Spreading music and love to infinity—and beyond
The last time I saw Moon Moon live, I left with a tattoo—literally. While I’m sure not everyone who sees them rushes out to get inked the very next day, the impression left by this sprightly duo is more permanent than the buzz of a needle and ink breaking skin. Lyrics and vocals haunt their audience, while stop-animations of pressed flowers project over a white canvas of lace and linen garments. I’ve been lucky enough to know June (who, along with partner Conor make up Moon Moon) and her closet for several years, as she has brought her message of “More Love” from Toronto treehouses, to her native Newfoundland, Montreal, California, and now a cabin in Vancouver where the two reside. More than geographically, Moon Moon is spreading their mantra of “More Love” to bodies across Canada, committing themselves, and encouraging others, to recycle clothing and remove themselves from the grips of Fast Fashion.
How much thought do you put into getting dressed in the morning? Do you put more or less effort into picking clothing for daily life than for stage?
June > I keep my wardrobe small. I like to repeat outfits. When I find something I can move in, it stays with me for days.
Conor > Getting dressed in the morning I think mostly about what I’m doing for the day… it’s a question of function mostly. For the stage, it’s a totally different thing; we discuss with each other and endeavour to create a unified stage picture.
From stamping the wrists of the audience, to carefully crafted projections, it seems like in your live shows you try to generate an overall aesthetic experience, rather than just a two dimensional, flat performance. How important does clothing/costume rank in creating this experience?
June > Live music is a sacred thing to me, it brings people together; an opportunity to create community. To honour the experience I want the performance to be special, magical, and all inclusive. Costumes are an important part of the aesthetic that is fun to play with.
Lately, you both have been wearing white on stage. Was this a conscious choice? If so, why white? Is there some sort of significance behind this color for you as a duo?
June > We have been playing with live projections, and wearing white helps to reflect the images. Plus, white is a serene box to put yourself in.
Conor > White reflects all the colours of the spectrum, like the face of the moon reflects sunlight back to earth, our bodies on stage reflect our video content back to the space.
Much of my wardrobe is filled with castaways from June’s wardrobe, which she almost ritually gives away the majority of each year. June, what have been your reasons for purging your closet in the past? Do you think you’ll continue to do so in coming years? (A girl can only hope.)
June > There is so much abundance in the world! This practice of release is integral to make space for the new. I only keep things in my life if they serve me. If I’m not wearing that dress anymore, I’m going to give it to someone who will, and Casie, you always get first dibs.
Tell me about your initiative to not buy new clothing. Conor, is this something you are doing as well?
Conor >Yes, absolutely. I love thrift store shopping, especially in small towns where the store hasn’t been picked over, because I find the craziest pieces. I feel like at this point the world is so saturated with garments it just makes sense to recycle whats already there.
June > I believe in More Love and less waste. I try not to buy clothes and when I do, I shop consciously, and second hand. I chose to be resourceful, especially when the alternative to shopping is an adventure benefitting me, and the planet. If you have never been to a clothing exchange, host one now. It’s brilliant. Trade your clothes! These threads have stories, these clothes have soul.
This one is for Conor. Sometimes I feel as though for women, the possibilities for reinvention through clothing are infinite. As a male, and particularly as a performer, do you ever feel limited in possibilities for stage wear compared to your counterpart?
Conor > The simple answer is no. I have always been drawn to “costumish” clothing, I love to feel the way people’s perception of me changes along with my wardrobe.
What is your favorite piece of clothing you’ve ever owned and why?
June > I have a grey sweater that’s been living on me for about five years. SO COMFORTABLE.
Conor > I have a black felt fedora that I bought with my very first pay cheque. It has traveled all over the world with me; it has been worn by so many people I love and quite a few that I will never see again. I feel like the value of an item of clothing can best be measured in stories.
What is your favorite item that you’ve given away?
Conor > The first time I went to a thrift store I was maybe 17 and I bought this amazing leather bomber jacket that had a map of the world pattern on the lining. I recently left it for a friend when I moved away from Montreal. It shall be sorely missed.
June > Once upon a time I bought a beautiful winter jacket, made in Canada, from 69 Vintage in Toronto. It swept around my ankles and made me feel all Hollywood ’20s. Sadly, there was no room for it my latest move. Someone please go find it at Local 23 in Montreal and love it and love it and love it…
photography // Allison Staton