Jaquie Brown: My Life in Clothes
Comedian and TV personality Jaquie Brown talks about the clothes that matter to her most.
Portrait by Jane Ussher. Jaquie Brown wears a Lonely Hearts dress and Penny Sage kimono.
As told to Rebecca Wadey. This story first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Metro.
I bought this nearly 10 years ago. Look at the condition! Everything I’ve bought by NOM*d has lasted the distance. It was from Zambesi. I saved up. I really wanted something new to wear because I was going on a date with this new guy (now my husband) and I wanted to be trendy and cool yet casual, like no big deal but, yeah, totally a big deal!
Our first date! I don’t know what we did; probably just drove around in his car.
I used to work in a cafe near Zambesi in Vulcan Lane. I was the dishwasher there for ages. I don’t think I ever graduated to making coffee. I must’ve been about 16 or 17. I was a wild-looking kid! Crazy, wild, curly hair, and I used to wear tiny trainers and massive jeans. I was a bouncing ball of energy.
I started going up to bFM when I was 18, volunteering, doing the graveyard shift from midnight all the way through to 6am. I loved it so much; I was living the dream. I have put in the hard yards, I worked for free for years, but I didn’t think anything of it. I just kind of worked my way up, doing talkback, request shows, I produced Mikey Havoc on the breakfast show, I learned everything.
Margiela wedding shoes.
These were my wedding shoes that I no longer fit — my feet grew after having babies. To fit them again would be incredible, although they weren’t particularly comfortable on the day. You realise the next day. Actually, I wish I’d done the whole thing in jandals!
We hadn’t planned anything. So we just held each other and kind of moved and they played something. And everyone crowded around watching us, expecting something to happen. I guess because I’m a performer they were hoping that I’d bust some crazy move.
But I was just, like, I am so exhausted, I just want to go to bed. So I did.
The next day was great, it was beautiful and sunny and everyone was there. We all played around in the garden and I wore flat shoes. It’s been a revelation recently, learning the joys of the flat.
Cybèle made this dress for when we won Best Comedy at the TV Awards for The Jaquie Brown Diaries. I was 20 weeks pregnant. I had been throwing up all day and I rang the organiser and said, “Look, I really don’t think I’m going to make it to the awards, I’m really, really sick,” and she said, “Um, I think you should come,” and I was like, “Man, I’m pregnant and I’m so sick and I’ve been vomiting, I’ve been in hospital,” and she was like, “Jaquie, I really think you should come.”
I had hyperemesis gravidarum, like Kate Middleton. I got it at six weeks: multiple vomiting during the day, had to be rehydrated a couple of times in hospital. I couldn’t work. It was just awful. It lasted the whole pregnancy. And here I had to put on my gladrags. So luckily Cybèle made this especially for me. I haven’t worn it since, but I should.
I was terrified when I did The Jaquie Brown Diaries. I hadn’t done acting, only school plays. What if it was awful? But I do think nothing ventured, nothing gained. Life is short. I’m very aware of that. That said, it’s been a real challenge detaching myself from Jaquie Brown. I think getting married and having another identity has really helped me separate the two.
Lonely Hearts Dress (main photo)
I’ve got quite a few beautiful pieces that I never wear but my wardrobe these days is Cotton On T-shirts and post-pregnancy leggings with holes in the crotch. But this is a beautiful dress that I do wear all the time; it makes me feel like a lovely lady.