Thursday, 7 May 2015

In Focus: Ollywood.

 Oly Innes (a k a Ollywood) 26 

Originally from Worthing (just outside Brighton), Oly moved to London 8 years ago to study photography at London College of Fashion. He is a regular party host and a scene heartthrob to both girls and boys alike. Here is an insight into Ollywood world.
-What is your style, how would you describe it and your influences?
There's two sides to me I guess. There's a side that always wants to be seen as very masculine and dark. When I feel like that I usually want to do a Tom of Finland look or something "gothy" or horror. Then there's another side of me that is super camp. Problem is, I make the ugliest woman ever, so I usually have to fuck it up a bit to make it work.
- Where do you go out? Which clubs do you like and make you feel most yourself at?
Well I used to work a lot in nightlife so I was everywhere, working at every party that would hire me. Now I go out a lot less and make a lot of effort when I do. I never really feel myself when I'm out. But I love Sink the Pink, Dalston Superstore and bars like The Glory and George and Dragon.
- What is the scene like in your home town? Is extreme dressing up a thing there or is it almost unthinkable?
Worthing is very quiet, it's mostly populated by old people so all the teenagers there are very frustrated. I was shouted at in the street for dressing a bit too strangely as an adolescent. The types of stuff I wear out in London would not be appreciated back there. I try not to go back there too much cos when I do I get sad at how "behind" everyone seems.
- Why do you love dressing up? What does it bring?
I didn't use to dress up much, it's mostly been a recent thing. I gave up alcohol and drugs 7 months ago. I wanted to still go out like I used to but I was finding it hard, I was getting nervous and shy. Wearing a costume is an amazing tool to help me feel more confident and helps me become a character.
- Have you had negative responses to your appearance?
Not really. I've heard of queens being abused in the streets and that's terrible. If you're going out in a look try and get a cab and stay in a group.
- And to end on a more positive note, how has dressing up helped you be who you are?
I see a huge difference between who I am with my friends or at home and who I am when I go out. When I go out I tend to become withdrawn because i get nervous. But when I wear a costume I become an alter ego. I can be sassy with people and be silly without needing to drink or do drugs.  It's been an amazing release for me.

all images ©OlyInnes