Fashion

Fafswag’s Elyssia Ra’nee Wilson-Heti on the power of fashion, dance and community

Article by Fashion Quarterly


The Fafswag performer, producer, activist, mover and disobedient disruptor shares her thoughts on dancing and off-duty style, after finishing the first season of her debut dance work ‘Reclamation’.

“I would describe my personal style as feminine, funky, textured and bold. I love taking risks with what I chose to wear and have fun with fashion. I generally wear a lot of activewear when I’m working and creating work, as it gives me a lot of freedom to play and move without restrictions.

I love that being a dancer, you get to use costuming as another way to enhance the work and heighten the experience for yourself as a performer, but also for the audience. You get to escape in the costuming and live out whatever fantasy you chose – it’s super playful and fun.

There’s a lot more practicality taken into consideration with what I wear in my working life compared to my off-duty style. Movement and the ability to move through space with ease are definitely important to my work-clothing choices.

I wouldn’t say my personal style is influenced directly by my creative practice too much. It definitely has given me space to be more comfortable in pushing the boundaries with my choices and experimenting more.


“As a performer, I need to be able to move freely.”


Movement and the ability to move through space with ease is definitely important to my clothing choices. As a performer, I need to be able to move freely.

I love, love, love dresses – especially maxi dresses. They’re super feminine, beautiful and free. There’s real freedom in the way you can move in a billowing dress. It’s so extra, and I’m all about that extra life, so I love it.

I love Zambesi, Kate Sylvester, Alexander McQueen, Gabi Fresh and local plus size designer Infamy Apparel, which is who made the dress I’m wearing here.

I love the colour and design of this dress. It’s one of my favourite colours. It’s so lush and is such a statement piece. Showing up in this garment you know that this woman is no wallflower and she’s taking up space.


“The privilege of my job is I get to share my joy and passion to add to conversations or start conversations with my community.”


Fashion is important to me. It’s a means to fully express yourself in a really authentic way and show the world who you are through the clothes you wear. Fashion can make you feel a million dollars and I adore that.

I love performing. I was born to perform and I soak it up every time I’m on stage. The privilege of my job is I get to share my joy and passion to add to conversations or start conversations with my community.

That’s huge being able to create bodies of work that change the way people feel about themselves and how they see the world. Art has the ability to alter hearts and minds and generate change. I’m incredibly proud of that.

It’s really fantastic to see mainstream magazines want to genuinely be more inclusive of all bodies. I never in a million years thought I would be asked as a fat brown woman to be present in these spaces and I’m really grateful for this moment and opportunity.”


Interview: Jessica-Belle Greer
Photography: Michael James Rooke

This story originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly Issue 4, 2019


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