ruby mcmillan's clothes speak up, even when their wearer is silent

In her first collection, the student designer is creating a uniform for millennial feminists.

by Jamie-Maree Shipton
13 October 2016, 12:55am

Like many young designers, Ruby McMillan's clothes are a response to the feminist conversations that surround her everyday. They're her way of digesting the way she personally chooses to express herself, display her body and show her skin. But she's conscious that by creating fashion, she's also offering other women a way to talk to the world and define themselves. We spent five minutes inside her world.

When you design, are you presenting your own identity or giving the wearer tools to present theirs?
My designs are a reflection of parts of my identity, but are also influenced by other inputs. I believe the way we dress is a reflection of our personality — be it the true personality or a false one being projected. Either way, clothing is the first interaction between strangers. Through this 'judgment' we find the people we're drawn to, and form identities through style or anti-style.

Do you think it's possible to get dressed without making a statement?
No, I do not think it's possible because even if someone is claiming "I'm just wearing this because I don't want to stand out," it's still a reflection of the person's inner desires and conflicts.

You use nipple pasties and sheer fabrics, do you see a time where female nudity is a normal part of everyday fashion?
I think it's becoming more and more mainstream, the garments here allude to the Free The Nipple movement and the inequality surrounding the female nipple — however never actually reveal the nipple. It's a difficult question to answer, it's so opinion based and there are so many factors. However the main issue I see with Free The Nipple becoming mainstream is not only the attitude of men, but more importantly the slut shaming that comes with it.



Text and styling Jamie-Maree Shipton
Photography Agnieszka Chabros
 Make up Lily Swan
Hair Xeneb Allen
Model Emilia

Free the Nipple
ruby macmillian