IN CONVERSATION WITH KYLE DE’VOLLE
THE OUTNET’S guest presenter, broadcaster Harriet Rose, got to speak with fashion stylist, social commentator and glamour incarnate Kyle De’Volle. In case you missed their live conversation about celebrating pride all-year long, finding your identity and how to express yourself through fashion — we made sure to save some of the best bits…
Harriet: Happy Pride Month! For me, and I think for you too, it’s so important for us as part of the community to celebrate all-year-round, but also for everyone else to do that, too. But what’s important to you about this month. What does it mean to you?
Kyle: I think we should be celebrating every single day of the year but this month especially for me, you know, is the time of year where all members of the LGBTQIA community can shine.
Harriet: So, tell me a little bit about c.4.k.e. which stands for Courage 4 Kids & Equality which talks to young people about important queer conversations with important queer and LGBTQIA people, which is just so wonderful but tell me what it means to you and kind of where it started and formulated.
Kyle: When I was growing up, one of the main things that I lacked was representation within the industry and being able to see somebody that was like me and also hearing their stories. I grew up in a day and age where we were told in school that being gay was wrong, and you know, wanting to kiss boys was wrong and my feelings towards boys were wrong. we draw a focus between the age groups of like between 13 and 15 because I think that’s when, for me personally, I had struggled most with coming to terms with who I was. It wasn’t so much me, it was more society, it was more that time it was like ‘oh, ok, so I’m not the normal, I am a bit different,’ you know?
Harriet: And I love hearing you talk about yourself and your expression in terms of gender, fashion, sexuality, because they’re all very different things and I know I’ve heard you say in the past that what someone wears doesn’t define their sexuality. And you are such a pioneer of gender-fluid dressing, which is something I’m really keen on as well. I love to wear I love to kind of bend the binary I guess and not pay attention to it. Tell me a little bit about your journey with that because I’m really inspired by it.
Kyle: There’s so much power in being able to express yourself through fashion and being able to be yourself. I say it constantly on a loop ‘clothing does not define gender!’ These are somebody else’s ideals that we’ve all grown up with. So, make your own rules! It’s time for us all to make our own rules and live the way we want to live.
Harriet: You’ve styled the likes of Rita Ora, Maya Jama, Bruno Mars, and also, you’ve worked with so many huge brands. When you go on a journey styling someone or styling a project, what is that journey for you? Because every single person is different!
Kyle: So, the main thing for me is I have to kind of believe in the person and what they’re saying. I think style is such a personal thing, like you can tell if you dress somebody in something that’s not them, you know, I can see it in a heartbeat on the red carpet. So, I’ll have a conversation with them and feel their vibe and if I feel like I can emphasize or add to it then that’s like the beginning of our relationship. I love that people look at it and go ‘oh, yeah, Kyle’s styled that,’ but then at the same time I still want it to be true to that person and how they want to project themselves.
Harriet: And what advice would you give to somebody who really wants to express themselves more freely in what they wear?
Kyle: Just clear your head of what other people are gonna think, because the main thing here is how you wanna portray yourself. Fashion is there for you to have fun and I see clothing as like, say, an artist sees a paintbrush or paint. It’s there to be used and experimented with. You’re never gonna know what you like unless you experiment. It’s your journey, none of us are the same. Your inside voice, that’s the person that you’re with 24 hours a day, so you should like what you’re presenting, and you should also like your shell, and you should be happy with how you look.
Harriet: Well, hon thank you so much for joining me, I’m really grateful to just have a lovely queer chat because it’s my favorite thing to do.
Kyle: Aw, thank you so much for having me, I’ve really, really enjoyed it!