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Kathy Gittins is an artist and a businesswoman who owns a wardrobe full of 'conservative' clothes.
What kind of clothes do you like? What have you got in your wardrobe?
The first and most important thing for me is that I'm comfortable. I tend to wear trousers more than anything else. I'm quite boring when it comes to colour as I stick to a natural palette - black, brown and white. I also like layers and comfortable clothes.
You run a clothes shop and you're also an artist, how do you combine the two?
They call me a 'publisher-artist' these days! I graduated in design from college so you'd recognise my work through my Christmas and greeting cards and through my bright colours, flowers and blue china pictures. I also do prints and original paintings. I started selling clothes in my shop, as with most things I do, by accident. It's quite hard trying to make a living through art, and art alone, so, as I liked wearing sculptural clothes, I thought, why not start selling them in the gallery? They go well with the merchandise I sell so I started selling clothes by Crea from France and Sarah Pacini from Italy.
Why is your artwork so colourful and yet your clothes are mostly neutral?
That's very interesting isn't it, and I don't know why really. When I look back through old paintings of when I started as an artist eleven years ago, that's when I also had a divorce, the palette I was using to paint was all white - colour had disappeared. But over the years, as my confidence came back, so did the colour. But somehow, my clothes have remained very neutral and I feel that the muted tones give me confidence, and confidence is an important thing to me.
Even though the colours of your clothes are all very similar, the shapes and materials are very interesting aren't they?
That's true. I'd wear this black and grey outfit to go out or to something a little more formal. I'm also very fond of layering clothes and in this outfit I have layers of old and new clothes, I don't like to throw anything away. For this outfit I layer over the skirt and then wear a jacket on top. I also like to wear belts, and I wear two with this outfit, and then to tie it all in I add some jewellery.
Where would you wear this outfit?
This is something I'd wear in the daytime and it's from Crea. It's a very plain tunic that I'd wear over trousers or a skirt. But once I add these beads to it, it looks completely different. I like to mix the old with the new and I never throw anything away.
From where do you get the clothes for your shop?
Most of the clothes I wear come from Crea and Sarah Pacini as they both work well together. Crea Concept comes from France while Sarah Pucini comes from Italy. I'd say they were casual clothes, but it depends on what you wear with them. If you wear them with flat boots, then it's quite casual, but if you wear them with heels at night then it changes the whole look.
This dress is a little different to the rest of your wardrobe as it's quite colourful isn't it?
This is a summer dress and something very different for me. These colours are quite vibrant for Kathy! But it's quite nice to see some colour coming through, not too much though. I call these trousers with the dress 'nappy pants'; they're very different but very comfortable.
How do you go about selecting the clothes for your shop?
What I say is, at the end of the day, if I'd wear it, then I'll buy it for the shop. If I have the confidence to wear it, then that drives me to buy it. It's not easy, I've been wrong on a number of occasions, but you learn as you go along.
You sell clothes from France and Italy in the shop. Do you go to these countries to buy them?
I don't have to go, but you learn so much by going there. I tend to go over to see the clothes, but buy them from a rep over here as the Euro is so strong against the Pound now.
You have a few designer bags as well. Where did you get this Gucci bag?
There's a story behind this bag. I had the privilege of exhibiting my work in California. When I had an afternoon off, a friend and I went for a walk to Rodeo Drive. Oh, Beverly Hills - I just wanted to be Julia Roberts! We had some cocktails, one too many at the Beverly Wiltshire, and we then we went shopping in Gucci on Rodeo Drive. The cocktails were a good idea at the time, but I have used this bag a lot and it comes out quite often.
Where did you get this Louis Vuitton bag?
I bought this when my sister Paula was filming in Prague. She was filming with Sean Connery so I went over to stay with her for a week. Again, I bought this bag after lunch and too much wine! But the good thing is, if you buy things outside Europe then you get the tax back at the airport which is as good an excuse as any to shop!
- CWPWRDD DILLAD