Written by Bertie Bowen


Dressing Like… Vod

Fashion stylist Bertie Bowen channels the clothes and spirit of a fictional character. This week, she’s got an out-and-out girl crush on Fresh Meat’s sartorial chameleon.

All photos: Channel 4.

All photos: Channel 4.

Vod is one of my favourite British female TV characters of all time. I would love to hang out with Vod for an evening. No, scratch that: I would love to be Vod. In an interview, Zawe Ashton said she felt she fully embodied Vod when she had her hair chopped off for the part. So let’s start there – at the top.


Cropped, spiked, shaved: not many girls are brave enough for hair this short but, trust me (I had mine very short a few years back; it didn’t suit me, I didn’t care), you may not get chatted up by men much but, boy, do you get a lot of random women telling you how much they admire you. Yes, short hair gets you respect. And damn, do I have a lot of respect for Vod. Her hair may sometimes look like she hacked at it herself at 2am while drinking a bottle of Jaegermeister but it is striking and incredibly versatile. With hair like Vod you’re guaranteed to make an impact.

FreshMeat Vod4Leather jacket

Vod’s most frequently worn item of clothing is a beaten up, probably vintage, black leather biker jacket. She’s had it for years and she will wear it forever. It goes with everything from jeans and braces to prom dresses and tiaras. It is part of her and goes everywhere with her. It probably has an ironic name like Timothy or Rod. Even if you aren’t necessarily trying to channel Vod, a leather jacket is an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe. Chuck it over anything and instantly feel cool.


Vod wears flats, mainly army boots or trainers. She is a practical and sage woman who wouldn’t bother squeezing her feet into something pointy and uncomfortable or wear anything that’s going to change her usual stomp into an unsteady totter. Anyway, she doesn’t know when she is going to need to run or dance or impress someone with her football skills: her life is impulsive. Anything can happen when you’re Vod so you need to be prepared for action.

FreshMeat Vod2Customised and accessorised

Her style is quirky and can seem haphazard, but Vod’s choices are far from random. She takes pride in her appearance. You can tell because her clothes are often customised and she likes to accessorise. Her leather jacket is covered in badges; her tops have holes cut in them or the arms ripped off; she personalises everything so always looks original. Accessories are vast and varied: hats, braces, odd earrings, ties, chains – you name it, Vod’s got it. It’s all part of her final and most important style trait…

Sartorial chameleon

Much like her personality, Vod’s style is changeable, unpredictable and extreme – making it hard to pin down. Androgynously punk one day, girlishly flirty the next, chic and suited the day after that. She dresses for the occasion and for how her mood takes her. There’s not a shred of style confusion, rather the exact opposite: Vod is confident about her identity so can alter her look easily without losing sight of who she is and what she stands for. She is truly comfortable in her own skin and likes to express herself visually.

FreshMeat Vod3Vod sees clothes and makeup as costume; her playful attitude is like that of a child at the fancy-dress box. She is a strong, independent and free-spirited soul, forthright, secure and gloriously odd in the best possible way. Her style is her own so, having analysed it, I will admit that there’s no point trying to imitate Vod: she’s unique. Just try instead to embody the simple and bold attitude she has: be yourself (whoever ‘yourself’ is today) and dress accordingly.


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Written by Bertie Bowen

Stylist, writer and mother living in East London. A clompy shoed, curly haired, Radio 4 enthusiast. www.mothershoppers.com