If I asked you to pick a colour for January, chances are you'd say either grey or blue.
Try as we might to muster some enthusiasm for the new year, through resolutions, moving more or clearing out the house after the festivities of Christmas, it can be hard to think of January as anything but incredibly grim.
Never one to let a day go by without injecting some colour into it, writer Taryn de Vere has set herself a new fashion challenge for the new year, and is delighting her followers in the process.
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The "#ObjectDressChallenge" arose out of a desire to bring a dose of vitality to her day, she says, but it's proving to be so much more than just a way to pass the month.
Taking inspiration from objects around her house, she's already dressed as a tin of baked beans, a box of chocolates and toothpaste, and there's much more coming as she continues for the month of January.
Here, she tells RTÉ LifeStyle about her optimistic project.
What inspired the project?
I was looking at social media at the end of December and I thought it all seemed like January was going to be rather grim. Given Omicron's prevalence, I decided that I would avoid people as much as possible for January in an effort to keep myself and my family safe.
Facing into the prospect of being house-bound for a month I decided I'd set myself the challenge of dressing as something in my house each day for the month. At the time I came up with the idea, I was sitting on my bed and my eye alighted on a bottle of sink unblocker in the ensuite, so that became the inspiration for the first outfit.
What are your rules for building the outfits?
I'm not allowed to buy anything for an outfit is my only rule. I generally try and create outfits that I could wear all day if I wanted to, though some of the headwear is a bit cumbersome to wear all day, especially the ones I create to look like bottle caps!
How do you decide on an object to emulate?
I've been trying to mix it up colour wise and usage wise, a mix of food stuff and household stuff. The colours are the things that mostly swing it as I don't have many pastels in my wardrobe, nor do I have browns and limited black and white, so I have to choose objects based on what clothes I have.
Do you wear the outfits for the whole day? Which has been the most comfortable so far?
Yes, though sometimes I get excited for the next day and start trying on the next day's outfit or I might photograph it in readiness to post the next morning. So somedays I might wear two of the outfits in the one day. The toothpaste outfit was the most comfortable and my favourite outfit so far, I think because it's combination I would never have put together if I hadn't been trying to look like a tube of toothpaste!
What are people's reactions to them?
I've been completely overwhelmed and surprised by how much people are loving these outfits. I've had a lot of messages and comments from people telling me they wake up in the morning and check my Instagram to see what new outfit I have on that day.
People from all over the world have been getting in touch to say how much joy they're getting from this project. It's really heart-warming to think that my creative project is bringing so much fun to people's lives.
I guess it is a tough time for a lot of people at the moment and also the weather isn't helping (though it's summer in Australia and Australian's are loving my project too!) I've had media requests from different parts of the world and will be on ABC TV in Australia on Sunday. It's all been a bit thrilling.
I wake up every day so excited to share my photos with everyone. I love that every day someone tells me that that day's pic is my best yet.
How much do you try to replicate the food (like the baked beans outfit), or are you mostly taking inspiration from the packaging?
I've only been doing the packaging, though I've had a lot of requests to do a pint of Guinness. I have one black dress and one black cape so I'm still thinking about what my one black object will be. I'm considering opening it up to requests from people in February, as I had set myself the January challenge of things in my house (though I wouldn't be averse to people sending me Guinness!)
Has it changed how you see your wardrobe?
Two huge things have emerged for me from the first week of doing this project. One is that it has completely transformed how I view my clothes. It's unleashed a creative styling freedom in me, making me put colours and shapes together that I never would have before.
I'm loving finding new ways to style my clothes and I also love the sustainability aspect of this project too, I don't need to buy anything new, I have all I need to look amazing and to dress creatively already.
The second aspect that has changed for me is my relationship to shopping for household items. I've become so much more aware of branding and packaging and the lines and shapes of things. It's transformed how I experience grocery shopping. I've started looking for fashion inspiration in the grocery aisles.
Day 2 of dressing like things in my house. I'm dressed as a tin of Quality Street 🍬 pic.twitter.com/6gYIVDsMG1— Taryn de Vere (@TarynDeVere) January 2, 2022
I've discovered that sweets, spirits and cleaning products are the items most aligned to my wardrobe and aesthetic. I haven't bought any new products just to dress up as them (as that would be breaking my rule) but I have bought maybe a slightly more expensive version of something I need, just because it looks prettier and I want to dress as it.
The whole experience has been a bit surreal., especially all the media attention. I laughed hard at being introduced on tv as the woman dressing up as a milk carton, but I suppose there are worse things to be, and my silly outfits seem to be providing a bit of light relief to people at a dark time, so I'm delighted to be adding something joyful to the world at this time.