How to dress like an art world insider

Georgia Spray - Georgia Rothman
Georgia Spray - Georgia Rothman

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the style of those within the contemporary art world – the kind of people who might populate a preview at Frieze, or Art Basel. They’re interesting without being complicated, edgy without looking too fashion victim. And it’s highly appealing to the rest of us – if only we knew how to achieve it.

Georgia Spray embodies that aesthetic. The founder of Partnership Editions, an online platform that sells prints and originals by emerging artists with prices from £60, is a strong sartorial ambassador for her industry. But she doesn’t actually spend much time shopping for clothes.

‘Purely on a practical level, having a business and a young daughter [Sadie, two], I don’t really go shopping,’ she says. ‘There was a time where I’d pop into shops and spend money on clothes I didn’t need… Now, it has to be for an occasion. When I do buy things, they’re more considered.’

Georgia Spray - Harry Crowder
Georgia Spray - Harry Crowder

The pieces she treasures include colourful dresses by Stine Goya and a Marfa Stance quilted coat. ‘They won’t go out of fashion, because they’re quite timeless.’

She has discovered brands such as LF Markey and Meadows at Hub, a boutique near her home in Stoke Newington, London; otherwise she buys clothes on the high street. ‘I like Cos and Arket for everyday things. They don’t look like much online, but when you try them on, they always have something interesting about them.’

It’s an approach that could be likened to the way one might buy art – at least, the way her business champions: the idea that even if you don’t have a vast budget, shopping judiciously will always pay off in the long run.

Georgia Spray - Lily Bertrand-Webb
Georgia Spray - Lily Bertrand-Webb

As a result, her wardrobe is relatively streamlined (‘I’m sure my husband would argue with that’). ‘Most of the time I tend to be quite understated,’ she says. ‘I just love simple cuts and clean lines. The kind of thing where you can put on some red lipstick or bold earrings and make it dressy if you need to.’

Footwear is largely flat – ankle boots or lace-up brogues. ‘I’m quite tall [5ft 9in], so I don’t wear heels much, and I’ve just become used to being comfortable first.’

Versatility is important to her, too: ‘I use accessories to dress up because I do practical work in the day, then I’m drifting from an artist’s studio to going out in the evening.’

 Georgia Spray - Zac Frackelton
Georgia Spray - Zac Frackelton

Designer-wise, Rejina Pyo is something of an obsession. Spray wore dresses by the London brand for the gatherings before and after her 2019 wedding and has continued to wear them since. ‘If there was a go-to place to spend a bit more money, it would always be there,’ Spray says. ‘She clearly is very influenced by art in her patterns and cuts; they have a kind of asymmetry and unexpectedness to them.’

This instinct for pared-back elegance could well be inherited from her mother, a former model and artist. ‘I think she’s very, very fashionable. We have a similar look in terms of being quite minimalist. I wish we lived closer so I could dip into her wardrobe.’

So what will she hold on to for her own daughter when she grows up? ‘It’ll be really embarrassing if I keep things and then she’s like, no… But any of the more special dresses that I wear to weddings, they’re such fun things to pass on.’ And no doubt plenty of Rejina Pyo. Lucky Sadie.

Try these

Clothes
Clothes

Left to right: Shirt, £375, Rejina Pyo at Farfetch; Glazed stoneware by Petra Borner, £200, Partnership Editions, Jacket, £49.90, Uniqlo

Clothes
Clothes

Clockwise from left: Dress, £225, Jigsaw; Earrings, £210, Anissa Kermiche; Trousers, £99, Cos; Shoes, £175, Bobbies