Articles - Cwpwrdd Dillad (S4C): Fflur Dafydd

Fflur Dafydd is a musician and author who sees the world in colour. "I go through different phases where I like one colour in particular; I think it then carries over to the clothes and choices I make. I often see themes and ideas as different colours and I also see people as colours."

What’s the story behind this coat?
By now, I think most people have realised that I have an obsession with the colour red! I bought this in America, at a time where I used to wear plain clothes and would never wear bold colours, but something told me, “why shouldn’t I buy this jacket“! It stayed in my wardrobe for two years before I was brave enough to wear it. Funny things started to happen afterwards. I realised that the coat crept into short stories and songs that I wrote, like it was trying to lure me into wearing it!

What attracts you to the colour red?
I don’t know. I think it’s because it possesses so many dimensions, it’s an iconic colour, a national colour, it represents love but is also a dangerous colour, it can also imply that you are a challenging person. It’s the sort of colour that you can’t wear without people noticing that you’re wearing it! I have been abroad to a few literature festivals and love being in a city on my own, seeing different trends and fashions and buying an outfit that captures the feeling of independence. You make decisions without asking anyone, “What do you think of this?” - You follow your own instinct.

Where did you get this dress?
I bought this dress in Helsinki. I used to pass it in the shop window every day and I was lured by the style. On my last day in Helsinki, I walked into the shop and the saleswoman was just about to take it off the mannequin. I tried it on and it fitted perfectly. I love the shape of the dress, there’s something fairy–like about it. I take it out of my wardrobe now and again and just look at it. Unfortunately the right event hasn’t occurred for me to wear it yet.

Why did you buy this dress?
I bought this beautiful dress in Italy when I was there for a festival. We had to stay an extra night, so I went to have a look around the town and saw this dress. I tried it on and with my broken Italian, I paid for the dress. I didn’t have a specific event in mind when I bought it, but the next day I got a phone call telling me I’d won the Literature Medal at the Eisteddfod. I knew right away that the ceremony would be the perfect time to wear the dress. It felt very special, like my subconscious told me the night before to buy the dress!

What kind of impression are you making when you perform?
When I played in a band, I never thought about what kind of impression I was giving, but since I’ve started to sing on my own I have become more aware of what I wear on stage and how that conveys my music. It’s a chance to have some fun with clothes, to wear mini–skirts with boots and short dresses. I never wear mini–skirts apart from when I’m on stage; it’s a chance to wear different clothes. This skirt is falling to pieces, but there’s something about it that suggests that my music is going in the same direction – that things aren’t as structured as they used to be.

Do you have a practical relationship with clothes?
I have to admit that my clothes aren’t practical at all, my choices are made by what catches my imagination and not by there practicality. When buying clothes I never think, where am I going to wear this, or why do I need this?

What’s behind this outfit?
I’m and English lecturer at Swansea University and I think this outfit represents a whole different world from when I perform on stage, even though you’re still performing when lecturing. I think the clothes I wear while working coveys what a lecturer should be wearing. Clothes that make me appear a little more formal so that people will take me seriously, and clothes that make me seem just a little older perhaps.

Is the style and clothes you wear going to change at all?
It will probably change with different experiences and the way my mind works. I think you always go through different stages. You reach a certain point and believe – this is me now, this is my identity – but there’s always something that changes that a little. But I find this evolution fascinating, the things that bring us to decisions and the way they represent us over time. It will be very interesting opening this wardrobe in ten years time.