Q: Where do you tend to find inspiration for your work or passion projects?
A: History, both real and imagined. I am a lover of stories, characters. I’m particularly attracted to stories of women rooted in a specific time, places. I am inspired by the tangible monuments and objects they left behind, a piece of handmade lace, a glass button, the ancient cottage where they spent their lives.
My label Morúa is actually my maternal surname (and mine as well growing, as traditional in Costa Rica), and rooted in a sense of rich family lore. As a child I grew up first in Costa Rica, then later US and Spain. As an adult I spent many years living in England. My work is colored by a sense of displacement and nostalgia that comes from leading a life split amongst continents: hearing tales and studying remnants of worlds long gone. It is no wonder that is strongly influenced by vintage sensibilities and the old world craftsmanship traditions.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: Vintage aesthetics have long influenced the way I dress. My earlier preferences for goth and industrial fashion mixing 1920’s-30s, 1980’s neo romantic and punk anti-fashion with a touch of Victoriana. Today I favor vintage 1930s though 50’s garments and vintage inspired/reproduction fashion.
I adore a beautiful early 40’s cold rayon novelty print dress for a night out but my day to day fashion is more practical cotton dresses, vintage style jeans and overalls and 50’s circle skirts (cotton in summer wool in winter). I live for vintage and beautifully reproduced shoes. The 1940s are my happy fashion place and always have that vibe but I don’t want to feel restricted or “in costume” so I tend to mix eras.
This summer my dance shoes and more glamorous dresses have been quietly waiting for the eventual return live music and swing dancing. Comfy modern pajamas, vintage house dresses and my department of curiosities loungewear have gotten more use than ever!
Q: Who would you say has been your biggest influence- style wise, personally, or professionally?
A: Professionally it is not a single person, a series of films by certain directors. Their visions have most resonated with my aesthetic world. Peter Weir’s film “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures”, Sophia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette”, and Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!” stand out as touch stones that I can watch and reference time and time again.
Q: What is some professional advice you received that helped you navigate your current artistic projects + career path?
A: “Think about the life you want to live and build your work around that.” That is the advice I’m most trying to live by in these times. Decide you want to spend your days, both off the clock. Strategize around the work you want to do, the people you want to spend time with. Ask for help, delegate, dig deep and do the work to find the path that you truly want to be on. It is easy to get on the hamster wheel, zone out and allow other people and their expectations to choose your life for you. One lesson I’ve taken from pandemic times is the importance of prioritizing and unloading the pressures that are superfluous or distract you from what is truly important.
Q: What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
A: This is a hard one! I wear necklaces most often. I’m quite sentimental about jewelry and stick to costume or novelty vintage pieces that hold memories. I adore a little rose necklace that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, a vintage “poison” necklace shaped like a seashell that hold perfume given to me two decades ago by a lifelong friend and a little Tatty Devine fox that reminds me of my nighttime walks and fox sightings through the years I lived in London.