Whether pushing for greater diversity through a collaboration with Pomellato or repositioning the way creatives can work with brands, there’s no question tattooist and painter Ruby Quilter is quietly making a name for herself with her unique style and drive — not to mention talent.
Here, the LA-based, English artist, gives an insight into her world, the vintage items that have inspired her style, and the sartorial moments that have shaped her wardrobe — from memories of borrowing her mother’s wool cardigan to the Ralph Lauren floral dress that makes her feel amazing.
1) Describe your style in 3 words
Relaxed, comfortable and joyful.
2) What’s the most precious item in your wardrobe and why?
I have an old cardigan that belonged to my mother. It’s heavy wool, knitted and cropped. I remember finding it in her wardrobe and pleading with her to borrow it. I’ve had it ever since and wear it all the time. It has a certain feeling when I wear it, it feels like her and it encapsulates a mixture of her style and mine.
3) What’s your go-to outfit?
I live in Los Angeles so it’s pretty hot all the time. Usually I’ll reach for a pair of vintage jeans and a t-shirt, or a dress and boots. In the evening my go-to will tend to be a pant suit, as it’s so versatile. I love how you can make a suit feel both masculine and feminine, depending on what you pair it with. Sometimes I love it with heels, other times I’ll grunge it up with boots and statement jewellery.
4) Favourite piece you bought recently and why?
I recently found the most beautiful 60’s bag by Rosenfeld at an antiques market. It’s so special, with a printing plate of Françoise Boucher’s “Le Dénicheur” on the front of it — a total work of art.
5) What is the best fashion advice you have received?
Be comfortable, always!
6) Who are your style icons?
So many. I love looking at photos of bands from the 70’s, like the Rolling Stones, so many beautiful colours and patterns, it reminds me to be more free with what I’m wearing. I follow some great accounts on instagram, I love Elsa Hosk’s looks, Blanca Miró and Pernille Rosenkilde.
From left: Elsa Hosk, Blanca Miró and Pernille Rosenkilde
7) What’s your personal style signifier?
Wearing a ribbon in my hair!
8) Less or more?
More. More is more!
Photo: John William
9) If you could have anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be and why?
I follow a store online called ‘Esme’s Drawer Too’, which is not so much a wardrobe as a store, but I would wear anything and everything they have.
10) If you were an item of clothing what would you be?
That black pair of boots you can’t live without!
11) Where do you love to shop?
I love vintage and second hand. I’ve found my favourite pieces at fairs and markets, when you have an amazing vintage item paired with something luxe or designer there’s something really special in that mix. One compliments the other.
12) What is a must have clothing item everyone must own?
The perfect pair of straight leg, jeans.
13) If a museum asked you to donate one item from your wardrobe that represented you what would it be?
I have a button down, floral Ralph Lauren dress which I’ve owned for years. It’s pretty fragile now, the buttons are coming loose but it’s one of my favourite items, I feel amazing whenever I wear it… Which is a lot!
14) What will we never find in your wardrobe?
Neons. Or faux leather!
15) What’s your number one fashion rule?
To make sure you’re comfortable and feeling like yourself in what you’re wearing.
16) What is your dream project?
I would love to make some fabrics using my paintings, hopefully one day I can make it a reality.
17) Dream collaborator?
Alexander McQueen, I love the hand painted leather pieces.
18) Top 3 accounts to follow on social media
Man Repeller, Diet Prada, Nails by Mei.
19) Favourite fashion apps?
20) Where were the last three places you travelled to and what are the can’t miss shops?
Whenever I travel for work I always look for the best vintage spots in the area. London, Paris and New York seem to have the most amazing collection of stores. One of my all time favourites is the Real Real in New York. Oh and What Goes Around Comes Around which is also in New York.
Follow Ruby Quilter on @rubymayquilter or purchase her work through her website here