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Debbie Harry: ‘Does anybody have any style any more?’

The Sydney Morning Herald

By Georgie Gordon – 19th January 2020

How would you describe your style?
Does anybody have any style any more? I guess I’ve got New York style; I tend to like fitted clothes and very bright colours. The way I feel about looking good is that it has to be stylish and it has to look nice, but after I get it on and I’m out there having a good time I don’t want to think about it. I like to get it right and then forget about it.

What is the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
A dress I made out of scarves from the 1960s.

What’s your latest addition?
A beautiful mesh dress made for me by Michael Schmidt; it’s extraordinary. We wanted something that was very reflective and shiny for the last tour; it’s metal with all kinds of stones in it.

What would you wear …
… on a first date? Are you thinking I should wear something really sexy? It would depend on where I was going and who I was having a date with.
… on a plane? If it’s a long flight, comfort is my main goal, but that doesn’t exclude something nice.
I try to look organised.
… to the Oscars? I’d hook up with a really great designer – Marc Jacobs is one of my favourites.

Who are some of your other favourite designers?
Long ago and down through the years it was Stephen Sprouse – those were the days. Chris Benz is a terrific designer. I’ve also worked with some great Australian designers, including Melanie Greensmith from Wheels & Dollbaby. She’s a lot of fun.

What are three essential items in your wardrobe?
Black tights or fitted pants, tailored shirts with collars, and sheath dresses with little hoods from Vin + Omi – two designers I’ve been working with from London who make some really interesting, unusual pieces.

What was your first fashion moment?
When I was a very little girl, my grandmother bought me a coat. It was dark green with a velvet collar and I just loved the way it looked and fit. It was one of my favourite things.

Can you remember any favourite outfits as a child?
I loved wearing my father’s plaid flannel shirts. Later on, when I was a teenager, I had a pink dress with a big full skirt that I really loved.

And your worst fashion mistake?
I guess I’ve been trying hard to forget because I can’t think of any! I’m sure there have been a lot.

What is your favourite fashion decade?
I don’t know. If I were to choose, it would be something very different to today, like the 1930s or ’50s.

Have you kept any of your iconic Blondie outfits?
Absolutely, I recently went through all of my costumes. I have some amazing things from the ’70s. I found my zebra dress, that was from very early on.

What would you buy if money were no object?
If I was going to really spend a bundle, I’d go to Comme des Garçons and get something unique and very beautiful. Those clothes are just extraordinary, really outstanding.

What shoes do you wear most often?
Boots, usually a low boot but sometimes over the knee. I used to wear these shoes called Pollys all the time – I would buy them from Fredericks of Hollywood. They were open-toed shoes with a wooden platform and high heel.

Face It (HarperCollins) by Debbie Harry is out now.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale January 19.


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