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Fashion

How to do winter layering

3rd July, 2017

The one thing I really love about winter dressing is the ability to layer different pieces for a warm and cosy look. I love experimenting with textures and big statement pieces such as a coat or boots to create an outfit that will easily withstand cooler temperatures without compromising on style. Effective winter layering requires consideration of the whole look from top to bottom including colours to avoid looking like you just threw on everything in your wardrobe! Over the years I’ve managed to refine my layering formula to a few key things…

Start with the basics

I always start with a cotton singlet or t-shirt underneath as a foundation especially if I’m going to wear a jumper or some sort of knit. Also I find wearing multiple layers provides ample warmth without your outfit feeling too bulky and cumbersome. I will always finish the look off with a big coat or jacket – this is a great opportunity to make a statement by opting for outerwear in a strong pattern or colour. If it’s especially cold outside I wear a big scarf, my favourite being an oversized Louis Vuitton scarf which makes for a nice (and warm) finishing touch. One thing to be mindful of when layering is to watch out for materials rubbing together, sometimes certain fabrics don’t work well against each other and can end up getting damaged or causing pilling.

Mix textures

One of the things I always do when it comes to winter layering is mixing different fabrics and textures. I find this adds a bit of depth to your look and helps to break it up. I normally do a cotton t-shirt, a knit and then I’ll do a wool coat or a leather jacket or denim jacket.

Choose a base colour

Great winter layering for me requires wearing similar tones. I might choose to go with various shades of grey or stick to neutral tones. If I’m wearing black I won’t do all black, I’ll actually add another piece such as a charcoal knit to help break up what I’m wearing. The same with camel colours – I might do beiges or cream and mix the tones up. Whilst I’ll play with various shades I’ll always ensure that there’s one base colour to ensure the whole look works together.

What are some of your tips for winter layering?
Fashion

Shopping for investment pieces worth spending your tax refund on

28th June, 2017
Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

Kate Waterhouse Chanel at Marais boutique launch Melbourne balmain blazer chanel bag bec and bridge dress 2

It’s end of financial year time and if you’re lucky enough to be expecting a tax refund you may be in the mood to treat yourself. If you’re on the hunt for something to splurge on then there’s no better time to consider purchasing an investment piece to add to your wardrobe. These are often my favourite purchases to make as not only are they special, they’re also usually guaranteed to get plenty of use and have longevity so I feel I’m getting my money’s worth. If you’ve been lusting after something for a long time then perhaps now is the time to take the plunge, but keep these things in mind first…

Choose something that will get plenty of use

This is a given if you’re planning to buy something that’s on the expensive side so take stock of your wardrobe and see what you actually need. For example if you’re after a pair of good quality flats then now might be the time to splurge on a pair of Gucci slides or loafers or Chanel ballet flats. They’re classic designs that will always be in style and they’re crafted beautifully so you’ll definitely have them for a long time. If you think about the cost per wear you’ll probably find that they work out to be cheaper than a pair of shoes that you’ll only wear for one season.

Avoid anything that will date

For me, things that are worth splurging on are handbags, shoes, jackets, blazers and coats as I find they’re usually the workhorses of my wardrobe. However it’s important to think classic when it comes to these pieces as you don’t want them to date too quickly. If you’re thinking about buying a designer bag (or any other pricey item) then be sure to choose a style that’s not identifiable with a particular season – avoid the signature piece of a collection as it’s one sure fire way to have something that won’t be able to work in the long term. Also steer clear of anything that is only going to be around for one season as it won’t age well. A great example of a bag that will work years from now is a style such as the quilted Chanel bag which is so versatile (I’ve had mine for ages and I use it so much) and also has been around for decades and is a staple of Chanel’s accessories line. Apparently it also appreciates in value so it definitely lives up to being called an investment piece!

Shop around

Splurging can mean buying something nice but it can also mean buying something extra nice that’s on sale. If you’re planning on buying an investment piece then definitely shop around for the best deal you can get. You’ll still end up with a great piece but at a fraction of the price My Balmain blazer (pictured above) is one such item. I had my eye on one for awhile but I waited until I found it on sale on Net-a-Porter for half the price. It was worth every cent but I was even happier that I managed to save on the cost of it. Shop smart and you’ll definitely get more bang for your fashion buck.

What investment piece do you have your eye on at the moment?

 

 

 

Fashion

Style staples when I’m in mum mode

26th June, 2017
kate waterhouse mum wardrobe staples

Kate Waterhouse mum style staples

As most mums can probably attest pulling together an outfit is low on the priority list when you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. The aim is just to get out the door fast! I know for myself that when I’m in mum mode with Sophia and Grace I need to be comfortable first and foremost and my outfit needs to be able to withstand whatever a toddler and baby may throw my way. This is why I’ve managed to refine my mum style staples down to a few key pieces so I can just go into auto pilot mode on any given day. Here’s what I can’t live without…

A roomy tote

For me a big bag is essential and I always like to carry a tote as it gives me plenty of room to carry my essentials and the girls’ too. I keep a little bag filled with Grace’s nappies, and wipes and change mat and I just throw everything into a tote. I have lots of different types – from super casual to slightly more dressy – depending on where I’m going.

Athleisure wear

I love workout gear when I’m with the girls. If I’m going to Sophia’s ballet class or taking her to some sort of activity then I can’t go past my Nike sneakers and Lululemon leggings. I live in both! It’s really easy to pull together and you can’t beat it for comfort level.

Sturdy sunglasses

I always carry a pair of sunglasses with me but I make sure that I leave any delicate, flimsy pairs at home. My sunnies are guaranteed to be thrown around in my bag or the girls will want to play with them so I prefer to wear the style that’s made of a thicker acetate so they’re not easily breakable.

Comfortable basics

If I’m running around then I’ll always opt for sportswear otherwise you’ll usually find me in lots of t-shirts and singlets paired with a good pair of jeans. They’re both definite mum style staples. I highly recommend splurging on a pair of jeans that can withstand lots of wear and tear because if you’re like me you’ll wear them to death. I also have lots of great knits throughout winter and will wear a big anorak/parka style jacket which I can easily throw on and can be popped into the boot of my car without too much fuss.

Comfortable flats

Heels are strictly reserved for nights out or for work events. I wear flats whenever I’m with the girls. I’ll usually wear my white Adidas Superstar sneakers or if I need to be a little more dressed up then I’ll wear my Gucci slides which are comfy yet still look polished.

What are your style staples as a mum?

 

Fashion, Shop

Velvet pieces to add to your wardrobe

16th June, 2017

I’m really into the current velvet trend (I even wore it to Fashion Week) especially when in bold colours. It’s a great way to add some texture to an outfit and a beautiful focal point to a look. From a dress to a statement shoe, you can easily add a touch of velvet to any ensemble—just ensure you mix it with different textures so as not to have it look too overwhelming. Velvet also looks great in rich jewelled tones so if you’re planning to embrace this trend it’s the perfect time to go for vibrant hues and add some extra punch to an outfit.

Fashion, Shop

What I look for when shopping during sale time

15th June, 2017

Sale time is here and it’s the perfect time to nab a bargain. However it’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of sales tags with reduced prices and discounts aplenty that you may end up with something that’s not entirely a worthwhile buy. I love shopping the sales and have perfected my game plan so I always end up with pieces I know I’m definitely going to use. Here’s what I do:

Buy wardrobe staples

During sale time I’m a big fan of buying pieces I will use a lot such as t-shirts and jeans. It’s the perfect time to stock up given everything is reduced. I always make sure to do a wardrobe check to see what items need replacing or updating.

Avoid statement pieces

I usually tend to avoid buying things that are easily identifiable from a particular season. There’s always a particular print/colour/silhouette that is a designer’s signature item for each collection and I will steer clear of this to ensure that there will be longevity in what I buy.

Invest in expensive items 

A few years ago I bought a Balmain blazer on sale from Net-a-Porter and it’s still going strong to this day. I remember searching for ages for it and once it went on sale I snapped it up. I find that when it’s sale time it’s the perfect opportunity to buy more expensive investment pieces such as a blazer, leather jacket, a coat or bag as you’re guaranteed to get plenty of use out of these items and you’ll be able to buy it at a fraction of the price.

Do the full price test

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of getting a bargain but just because something is cheap it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good purchase. I always make sure that I look at anything on sale and ask myself if I would buy it full price. If I would that’s usually a good indicator that it’s a good buy, if not then it tells me that I’m just getting caught up in the idea of buying something because it has been reduced.

What’s are you on the hunt for during sale time?

 

Fashion, Shop

Bored of the white sneaker? Here’s the answer

2nd June, 2017

While there’s no doubt that white sneakers are a wardrobe staple given the fact they go with virtually everything, they’re also quite ubiquitous so it’s only understandable to want something different to mix up your look from time to time. Lucky for you there are now a plethora of sneaker options available in a rainbow of colours and striking patterns. Pink! Blue! Leopard! It’s all here for your comfortable footwear pleasure.

Fashion

How to care for your winter knits according to an expert

31st May, 2017

Penelope Cohen is the director and designer of Skin and Threads, the premium label that focuses on simple, polished basics and beautiful luxe knitwear. Now that winter is upon us and it’s time to start introducing our knits back into our wardrobe it’s important to master how to care for them to ensure they stay in pristine condition. Here Cohen shares her top tips for doing just that.

How should we store jumpers?

I always prefer to store my jumpers folded as it prevent them from stretching while on a hanger and becoming too big or misshapen. Discourage the moths by using moth balls or I prefer to fill a little cloth bag full of lavender which smells lovely and discourages the pests.

What are the best fabrics to go for?

I am a big believer in natural yarns.  They always feel the best and also have the best breathability. Merino wool, washes and wears beautifully as does cashmere if you treat it with a little bit of care.

How often should you wash jumpers and how?

Put simply, if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Air them on a clothes horse or spot clean them as much as you can rather than immersing them in water. It’s better for the yarn and of course a little friendlier on the environment. Oh – and always use a wool and cashmere specialised detergent in cold water when do you have to wash them!

How do you suggest we avoid pilling?

Pilling occurs when the fibres rub together and most commonly occurs under your arms, on the side where you wear your handbag or when you consistently wear your sweaters under jackets. For cashmere, this is a natural process and not necessarily a sign of poor quality. De-pill your sweaters gently by using a fine de-pilling comb. You should not have to de-pill it regularly and the pilling should settle down after a couple of washes.

Do you have a favourite jumper in your current collection?

Knitwear is my downfall… Our cashmere boyfriend is a classic but the navy funnel neck and matching mini is probably my favourite look for the season.

Which winter trends are you are loving at the moment?

Long line cardigans worn as your outer layer and of course mixing my silk blouses with my chunky knitwear and leather leggings is always a constant love.

Lifestyle & Social

Fashion Q&A: Deborah Symond, founder of Mode Sportif

24th May, 2017

As the founder of Mode Sportif, the online boutique that specialises in luxe athleisure and leisurewear, it seems Deborah Symond was destined to head up a hugely successful business. Given her father is the founder of Aussie Home Loans, John Symond, you could argue business acumen is in her genes. Along with the website, Mode Sportif now has a bricks and mortar store in Sydney’s Paddington and it seems the brand shows no signs of waning. I recently sat down with Symond, to chat all things fashion, business and her essentials for nailing stylish off-duty style.

How would you describe your relationship with your father?

I am very lucky – Dad and I have a great relationship. Maintaining a strong relationship has been important to both of us since I was very young. We speak on the phone every day and have breakfast together once a week (at a minimum). Father/daughter relationship aside, he is my business mentor and a huge support for Mode Sportif. I’m extremely thankful for him guiding me through the bumps and wins that come with owning your own business.

What is the best advice he has ever given you?

The best advice Dad has ever given me is to trust my gut instinct. It’s something I live by both professionally and personally.

What is your own favourite ready-to-wear fashion piece?

How to pick one?! That could be a crime.

What inspired you to create the ultimate luxury leisurewear destination?

I was becoming more and more aware of emerging and exciting brands in the athleisure space and a lack of retailers providing a one-stop shop for designer sneakers, off-duty fashion and luxe activewear. It was upon identifying a gap in the market that the first concept of Mode Sportif was born!

What are your top 5 favourite pieces for ‘off duty dressing’?

Fresh, white kicks – Common Projects sneakers add an athleisure edge to any off-duty look.

A relaxed pant – a designer jogger pant in a luxe fabrication is a timeless staple in your off-duty wardrobe. Wear with sneakers and a t-shirt, or style with heels and a knit for drinks and dinner.

A monochrome tee – A favourite amongst the street style crowd, a graphic t-shirt in monochrome tones is an athleisure essential. The Sandrine Rose t-shirts are amazing quality with subtle, fun details.

 

A cross-body bag – athleisure fashion lends itself to practicality. The ultimate statement accessory for your off-duty look is the black leather cross body by Alexander Wang. The statement silver hardware makes this bag a must-have.

Statement sunglasses – the cherry on top of off duty cool is a pair of statement sunglasses. I personally love a round frame with gold tones to elevate my leisurewear wardrobe. This Chloe pair is everything!

What exotic trends are we seeing in the market?

Across both active and leisure, floral prints are trending. We are seeing brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ganni, Clare V, Iro and The Upside incorporate florals as a key theme in their collections this season.

What are the struggles of owning your own business?

No two days are alike when owning your own business. As much as that keeps me motivated, it can be challenging at times. My biggest struggle is finding a work life balance. An online boutique never sleeps, so no matter what I am doing or where I am Mode Sportif is always on my mind. Everything in life presents struggles, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

What has been your greatest achievement so far? 

Evolving the business to an omni-channel model. Creating a physical presence, and seeing Mode Sportif come to life at The Intersection in Paddington has been incredibly rewarding.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?

Happy, healthy and surrounded by passionate and driven people!

What growth do you think we will see in the activewear/ lifestyle category? 

We are consistently delighted by new and emerging brands coming out of the activewear space such as LNDR and Vaara. Activewear is growing to be equally as fashionable as it is technical and ready-to-wear labels are continuing to be inspired by sport. This sector has surpassed denim and has become a staple in women’s wardrobes.

 

Fashion

Australian Fashion Week 2017 Day Five Wrap Up

18th May, 2017

The Shows: Ten Pieces, Romance Was Born

Where: Onsite at Carriageworks for Romance Was Born; Offsite at Bondi Icebergs for Ten Pieces

My day started… at 8am, getting ready and making way to Bondi Beach where Ten Pieces showcased its collection at Icebergs.

My outfit today… was all about monochrome. I wanted a look that was sleek and sophisticated.

Favourite show… Romance was Born. I loved the theatre of it.

Big trends I saw… relaxed, casual, slouchy and bold styling at Ten Pieces. At Romance Was Born it was about really dramatic looks with a lots of sheer fabrics with exaggerated silhouettes along with pastels mixed with an 80s palette of deep blues and bright green sequins as well as fringing and lots of shimmer.

What I ate/drank… I stopped for lunch with actress Marta Dusseldorp at Cubby’s Kitchen in Surry Hills to interview her for a Date with Kate column. We went for a light meal of salad and assorted dips.

Photography and Video: Sophia Athas

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Australian Fashion Week 2017 Day Five

18th May, 2017

After yesterday’s vibrant look I wanted to dial it right back today and opted for a sleek monochrome ensemble for my last day at Fashion Week. I love a dress in crisp white—it’s just so effortless and classic. This Stella McCartney midi dress seemed perfect for today’s show at Bondi Beach, as it has a light and airy vibe, yet its structured silhouette makes it ideal for an industry event. I wanted to keep my accessories simple so I opted for my Stella McCartney clutch with star motif and the season’s must-have shoe style, the slimline sock boot. Sometimes keeping it simple just works.

Credits: Dress, Stella McCartney (from Belinda); Boots, Balenciaga, Clutch, Stella McCartney; Sunglasses, Dion Lee

Photography: Sophia Athas