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I'm a Phannatiq! Tegan Christmas


Tegan bakes vegan delights, sings in a band and finds the very best sartorial bargains.

Why are you a Phannatiq?
Because I admire labels (both in a fashion sense and an ideological one) that queer the pitch, as it were, of what is normal, what is prescribed; what we "should". Clothing is an essential part of expressing who we are, and Phannatiq helps that along beautifully, in my case.

Shopping ethically also matters to me, and Phannatiq is a brand that means there's no extra checking needed. For example, when I became vegan I thought I'd have to do without silk forever, then I discovered bamboo silk. It's even more beautiful than real silk because nobody gets hurt in its making!

Describe your style
An eclectic mix of car boot and charity shop finds with the odd designer statement piece. I like loud patterns mixed with black on black, I like colour worn how it shouldn't be. Vintage and modern together, tights worn as hairpieces. If you shouldn't do it, I probably will.

The city, because…
If you can't here, then you just can't. People don't look twice here at my hair, or my style, and I love it. True freedom of expression! I don't have to travel far out of London for people to stare at either my hair, or my size, or my style, or a combination of all of them. In the city, everything is allowed and accepted. That's both brilliant and beautiful.

How did you become you?
I loved the raw, real sound of Riot Grrrrl bands. It sounded exactly like some girls with not much skill recording themselves on a boom box in a garage - because it was. That made me realise that I could do things, too. After that dawned on me, the sky was very much the limit.

What's your biggest passion? And your worst vice?
My biggest passion is still music. It's what makes me tick. There's nothing quite like discovering a new band that gives you chills. Worst vice? These days, it's overindulgence of cake. My own cake. I'm a full-time baker, so I'm constantly testing what I bake. I never get tired of it. I'm still always ready for just one more slice. Rock 'n' roll all the way, me!

Tell us about your favourite object
It's currently a bright mustard yellow hand knitted jumper with a couple of holes in it. I found it in a box at a car boot sale, and as I pulled it out, the man selling it laughed at how ridiculous he thought it was. For me, it was love at first sight. I asked if I could just have it, rather than pay for it, and he said "my pleasure, it's too ugly to clean my car with" but I think it's beautiful. I love car boots. They're the best place for a rummage and a friendly haggle, and you never know what you'll find!

When I play, I…
...lose track of time. Play for me means music, and I enjoy practising with my band, a lot. We rehearse and write for about three hours a week, but once I'm in the zone, three hours feels like about 20 minutes. I love it, it's the ultimate therapy.

Tell us a secret…
I spend more time talking to my dog than is probably normal. She's just such good company though, and I'm really quite sure she understands what I'm saying to her!

Where are you now? What are you doing next?
Our next gigs are at the Fiddler's Elbow in Camden on the 18th of August and The Montague Arms in New Cross on the 20th of August

Follow Tegan's vegan bakery at www.facebook.com/teganvegan and her music at http://theethicaldebatingsociety.bandcamp.com

Photography left to right: Stephen Berkeley-White, Keira Anee


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