Style File: Natasha Ovely from Starving Artists Fund

Style File Natasha Ovely from Starving Artists Fund

Designer Natasha Ovely from Starving Artists Fund. Image supplied.

Natasha Ovely launched gender neutral label Starving Artists Fund this year with her brand making its official debut at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018. Natasha established the brand to not just share her style and create pieces she loves but also to reflect her ethical values and body positivity. Her brand offers sizing from 6 – 22 and is sustainably made in New Zealand.

We caught up with Natasha to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
‘Future Plans’ is a debut collection that plays with ideas of division and dystopia. It features structured silhouettes and unique fabrics that mimic an amphibian quality. All of the items are gender neutral, true to the brand.

What made you become a designer?
Starting my own label was something I’ve always wanted to pursue. I’ve lived my life across cultures where what you wear carries a heavier weight than just a style statement. It could be an act of rebellion or one to conform, it carries consequences and often requires bravery and conviction in the right to express yourself. This line of thinking and my Fine Art sculpture background have paved my way to becoming a designer.

Five months ago, I left my life in Munich behind, to focus on getting Starving Artists Fund off the ground for my NZFW debut. It was a matter of timing and getting over the fear of failure that comes with wanting something badly.

What inspires you?
My work is reactionary, I respond to the environment I’m in. Sometimes its the textures or sounds of a city, the harmony of structure and chaos. I’m also moved by the social and political landscape within it and dream up characters that take it on. I’m very connected to my childhood memories and vivid images from it while I’m making. I’d even describe my process as playful, intuitive and a little naive.

Style File Natasha Ovely from Starving Artists Fund

Looks from Starving Artist Fund’s debut collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My style is experimental and instinctive. It’s like a game of dress up until what I wear really feels like me on that particular day, down to the colour of my lipstick or the rings I’m wearing. I like to think of my designs as braver versions of my personal style.

What is your all -time favourite purchase?
My silver-black space cowboy boots from & other stories or ‘The Great Wave’ print sweatshirt from the Shoreditch markets in London.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A well-fitting pair of pants, in whatever style you’re partial to.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, why on earth would you wear it?

Style File Natasha Ovely from Starving Artists Fund

Looks from Starving Artist Fund’s debut collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Debuting my very first collection and NZFW this year was a surreal and fantastic opportunity.

Having one of my first customers tell me that the clothes made her feel “powerful, like a warrior” was also incredibly touching. I’m looking forward to meeting more of my clients in person, at my pop up shop in Ponsonby Central, this coming February.

What can’t you live without?
My notebook, writing is the way I process things and keep my clarity. Oh, and about 5-7 pens.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Abercrombie and Fitch, a scrunchie, toe socks or a MAGA hat.

Images supplied.

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