As a stylist, you’ve had the chance to familiarise yourself with a certain section of the Queensland wardrobe. What have you observed about the way we like to put together an outfit?
It is both the light and the climate in Queensland that strongly influences the way we dress. The combination of bright colours, bold prints and softer silhouettes create an aesthetic that is iconically Queensland.
There is a sense of freedom in Brisbane that is attributed to the fact that we are not typically considered to be the fashion hub of Australia. Also until recently the absence of multi-national fast fashion has fuelled creativity that in itself has led to a more directional and instinctive character.
We’ve heard that you like to put on the air-conditioning and dress up in your European winter clothes for a moment of glamour in the sub-tropical heat. Do you think the idea of ‘luxury’ is compatible with our tastes, lifestyles & climate?
To me luxury isn’t an aesthetic; luxury is achieving the absolute highest quality and attention to detail across any given application. I believe the perception and certainly the application of luxury is influenced by things such as lifestyle, culture, and climate.
My idea of luxury in a Queensland summer might be the scene from a Slim Aarons book; lazing in a Gottex swimsuit, under a Missoni beach umbrella and throwing on a beautiful hand embroidered silk kaftan.
Oh, and if it was practical to wear an antique fox fur by the pool, I would most probably do it.
Tell us how you came to be interested in fashion…
I have been interested in the art of dress as long as I can remember. I drew inspiration from both my mother and grandmother who were always immaculately dressed and extremely well groomed. I spent my weekends trying on bright coloured Covers skirt suits and vintage Prue Acton.
One of my fondest memories was frequenting the Keri Craig Emporium in the Brisbane Arcade with my mother. I loved it so much that for my tenth birthday I invited 15 of my classmates for High Tea where I insisted everyone arrive in a glamorous hat.
I secured my first job at the age of 14 at Witchery when I realised that my mother wasn’t going to buy me those white pointed, kitten heel sling backs. I went on to study fashion at QUT and have worked in the fashion industry as a stylist and accessory buyer ever since. I also assist my favourite local brand Easton Pearson.
Where do you look for inspiration on matters of style?
My style is always evolving.
I am inspired by everything from architectural homes, beautiful interiors, the dynamic local art scene, books, but most importantly, the people around me.
I gain inspiration from those who have a strong sense of pride and have a great understanding of what suits them. The glamorous, immaculate and polished style of the women walking around Via Margutta and the streets of Kolonaki are fine examples. These classic Italian and Athenian women have beautifully set hair, manicured nails, designer frames and handbags, and outfits that celebrate quality fabrics and classic cuts.
I appreciate these women equally as much as I admire the spirit and daringness of Indian style with midriff exposing Cholis and gold thread saris.
The maximalist aesthetic of adorned layers and jewellery and the classical style of the Europeans are inspiration to me and I feel as though I sit somewhere in between.
What is your most treasured dress-related object or memory?
I am a true collector and I treasure everything so it is hard for me to decide what is exactly my most beloved object or memory.
A collection of Leonard Paris dresses that my grandmother bought on her trips to Paris in the 60’s and 70’s; a byzantine inspired ring from a boutique jeweller in Athens; and a custom made powder blue ostrich skin handbag are just a few from my treasured collections.
Give us three words, people or places you associate with Queensland fashion…
Easton Pearson, colour, kaftan
Is there such a thing as a distinct Queensland style?
Yes. We are well travelled and inspired by our adventures, we are expressive and ultimately free in our approach to dressing.
Published in Issue 9, on February 25, 2014.