There aren’t many people with a Facebook album entitled “Tatty Devine is taking over my life.” There are even less people who have tried on their entire Tatty Devine collection all at once and gone out in public. Yes, this month’s Star Customer really is a Tatty Devine addict! We first met teacher Vicky at our old Brewer Street store and later at the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham, when she shepherded her students over to our stall. Since then, we’ve kept close tabs on both Vicky and her burgeoning jewellery box. It’s time to discover the woman behind the Facebook album…
Hi, Vicky! When and how did you discover Tatty Devine?
Around 8 years ago an artist friend mentioned Tatty Devine jewellery during a conversation and said that she thought I might like it, so I googled it and I absolutely LOVED what I saw!
We loved seeing you take to the streets in your entire Tatty Devine collection – frankly we’re staggered! Which was your first piece?
I was up in Glasgow one weekend, saw the Pegasus Earrings in Urban Outfitters and that was it, hooked! Not long after I made my first visit to the old Brewer Street shop in Soho. I also love to give Tatty Devine as well as to receive and have introduced many a friend, family member and work colleague into this wonderful world!
Thanks for spreading the love, Vicky! Which piece holds the most sentimental value for you?
So hard to choose! It’s a choice between my Name Necklace and my Belle and Sebastian Dog on Wheels Brooch, as I’ve been a huge fan of them since their first album Tigermilk in 1996. I couldn’t believe my luck when you collaborated with them! I’d have to say my ‘Liquorice’ Name Necklace as it is in honour of my much loved cat!
In fact, I am actually on my second one as my daughter Chloë sat on the first one! She now has a gold ‘Sherbet’ Name Necklace, named after our pampered pooch. I bought it at The Clothes Show in 2011:
Why did you start cataloguing your collection on Facebook?
Just to see it all together visually really! I even refer to the album to remind myself what I have when selecting something to wear. All those black boxes can get so confusing!
Let’s take a look at all 76 pieces. Are you ready? Take a deep breath:
We spy our Swallow Earrings and Volume Knob Brooch:
The Sugar Skull Pendant and Flower Garden Necklace both starred in our Mexican inspired S/S13 collection:
We use bottle green translucent perspex to make our Gilbert and George Gin Necklace:
Can you spot our Lotus Flower Celebration Necklace and Radiance Earrings?
Phew! You’re the Head of Art at a high school. What made you go into teaching?
The holidays…! Really, I enjoy working with teenagers, enabling them to express themselves and exposing them to new ideas, and as a bonus I get to do Art all day every day!
What’s your favourite thing about it?
Going away for the weekend drawing, to places like London and Edinburgh. Many children have never been to big cities or galleries and they always have such a great experience and come back shattered!
We met you at the Clothes Show Live with your students. What do they think of your Tatty Devine collection?
Well, I do know they think I’m slightly mad or obsessed as only ever wear Tatty! However, some of them (and staff!) do now own a piece themselves and now recognise the name! A good introduction I do believe!
Do you have any arty projects to share with us?
My daughter and I went to the tape measure rosette workshop in Liverpool a couple of years ago where we met Harriet and Rosie.
I bought the How to Make Jewellery with Tatty Devine book and Rosie kindly signed it for Chloë, except she had to do it twice as she spelt her name wrong! I have since taught Year 8 and 7 to make them in art clubs!
What do you get up to when you’re not teaching?
When I’m not cuddling my cat and walking my crazy Springer spaniel, I love getting out to see exhibitions, doing art workshops and indulge in a bit of shopping here and there! I also love going on holiday to different places and this summer the three of us are off on an amazing west coast tour of America with my brother, sister in law and two little nephews in their RV……..but we are starting in Canada!
We definitely need to see your holiday snaps! How would you describe your personal style, Vicky?
I suppose I do like to stand out and the jewellery helps! Sometimes I’ll clash colours or patterns on purpose and I am obsessed with shoes as much as I am Tatty Devine! “Make a statement” is my motto!
What’s your favourite item of clothing at the moment and why?
My forest green chunky knit jumper from Topshop, primarily because my large Hawk Moth Necklace looks amazing against it, as does my Knit and Destroy pencil scarf and secondly, it was invaluable during all the snow!
Where do you find fashion inspiration?
Gosh, I’m not sure really? Although I do think Alexa Chung and Lauren Laverne have a really cool look and I adore Florence Welch and Paloma Faith‘s amazing dresses! I studied fashion many years ago for A Level and have always been interested in it. Whenever I’m in London I try to go to the fashion collection at The Victoria and Albert Museum. I love looking back at fashion from the past.
Apart from Tatty Devine, are there other designers you like?
Henry Holland for Pretty Polly tights always brighten up a dull work outfit and I shop mainly from ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Topshop and Cath Kidston for weekends. Unfortunately I can only dream of a dress from the Antoni & Alison Spring/Summer 2013 collection!
What about artists?
Lucien Freud is a genius, Grayson Perry is amazing and I’ve always had a passion for Frida Kahlo. I couldn’t believe how your range was timed perfectly with a project I did on her last year:
I wore my Frida brooch constantly (without scaring my Year 10′s too much!) during the lessons. I also adore Rob Ryan‘s paper cuts and actually met him at a preview of his exhibition in Stafford a few years ago:
My husband bought me one of the necklaces he designed for Tatty Devine that year too and I based a GCSE project on him too!
We hear you’re not the only Tatty Devine fan in your family… Tell us about your daughter, Chloë!
She’s a nail-art obsessed 15 year old in Year 10. Chloë is not only gorgeous but a dream daughter and a super talented artist.
She is currently doing her Fine Art GCSE a year early and already has her sights set on Central Saint Martins School of Art! Chloë has a pretty impressive Tatty Devine collection herself and it’s completely different to mine.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To have time to make art for me, live in a house full of cats, travel to more countries and obviously add to my Tatty collection!
What in your wildest dreams would you like Tatty Devine to make next?
Oooh, something pharmaceutical inspired, along the lines of Damien Hirst’s pills. All shiny and bright colours.
You never know… We might start raiding our medicine cabinets for inspiration one day! Thank you for being our Star Customer, Vicky! Your collection really does rival the Tatty Devine archive. We’re big fans of Lucian Freud, Grayson Perry and Rob Ryan too. As for your class on Frida Kahlo – can we join in next term? Please…? We’ll be sending you and Chloe some jewellery to add to your collection – well, we couldn’t leave her out!
If you’d like to be our Star Customer, here’s how to get noticed: tag Tatty Devine any time you post a photo of you wearing your jewellery on Facebook. You can also tweet us on @tattydevine when you post photos of yourself wearing Tatty Devine on Twitter.