Frolicking around Katie’s rad apartment – she introduces me to her pet cacti whilst I stand in weird positions on her bed trying to block the sun out of her face with my shadow. We decide to go for a walk and Katie unleashes her inner praying mantis in the gardens. I make her sit inside a bush, then walk up Darlinghurst Road a gazillion times dodging the annoying background busses. What a darling.

model: Katie Kuiper @ The Agency

So what’s the story behind your cactus collection?

I started about four months ago. I actually bought my first cactus to give to a friend so I decorated the pot in sparkly fabric and spray-painted it white and I ended up spray-painting everything else in my garden because I’m really bad at… stuff (laughs). So anyway I kept him for myself because he looked really cool and called him Fenton and since then I just keep buying cactuses. I’ve also got Big Bird, Samantha and Amelia Jones but that’s all the names for now. Oh no wait not Amelia Jones – Amelia Burns!! I forgot my own cactus name!!! (Laughs) I must sound like the biggest crackhead.

What’s something you’ve recently let go of?

Well I moved to Sydney from the Gold Coast to dane full time and halfway through last year I realised that you had to be the best to make it in Australia. And I wasn’t. And my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I mean I loved it but it’s one of those things I just had to face and now I’ve realised that what I want to do is work in fashion, have my own label and model and stuff. Which is cool! It’s just that I’d been dancing since I was two so it was a big deal but I figure if you once loved something and don’t enjoy it anymore, what’s the point? So actually letting go of dancing has helped me realise how passionate I am about fashion and I’m so glad that’s happened.

Ok so seeing as your things are fashion and cacti, describe a Fenton-inspired outfit you could design.

Oooh! Well something green. I mean Fenton’s soft, kind of. Maybe a two piece – no! A long flared pant and a long-sleeved top with flared sleeves and then a textured ruffle. Then maybe some thick chromey jewels and some chains. That would be cool. Give it like a desert feel. (Laughs). I fully just pictured it in my head!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen in your suburb?

My housemate and I were walking back from the grocery store and all of a sudden this guy who was wearing nothing but a man g-string ran in front of a bus and into the Mercure. It was so weird, it was the middle of the week in broad daylight. No idea what happened there. There’s a lot of strange stuff happening, some entertaining homeless people as well. There’s ‘Crying Sarah’ who always asks for spare change but she does it in a really ‘in your face’ way – if you say no she gets really angry and starts screaming at you. She’s definitely a character.

I assume your apartment is a great kick-ons house – is there anything in particular you and your mates like to do after a big night?

Well my group of friends is really flamboyant, most of them being gay. They’re awesome! We have out alter egos which always come out. We mostly turn into posh British ladies – I think my alter ego is actually Margaux Hemingway who’s an old British Playboy model who died of a drug overdose. (Laughs). We kind of put on British accents like – ‘Oh, darling!’ – but we don’t really mean to do it, it just happens. And we have kick-on songs like Fergie, The Spice Girls… Amy Winehouse is a big hit. Always Amy Winehouse.


[Unashamedly inspired by HONY]

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