Today I was lucky enough to be invited to host the launch of Witchery’s Summer’ 19 collection. The event took place on Seadeck, a gorgeous super yacht, the ideal venue to showcase the brand’s latest collection—and take in Sydney’s beautiful harbour.
I wore a look from Witchery for the event, choosing a vibrant orange midi dress. With a simple, classic silhouette, the dress was really all about the colour. I think when wearing such a vivid statement hue it’s important to keep it simple and allow it to be the focal point. One of the really beautiful shades to wear with orange is definitely tan—it’s understated enough to work with the colour but not so much that it fades into the background. Tan shoes with a block heel are the kind of footwear option that will be able to work back with many looks so it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to any wardrobe, particularly during summer where it will work beautifully with everything from dresses and skirts to shorts. Plus anything with a block heels is really comfortable so it’s the perfect go-to during party season.
I have always styled my racing looks and really enjoy doing it but it’s also labour intensive. I have to source multiple options for every race day, and that includes my outfit, shoes, jewellery, and headwear. This year, I not only had several race days to attend but I had presenting commitments with 7 Racing that saw me having to also style outfits for those occasions, and not only that I had to ensure that my outfit was able to work on camera and co-ordinated with the other presenters. That’s a lot of outfits! So I enlisted the help of stylist Jess Pecoraro to make it happen.
Jess is the go-to fashion and celeb stylist for the likes of Jesinta Franklin and Gemma Ward and Delta Goodrem. She’s got a great eye and knows what I like and gets my style which is critical when you’re working with a stylist. We’ll often start by taking a look at the events I have coming up and what each look requires. For example there are strict dress codes for big race days like Derby Day and Melbourne Cup which we need to adhere to, and if I’ve got TV commitments I need to ensure that what I’m wearing works well on screen as well as the other presenters I’m working with. Additionally I work with a few key brands during spring racing so it’s important that we factor them into the styling process. It’s a big process and there are so many considerations to be made that it’s great to have someone to look after it all as it makes everything a little less hectic.
I’m quite open to trying new looks and Jess pulled together a number of different outfits for me to try. We did a few fittings at home to see what would work and the accessories to match. This can become quite a lengthy process as we experiment with different options to lock in the final outfit, all the while making sure that I’m keeping to dress codes and incorporating certain brands. I’m always able to direct the outfits where I want them to go but Jess is able to put forward combinations and suggestions of how everything could work together which is great as often it can be hard to have a vision for every outfit. That’s the great thing about working with a stylist.
I often get asked why I work with stylists and one of the reasons is that it’s great to be able to collaborate with someone else and get a fresh opinion or point of view on fashion. I know what I like but sometimes I might miss something that would look great, that someone else from the outside looking in might see. And being able to push boundaries and try something new is what fashion is all about.
Nothing signals the beginning of spring/summer than a healthy dose of light, breezy looks and plenty of vibrant hues. I recently attended David Jones’ The Bright Night event at their newly refurbished flagship store in Sydney and the dress code was all about wearing colour.
Eventually I decided on a baby pink one shoulder top and skirt set by Ginger and Smart. I loved the hint of decolletage that the cut of the top gave, which I’ve always found to be really flattering. The three quarter balloon sleeves also added a on trend touch whilst the matching midi skirt gave a really polished vibe.
As I was wearing a single colour I wanted to add some punchy accessories to lift the look. So I decided on a pair of old favourites from my shoe collection, a leopard print pair of Tabitha Simmons pointed heels with multiple straps. I then finished off the look with a black Dior bag worn as a clutch (seriously one of the best investment bags I’ve bought as it’s so versatile). Now bring on spring/summer…
I fell in love a few times this month—there are so many beautiful pieces to shop out there right now. My shopping list is heavily influenced by what occasions and work commitments I have at a particular time and as you’ll see when you scroll below, I’m all about event dressing right now. I’ve been looking for pieces that are going to work beautifully for events, particularly all my racing commitments over the next few weeks. So if you’re heading trackside any time soon or you just want to get a head start on your Melbourne Cup look, then you may want get in the zone with a few of my picks below.
Shirley Mini Leather Tote, Staud
Great shape and beautiful colour. So much to love about this bag and it’s so versatile too.
Afra Off-the-shoulder Cutout Satin Top, Cult Gaia
I am really into the drama of this top with the ruched sleeves and exposed shoulder. I could definitely see myself rocking this to many an event.
Triple S Logo-embroidered Leather, Nubuck and Mesh Sneakers, Balenciaga
Whilst this is a slight departure from my events shopping, it’s a worthwhile detour as I don’t think you can ever have too many sneakers. Love the colours of these shoes and the interesting shape.
In the course of a year I’m sure a lot of us would have a few events to contend with. Whether it’s a work occasion or a wedding or a milestone birthday there are plenty of opportunities to get all dolled up. So where to go with your outfit? If you’re having to pull together a look for a big upcoming soiree then look no further than the following stylish ladies for a little outfit inspo.
You can’t go wrong with a touch of gold. A slinky dress metallic dress with minimal accessories is a sleek and sophisticated way to do event dressing.
For a luxe look you can’t go past a beautiful silk or satin number. With its fluid texture and beautiful finish, it’s a way to make a glamorous statement.
When it comes to events it pays to have a little fun with your look! A riot of colour is one way to make a statement. Bonus points for sequins!
You don’t always have to have a knockout outfit to make a look event-appropriate. Expand your horizons to next-level accessories (hello sparkly boots!) to give your outfit a point of difference and to glam it up.
A little tailoring goes a long way when it comes to event dressing. A gorgeous blazer and an all-white look makes for a seriously strong ensemble.
It sometimes pays to add an unexpected touch to an event look a la Elle Ferguson’s dress worked back with boots. It shows that you’re prepared to push the boundaries and be a little more daring with your style.
Dresses and events are a match made in heaven but look for strong silhouettes when it comes time to frock up. A sharp shoulder and angular lines make for a look-at-me outfit that’s also fashion forward.
Events are made for showcasing statement detailing. A dramatic train such as the one on this look is one way to take occasion dressing up a notch.
Now that we’re heading into winter, one way to take your little black dress in a new on trend direction is to work some sheer tights into the mix. It’s one way to add a glam element to any LBD.
If you like the idea of a dress but want something a little different try a shirt and pants combo. A beautiful blouse worked back with a pair of slacks is event dressing at its classic and sophisticated best.
Prints are made for occasion dressing. Work a fun print into your outfit to ensure that your look stands out in a crowd.
As I have to attend so many events during the year it’s not cost effective for me to buy a new look every single time I have to go to something. I’d be spending a fortune on event looks that I might not really wear all that often which just doesn’t make sense to me. I’d rather spend most of my fashion budget on outfits that will get plenty of wear. So I’ve learnt a few ways to do occasion wear without having to spend a lot of money every time…
Have a little black dress in your wardrobe
It’s one of the most versatile things you can own and it’s also one of the best event wear items you can invest in. A simple, sleek black dress can easily be worn to multiple occasions and changed up by swapping key accessories and doing a new beauty look each time you wear it.
I’ve raided the cupboards of friends a time or two, or worked with a label when I’m going to an event so sourcing event clothing outside of my own wardrobe is a strategy I’m well aware of. If you can’t hit up your girlfriends’ wardrobes then consider a dress hire service. There are so many of them around now that it would be silly not to take advantage of them. Often you can hire a gorgeous designer dress for a standard rental fee that would otherwise require you to drop a few hundred (sometimes thousands) dollars on it. This makes sense from a cost per wear perspective and you can still get that special feeling that comes from wearing a brand that you love.
Buy at sale time
If you’ve got a dress that you’ve really got your heart set on buying then make the effort to stay on top of any sales that are happening with your fave labels and stores. An online store like The Outnet is also a good source for event wear as they’ll stock designer brands at a generally heavily reduced price. Sign up for newsletters and sale alerts so you can be first to take advantage of any discounts that might be offered.
Re-work existing occasion wear
It’s a good idea to rethink what you already have in your closet. Is there something that you can have taken up? Do you have a dress that you can alter the silhouette slightly? Often the answer to your event wear problems is already sitting in your closet but we all want that ‘new’ feeling so we tend to buy rather than shop our wardrobes. So get creative and see how you can re-purpose what you already own. All you need is a good tailor and you’re set.
Think beyond the dress
Event wear dresses will generally be quite expensive so it pays to get creative and think of other options that will still look dressy but might come at a fraction of the price. A great skirt teamed with a cami or a button down shirt is one way to get around the traditional dress option, and often skirts will be a little cheaper. Or you could sub in a pair of tailored pants for the skirt for a look with a similar vibe. Paired with great accessories and killer heels, you’re guaranteed to look amazing.
Change the small details
A simple change in beauty look can easily revamp existing occasion wear. I’ll often wear something again and just change my beauty look so if I wore my hair up the last time I wore something, I’ll wear my hair down or if I did a smoky eye I’ll do a dramatic lip. Also a change in shoes or bag can also make something feel fresh and new.
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and it can be one of those occasions where the perfect party dress is a must on your list. It’s also the ideal time to embrace an outfit that’s bold and has plenty of impact to really help you ring in the new year in style. And really, who can pass up the opportunity to wear something that’s glam and has a whole lot of sparkle?
When it comes to the ideal New Year’s Eve party dress don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and go for something outside of your usual go-to styles. You can afford to go all out as it’s an evening that has such a great party vibe and your outfit should definitely match. You could try doing sequins, experimenting with texture such as flounces and fringing and by all means do plenty of colour. If that’s not your scene, something that has a glamorous and sexy feel is also ideal.
If the party invitations have started rolling in and you’re facing a schedule full of gatherings in the lead up to Christmas then it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to wear to every single event. Here’s how to avoid any wardrobe dilemmas this festive season.
Find something that can transition easily
If you’ve got a day time and night time event it can get pretty pricey having to buy an outfit for both. So you need to ensure that you find something that can easily take you from lunch during the day to party in the evening. Think a kaftan or a beautiful dress that you can wear with sandals then make slightly dressier by changing into high heels later on.
Bold colours are always a winner during summer so look for anything in a bright hue that you can really have fun with. Don’t be afraid to make a statement, especially when it comes to party attire.
…or summer whites
White is so fresh during this time of year especially when you have a bit of golden glow courtesy of a spray or fake tan. A beautiful floaty white summer dress or a great skirt in a neutral hue are a great way to really embody the carefree, relaxed vibe of the season.
A great bag or jewellery can really lift a party outfit
You can always use existing items in your wardrobe whilst navigating the party circuit but simply dress them up or down with the right accessories. Try a bold pair of shoulder grazing earrings to dial up the drama or add a statement necklace to turn your look into something more striking. It’s an easy – and less expensive – way to wear things you already own but still make the outfit feel new.
Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
One of my shortcuts to looking polished is a manicure and pedicure. I swear by it. Having a pop of colour on my toes and fingernails can elevate an ordinary look into something special. A fresh mani/pedi just adds a touch of polish (no pun intended!) to a look and helps to finish it off.
Have a great pair of party shoes
If you’ve got plenty of dresses that you’ve worn before it can be easy to become bored of them. The key to injecting some new life into them is the addition of a standout item like a pair of statement shoes. Invest in a single pair at the start of party season and you’ll be able to wear them to multiple occasions and make old outfits feel new again.
If there’s one thing this time of year is known for it’s the cluster of parties and occasions that seem to happen in quick succession. From the office Christmas party to big family get togethers, we’re often faced with one party invite after the next but our wardrobes can’t quite keep up! If you’re currently on the hunt for a festive look or two to take you through the next few weeks then look no further. I’ve rounded up some great pieces that will make putting together your next ensemble a cinch.
Earlier this week I flew down to Melbourne with my family to watch my mum be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Attending the 34th Sport Australia Hall of Fame Annual Induction and Awards Gala Dinner was a truly special occasion for us all, most especially for Mum. For such an event I wanted to wear something a little bit different, something with a strong silhouette, and the moment I saw this look by Maticevski I couldn’t see myself wearing anything else.
I usually tend to go for dresses for big events so it was great to be able to venture out of my comfort zone. This top is a showstopper—the one shoulder neckline, the subtle architectural ruffle and the incredible train all made it perfect for the occasion. The soft blush colour also worked beautifully with the white tailored pants and had a really strong, yet feminine vibe to it.
My outfit’s colour palette was quite soft, so I knew I needed to keep the theme going throughout the rest of the look, as anything too bold would have been a little bit jarring. This gorgeous clutch by Farrah and Sloane had just the right aesthetic. I loved the fringing and also the bangle handle, and the style held its own against my outfit without taking anything away from it. A pair of classic neutral Christian Louboutin pumps was the ideal shoe and worked well with the rest of the colours of my ensemble.
It’s always so fun to be able to get dressed up for events and wear gorgeous things, but this look will remain particularly special to me because of the occasion I wore it to. What an honour it was to watch my mum’s hard work and achievements celebrated on such a grand scale, I can’t think of a person more deserving of it.
Credits: Pants and top, Maticevski (available in select stores next month); Shoes, Christian Louboutin; Bag, Farrah and Sloane