WOMEN OF NOTE:
Rosie Dalton | Writer
Words are an intuitive form of expression for writer and consultant Rosie Dalton. Letters have aligned in ways that led to a vocation unknowingly pursued since childhood; purpose and meaning found in their straight edges and curved lines. Bringing light to the complex flaws within the fashion industry, Rosie uses her voice to guide conversations around ethics and sustainability through her content studio, On The Collar. Not only is she invested in surfacing what the industry would rather hide, Rosie offers advice and considered steps towards achieving conscious consumption in our everyday lives. On the topic of conscious consumption is also food, another creative outlet she dabbles in and enjoys sharing with good company. Dressed in our Deiji Studios 03 Set in black, Rosie shares more about herself with us here.
Location: Cronulla, Sydney
Date: 5/11/20 Time: 7:00am
Where are you from and where are you now?
I am originally from Sydney but have lived everywhere from The Southern Highlands to New York City.
I relocated to the beach a couple of years ago and now live in Cronulla.
Can you tell us a little about your home, what is the view like?
I live in an airy and light-filled two bedroom with my husband Joel and our black cat Didion. Just beyond our balcony there are lots of beautiful trees, including a majestic old gum just outside our bedroom window. And, if you crane your neck just so, you can even catch a glimpse of the sea.
Are you a morning or evening person?
A little of both! I wake up with the sun most mornings but am usually a night owl too – reading late into the witching hour. At the moment, though, I am a tired pregnant person that goes to bed really early and sleeps like a baby.
You’re a writer and speaker who specialises in sustainability, when did you first realise that you could use your voice both through writing and public speaking?
I have been drawn to the written word for as long as I can remember. Since childhood, I have dabbled in many different mediums, but ultimately found my passion in longer form feature writing – so I mostly write for magazines like Russh and Jane now. I also host discussions around sustainability and craftsmanship, because I came to realise that sometimes the more serious issues underlying the fashion industry are easily glossed over. I am interested in diving deeper into those stories, to encourage people to consume more mindfully.
Fashion and jewellery are two central points of enquiry in your work. They come together in On the Collar, a content library you founded to explore the realm of mindful self-adornment. How would you describe your relationship to the things we wear?
We form very personal attachments to the things we wear, whether consciously or not. So I am interested in exploring the storytelling behind those items – heirloom jewellery passed down through the generations, that perfect vintage
piece picked up on a favourite trip, or the items we return to day in and day out. By shedding light on these stories, I hope to prompt people to think twice about the quality and quantity of the pieces they buy. Over time, On the Collar has evolved into a content studio that represents mindful consumption and it is through this that I run all of my work now.
You’ve written before about ideas of the capsule wardrobe and self-expression through dress. Can you tell us more about the OTC Style Study you released earlier this year?
Fashion has functioned as a form of self-expression for centuries now and I think if we can tap into what our wardrobe says about us, then we can work towards making really conscious choices. But the fast-paced modern trend cycle has become so all-consuming that it can be hard to tune into what actually resonates on a personal level. The OTC Style Study was developed as a blueprint for helping people to discover which pieces really speak to them and using that as a foundation for building a personal capsule wardrobe that stands the test of time.
What are the signature pieces in your own closet that you return to time and time again?
Vintage Levi’s, ribbed dresses, and linen separates (like Deiji), finished off with my husband’s black wedding blazer, a classic 2.55 Chanel handbag, and the rose gold jewellery that I never take off – much of which has been crafted by friends or handed down through my family. Each of these pieces holds a special history for me and that’s what keeps me coming back.
During lockdown you launched another venture with your husband Joel, Off Carte, bringing semi-regular recipes to the inboxes of those near and far. What inspired this project?
Off Carte has been such a fun fusion of both our worlds – my work in conscious consumption and Joel’s work as a food manufacturer and the co-founder of Westmont Pickles. We had wanted to collaborate on something for a while and this year seemed like the perfect time to launch a Recipe Exchange that would allow us to feel closer to our community, from a distance.
What are the staple items in your pantry?
Alchemy Coffee and an apothecary-worthy collection of herbal teas, some good natural wines (preferably Italian orange), Ortiz Anchovies for last-minute entertaining, and of course Westmont Pickles.
Where are your three favourite places to dine?
In Sydney my three favourites are 10 William, Sean’s, and Hubert.
Would you like to share a favourite recipe with us here?
Yes, I’d love to. Attached is my recipe for a French style baguette (Pictured beside)
This year has largely been spent indoors, what does the notion of home mean to you?
It has meant slowing down! I have really enjoyed the extra time to prepare meals, connect with my husband, and cuddle our cat. This year has also meant nesting for me, as we prepare for the arrival of our baby boy next year.
What have you been reading/watching/listening to?
This year I have been returning to many of my creature comforts, like favourite period pieces, Joan Didion essays, and Maya Angelou memoirs. I have been listening to a lot of Neil Young, Kurt Vile, and Sade to soothe my soul and lift my mood. And I have also been enjoying reading some inspirational birth stories in the books of Ina May Gaskin.
How do you stay grounded?
By spending time in nature! That was a big part of the impetus for me moving back to the beach, because I find the saltwater and proximity to nature so cleansing.
What do you do to unwind?
Water therapy is my favourite way to unwind, whether that’s a long bath or a salty swim in the ocean.
Has there been a significant moment of your past that has informed where you are today?
I think all of the moments have helped shape who I am today and where I am at in the world.
What do you dream of while you sleep?
It varies depending on my stress levels, but my favourite dreams are those that feel most aligned with my intuition.
Interviewed by Chloe Borich for Deiji Studio’s Field Notes