Swarovski is on a mission to encourage women everywhere to change it up. To mix it up. To be whoever they want to be. We spoke to two inspiring women who do just that with the help of the Swarovski Remix Collection.
The Swarovski Remix Collection is a versatile range of jewellery that can be adapted to suit the wearer’s mood or situation. Featuring four different styles – Romantic, Timeless, Glam or Rock Chic - an innovative magnetic clasp allows you to mix and match a variety of strands to create your own unique look.
Anna Pesquidous mixes up her job as a nanny with playing harp for a three-piece pop band Paradisia
Looking after small children is a hands-on job. Add that to playing harp in a band that tours the world supporting the likes of Ryan Adams and Michael Kiwanuka, and Anna Pesquidous, 31, certainly has her work cut out. To move between her two wildly different roles of rock chic nanny and romantic performer, Anna uses the power of clothes, make-up, jewellery and accessories to make the shift.
How did Paradisia come together?
Two years ago, I was living on Portobello Road in west London in this house, which I think was probably a squat. I was having a house party. Our singer Sophie-Rose was there and said to someone, ‘I’m starting this new project, I really want a harpist’. Then someone said, ‘Well, a harpist lives in this house’. And she came into my room and there was this massive harp in this horrible house. She couldn’t’ believe it.
You describe your music as romantic pop, is there any artist out there who you think sounds a bit like you?
Well we just did a tour with Michael Kiwanuka [who wrote and sang the theme tune to Big Little Lies] and I guess his instrumental style makes a good match. Also a bit like Feist as well. Loads of vocal and loads of strings.
Do you try to represent your music with what you wear?
Yes, we wear quite floaty fabrics, with soft, pastel colours. It’s hard actually because on stage you want to wear something that’s quite out there to get into character and that performance state of mind, but still represents the music. So you have to be careful you don’t go out looking like an exotic bird.
How did it come to pass that you’re all nannies?
When Sophie-Rose started doing the band, she found that nannying was a really good way to earn decent money with flexible hours. And then we all got on board. I do 3pm to 6pm or 9pm for the family I work for – basically the school pick-up, so I can work the rest of the day on sorting all the artwork for the band, or managing our tour arrangements. It’s nice to do something completely different that’s not too stressful. And I love children.
If you finish nannying and you have to be on stage in two hours, how do you shift your mindset?
It’s so hard. I look like a teenage boy when I’m nannying. You get quite dirty so your clothes have to be practical – jeans, trainers and a T-shirt. But one really useful thing is that I don’t wear any make-up so if I’m on stage that night, the first thing I do is full make-up. And that helps me transform into performance mode. But it’s really funny because I do my face in the house before I go and the children get really excited. They’re like, “Oh my God, you look so pretty.”
The Swarovski REMIX Collection is all about mixing it up. If you could collaborate with any musician who would it be?
Maybe a rapper? Stormzy? He had harp on his last album.
Victoria Jenkins brings monochrome style to her day job as an archivist, tapping into her love of Medieval art for her everyday look
We all express parts of our personality though our outfits and even the most subtle changes can speak volumes. Victoria Jenkins, 32, is an archivist for an art gallery uses the simplicity of black to dress for a job that is part practical, part public-facing, and while sticking to utitlitarian design out of work, expresses her admiration of Medieval art with the occasional, romantic flourish.
Describe your day job.
I’m an archivist in an art gallery, which involves working with collections which used to belong to artists and I catalog them in such a way it’s easier for researchers to use. For instance, if we had a box with a thousand letters, it’d be working through the letters and organising them by who they’re from or the date they were written. Essentially, I’m a professional sorter-outer. If you like things being in their place, it’s an amazing job. If you want stuff done quickly, it’ll drive you mad.
Do you get to wear those white gloves?
No, but we do wear very glamorous plastic ones.
What do you wear at work?
Trousers and flat shoes because I’m often going up and down ladders. I try to look smart as I might have a morning where I’m physically moving boxes around and then I’ll have to meet a donor in the afternoon, so I need to jump between those two situations. The archive stores are climate controlled so even in the middle of summer you need a jumper. I have a selection of black jumpers, black t-shirts, and black, slightly cropped jeans. I just rotate between them It makes those morning decisions easier.
Do you have a favourite artistic era that inspires your style?
I really like medieval art. I’m a fan of a big wizardy, flouncy collar. I’ve got a shirt that I really love that essentially has a ruff. Sometimes I wear it and think I look like a sad clown, other days I’m like, “Yeah, I’m gonna overthrow some medieval warlord.”
How would you describe your look outside of work?
I like overalls. There is a utilitarian aspect to it. I’m quite clumsy so I don’t tend to wear heels at any time, because I fall over a lot. I like shorts. I also wear dresses but I’m quite bad for exposing myself so dark tights are a necessity.
Does your personality change when you’re at the gallery?
At work I’m probably more sensible. I work with a broad range of people and I’m aware I’ll be working with people who are much older than me. I also work with school groups. So I have to monitor how I’m speaking to people, both in not wanting to be patronising but also not slipping into art jargon. When I’m not at work I’m goofy and I swear a lot. I try not to do that in the archive.
If you could mix it up and collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I love the Surrealists, generally. They looked like they were having a great time. They were radical, they were political, but they were also really funny. They said things which rocked the boat but they also made beautiful objects.