When Inez Genereux entered WORN’s Black Cat Ball last year, all the Wornettes could do was stare. Inez (or Nezzie as her friends call her) has a cloud of swoon-worthy qualities that float around her like the scent of a just-strong-enough perfume. From her bleached Bettie Page bangs to her fearless footwear choices, Inez has the aura of a magical creature, and the energy of a five-year-old at a birthday party. An artist, Magic Pony super-employee, and generally awesome creative person, Inez talks to WORN about kitties, children’s hair accessories, and lemon meringue pie.
Side note: we’re also crushing on Inez’s boyfriend Landon, one of the models from Unbinding Binaries in Issue 13.
How would you describe your style in one word?
Ummm, can I say unicorn? Even though it’s not an adjective?
What’s the last thing you bought for yourself?
Probably my shoes? They’re little party shoes that have silk-screened bursts of colour. Imagine the party hats you had when you were eight years old, and they have weird squares and circles and squiggles with different primary colours that look like shouting marks on them.
What can you not stop wearing right now?
My new tote bag that I got at the Hunx & His Punx concert. It’s like two pages from a comic that he did silkscreened onto each side of the bag, where it’s these really crudely drawn images of “Call 1-800-HOT-SEX, meet local babes,” or “Teen struck by fatal acne cream accident.” with all these spreads and cutouts from teen magazines, but it’s all really vulgar? It’s really, really good, and it was five bucks.
What’s that in your hair?
Oh, it’s something from the children’s section at H&M. There’s a little pink bow back there, you can’t see it, and then this one’s a little plush heart.
Do you often wear hair clips?
Yes, and often from the children’s section at any department store, cause their stuff is always a lot cuter than the adult stuff. In the adult world it’s always really awful tacky flowers and stuff, but in the kid world it’s just like, a perfect pink heart and that’s all.
What’s the little brooch you’re wearing?
Oh, it’s a little cat from Ginette Lapalme, this really neat artist/illustrator here in Toronto. It’s a little kitty cat, glancing sideways! It’s pretty special, it’s hand painted and she’ll never make another one that looks quite like this.
What nail polish colour have you been sporting the most lately?
Happy Birthday from Deborah Lippman! It’s the most sparkly most beautiful celebration birthday colour of all time, and it looks really good when it chips too, which is really important.
What inspires you overall in your style?
Definitely, definitely, definitely Japanese street fashion. I’ve always been really obsessed and really interested in Lolita fashion, and when I was a lot younger, barely entering high school, I was going to raves and parties all the time, and was really interested in club kids and looks like that. I thought, “Oh my gosh, I want to bring back that look!” Platform shoes and layered accessories and multicolour dyed hair. Just piling on so much and always looking really cute, but really thoughtfully put together.
Have you kept a cohesive style since high school?
It’s changed a lot. I’m not wearing pink fluffy leg warmers anymore, or Hello Kitty tank tops, but I still wear little pink bows in my hair or a shirt buttoned up all the way with a little lace collar peeking through, which relate to a school-girly look. It’s a little more tidy now.
Dress like a piece of food: what would the food be and what would it look like?
Any food ever? Anything? I’d probably want to dress like a banana cream pie, I think. I really like yellow and I feel like every time I look at yellow clothing it’s this heinous cheap acidic looking colour. This outfit would be a soft, creamy yellow, something with a ruffled collar and a creamy top, with a yellow a-line ’60s looking dress with knitted cream tights and little brown boots on the bottom? Really simple but really classic looking. And then something interesting like banana slices as the centre of a bow in my hair! There is no day that goes by without some kind of hair accessory.
Would it be fair to say you think clothing should be lived in, just like books should be read?
Yes, exactly. I do love that new book smell, or the freshoff the shelf clothing smell. I would definitely buy something and wear it out of the store just to have it feel new on my skin. But on the other hand when something’s been worn for a really long time it feels so much more special and loved, and people can see that. I really don’t like how people dress in Toronto—everyone looks like they’re wearing something that’s brand new ALL the time. It’s one thing to have that one new special thing you’re excited about, but here everyone looks like they just came back from shopping.
Name a fictional character who inspires how you dress.
The first thing I think of is the little girl from the book Lullabies for Little Criminals. She’s this eight year old girl, and she’s always talking about her favourite things to wear, like a little fur hat her dad bought her at the thrift store, or how she once took the blades off a pair of white skates because she wanted to have little white leather boots. It’s really special.
What are your favorite things to wear? Things that have the most meaning in your closet?
Can I pick two things?
The first thing is something I don’t wear anymore, and I would never wear again ever, but I can’t bring myself to throw it out. It’s a dress I got when I was thirteen from a store called Numb on Queen that doesn’t even exist anymore, where you would buy tickets to raves. It’s printed with Sesame Street characters and numbers and it’s four sizes too small for me now, with this huge industrial zipper that goes right up the front. It’s just so weird, and I used to wear it ALL the time; it really defined who I was when I started playing with fashion. While all the other girls at school wore TNA pants with an Aritzia tank-top, I wore my Sesame Street dress. I want to frame it and put it on my wall.
Now, the number one thing I couldn’t live without is this pair of jean shorts that i got three summers ago for ten dollars, and they’ve molded to fit my bum perfectly. I have a really, really, really big bum, so it’s hard to find something that fits small in the waist but huge there. If I didn’t have those I’d have to move somewhere where it was always cold… I couldn’t have a summer.
Do you ever make your clothes?
Oh, yeah. My favourite thing that I’ve made so many of in the past little while, which I want to make more of and potentially even sell, are these flower crowns I’ve been creating. They’re really simple, it’s just braided lace to make a headband and then these faux fabric flowers. I wrap them into the lace with small flowers in between, and I just tie them in the back. They create a princess, nymphette esthetic, which I love!
interview by Alyssa Garrison
photos by Brittany Lucas