How did you start working in fashion?
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was growing up, I didn't even consider that there was a possibility to work in fashion or magazines. I don't even know if I've read Vogue until I was much older because I grew up in such a town which was not so much into fashion.
I moved to Sydney and randomly saw a fashion course and decided that I'll give it a go. On my first day they asked if I wanted try work experience at a magazine. And of course, I said yes!
I went to a magazine called Cleo and I was interning for a year and a half. One or two days a week, unpaid of course but I really enjoyed it because I didn't really know anything about fashion, so everything I was doing - I was learning!
I know lots of girls could do it for two weeks and then would be done with it, but I spent more than a year there and I think that's why I got a job as fashion assistant because I stuck at it. It was a great experience but a lot of hard work.What were you actually doing as an intern?
First of all, I was doing a lot of other jobs that weren't related to the industry but then through my internship, I met few stylists, I start assisting so I could get paid on the other days. I've been working with lots of stylists. Some of them were nice, some of them were not so nice.
There was a particular stylist who was really difficult, she expected a lot of me but it never felt like we were working as a team. I didn't get to learn from her because I spent all day carrying heavy suitcases and doing unnecessary jobs.
So then I really appreciated when I got to work with stylists who actually let me contribute and have an opinion and involved me the styling process. That really helped me grow and understand what was really styling is, to find my own style and it showed me how to work in the industry, how to be a professional.
And I think working with a horrible stylist make me a nicer person, because it made me realize that's how exactly I do not want to treat people.
Big established or young and upcoming brands for styling? And do you give privileges to Australian brands more than to others?
I try to push Australian brands, of course, most of them my friends and for sure there are lots of big brands that I love, but yes, the priority is always for up-and-coming ones. I think that is what stylist should be doing - exposing people new things, mixing it up.
Lots of people who follow me are working in the industry and often when I post something they message me, asking questions, how they can work with the brands so they also can shoot them. That's really cool.
It's very important today more than ever before to be well connected and I'm happy to help with that. I love to support new designers, new stores.
Well, I do use big brands for styling, especially when I'm back in Australia. They are important and create such beautiful pieces but I still think it has to be 80% of contemporary, new and local brands. And they can to be mixed up with some luxury. When I'm styling I want to show a fresh perspective, I don't want to do them same thing as everyone else!
Australian fashion, is it well supported, by the government for instance?
There could always be a lot more done. Many amazing new labels are struggling and they work so hard. It's very tough when you want to be creative but you have to take care of business side of things at the same time.
There are lots of initiatives, like Vogue working with the Australian Fashion Chamber. The government are involved with that, to support new brands, bring them to Paris fashion week so they can get new buyers. So there is support, but there always could be more.
Paris or London?
Romance Was Born, they do really great stuff, they have been doing all those ruffles and 80s vibes way before Gucci did. Internationally I love lots of London based brands like Marques'Almeida, Rejina Pyo, Molly Goddard. And in terms of big ones - Prada is always my favorite.
If you could return back in time, what time would it be?
When I used to work in the magazines I was dreaming to go back to the Golden age of magazines in the 80s. When the whole team could take a huge trip to another country just because of locations and spend a week working on just one editorial. Now everything has to happen so fast, with such little budget!
But now I actually really love the digital way of things so I don't think about the glory days of magazines so much. But if I could pick a time in fashion, I would go back to 60s, definitely.
Favourite TV shows?
The reason why I love to work with models is that they are just really nice, normal people. They're just in the industry because they're tall and good looking, they're often not as obsessed with brands like everyone else who works in fashion. They have interesting, fresh perspectives. I love that.
Interview: Sima R @simar