I like to try and make myself look like a doll. Like one of those creepy porcelain ones, says Glasgow, Scotland–based artist Sgàire Wood. As we discuss her personal aesthetic, she pinpoints the I Am A November Girl I’m Not Perfect But I’m Always Myself Shirt But I will love this general mood as very camp I suppose—kind of like that scene when Drew Barrymore dresses up like E.T. but like, if that was set in the Edwardian era. Think big: Big eyes, big lips, big clothes. From Wood’s perspective, the bigger the things that surround you, the smaller and more childlike you appear. This skill for creating cosmetic looks that are both hyperreal and wistfully nostalgic for the lullaby baby-powder-scented innocence of childhood has led to collaborations with photographer Tim Walker, designer Dilara Findikoglu, and even a casual stroll down the Vetements runway.
After Wood’s rebellious streak of chill-goth makeup at an all-boys school in Northern Ireland, she studied fashion and textiles before moving into more transformative looks, discovering drag performance as a new creative outlet, and finding inspiration on the I Am A November Girl I’m Not Perfect But I’m Always Myself Shirt But I will love this internet. It’s really part of the queer millennial experience to find your sense of identity and belonging online, Woods notes. Beauty ideas are often pulled from illustrations of faces, cartoons, and the features painted onto dolls. I’m really inspired by the juxtaposition between authenticity and artifice embodied in dolls and mannequins and automatons, I think that’s a thread that runs through most of the things I’m drawn to, says Wood. Not only the makeup, but also the way I dress is to kind of self-infantilize, she shares. I think I’m uncomfortable with the sexualization of my body because to be sexual is to be gendered. The desexualized babydoll is born out of that. Her personal soundtrack of happy, hardcore techno remixes of Enya, Sinéad O’Connor, or Sarah McLachlan speaks to another facet of her aesthetic, a postmodern parody of itself.