TALK TO ME: Sarah Nicole Prickett, part I

Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.

Sarah Nicole Prickett is a fashion writer—most frequently for EYE WEEKLY and FASHION, and formerly for Torontoistwho gives as good a quote as she gets. She’s as opinionated and complicated as you might expect from a style-conscious rebel who grew up in a born-again Christian home in London, Ont.

Recently, SNP answered The Style Notebook’s “Talk to Me” questionnaire.

Who are your favourite writers, fashion and otherwise?

“Fashion: Lynn Yaeger, Hadley Freeman, Sally Singer, Guy Trebay, Harriet Walker (really, just her ‘In the Cut’ column for AnOther’s blog). Otherwise: Kitty Kelley!! Just kidding. Zadie Smith, Ariel Levy, Joan Didion, David Rakoff, Sloane Crosley. (Note my real love for women writers, beginning with L.M. Montgomery at age 4.5, and never ending. Also note these are all names of the living; the dead are too many!)”

Do you have a favourite fashion memory?

“Yes. Oh—you want to know what it is? OK, so I went to London Fashion Week three seasons ago. I didn’t have a hard invite to Christopher Kane, and I didn’t know if I was on the list, but I went anyway. I wasn’t on the list. If Jasmine from Relative PR is reading this–hi Jasmine, I love you and your Pantene commercial hair. Thanks for winking me in. It was jammed, so I stood on a mezzanine at the back of this cavernous room—the Topshop venue—and watched the show unfold below me. It was the collection all done with velvet ribbons, and it really did unfold, like a flip book of felt-tip artwork. It was dazzlingly methodical, and moving, seriously. I had the kind of moment after which you realize you’ve been holding your breath.”

What inspires you, in the fashion world and beyond?

“Surprises and silences, the two rarest things in any world.”

Who are your favourite designers?

“Olivier Theyskens is Jesus. Alber Elbaz, Holly Fulton, Jeremy Laing, Christopher Kane, Joseph Altuzarra, the Mulleavys, Ohne Titel, Miuccia Prada, Jil Sander, Rad Hourani, Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann… and Phoebe Philo! God, sometimes I wish I got paid by the Philo-related tweet. Oh, and my next favourite Canadian designer is Cristina Sabaiduc. (That’s way too many favourites, yet not enough.)”

Who is your favourite person (other than a designer) in the fashion world?

“In the world? Hmm. Susanna Lau (Susie Bubble) or Alexander Fury (ShowSTUDIO) or Jefferson Hack. I like Britishers. Susie needs no explanation. Fury is funny—online, anyway. In line, at shows, we’ve probably exchanged two words. Hack once twirled me around—totally at random—at a party at Regine’s, plucked off some boy’s boater, put it on my head, and said, ‘Look, with the hat, you become.’ Like, swoon.”

Who is your dream interview subject (if the grave is not a barrier)?

“If the grave is not a barrier… oh, wow. Fashion: Elsa Schiaparelli—why must Coco Chanel, her great rival, get all the love? I’m Team Schiap. Otherwise: Zadie Smith.”

You haven’t shied away from sharing your opinions in your writing. Have you been surprised at the reaction that some of your pieces—like the EYE WEEKLY reports from LG Fashion Week—have caused?

“I shouldn’t have been. If you dish it out, you have to take it, too. But I hate when people ask me, in a way that’s more telling than asking, whether I take ‘constructive criticism’ from comments. Fuck, no. Who are these people? Who’s ‘stfu69′ and why should I listen? I put a name—and, perhaps foolishly, a face—on everything I write. To twist a metaphor: I live in a glass house and yeah, I throw stones. But the hordes just hide behind a rock of hate and anonymity. Lame.”

How would you describe the state of fashion journalism in Canada?

“Enthusiastic, still too tepid, often circle-jerkish. I mean, look what we’re doing, right now… I’m not sure I would have believed in it, or wanted to be a part of it, had it not been for Nathalie Atkinson—one of the first editors I ever met and wrote for, and still one of my favourites.”

You’ve risen quickly in the Toronto fashion & writing scene. What’s the best part of being involved in it? The worst?

“Thank you. It’s been too easy, but I’m grateful. You know how, in The Devil Wears Prada—oh, I’m going there—Stanley Tucci tells Anne Hathaway that a million girls would kill for her job? I always tell myself, ‘A dozen girls would kill for this job!’ So, best part: meeting like minds, making a pretty un-drudgey living. Worst part: commenters.”

What are your ambitions?

“Do my own thing.”

Check back tomorrow for part II, in which SNP talks about It girls, stylish films and online vs print.

Below, an homage to Elsa Schiaparelli (note the red soles). Courtesy of the Fashion Spot.

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