‘I wish I was a living work of art’: Designer finds style inspiration with humble household objects


Mother-of-five Taryn de Vere says she’s “having fun” with her original month-long challenge by dressing up as household items.

The challenge has put the Donegal woman in the media spotlight around the world for her unique way of banishing the January blues.

The former PR woman turned jewelery designer who moved to Ramelton from her native Sydney 17 years ago, has been featured on major radio and TV stations around the world this week.

It’s all thanks to her daily Instagram posts featuring her wearing a new outfit resembling everyday items found in her home every day this month.

She got the idea on New Year’s Eve when new daily Covid-19 cases were at an all-time high and she resigned herself to spending most of January in a self-imposed lockdown.

“It comes from all the sad news,” she told the Irish Independent. “I thought I shouldn’t leave my house. I’m going to be stuck in the house so why not be inspired by the things in my house? »

She had no idea what form that inspiration would take until “my eye landed on a bottle of sink drain opener” and she had the innovative idea of ​​dressing to mimic the same colors and design lines used to mark household items.

She dug through the vast collection of vintage clothes she’s amassed since she was a child – including four boxes of her favorite vintage pieces shipped from Australia – and found the right color combination to mimic a bottle opener Easy Sink and Pipe and the concept was born.

“I just needed a break, so I thought I’d spend a month being creative. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have a career dressing up as objects” , she said.

Many of her 10,000 new Instagram followers say the first thing they do every morning is log on to see the latest outfit she’s wearing that day.

And with fun poses that have been honed since her teenage days as a model, she’s thrilled when someone tells her her designs brought them joy during the dark days of January.

“I didn’t mean to give the nation a boost, but it’s lovely,” she said of the overwhelming response she received. “I try to inject a sense of fun and I think I succeed.”

But she imposes strict rules on herself: the objects must be everyday objects lying around the house and the clothes and accessories are objects that she already has.

As a former vintage clothes shop owner and regular customer at local charity shops – including her favorite charity shops in Derry and Belfast – her home is full of clothes, bags and other accessories in her bedroom dressing room as well only two wardrobes and chests of drawers in her children’s rooms.

She has no idea how many outfits she has, but at least they’re color coded.

She spent every day this month photographing items in her home — like a tin of Batchelor beans or a bag of Randoms candies — then browsing through her collection to see which pieces would fit the bill.

“I’m going towards this color but I have to be very inventive,” she said.

The “styling” only takes about 15 minutes. But she plans each day a day ahead. As we speak, she’s dressed in a bright pink coat and blouse over a cream-coloured fur skirt and orange and green shoes in homage to a bag of Kerr’s Pink Irish Potatoes from Tesco.

Initially, she asked her 11-year-old daughter to take the photos. But since her campaign went viral, she’s set up a makeshift photo studio in her dining room.

Her favorite outfit so far is her whimsical take on a can of Bisto Sauce Granules which she loves for its retro red, white and blue vibe.

And while the people of her village are used to her “quirky” dress sense, they are now beginning to ask her how she is “doing” today.

However, she has yet to meet anyone buying the very object she is imitating.

But the party is just getting started, and now she’s aiming to use pictures of found items in other people’s homes for the month of February.

Beyond that, who knows?

“I would love to do an art gallery residency and walk around and be a living piece of art,” she said.

“I’m also thinking about dressing like different book covers.”


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