honor alexandra thistle munro is your newest (and youngest) style icon
Clever, curious and wise beyond her years, meet the new model shaking up the scene.
Photography Chloe Nour
When a waifish, blue eyed beauty with a black mullet and show-stopping style sailed into Sydney last year, people obviously took notice. Originally from the relatively small cocoon of Tamaki Makaurau, a Maori electorate of Auckland New Zealand, 19 year old Honor Alexandra Thistle Munro would stand out no matter where she chose to call home. First scouted on Facebook at just 14, then abruptly told she was too short, Honor sensibly forgot about modelling for a time. Instead she graduated from high school and poured the remainder of her energy into an art practice. Three years later however, modelling again became a prospect. She tells us, “I was spotted at a hair show that my friend Pippi had hooked me up with, and was scouted a second time.” This time Honor was cast in five NZFW shows (a lot for a newcomer) and picked up immediate representation with The Others Agency in New Zealand and FiveTwenty in Australia.
With creativity, confidence, style and wit in abundance, we sat down with the proud Saggitarian to discuss fashion, friends, modelling, modern art and style icons.
Hey Honor, can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was a major dork in high school. I was, and still am, an absolute theater kid. I’ve always had a huge passion for the performing arts and have really always been a performer. I think the fashion people around me picked up on that. Recently I’ve been focusing on visual arts, and I’ve been lucky enough to have my work exhibited at a number of artist run galleries in Auckland over the past few years. I also write tonnes of poetry and essays as a form of feelings spillage, and of course, I’m super into fashion. I express myself through clothing and makeup, really as an extension of my art practice as a whole.
Amazing. What are your goals for 2018?
I guess this year I want to focus on personal growth in my career and life. I also want to aim for some kind of financial security. Don't we all? I want to make the move so I can be based in Sydney more permanently. I’ve met so many amazing individuals since I got here at the beginning of November. Of course you, Chloe, but also the amazing Harry and Leila who came along to help me on the day and lend me pieces that they had made - Harry made the incredible bondage style top I wore with my vintage Zambesi suit. Also Hugo, who made the amazing necklace and earring combo I'm wearing with my grey suit. These people, and many others, have made me feel so welcome and safe here in Sydney, despite the fact I knew not a single soul when I arrived. Just little old me. Every new person I've met in the art, music and fashion scenes has inspired me to make 2018 epic AF and to keep my momentum, both with modeling and my personal projects.
Huge goals! What’s your star sign?
I'm a Sagittarius. Our biggest flaw is that we do what we want, when we want. If all the Sagittarius got together and had a party it would be fun, sexy and completely naughty.
What are you reading and watching right now?
I recently watched The Cell with J-Lo and it completely blew my mind. It’s right up my alley. Right now I'm reading three books, but I've been so busy that I sporadically read, like, five pages of each. They’re all great: Stasiland by Anna Funder, Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles and a Vivienne Westwood-Ian Kelly autobiography slash biography. I would highly recommend them all, although I do have to mention that the best and most enlightening book I read in the past year was Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker. She is my forever inspiration and this book is a metaphor for so much of my lived experience as a woman!
Who are some of your ultimate style icons?
Wow, thinking on this question has made me realise that the people I consider style icons aren’t necessarily people I take direct inspiration from, but rather people whose energy and vibe encourages me to express myself. I'll start with my mummy Angie Watson. She’s a corporate advertising bitch who serves severe business looks at all times. The smell of her perfume and the glamour she exudes has inspired me since I was a child. Then, of course, there’s Vivienne, my queen. Kristine Crabb, the designer of clothing label Miss Crabb, is an icon of Auckland who has supported me and my career from its fledgling stages. She gets me and I like to think I get her. Ha. Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta, AKA Lady Gaga, is an icon. As is Galliano - anything he did for Dior during the late 90s and early 2000s is my everything, duh. And of course I am my own style icon! And my friends are my icons! That random fleeky old lady on the street is my icon! You are my icon!
Can you tell me a little about your art practice and the themes you explore?
At the moment my art practice functions as a tool for expressing myself in a way that I can’t in my day-to-day. I would almost describe it as a survival tactic. As much as I adore working in fashion it can be a very isolating and confusing place at times. The industry as a whole places the highest value on the most superficial aspects of a person. I find I function best within the fashion world when I can use my art as a connective practice, stripping myself back from the often bullshit fake sides of myself and re-centering around things I find truly meaningful and important.
You also write?
I use writing as an outlet for aggression and a way to make sense of my lived experience, which I guess includes themes surrounding my gender and what comes along with that, my own personal trauma and general word vomit. I have one document which I am constantly adding to, it’s called Basic Know Nothing Bitch: Emotions Collage/Feelings Research. It’s essentially a collection of poetry, writing, trackpad drawings and collages.
I think I’d like to read that.
Since I ‘ve been in Sydney I’ve also been really into this concept of accessible art. Right now I'm not living in a space that I have free reign over, I have no materials or supplies, nor do I have the means to acquire them. So being able to use something as simple as a Google Doc as a medium for my work is really appealing. Learning how to mess around with the different features and having that as my only platform has actually been really good. It’s liberating seeing what I can do when I have no choice but to type it out.
Text and photography Chloë Nour