TALK TO ME: Leith Clark, part II

Story by Mishal Cazmi. Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.

This is the second part of our conversation with Leith Clark, stylist and editor-in-chief of Lula Magazine. You can read the first part here.

How would you compare Canadian fashion with British fashion?

“For me Canada is an environment where I can’t not be outside. So there is an element of practicality brought in. Imagine my shoes lasting a Canadian winter! (Tabitha Simmons pale pink suede wedges.) All four seasons are so strong and vivid here. The people are so real. Fashion needs to to match it. Practicality is an issue more than it is in a city like London. The lifestyle is different. Some of the dresses that I bring here when I visit, I know I’m just going to hang them up. I know I’m not actually going to wear them.

Or maybe I do wear them, just under gigantic coats and with my motorcycle boots from when I was 14! I think you have to think about the environment you’re in. I want to be outside when I’m here, even when it’s snowing. Especially when it’s snowing. Fashion should never inhibit you or limit you.”

If you could give your 16-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

“I did this thing in the ninth grade that I thought was a good idea. I probably read it in Sassy. On the first day of high school, I had to be the first person to raise my hand or volunteer, no matter what the question, in every class. It made that whole year so easy. I think that fearlessness and applying it, so that you’re never intimidated by anything and you don’t have long enough to psych yourself out, is a very nice thing and I wish I remembered it more often—especially at 16. I would tell myself to keep doing that.

And—the only person whose opinion reeeally matters, is your own.

Also, everyone, no matter what career they choose, has a point of view…. I think it’s important to encourage it in others and ourselves…. Sometimes we’re discouraged, and everyone’s creative view point is unique and important. We all had universes we created as kids that we would play inside. There’s no reason why that doesn’t have to continue when we grow up. You know, stare at paintings to figure out why certain ones make you feel something… make scrapbooks….  It’s so interesting when you get to dip into someone else’s world. People like to meet other people and have a place they can visit. Nurture yours in yourself and in others…

You’re having a tea party. You can only invite five guests, past or present. Who would they be?

“Marianne Faithfull because she’s very entertaining and lovely. My grandfather who I’ve never met. Dorothy Parker. Gloria Steinem. My poor grandfather is the only boy! I think he needs a little friend. Marianne and Gloria are totally going to argue, aren’t they? Andy Warhol? Or no, let’s have Marilyn Monroe because then, Gloria can ask her all the questions she wants to…. And my grandfather would prefer Marilyn Monroe to Andy Warhol. I’m sure of it.”

If you weren’t a stylist or an editor, what would you be doing?


In your own words, Lula Magazine is…

“I really try not to think about it. Sometimes, it’s quite daunting that it’s become a kind of brand because I really don’t want to think of it like that. I just want to feel free to do as it does.”

Below, a few guests at the tea party, beginning with Marianne Faithfull.

Dorothy Parker.

Gloria Steinem.

Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn looks so Lula in this next photo that we couldn’t resist

And a few more peeks inside Lula Magazine.

The below spread is from the most recent edition of the magazine, Issue 10, which features a very special guest of honour: Strawberry Shortcake.

Check out Lula, and its lovely Scrapbook, then read more of our interviews with fascinating fashion personalities in Talk to Me.

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