Browsing Tag

style

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

The longline blazer: the trend you need to try right now

8th September, 2017

One of my can’t-live-without items in my wardrobe is a longline blazer. It was a splurge, yes but my black Balmain blazer has been a cornerstone of my fashion repertoire for years and has been able to work with everything from an evening dress to a casual day look without missing a beat. I love the silhouette of a longline blazer as due to its longer length— it sits right at mid-thigh and helps to elongate the body making for a more flattering fit. This season the longline blazer comes in classic shades such as black, navy and grey but if you’re in the mood to be a little more adventurous why not opt for a tweed or tartan print and make it the focal piece of your look. I guarantee this blazer style is one failsafe way to add an element of polish to an outfit and makes it an easy go-to for those days when you need to look your best but also don’t want to get too fussy with your ensemble. Team it with a tee and jeans and you’ve got yourself an elevated casual look with just the right air of insouciance. Add it to your new season shopping list, I promise it will be on high rotation.

Shop my splurge vs steal longline blazer picks below…

 

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: In Bloom

15th August, 2017

Spring is almost upon us and if there’s one thing I’m definitely planning to add to my wardrobe it’s a gorgeous floral dress. It’s virtually a must with the warmer weather to come and the natural shift to a lighter, breezier look that comes with it. I love this particular dress by Zimmermann because it ticks all the right boxes—the print is subtle yet striking whilst the gorgeous ruffle detail throughout elevates it by giving it an interesting silhouette and the tasseled tie detail adds a bohemian feel. I can see myself wearing this with flats for a casual event and by switching up the footwear to a pair of heels, it can work perfectly for a work event or a special occasion such as a wedding. It’s a versatile piece that I know will definitely have plenty of outings over the next few months.

In the mood to add some florals into your wardrobe? Shop some of my top dress picks below:

Long

Short
Credits: Dress, Zimmermann; Heels, Gucci (similar)

Photography: Sophia Athas

Fashion

The accessories I can’t live without

14th August, 2017

Kate Waterhouse accessories Cartier nail bracelet engagement ring Patek Phillipe

Accessories are an easy way for me to change up the look of a particular outfit and give it a different vibe so I love experimenting with different pieces whether it be a pair of knockout statement earrings or a simple necklace. Whilst I am known to mix it up I do have a regular rotation of accoutrements which I almost never leave the house without, with most holding really special sentimental value. These are my faves….

Kate Waterhouse watch cartier nail bracelet givenchy antigona bag

A watch, Cartier nail bracelet and engagement and wedding rings are a constant in my everyday look

My wedding and engagement ring

I feel naked if I ever walk out of the house without wearing either of these rings. They hold such great sentimental value and are a lovely memento of one of the best days of my entire life.

Cartier nail bracelet

A classic piece that I’ve had for several years and pretty much wear every single day. Cartier do such beautiful investment jewellery that is timeless yet still has a modern touch. I can count on this bracelet to work with virtually everything I wear and always makes a great complementary piece to any watch I’m wearing.

Watch

I’m a definite watch girl and always have a timepiece on every single day. I’ve got a few different watches ranging from the ultra special such as the watch I received as a gift on my 30th birthday to on trend pieces that are very of the moment. I like to mix it up depending on my mood that day.

Kate Waterhouse diamond earrings

These diamond earrings are timeless and go with virtually everything I own

Diamond studs

My family gave me a pair of diamond studs as an 18th birthday present and I rarely take them out. I think that’s the appeal of diamonds—they’re definitely a splurge but they more than make up for it in cost per wear as they can work for a daytime look just as easily as they can work with an evening ensemble.

This coin necklace was a gift from my dad

Gold coin necklace

I have a piece that my dad gave me which is a gold necklace with a coin. It’s an antique coin that he had especially made into a necklace for me so I have always treasured. I love that it also has a historical element to it.

What are your favourite can’t-live-without accessories?

 

 

Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Spot the difference

1st August, 2017

I was in the mood for a playful look on a recent day out so this Nice Martin polka dot skirt immediately came to mind. The spotty print adds a fun touch to an outfit whilst the monochrome colour scheme still keeps it classic. The wrap top is huge this season and with its ruffled sleeves this particular piece lends an ultra feminine touch to this look and works well with the high waisted silhouette of the skirt. Black and white always works beautifully with a pop of colour so I opted to pair this look with my burgundy Marco de Vincenzo heels and ombre pink Rebecca de Ravenel drop earrings to help liven up this ensemble. The rest of the look needed minimalist accessories so my black Dior chain bag and simple Chanel frames made for the perfect finishing touches without overshadowing the rest of the outfit.

Credits: Top, Nice Martin; Skirt, Nice Martin; Bag, Dior (or mix it up with Chanel); Sunglasses, Chanel; Heels, Marco de Vincenzo; Earrings, Rebecca de Ravenel 

Photography Danielle Castano 

Steal the look

Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Urban Jungle

18th July, 2017

Walking around the busy city streets of Melbourne during a recent trip had me wanting to channel a look that was all about urban chic. I wanted to work with two distinct tones for an impactful look so stuck to fawn and black which also helped to tie the whole ensemble together. I felt a fitted bodysuit provided the perfect counterbalance to the flared silhouette of my A-line cargo style wrap skirt while a structured blazer gave the look a polished finish (and kept me warm in the chilly Melbourne weather!). If there’s one thing I’m wearing to death this season it’s my Balenciaga ankle boots. The close fit keeps helps to elongate the leg and it’s the perfect versatile shoe to wear throughout winter as it works with everything from pants to skirts and dresses. This look called for sleek accessories so I opted for a gold choker to add a point of interest to the outfit, classic black sunglasses by Dion Lee and a classic Chanel bag for the perfect finishing touch to my urban uniform.

Credits: Bodysuit, Celine; Skirt, Nice Martin; Blazer, Balmain; Bag, Chanel; Sunglasses, Dion Lee; Choker, Eddie Borgo; Boots, Balenciaga 

Photography Danielle Castano

Steal the look

Fashion

Fashion rules that shape my style

7th July, 2017

When it comes to fashion I’m all for experimentation and pushing the boundaries – ultimately that’s how style is shaped and discovered. However there are a few key things which I don’t really waver on when it comes to my wardrobe and what I wear. These are the fashion rules which have helped me walk out the door each day feeling confident in what I’m wearing and the best bit is, they’re so easy to follow…

Invest in key staples and know what suits

Through trial and error I’ve slowly identified what works for my shape and what doesn’t. Knowing this has helped me build up a wardrobe of key style staples that I can rely on time and again. Having these building blocks in my closet makes getting dressed so much easier.

Good tailoring is everything

The one fashion rule I always stick to is that all my clothes have to fit well. I feel more confident when my clothes look good so I make sure I get things tailored if they’re not quite right. It pays to find a good tailor that you trust to ensure that everything in your wardrobe fits perfectly. A great fit will instantly make you look polished.

Buy quality garments

Longevity is important to me so I make sure that the items in my wardrobe that are always on high rotation are always of a great quality. I think it’s important to buy the best quality that you can afford. You can keep it economical by identifying what you will use the most. For example you might say you don’t think it’s worth investing in good jeans because they’re just for casual outings but if you end up wearing them all the the time you want something that’s not going to be ruined after one wash.

Consistently edit

I always have a part of my wardrobe that has pieces that I just wear over and over and it’s not always what I wear to get dressed up, it’s just pieces that are easy to put on and are a no-brainer on a day to day basis. To pull together this section I make sure to do regular audits of my wardrobe by keeping track of what I’m wearing all the time and what’s going unused. By being aware of what’s actually getting used I’m able to pull together a more functional edit of my closet – the benefit of this is that it also helps minimise morning wardrobe dilemmas!

What are your fashion rules?

 

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

12 Insta-outfit ideas to steal

3rd April, 2017

A brand new month calls for some fresh outfit inspo to help you sidestep every wardrobe dilemma you may have. To help make outfit planning a little easier I’ve rounded up the best looks to suit every occasion to make looking amazing every day a cinch.

A post shared by Emma Hill | EJSTYLE (@emmahill) on

Embrace the ultimate high-low mix and team a blazer with a vintage tee for a look that taps into the season’s statement t-shirt trend. Pair this combination with a pair of black pants and heels and you’ve got yourself a winning look.

A post shared by Jamie Chung (@jamiejchung) on

When it comes to accessories try out all things studded for a look that’s edgy and of the moment.

A post shared by Brooke Testoni (@brooketestoni) on

In this tricky trans-seasonal period make like blogger Brooke Testoni and layer a dress with a turtleneck for a look that’s spot on for battling unpredictable weather. The bonus? Your summer dresses don’t have to go into hibernation just yet.

The sock boot is a key shoe to add to your wardrobe this season. It’s slimline silhouette is the ideal pairing with a voluminous pant for a look that’s very of the moment.

Be adventurous and mix and match different textures. Plisse pants and a lurex top are a bold pairing – unlikely but one that looks fresh and will make your outfit stand out in the crowd.

If you’re going to buy a pair of jeans this season make it a pair with a raw hem. It’s the ideal way to update your denim wardrobe as this particular finish will be everywhere.

A pair of knee high boots worn back with a slip dress make this look not only weather-appropriate but so sexy and stylish. Elevate this ensemble even more by topping it with a gorgeous faux fur coat.

A post shared by Lena Perminova (@lenaperminova) on

Leather is always a key wardrobe staple during the cooler months but why not venture further afield than trusty black and embrace a touch of colour. A burgundy leather jacket looks sleek and sophisticated.

A post shared by Kaitlyn Ham (@kaity_modern) on

Knots, draping, and origami style folds will be making its way in-store this season and is just the finishing detail to take a standard shirt or dress and elevate it into something more.

Did you live in cropped flared jeans during summer? You don’t have to bid them adieu quite just yet by swapping your open toed sandals for ankle boots instead.

For the ultimate laid back casual weekend look pair your trusty denim with a trench coat. It’s an easy go-to outfit for everything from brunch to a day running errands.

Tap into your ultra feminine side and embrace shades of lolly pink. It’s surprisingly easy to wear too – whether its a blouse or a dress and even wide legged pants, this hue is ultra flattering.

Fashion, Shop

The must-try print this season

24th March, 2017

Image: @karliekloss

Make like Karlie Kloss this season and adopt a little plaid into your wardrobe. Whilst the print has in the past come across as quite traditional be prepared to see it in a more distinctly fashion forward light with it appearing on everything from vibrant cut-out skirts to origami style deconstructed shirts. Also, whilst monochrome checks are a guaranteed fashion yes don’t be shy in trying its vibrant counterparts – when in red, blue and soft baby pink make this print certainly speaks volumes.

Shop my fave checked pieces below (take note of the Gucci jacket that’s guaranteed to become a wardrobe classic!):

Lifestyle, Lifestyle & Social

Interior design tips from Alex Zabotto-Bentley

1st March, 2017

As a former fashion designer, Alex Zabotto-Bentley is used to channelling his energy into many a stylish endeavour. He’s now channelling this artistic flair into interior design as the founder of AZBcreative. AZBcreative has masterminded some of Australia’s biggest media and social events, including the March into Merivale, CLEO Bachelor of Year and Harper’s Bazaar Luxury Awards. Among the company’s high-end clientele is Palazzo Versace, Waterford Crystal and The Sydney Theatre Company and singer Lady Gaga. Alex chats to me about how he made his mark in interior design and even lets me in on a few of his best styling secrets below.

AZB Styling pieces at home

What is a day in the life of you?

Apart from grappling with the eternal crisis of what to throw into my green juice, I am a very early riser. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been working late on a project or have just arrived on a redeye flight from Europe, I always wake up around 5am. Seize the day!

My philosophy is that to maximise your energy and productivity, you need to greet the sun every day. Get up before sunrise, head to your favourite vantage point – near the sea is always amazing – and watch it rise. And then (this is a bit spiritual), make your affirmations. It works, believe me. You start each day full of positive energy and resolve, ready to do your best work.

Alex makes a point of welcoming the day by watching the sun rise daily

How did you get started in interior design?

To be honest, I spent so much of my childhood transfixed by houses – I used to mentally ‘rate’ them for architectural balance on the walk to school. And while everyone else at school was buying [surfing publication] Tracks mag, I was saving my pocket money for World of Interiors!

My big breakthrough came when the wonderful, late [hotelier] Ian Robertson gave me carte blanche to design a massive, 4,000 square metre bar on the top of Melbourne’s GPO.

Even while working as a fashion director for magazines and designing my own label Fashion Assassin, I was leading a “double life”, doing interior projects for friends on the side.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

With respect to interiors I have been able to really create magical spaces, which are like no other. It’s important to me to create a site-specific space, so we always try to custom make over 70 per cent of every interior. From designing our own range of tiles to creating our own pigment colours to working with local craftspeople to use their brilliant and sometimes under-appreciated skills.

Kittyhawk [restaurant in Sydney] is a good example of this approach. We created original fittings with a sense of place and history, that perfectly fit that space and tell a story. From the hand-dyed leather for the banquettes to the antique French oak doors, the 12-metre long, hand crafted American Oak bar to the custom-made brass-trimmed shelving and tesserae tile design which I drew freehand, there will never be anything else quite like it.

AZB Custom Tiles which Alex drew freehand

What is your favourite room in your own house?

Definitely my sitting room. It has a wonderful sense of space and light, with high 1920s ceilings and beautiful architectural details. The space is filled with hand selected furniture and decorative pieces that I have collected over time. Every piece tells a story and recalls a memory of a great trip or a weekend combing through flea markets or the thrill of discovering a new artist. It’s so much more than just a space. I love collecting art, so it’s like a private gallery with all the works I’ve collected, from original Keith Haring prints to beautiful, wild landscapes by Aaron Kinnane to modernist sculptures and abstract 1940s Italian art. But it’s not fixed; it’s an ever-evolving space, reflecting my travels and discoveries.

Keith Haring artwork which Alex adores

What made you move into events?

It’s all connected. Working on styling projects every day, I was invited to a lot of events and launches; you know how Sydney loves a party! But I felt that from the guest’s point of view, the event design industry was lacking inspiring, immersive experiences, a high taste level and beautiful, memorable moments. Too many events were basically a bar, some wait staff, a media wall and a DJ. Boring! They were forgettable and added nothing to the brands being promoted. So I decided to tackle this very closed, competitive industry head-on, developing a reputation for custom-designed elements and experiences specific to each client. People really connected with these branded environments. I think we ruffled a few feathers at first, but the clients loved it.

What is your number one styling tip for a special event?

If you do one thing, always use incredible flowers. In fact, always double the flower budget, and do something totally unique. I’m not talking about staid arrangements; go big and amaze people. Make an impact with colour and sheer mass. We have dipped phalaenopsis orchids in jet black paint, to emphasize their amazing sculptural properties, and people went crazy.

I also think it’s essential to make sure every single staff member looks impeccable and dressed to suit the brand, whether it’s crisp denim shirts for a whiskey tasting or impeccable black and white for a formal dinner. Make sure that the cocktails are totally desirable and unique and the catering is completely other-worldly…details, details make the event.

Alex suggests doing “use incredible flowers” if you are styling an event

What are the biggest mistakes people tend to make when it comes to styling an event?

When creating events, people often think that is just about getting the celebrities and current “cool” people to attend…but a lot of celebrities only stay for a brief time before sweeping off to the next thing, leaving a void. Without those glittering people, the room feels cold. To create an exciting and engaging event, you have to mix and layer the guest list with interesting people, from unique fashionistas to vibrant, animated people with something to say. Mix young and old, established names and up-and-comers: chance encounters create energy. The magic is in the mix.

What have been your top three favourite projects so far?

Only three? Ok, one would be working with the wonderful [PR company] Max Media Lab to conjure a magical Swarovski dinner at the Sydney Opera House with Miranda Kerr. We created modern, shimmering spaces inside Bennelong, mixing white perspex, mirrors, metal and glass with acres of flowers and shimmering ornaments to embody Swarovski’s latest collection. From the entrance, flanked by giant beaten silver vases of cascading roses and orchids to the shimmering, crystal-strewn white carpet, to the show-stopping. monumental stainless steel, geometric sculpture by Gregor Kregar, we owned that space! Attention to detail is a signature of our work, so we cut custom tabletops from white Perspex and applied delicate mirrored gold designs, then topped the tables with cubist vases to hold lavish, eccentric floral arrangements. Miniature French busts, half dipped in gold, added to the decadence.

The Swarvorski ‘White Carpet’ event

As far as interior projects, one of the most unusual was creating Seadeck for Scott Robertson [Seadeck’s managing partner] and his team. It’s an amazing floating venue on a gorgeous vintage ship: a 44 metre blank slate and a wonderful challenge. Inspired by the peak of luxury cruising, from the 1920s through 1940s we put a sophisticated twist on nautical design over three vast decks. Overall, it is a minimalist space in navy and white, with custom white lounges, Carrara marble table-tops, a bespoke brass-trimmed bar, curated nautical decorations and iconic four metre high palm trees.

Of course, working on a boat is a challenge in itself. Everything needs to be fixed to the deck, protected from the elements and the furniture needs to double as clever storage. We were essentially designing an interior which would be exposed to wind, rain and sun 365 days a year, yet had to remain luxurious and unforgettable.

Finally, we’ve had a long working relationship with Justin Hemmes and the Merivale Group. Producing and creative directing their March into Merivale event in 2015 was amazing. We welcomed about 100,000 people over five weeks, with 19 events across their venues, from The Ivy to Coogee Pavilion and everywhere between! Every venue and every event required a different approach and spoke to a different audience. We worked with chefs and sponsors to create custom experiences and environments, conceptualised and engaged entertainment, designed and crafted specific installations, stalls and furniture to express each venue and turned the whole Ivy laneway into a new dimension. Who needs sleep, anyway? The hard work paid off, though: we won a national design award for event activation.

Alex’s work at Merivale’s Ivy Pool Club

How closely do you work with the brands when designing their spaces?

We work incredible closely with our clients. As specialists in branded environments, we need to understand their message and values thoroughly, to create spaces communicate the brand to their customers. The clients we have are very diverse, and each requires a specific solution, whether it be an international beauty brand like Avon to a boutique winery like [the one created for wine brand] Cloudy Bay, to creating branded environments for Westfield to super sized festivals at Coogee Pavilion. We spend a lot of time at the briefing stage to understand the client’s real needs

A table setting designed by AZB for March into Merivale

What has been the best piece of advice you have ever received?

To create change. What I mean is, don’t just talk about it, do it. And do it differently. Never stop learning and innovating. Design isn’t a static business. Technology changes, society changes…you can’t afford to stand still or rest on your laurels.

What’s coming up in 2017?

We were honoured to be awarded several international Design Awards last year which really raised our profile, and we’re working on hotel projects, villa interiors and immersive experiences in Europe, Bali, Flores and Sydney…and we have some restaurant and bar projects that will change the way Sydney-siders approach dining and going out. I can’t say too much, but watch this space – there are some amazing things coming!

You can check out more of Alex’s work on Instagram at @azbcreative