knew it was perfect for this imagined occasion. The Peter-pan collar is amplified and frames my neck not unlike a Victorian neck ruff, the pattern repeats and spins like the mirrored walls of a traditional fun house. If given the financial choice, I would also incorporate a coat or jacket by Vivienne Westwood to create a more angular silhouette that is highlighted by the spotlight of the stage behind.

Main photo by Benjamin Thomson. You can buy Time After Time here



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