The Expressionists - featuring Artist Christina Newberry

The Expressionists - featuring Artist Christina Newberry

Discovering Artist Christina Newberry's work is like stepping into a magical world. Delicate, intricate blooms weave their way through a surreal tableau, plant specimens from a mystical sphere.

At times she works with pressed and dried flowers, embroidering, embellishing and sculpting them. Both highlighting and transforming their beauty. Other times it is lace, fabric, beads and found objects that she manipulates into the most beautiful of forms. Sometimes wearable, sometimes viewed through glass or frames.

It is this magic and romance that Christina brings into her wardrobe. She expresses herself in a way that always celebrates beauty. Beauty of fabric, colour, shape and form. Whether bold and colourful or soft and romantic, a celebration of beauty is at the heart of Christina's expression.


The Expressionists - An interview series celebrating amazing individuals who express themselves through fashion, uncovering their connection to their clothing and discovering their inspiration.

At Billie Boots we believe style is creativity, a way to experiment and play with what it is to be you. It has little to do with trends and even good taste. As Diana Vreeland said 'Too much good taste can be boring, independent style on the other hand, can be very inspiring'.

We hope this series inspires you to express your authentic self through your wardrobe. Why? Because it's a daily opportunity to be yourself on purpose and unapologetically share that with the world. Step into your skin and stand in your style.

Now we delve into Christina's world.............


1/ How did your love of clothes/fashion start?

I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t love clothes. A lot of my earliest memories are associated with favourite items of clothing. It’s the texture, colour, print or pattern that will have stayed with me. Even as a child I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to wear. 

2/ How would you describe your style?

Quite eclectic I think. I like to have a variety of pieces in my wardrobe that I can wear to express different aspects of my personality day to day. One day it could be a soft romantic look or then a very structured look on another day. Variety is key but also quality items that will wear well.

3/ What is your philosophy when it comes to style?

Style should be personal. Dress for yourself! No one trend or type of clothing suits everyone. I think for style to truly work it needs to be worn by those that love and embody it. Style should represent your unique personality and how you choose to express it to the world.

4/ What does style mean to you?

I think that style can continue to evolve throughout one’s life. Different ages, outlooks and circumstances can shape it. I think it wasnt until I was in my 40s that I truly started to feel much more confident to explore and evolve different facets of my style. It felt great to connect with that, a real sense of freedom.

5/ Who/what influences your style and why?

My style is very much influenced by what I am able to find at secondhand sources. That can be something that also pushes me to try new things and be braver. Secondhand shops feel a place of potential and treasure for me, all selling different items that can change day to day with the donations they receive. As far as a person that inspires me, lately I’ve been thinking about David Bowie in this respect. His individuality and creative brilliance. If I want to be brave I think of him and feel excitement at experimenting more with both fashion and creativity. In terms of fashion designers I am most influenced by, it is those that blend the boundaries between fashion and art such as Alexander McQueen and Victor & Rolf.

6/ How does dressing make you feel?

So many different things! Creative, elated, confident, exploratory and sometimes nervous if I am pushing myself to try something new. Dressing can truly enhance your day and the way others may relate to you. I think dressing is a very intuitive act and each day I feel drawn to particular outfits, not only for where I will be wearing them but what mood I am in. Again it’s a very personal thing, as wearing certain clothes can make me feel one thing but another person something else entirely. I’m not keen on stereotypes prescribing what clothing might be deemed as sexy for example. It’s about how the clothes make you feel and that might be something very different for everyone. 

7/ Where do you search for clothes?Secondhand sources. I’d say 95% of my clothing comes from op shops and markets. This has been the case for decades. Sourcing clothes this way has always been strongly associated with sustainability but also because I think it’s the best way to shop for a more individual and cost effective wardrobe. I think buying op shop/market clothes can encourage you to make braver decisions about what to wear as it provides an inexpensive way of playing around with your style. For me it has also been a wonderful way to buy items where I can bring into play my creative skills to refashion them to my own unique vision and taste!8/ Do you follow trends?Never! Trends are the exact opposite of intuiting what clothing is uniquely right for you. Trends are a wheel that keeps turning endlessly with so much waste in its wake. They are so costly, not only to the planet, but also to one’s budget when trying to keep up with them.   9/ What does your style say about who you are? What do you hope to communicate through your wardrobe?I think my style says that I am a person that greatly enjoys clothes and embracing them to convey my own distinctive, creative approach to dressing. I hope to communicate joy and individuality in dressing. Affecting someone positively when they enjoy your outfits and make an effort to approach you in order to compliment you, is such a lovely feeling. It often sparks good conversation and I like that through my clothing I can champion sustainable dressing. It’s great knowing that your outfit has impacted both you and viewers in a way that feels good.
10/ What fabrics /textures/colours do you love? What items are you always drawn to?
I love natural fibres - cotton, linen, silk, wool. It makes me slightly horrified how much polyester there is around nowadays. Plastic clothes are what they are. I have very little polyester in my wardrobe but I do acknowledge that it is superior for creating amazing sculptural forms such as pleats. I made a decision about 10 years ago to incorporate much more colour into my wardrobe. Colour can definitely impact your mood in a positive and healing manner. I’m probably most drawn to pinks and greens but have enjoyed experimenting with colours I’ve not considered wearing before. In terms of items I’m drawn to, its generally something with either great colour, shape, texture or preferably all. It seems that a good maxi skirt has been a favourite, especially in a floaty silk, because I have a nice collection of those. 11/ How does your wardrobe fit into your lifestyle?Whilst being an artist means I spend a lot of time in my studio alone, it also means that when I do venture out I use my creativity to enjoy dressing in an individual way. My wardrobe has lots of flexibility to mix and match with pieces that I could wear in many ways from casual to formal. 

12/ What pushes your style boundaries? What would you love to wear but haven't quite plucked up the courage?

The first thing I thought of with this question is an amazing lavender (the exact colour of jacaranda blooms) hand-knitted long sleeve full length dress. It’s actually a zippered dressing gown I believe but the waist is very fitted with strong shirring giving it great shape which is odd for a dressing gown. I really wanted to finish the mending repairs in order to wear it this last winter but unfortunately they stalled. In retrospect I think that it may have been a little to do with the fear of people thinking I’ve just rocked up in my sleepwear rather than wearing an edgy interesting dress. It’s funny because when you’re young you sometimes lack the confidence to push your boundaries even when youth means you can generally carry off all looks. I regret not having more fun experimenting with clothing when young but whilst youth is no longer on my side, a confidence in experimentation and individuality drives me on. In saying that, I admit to days where my confidence can waver and I may wonder too much what others might think. That’s the time to admire your own courage, hold your head high and walk tall. Next winter I’m definitely going to strut out that dressing gown!

13/ What advice would you give someone who is wanting to express themselves more fully through their wardrobe but feeling insecure?

F… fear! It’s such an immobilizing emotion that stops us feeling brave enough to often truly embrace who we really are. I’d rather people think my clothing choices are off trend, inappropriate, or that I’m overdressed (yep I’ve had that quite a bit) rather than feel safe by fitting in with what is not me. There is SO much joy to be had by exploring clothing as a way to express yourself. Start slow if you need to, just adding a bit here and there. Work your way up to your second skin feeling as comfortable as what’s beneath. Create an event that you really dress up for each week. Mine started very shortly after the birth of my second child which was a challenging time that left me no chance to centre myself in order to cope. My husband lovingly encouraged me take much needed time to myself which turned out to be breakfast on my own one Saturday morning. It was so wonderful it became a weekly ritual from there on. Not only time and space for myself (whilst the children enjoyed fun and creative time with their Dad) but being able to totally dress up to feel ME. I loved planning throughout the week what I might wear, sometimes sewing my own clothes, and then wearing them with pure relish. It was a defining time in the evolution of both my self and my style. My advice is get out there and live life with a great wardrobe of clothing that celebrates you! Be brave, be you. Like the saying by Oscar Wilde goes ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is taken!

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