I'm a born and bred Sydney girl. I live beachside in Bondi. I'm a Piscean dreamer with an addictive personality. I'm also the womenswear designer for Insight.
Why is Insight a good fit for you?
I've grown up by the beach. I am driven by a need to create and I try to live life with purpose and awareness while maintaining a somewhat carefree, relaxed existence.
What is a typical day like for you at the office?
A day in the office usually involves emails, fittings, research, design, working on concepts for new collections, art, shoots and hanging about. I travel a lot for work and I am often away on inspiration trips or range releases. There's a lot of variety in my role and I'm never in one place for too long, which suits me just fine.
What is the Insight office like?
It's a really big warehouse with a paper-ball-crushed red Mercedes in the drive, a giant golden apple inside and inappropriate classifieds collaged on the walls. The talented and fun individuals there make going to work not feel like you're going to work.
Any cool work secrets you can tell us?
We throw really, really fun parties. That's all I'll say!
Where do you go on inspiration trips?
My ideal lifestyle is one of a nomadic existence. I've spent time living in Paris, London, New York and Bali. I visit LA, Tokyo, Bangkok, Europe and Hong Kong numerous times each year with Insight. Drawn by my love of sun and surf I've been to Tahiti, Fiji, California and the south of France for some major chill time. I hope to visit India at the end of the year. Also, I love nothing more than a summer road trip up the east coast of Australia. Around New Year's each year we pile into our cars and head north to Byron Bay. My friends and I have houses on the coast where we can crash out and have all kinds of adventures.
What is the most important thing you've learned from working for Insight?
Don't sell out. Even when times are tough, stay true to what you believe in. In these fickle times people are looking for something real.
When did you first become interested in designing?
It started somewhere between wanting to become a dancer, a painter, an actress and a marine biologist.
What was the first thing you designed?
When I was 15-years-old I made a wearable art piece for our year 10 art project—a floor length skirt made from rolls and rolls of lilac tulle, spray-painted and graffitied with faces and words with an accompanying lingerie set. I arranged a photo shoot running down streets at night tearing off the layers. Very dramatic, I know! It was dark and twisted and very reflective of my confused state of being at that time.
What was high school like for you?
My high school was nestled deep in beautiful bushland on the outskirts of Sydney. There were no bells, as it disturbed the wildlife. I would spend entire periods daydreaming out the classroom windows, looking out over the gully. I loved the social aspect of school. I worked hard at subjects I loved (art, drama and English) and flunked those that bored me. In reflection, I wish I'd paid more attention to history and geography and less time flirting with the boys in the back row. According to my mum, as soon as I hit 13-years-old I turned into a nightmare. I was rebellious and always in trouble. My last two years I came into my own, thanks to the mentoring of my wonderfully spirited and eccentric art teacher. I spent every lunch and free period locked in our art room working on projects. She taught me how to channel personal experiences through your art, and gave me confidence in my ability. I have great memories of high school, but was definitely ready for the real world by the time I graduated.
What inspires you when you are designing?
Travel is a major inspiration to me because I'm exposed to art, music, books, film, photographs, people and new experiences. I'm always looking for inspiration in the unexpected and love scouring markets for old textiles, vintage fashion and bric-
a-brac. The collections are a merge of all these things.
Describe the type of girl you design for.
The beauty of Insight is our appeal to a cross-section of girls all over the globe. Girls drawn to the label are usually living, or aspire to live, the lifestyle we pro-
mote. My muses are generally the girls in my life: friends, artists and people I meet on my travels. They are creative, passionate and driven souls, who are following their dreams and having fun. After all, it's all about the journey.
What is your favorite thing to design?
I love working on the more directional fashion pieces where I have the freedom to push the boundaries a little. Denim, because I live, breathe
and wear it every day. Prints, because I am madly obsessed with print,
colour and textiles.
Least exciting would be the really commercial pieces that you must re-invent season after season. It begins to feel stale, but they gener-
ally pay the bills so it's important I get it right.
What are you working on now?
Designing the Spring 2012/13 collection, concepts and styling for our Autumn 2012 look book, and developing a new personal blog.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
I practice yoga. I check out markets and stock up on my fruit and vegetables at Bondi Farmers Markets. I stroll the streets, hang at the beach, read, party, work on personal projects and chill the hell out—generally in that order.
When was the last time you had too much fun?
I just returned from Bali and that is a lot of fun, all the time.
How would you describe your style?
It's a reflection of my mood each day.
What was a style phase you went through that now makes you groan?
Hound Dog circa 1997-99. That won't mean anything unless you were a teenage girl in Sydney in the late '90s. Hound Dog was the place to shop and work. Think bright coloured lycra and barely-there bodycon. Perfect attire for the under-18 dance parties. We'd team it back with a chunky heel and shimmery eye shadow. Tragic! I can't believe my parents let me out of the house in some of those outfits! Though, I do recall stuffing the really inappropriate ones into my bag.
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to be in your
Dream big, work hard and do as much work experience as
possible. It will give you invaluable experience, build your
portfolio and give you a taste for the industry.
Being in the fashion industry is much harder work than most
people realize. The long hours and constant deadlines from
season to season can take their toll. So, like anything, you need to really love what you do. Be committed and the rewards will come.
Who are your favorite designers?
Alexander Wang, Phoebe Philo for Céline, Maison Martin Margiela, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Nicolas Ghesquiére for Balenciaga, J.W. Anderson (a young London designer who I feel is destined for great things), Rick Owens for his shoes, ACNE for their denim and local Australian label Bassike for their basics.
- What are your five favorite items of clothing?
- 1. Balenciaga Biker Boots.
- 2. Dad's old leather jacket with burgundy suede sleeves—now claimed as my own.
- 3. My velvet throw-overs, made from old scarves from Portobello markets
- 4. My vintage t-shirt collection
- 5. Purple Anne Demeulemeester hat
I hate playing favorites, but these pieces are my staples:
- Where are your five favorite places in Sydney?
- 1. The rocks at McKenzies Beach.
- 2. The Surry Hills on market day.
- 3. My rooftop at sunset.
- 4. The Suveran café and organic grocer in Bondi. I eat there every day.
- 5. My beach house at Fingal Beach. This is a few hours north of Sydney, but it's where I go to escape and I love this place so much.