Designer Norah Turncote is the anti-Angie for the YLF generation, with three decades as a dilettante technologist behind her. Now she’s turned her attention to clothing. Tousled and Windswept Magazine caught up with her in her factory space behind the KwikFit garage, where she is reimagining fashion as post-industrial folk-art.
T&W: Describe your look.
NT: I call this one “Hyperactive Preteen with Issues”.
T&W: How do you get dressed in the morning?
NT: I run through my wardrobe backwards grabbing as many things as I can and put them on upside down.
T&W: Like that jacket?
NT: Yes. I made this out of some scrap fabric a friend was using as an occasional tablecloth. I could wear it the right way up but you wouldn’t see the zipper on this strangely bifurcated shirtdress, and that’s no fun at all.
T&W: Is this what it means to be the anti-Angie?
NT: Exactly. She’s very polished, you see. Always fabulously turned out and appropriate for the occasion. And I’m not just rough around the edges, I’m rough from the inside out. A total hot mess, me. She’s a dog person, I’m a cat person, that sort of thing. But we both wear specs and talk like the Queen, so there’s that.
T&W: How do you even leave the house?
NT: I accessorise with a large dose of confidence and take the side-eye of twenty-somethings as a compliment. None of them will be dressed like this when they get to my age.
T&W: Which is?
NT: I’m not telling. But let’s just say I run a little hot these days and my bladder’s not what it used to be.
T&W: Mid-life crisis?
NT: It’s a transformative experience.
T&W: What’s next?
NT: I’ll take some pictures in awkward lighting conditions with this rubbish camera and crop them to make my photographic incompetence look like artistic intent. Then I’ll write some pithy text mocking the fashion press to cheer up the ladies on their Monday morning.
T&W: Pointless editorial. What’s not to love?
NT: Quite right. I’m very pleased with my photobombing mannequin. I’m thinking of giving her a pay raise. How do you think this random footprint on the wall got there?
T&W: We really can’t imagine.
NT: Neither can I. But it’s fun to speculate, no?
T&W: You know we’re suckers for an abandoned industrial space filled with the ephemeral traces of a mundane past. And we’re every bit as pretentious as you are.
NT: Pretentious? Moi? Why thank you!
T&W: You’re very welcome.