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Colour & Comfort with Lydia Okello

Tell us a bit about yourself (where you're from, where you live, what you do - for fun and work)
Hi! I’m Lydia Okello. I’m a content creator, writer and model based in Vancouver BC. I’m a Black, fat, queer enby who loves to express themselves through personal style. My work focuses on the intersections of personal style and access: I think that everyone should be able to dress exactly as they want to! My hope is that my work inspires more folks to feel that they can express themselves through style. I also love to chat about beauty, art, movies and music. For fun I like to do group cardio dance workouts & karaoke. And snuggle with my wife and my cat, if she’ll let me.
How did you go about creating your own style? What would you say are your inspirations and where do you shop?
I’ve always been obsessed with clothing, ever since I was a child. I remember my parents gently mocking my love of shoes. I was a little performer of a child, always trying to put on living room plays and singing solos. I think that a great outfit brought a feeling similar to that of a good performance! And that feeling never left.
I take inspiration from my friends & family, art, social media, music and books & magazines. There’s so many people who have fantastic style that I emulate, especially on social media. I feel like we’re in a time of access to a lot of incredible creatives.
At this point, most of my shopping is online — mostly indie sustainable companies. I like colour & comfort, and I’ll always fall for a collar detail. If you follow along my social media, I’m always tagging brands that I enjoy!
You're known for your colourful, comfortable plus size looks. What do you feel (if anything) is still missing in the plus size market?
I’d love to see more options on the market. Plus size clothing makes up roughly 6% of the clothing market even though about 2/3 of Americans are plus sized. I’d also love to see brands that carry straight and plus sizes focus on marketing to & uplifting their plus sized customers. It’s not enough to just offer the sizes — we’d like to see items on bodies like ours. I think there is still so much to be wanted in the plus space. It’s exciting to see more independent designers move into extended sizing, but I’d love to see much more. Plus sizes are deeply underserved, and it’s wild to me how much money is being left one the table. 
Tell me a bit about the looks you put together for these images.
The black outfit feels like a day when I want to look cool but I want to feel super comfy. If I wear all black, I’m going to find ways to make it brighter or more exciting. The textures playing together adds a little something — and I’m always into a crop top.

The pink outfit is as easy as can be. I love dresses because they are often a one and done option — this one is a total serotonin boost. I love the colour, and I felt like I didn’t want to distract from the boldness. An easy pair of Chelsea boots are comfy, and these ones add to the bright bouquet of these pieces.

The yellow outfit is a little play on layers. I like the idea of juxtaposition, and the starkness of the cutout turtleneck and the tall boots is a fun pairing. I think it would be easy to style this dress sweetly, but I wanted to see if I could take it in a different direction. I liked how it turned out!

What are you most looking forward to wearing in 2023?
I have been feeling a little lost fashion wise, so I’m trying to look at outfits I’ve enjoyed in the past and figure out what feels good right now. I always love silver jewelry — big chain necklaces and fun rings. As well as good earrings, particularly if they involve an optical illusion (floating etc) and are solid silver.  I’m also a fiend for shoes — there are plenty of sandals and mules that are in my mind right now.  Hopefully I’ll have some nice wide pants to pair with bright linen this year.
Weirdly an item I am trying to track down a skort! I think they are so practical but also cute — a mini length would be great. Otherwise, I’m just looking forward to warmer weather and bringing my bright linen/summer pieces out of storage. I am always torn because I thrive in summer weather but I enjoy the layering opportunities of autumn and winter. At this point in the year, I’m fantasizing about a nap in the sun with a cold beverage and bright skimpy clothes. SOON! But not soon enough.


Stephen Faulkner

I am so happy to see Eliza designing clothes for goddess size people,as my partner calls them, like Lydia.
I wonder if one day Eliza will incorporate the wonderfully coloured patterned fabrics of West Africa which she experienced on her trip to Ghana with me years ago?
Keep up the inspired clothing creations you two!
Stephen Faulkner

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