Jan 29, 2014 01:44
Leiza, as a stylist, can you fess up first and let us know your worst mistake fashion-wise?
"I suppose growing up I had a very strong view on what I wanted to wear even though my parents were strict. When I turned 16 my friends all put in and got me a pair of 8 Ups Doc Martens which I loved! My parents were horrified. I used to wear them with everything. I also had a pair of what I could only describe as clown pants I got from Ishka as back then I had a bit of a rebellious look going that was alternative. They were a bit of a mistake. Another mistake was when I got a chin piercing. It lasted a day as it was way too out there for me. It was hideous really! My husband had to get the pliers out to remove it which was painful".
Your friend Krystle tells us you are mad on black, has this been a long term love?
"Trust Krystle for dobbing me in haha! Yes it's been a long term obsession and love! Being blonde (very natural of course!) I just think black goes with it, especially if you put a red lip with it. Your hair is your first accessory so your clothes need to go with it. Black makes me feel comfortable, confident and stylish".
If you had to pack in a hurry for a 10 day trip to London, what would you pack?
"A few credit cards!! I hope my husband isn't reading this! Seriously it would be comfortable shoes for all the walking to the amazing shops scattered all through London so I would pack my Isabel Marant Bekket wedge sneakers and Isabel Marant Bluebel wedge sneakers. My leather biker jacket, my jeans (if you want the ones I wear they are Bassike, Nobody and Sass & Bide) loads of layers like tees and long sleeves as it sure does get hot in those shops. It may be freezing outside but they pump up the heaters in the stores. A beanie for when I'm outside. And if I am going out at night I would pack my leather pencil skirt, blazer and ankle boots for dinner time."
Can you share your top 5 tricks for creating a look that's got some punch?
1. "Add something fabulous - you can get away with all black, but adding leopard print shoes, or a coloured handbag, or a beautiful gold cuff will lift the outfit".
2. "Make sure it fits - clothes absolutely need to suit your body shape because if you have something ill-fitting or not enhancing, people will look at your clothes first. If it all fits nicely, others will notice you as a person first which is important. That's the trick!"
3. "Wear what you love, but be a little brave! Every client has their own taste, but maybe they think something new might not suit them. Sometimes people have these concerns in their mind about trying a certain style on, or going to a certain shop because they feel they could be too old, or not cool enough or whatever. I like to push those boundaries a little to show that they can go anywhere and try anything they like without the self doubt".
4. "Add texture - whether it be a spot of leather in a belt or a jacket, embellishment on a part of the outfit like sequins on a tee or something, feathers, netting, textures absolutely adds punch."
5. "Great shoes. If you don't have great shoes to finish off the outfit, then it all fails. Shoes can make or break an outfit - I'd rather go barefoot than have shoes that don't fit the outfit."
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
"Classic with an edge and a little masculine meets feminine vibe."
What designers and brands do you love?
"Bassike, Scanlan & Theodore, Sass & Bide, Ellery. Of course these are all when the budget allows for it."
Where do you love to shop?
"I love shopping anywhere. When my husband and I travel the first thing I want to do is find out what the shopping is like even if it's at a Fijian resort. Then I can relax. I do a lot of online shopping lately as I have 2 small children so doing some shopping for myself is easier that way. Sure I get to shop with clients but that is all about them. I love Green With Envy, Bassike online, Tuchuzy online".
Has your style changed over the time?
"Oh yes it has! If I wore what I wore in my early 20s there would be a few raised eyebrows. I've always dressed with a bit of an edge so that hasn't changed."
How do you respond to trends?
"I'm not a slave to fashion as I know what suits me and what doesn't. If I like a trend I'll use it to suit my style. For example the sports luxe trend with Nikes and wedge sneakers I have used to reflect who I am. I'll wear my wedge sneakers with most things including dresses and skirts but I can't seem to bring myself to wearing my Nikes with an outfit as these are solely for the gym".
How do you advise clients when it comes to pulling together a working wardrobe for a particular budget – that might not be huge?
"I always advise to get a good quality base to start with that includes a classic pencil skirt, pants and blazer. These sort of items can be purchased from Country Road which I find to be great quality without the hefty price tag. I find if you buy something of poor quality it isn't going to last and then you end up forking out more money for something else and then that gets expensive. So first you need to buy quality first off. Then you can have fun with the rest by getting tops that are from places like Asos and Zara which are budget friendly but are on trend."
What items in your wardrobe were great investments, that you wear regularly?
"Isabel Marant Bekkets Wedge Sneakers, Simone Rocha Skirt, Bassike Jeans".
Which are your favourite shoes? Ones you seem to wear and wear.
"Zoe Wittner peep toe booties and they are tan!! Not black but these are great to break up a black outfit, Manning Cartell strappy high heeled sandals; Converse; Ellery pointy ankle boots that I've had forever; Toga Pulla Ankle buckle boots."
On what do you splurge?
"Shoes!!! Ahhh how I love thee! In my book if you don't have good looking stuff on your feet then the outfit fails. Now we could argue about the old Birkenstocks making a comeback. I've seen many an editorial high fashion spread with said shoes on the feet with the model wearing a couture gown or a stunning suit!!! I do like the Birkenstocks but I spare them for running around with the kids, on a Sunday at home with a good striped jersey summer dress. These would be the only 'ugly' shoes I own. I'll despise them in a year I'm sure and my friend Krystle will laugh at me as she hates them."
Any cheap thrills you want to share?
"Oh there are many! Sportsgirl for great accessories, Zara for on trend ANYTHING, Asos.com for anything too and their service is outstanding."
What is your style philosophy?
"Having great style is extremely important for us women. We are doers for others - our children, our partners, our homes, our family, our friends, our work and we don't do enough for ourselves or if we do we feel guilty. The thing that then takes a back seat is our style and who we are. The self-esteem slides, the negative voice starts chatting in our heads and it can go all pear shaped. Learning how to dress for our shape and loving what we see will make us walk tall, we feel more confident and ultimately we feel better about ourselves which filters through to all aspects of our lives. I really like the essence of this quote from Coco Chanel which is a huge part of who I am and what I do for clients: "Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous."
Who or what inspires your style?
"Lots of things, it could be a post on Instagram, it could me some of the amazing women I get to work with, my friends, magazines, blogs or a movie I'm watching. The people that I admire are Christine Centenera - Fashion Editor at Vogue Australia, Kate Moss, Diane Kruger, Victoria Beckham, the Olsen twins".
Can you describe two of the outfits you wore on the shoot, and explain where you would wear these, or why you chose them?
"The Plaid maxi dress - I've had this for about 8 years and I can't and won't throw it away. I just love it. I purchased it at a shop in Chapel Street which is sadly not there anymore and it was pretty expensive. It has these vintage looking buttons on the back of the dress that are all different, is halter style and just flows nicely. I have worn this in the past to Christmas Day, to BBQs and now I would wear it entertaining at home."
"The Simone Rocha A-line skirt and Etre Cecile tee - I absolutely love this skirt and it was my last purchase I made. I got it in London at Dover Street Market which from the outside looks like a gallery. When I tried this skirt on I had to have it as I knew I could dress it up and dress it down."
"I've been like this since I moved out of home at 19. I was renting with girlfriends, had a low paying job, and loved to go out and most importantly loved to shop! I would always buy something I could wear to work and could potentially wear going out also. Thrifty hey! The Etre Cecile tee is my favourite at the moment as it has my beloved leopard print going down the middle. I always refer to this tee as an example to my clients who are inverted triangles (broader shoulders than their hips) as this tee is great for them as the eye is distracted from the shoulders to the middle of the body."
Tell us why you decided to become a stylist?
"I suffered from some health issues in my late teens which took over 10 years to get over with a lot of help. I had always found that wearing nice clothes/ outfits would make me feel better about myself - to a point of course. There is nothing artificial or vain about this as I entirely believe that if you feel good on the outside somewhere at some point you start to feel better on the inside and that is what we all want - even if its a little bit. I decided with my fashion knowledge, my down to earthiness and my keen eye for style that I could help change and help women (and men) to ultimately begin to like who they are. I've found a lot of us aren't happy with ourselves and I want to be able to change that even if it's a small thing that I can change. I believe dressing ourselves to look confident will filter to our inside, and oh god - it's fun!"
Thanks so much Leiza, it's so lovely to hear about someone who gets to enjoy their job as much as you do!
Thanks to Rebekah Jewell at littleredphotography.com.
for these extraordinary photos taken in Melbourne.