THE ART OF GETTING DRESSED: BROOKE.
“I never try to be anyone else when dressing. I feel most comfortable and confident when I'm me.” Brooke Lockett.
For many of us, getting dressed every day is a process that is equal parts autopilot, functional necessity, and personal expression. The Art of Getting Dressed, supported by Uniqlo, is a mini-series that has provided the opportunity to shine a spotlight on this part of our daily lives that we all, in one way or another, practice.
For Brooke Lockett, artist with The Australian Ballet, the motivation behind her daily routine is heavily influenced by her profession, not only as a dancer but also as a role model for the younger generation. Having the chance to include a ballerina in this series was such an exciting opportunity for us to look at how wardrobes evolve when life is a combination of function, performance, and personal style.
Brooke, who began dancing at the age of three and entered the Australian Ballet full time from 15, grew up in Ballarat where her Mum played an integral role in helping instil values and style ideas that are reflected in Brooke’s personal style today.
How do you approach choosing something to wear each day?
To be honest I try and think about it the night before but my mood often plays a big part the morning of. With my job, I'm in and out of an outfit so quickly that comfort or "athleisure" is often stock standard. I do love feeling feminine though so I'm often drawn to florals and pretty colours. I'm a morning person and believe your morning routine and the armour you choose for the day can make your day and change your mood. My Mum and Grandmother were both very glamorous growing up, so I think my love affair with fashion began at a young age.
Is clothing an opportunity for daily self-expression?
The choices we make when dressing each morning create individuality and style. I consider beyond just the garment. I consider the craftsmanship. I consider the vision of the designer, the maker, the marketers, right down to the buyers. Fashion is a huge machine. My very dear friend Toni Maticevski is a creative genius and has the ability to make you feel like the most beautiful woman in the room. That's magical.
Tell me about one of the looks you are wearing today?
I'm having a bit of a love affair with feminine florals at the moment and I feel like it really sums up where I'm at in my life right now. I'm in my 30's, feeling sophisticated and wearing fabrics that have ease, flow, and softness. I think I've really come into my own and reached a time in my life where I love the quality of a piece.
In your first answer, you described clothing as an armour, why?
If I’m feeling a little fragile or vulnerable something like my leather jacket can change my outlook on that day, in a way giving me strength, acting as my armour. My mum has always said, “if you’re having a bad day put on your most expensive perfume, lipstick, and a beautiful outfit, then face the day.” It’s on the bad days that clothing can be most powerful - it can turn your whole day around.
Do you think your style has changed over the years?
Absolutely. More than anything I think style is all about becoming more sure of yourself and knowing what suits you, which can take time. I'm never going to be that super cool kid, but what I've become good at is knowing how to dress for me.
Are you an intentional or spontaneous shopper?
I'm a shocker at falling in love with pieces over Instagram or Pinterest. For a fun, flirty online purchase I'm that girl who will quickly buy something 5 minutes before running into the studio. For staple pieces I know will last a long time, I like to think more as they are often more of an investment.
Do you have a style icon?
We don't have any ‘Audrey Hepburn's’ of our time. I think you can feel incredibly sexy without giving too much away. People have an idea of what it means to look like and be a ballerina and I like that.
Do you think your personal style is influenced by the job that you do?
Definitely. I went through a rebellious moment of wanting to stray from the ballerina aesthetic, but I do, and probably will always, look like a ballerina on the street. A lot of hard work has gone into my craft so why shouldn't I own it. Earlier this year I was invited to Portsea Polo and I wore exactly what I envisioned a lady should wear to the polo. I stood out for that very reason. I followed the brief.
How often do you work with stylists?
I do most things myself, but I have been really lucky to work with a few stylists in recent times who really understood my style. I did have a moment once where a stylist said to me ‘you need to shake it up a bit’ and dressed me in something that was very sexy and revealing. I couldn’t sleep, feeling really uncomfortable about wearing the outfit she had chosen. So the morning of the event I went into one of my favourite labels and bought something different. I felt so great and so comfortable in the dress I had chosen. It was a great life lesson because I realised I would never be talked into wearing something that didn’t feel right for me.
What role does the costume play in your performance? And do your clothes play a similar role in your life?
The moment I step into that costume I become who ever I am being on stage that night. It's a powerful moment and can give you confidence unlike anything else. On the street, I'm just Brooke.
A beautiful tutu is the most breathtaking feeling I can describe as a ballerina and worth working your butt off for.
Do you dress to be comfortable or confident?
Depending on the day. If I'm not feeling great or I have an important meeting I always dress for confidence. When running from pilates or the gym to a full day in the studio or theatre, definitely comfort.
Do you dress for nine to five or five to nine?
I need to always be prepared for a post-work function or event so I would say I often have 5-9 in the back of my mind.
Can we find our summer selves in our winter bodies?
I think it's all in the mind and you have to create that sunny disposition yourself. I am completely affected by the sunshine and the beach is my happiest state so it's holding onto that feeling and recreating it.
Ask Brooke anything below in the comments section. x