Thursday, 29 September 2011

jewellery designer eleanor ford







The latest collection from Sollis marries two of designer Eleanor Ford's passions - jewellery and textiles. The pieces incorporate both elements, which is not so surprising when you learn that Eleanor completed a MA in Textiles at the respected Goldsmiths College in London after completing a BA in Jewellery Design at Middlesex University. She is now based in Sydney and has launched Sollis after working with Swarovski in Paris.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, practical, down to earth, motivated and a little bossy at times!
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started with a degree in jewellery design at Middlesex university in London, during this time I did work experience with a fashion jewellery company Erickson Beamon and continued working for them and other designers after university. After a few years I launched my own collection Eleanor jewellery and sold to many boutiques around the world. In 2009 I relocated to Sydney and began my new brand Sollis Jewellery in January 2011.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Having had a arts/design education when I first started out I had no idea about how to actually run a business so that is the main thing I have learnt along the way.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I think my proudest achievement has been to do design work for Swarovski for the last 3 years and see my designs sold all over the world.
What’s been your best decision? To move to Sydney, Australia.
Who inspires you? I draw a lot of inspiration from traditional crafts and decorative arts from around the world, I particularly love Masai tribal jewellery.
What are you passionate about? I love making things and being creative, and when I’m not making jewellery I’m cooking. I love food too.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frida Kahlo
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Buying and renovating a beautiful house by the sea with my husband.
What are you reading? Shalimar the clown by Salman Rushdie.

images courtesy of sollis

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

great dane's anton assaad






Anton Assaad was staring at redundancy after years of working in retail. He didn't panic, though. Instead he took 12 months to decide what would be the next phase of his career. The decision turned out to be life-changing. He saw a gap in the Australian market for quality Scandinavian design products. And so, in 2003, Great Dane Furniture was born. Today he travels to Denmark every couple of months, on the hunt to replenish his stock that not only includes the wares from premium Scandinavian design houses but vintage specialists too.


Which five words best describe you? Passionate, driven, entrepreneurial, upfront and a little mad.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started in retail when I was 15, working in Macy’s department store in San Francisco. When I returned to Australia, I worked at Made in Japan, which really cemented my passion for design and retail. Then I went on to run the finances for the retail clothing chain Mooks in Melbourne, which gave me a great grounding in retail finance and how to manage the back end of a retail business. This business was sold to Just Group: I was made redundant and sat around for 12 months working out what to do. I had found Scandinavian design during this period and couldn't believe there was no one really retailing and importing Scandinavian classics in Australia. I found some contacts online and then contacted a cousin in Spain to ask him to fly up to to Denmark to check out the contacts I had made. It was a very freaky thing as he had decided to sell Danish furniture in Spain - I hadn’t spoken to him for almost three years — and I knew it was meant to be. So I unloaded my first container with friends in the back streets of Prahran and sent an email to everyone I knew, managed somehow to get Carlsberg to sponsor the night, 200 people showed up, I sold a great amount of stock and flew to Denmark two weeks later.

What's the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never give up, listen to people who believe and support you, and most of all, believe in yourself and your own judgment. You will make mistakes on the way, learn from them, suck it up and keep pushing forward.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Working with Arne Vodder and putting his designs back into production for the first time in 50 years.

What’s been your best decision? Employing the right people for the job. My wife works with me and does all the marketing. The Great Dane brand is where it is today largely due to Emma's work.

Who inspires you? My kids, they inspire me to constantly be better at what I do and who I am.

What are you passionate about? Scandinavian design - very predictable, I know - and food! I love food, cook constantly and I'm addicted to Rick Stein, whom my wife recently bumped into at the Prahran Market and had her photo taken with him. Also love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage, these guys love what they do and you can see it in everything they are doing.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Heston Blumenthal, he changed food and clearly made his own path.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Setting up a boutique farm producing and selling beautiful produce, surrounded by great design and loads of family and friends.

What are you reading? Broadsheet Melbourne


images courtesy of great dane furniture

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

photographer alicia taylor






Alicia Taylor is a photographer who is fast making a name for herself. Not so long ago she was assisting some of London's established shooters, and in a relatively short period of time she's landed covers for Living Etc and Australia's House & Garden magazine. Alicia is also about to photograph two cookbooks - check out her food photography. She splits her time between Melbourne and Byron Bay.


Which five words best describe you? Creative, adventurous, organised, dedicated and kind.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? When I was 11 my mother gave me my grandfather's camera. I used to drag my brother and sister around making them pose for me. On my 12th birthday I received my first camera, a Pentax K1000. At 17 I grabbed my camera and took off to Asia; this was the beginning of my passion for travel photography. I studied design at RMIT and then a BA in Photography at RMIT. It was during my time at RMIT that I saw Simon Griffiths work, at this moment I realised I could combine my passion for food and travel. Soon after graduating I moved to Asia and then the UK. My first great opportunity was to work with my idol, David Loftus (Jamie Oliver’s photographer). From there I worked with wonderful photographers such as Jonathan Gregson, Emma Lee, Simon Brown, Paul Massey and Tom Leighton. Working along side such wonderful interiors photographers was what sparked my career in interiors photography. I returned to Melbourne just over a year ago and began my career in Australia.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? The key to life is people. Love what you do and connect to others, and then life is a joy.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Having the opportunity to have my work published and live off what I love doing.

What’s been your best decision? To travel the world and work with wonderful people.

Who inspires you? Everyone... whether it be a lesson in life or work, there is something to be taken from every moment.

What are you passionate about? Photography, food, people, travel, films and beanies.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? No real desire to meet anyone famous, although Leonardo Da Vinci or Frida Kahlo would have been intriguing to meet.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I love NYC and haven’t lived there yet... maybe six months there and six months in Italy. Ever since I left university I’ve wanted to shoot cookbooks. That was a big one for me and I’ve just landed two. I’d also love to shoot more portraits.

What are you reading? Vogue Living and To kill a mockingbird.

images courtesy of alicia taylor

Friday, 23 September 2011

illustrator kerrie hess







Kerrie Hess is living many people's dream life. She was born in Melbourne but has worked in London as a graphic designer for The Independent newspaper magazines. During this time she was commissioned for illustration work, and now works for clients such as Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Vogue Australia. More recently she has moved to Paris, where she is currently based, with her husband and son. For pics of her Parisian apartment, which was featured in Madison magazine and shot by Carla Coulson (interviewed here) go here. Kerrie has also just released her first book - Shoestring Chic.


Which five words best describe you? Romantic, loyal, creative, eclectic, and positive.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started working as a graphic designer in London for The Independent Newspaper magazines, and began to illustrate for them on the side. I realised that although I still love design, illustration was my real passion. More and more illustration work started to just trickle in from there, including Vogue Australia, which have been one of my best clients for the past 11 years! I feel so very lucky to be able to work as an illustrator full time and genuinely feel excited to get up in the morning for work.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Politeness and hard work can take you a long way.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably getting Shoestring Chic published. Especially as there were several rejection letters along the way! In the end I was so happy to have found a small publisher that really gave me creative license with the book which is a real luxury in the creative world. Client-wise, working for Chanel, and Christian Louboutin are obviously proud moments. And on a local front, I have adored working with Vogue on the Fashion's Night Out campaigns recently; as well as windows for Sambag and their new range of tote bags in partnership with The Australian Ballet.

What’s been your best decision? Having my son Marcel. He's nearly three now. And always manages to remind me to stay in the present moment rather than dwell on the past or even think too much about the future. I think creative people in particular have trouble staying in the present!

Who inspires you? My parents actually. They are such glass half full people that it's mad. Creatively, I am inspired by the likes of Grace Coddington for styling, Collette Dinnigan for dresses, Diane Von Furstenberg for an incredible career and Kelly Wearstler for homewares.

What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about simple things. Time with my son. Doing work that I feel proud of. Dark chocolate and raspberry tarts. Chatting as often as possible with my family. The perfect cashmere sweater. Crunchy 'traditional' baguettes and stealing a moment for a cup of tea on our tiny balcony to gaze over the rooftops. These things are really the initial thoughts behind Shoestring Chic. I love fashion and always try to buy less but buy better. But if I had to choose between a great holiday, or an expensive handbag, I would always take the holiday. Little luxuries and great experiences are my passion. Plus my wardrobe here in Paris is so damn small that I literally don't have room to buy anything that I don't really love!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Alfred Hitchcock.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I try to not make too many long-term lists. Otherwise I find myself thinking that 'I'll be happy when...' rather than just being happy right now. That said, I would like to polish my French and teach my son how to ride a bike. On the travel front, I am dying to get back to London and also visit New York while I am living on this side of the world. I always come back from New York feeling inspired.

What are you reading? I am an absolute book worm who is resisting kindle! I love turning actual pages and my favourite book haunt here in Paris is WH Smith in Concorde. (Which is one of only a couple of English language bookstores in the city.) I am currently reading French Lessons by Ellen Sussman. It's truly captivating. I also loved Heaven, Hell and Mademoiselle by H. C Carlton.


images courtesy of kerrie hess portrait carla coulson

Thursday, 22 September 2011

artist patricia heal








There is a touch of Peter Beard in the fine art photography of Patricia Heal. Each photograph she has created for her latest and eighth show at the Robin Rice Gallery in New York has been painstakingly handled to create a distressed image via the use of tearing, staining and applying archival inks before being stitched onto a canvas with horsehair. The photographs are of wild ponies found in Dartmoor National Park in Devon, England, where Patricia was born and raised. The exhibition is on until October 30, and will travel to London next year.

Which five words best describe you? Calm, patient, hopelessly romantic, quiet, thoughtful.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was fortunate enough to get a job right out of school shooting in a catalogue studio in NYC. It pretty much dictated my path.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Good things usually happen when you least expect it.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Going into business with my husband, who is also a photographer.
What’s been your best decision? Marrying my husband.
Who inspires you? Artists and animals.
What are you passionate about? My work and my life.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Winston Churchill.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Helping people less fortunate than I.
What are you reading? Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen.

images courtesy of patricia heal and robin rice gallery

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

interior designer blainey north






Blainey North has created some of the most spectacular Australian interiors in recent years. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the opulence of the 54 Park St health club while working at ACP Magazines - there aren't too many other gyms in Sydney that have a chandelier hanging above the pool. She also created the salon for hairdresser Renya Xydis in the same building, pictured above. The designs are standouts yet timeless. And so it follows that her recently released furniture collection has the same exacting standards.


Which five words best describe you? Energetic, eccentric, honest, intense, introspective.

What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? My first career job was working for one of my lecturers at university, David Ostinga. His teaching and rigorous approach to design really inspired the way I think about space. He taught me that you have to take an idea and make it part of every detail of every project, which is an important part of what makes our work different. I will never forget the site visit to one of his houses in Cremorne, Sydney. The concrete structure was one of the most beautiful things I've seen to this day.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To remember that hard work will always pay off in the end (sometimes just not in the medium term!).

What’s your proudest career achievement? Having someone write the head of the Intercontinental Hotel a one page letter about how much they loved the rooms we designed.

What’s been your best decision? Deciding to make every project magazine worthy. It's been the toughest decision financially, but definitely the best.

Who inspires you? Carlo Scarpa – the amazing Italian architect, Riccardo Tisci’s designs for Givenchy, Warren Buffet because of his philosophy around investing, not necessarily his actual investments, the people who work for me at Blainey North are always inspiring and my friend and collaborator Simon Portbury – who’s eye for everything I couldn’t live without.

What are you passionate about? My lover, my work, food and wine and all good design.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would rather not meet anyone I think is fantastic or inspirational. We are all human, and thus people you think are amazing often turn out bitterly disappointing... I would rather live with the fantasy

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to have a company that works in all areas of the world combining all design disciplines.

What are you reading? Vladimir Nabakov - The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. W.Somerset Maugham - Then and Now.


images courtesy of blainey north

Friday, 16 September 2011

designer vince frost







While on paper Vince Frost is the creative director and CEO of Frost Design, in reality is he much more than that. He has been named one of Sydney's most influential people by the(sydney)magazine. He has created an agency that's the go-to place for big ideas, which means that he's overseen the design of everything from books to websites to identities and fashion. Vince has also been involved with interior design, which is when I first met him. He will be giving a talk at Apple, Sydney on Wednesday 28 September at 6.30pm - The Ultimate Brief: Designing your life, your business and your happiness.


Which five words best describe you? Dedicated, questioning, sensitive, crazy, passionate.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Went to design school and discovered design, always focused on helping people and doing the best I can.

What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? That by asking quality questions to discover quality answers.

What's your proudest career achievement? I am happy to say that each new day is.

What’s been your best decision? Moving to Australia seven years ago.

Who inspires you? Everyone.

What are you passionate about? Making the most out of every opportunity.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Alexey Brodovitch, art director, photographer died 1971.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Designing a ceative mega centre in Sydney.

What are you reading? Too many emails! The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership by John C Maxwell.


images courtesy of vince frost


Thursday, 15 September 2011

fashion stylist katelyn mooney






After studying fashion design at New York's Parsons School, Katelyn Mooney decided to actually focus on styling rather than design. She quickly racked up an enviable client list, including Marc Jacobs, Vogue Bambini, H&M, J Crew and American Apparel. New York-based Katelyn will guest edit the next issue (#9) of Papier Mache magazine.


Which five words best describe you? Dreamer, mother, ambitious, inspired, enthusiastic.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career started in design and morphed itself into styling as a need for more creative freedom.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Becoming a fashion editor. Especially of Papier Mache.

What’s been your best decision? To style instead of design.

Who inspires you? Children. You can learn alot from them.

What are you passionate about? Kidswear. I get so excited about finding new designers.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Che Guevara

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To travel the world.

What are you reading? Brown Bear, Brown Bear every night.


images courtesy of katelyn mooney

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

writer miranda darling




A highlight of this past year has been producing some features for Harper's Bazaar, and its "A Fashionable Life" series. One of the first shoots I did was with writer Miranda Darling and her husband, architect Nick Tobias.


Miranda is one of those wonderful people who is full of surprises. She began her adult life working as a fashion model in London, Milan and Tokyo while living in Paris. She then moved to New York and worked in film before studying English and Modern Languages at Oxford University. During this time she wrote her first novel, B Model, which is being turned into a film by actress Rachel Griffiths. After travelling to far-flung places such as Namibia and Azerbaijan she returned to Australia and completed a Masters in Strategic Studies and Defence, publishing in industry papers. Subsequently she wrote a book, The Troika Dolls, which was published last year, and its sequel The Siren's Sting has just been released.


The feature is in the October 2011 issue of Harper's Bazaar. And you can follow Miranda's blog here.


Which five words best describe you? Imaginative, warm, reserved, loyal, unlikely.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I think it was more a case of me forging my own path - it has been circuitous, very varied, and definitely with an eye on the journey rather than the goal.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That things won't always happen when you want them to; they will take their own time, and find you when the moment is right.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably publishing my books.

What’s been your best decision? To create a family.

Who inspires you? Intrepid female travellers from the past century.

What are you passionate about? People taking personal responsibility for their actions, and recalibrating their moral compasses. We can all contribute to making the world a better place, and it begins with compassion for the people that cross your path every day.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? It would depend on my mood... right now, the Maharishi, or Ian Fleming.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to make a film.

What are you reading? Deadly waters: inside the hidden world of Somalia's pirates by Jay Bahadur; and An uncertain place by Fred Vargas (my favourite crime writer).


images courtesy of harper's bazaar and prue ruscoe (styling natalie walton)

Friday, 9 September 2011

sneak peek: warnes & walton


Images that tell a story. Text that paints a picture. Styling that brings it all together into a perfect package. Warnes & Walton is on its way...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

travelling to italy



A little while back I travelled to Italy on a family holiday, staying at three different locations in home exchange accommodation. It was a great experience, and I wrote about it for House & Garden magazine. It's in the latest issue - October 2011.

images courtesy of house & garden

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

garden designer richard unsworth






Richard Unsworth has a dream to open a sustainable farm/retreat where people can learn how to grow food, cook well and generally get some balance into their life. While he's a busy man, I think he might just do it. Already Richard has achieved a great deal by taking small but significant steps. He started out working in Parterre, then studied horticulture, worked on people's gardens, opened a shop, Garden Life, then a larger one with a cafe, Twig, and now he's a regular contributor to Belle magazine. Garden Life has gone on to become one of the best garden shops in Sydney. Richard's design business has also created the gardens for some of Sydney's much respected aesthetes, including the duo behind Dinosaur Designs. Regular readers may also recall that I ransacked Garden Life to create this shoot here, and also used it as a location for some of the shots in this spread.

Which five words best describe you? Lively, passionate, stubborn, kind, controlling!!
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I worked for Parterre garden for a few years and studied horticulture at Ryde TAFE, where all good horticulturalists come from. I started gardening just me and a van in 1997, then opened Gardenlife version 1 in Darlo in about 2003.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To take life one day at a time, not to take myself too seriously, and not to have too big an expectation out of people, places and life in general.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I think launching the new store and cafĂ© – (and don’t tell anyone, but just signing a book deal with Penguin).
What’s been your best decision? To bring my brother Michael into Gardenlife as a business partner.
Who inspires you? People who overcome adversity to remain positive and non-bitter about life – I really like Australian story - passionate people who stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.
What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about good design, of course great plants and gorgeous gardens – but also about how we grow our food, our native forests, the damage big agriculture is making, animals in cages.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jesus Christ – just to ask him if any of it was true or not.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I'd like to develop a sustainable farm/retreat where people can come and stay to learn about how to grow food, cook well and eat healthily, do some yoga, learn how to meditate and chill out in general.
What are you reading? Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. The 4-hour work week to see if I can work a few less hours, and I’m constantly reading a big book by a friend of mine, Bill W.


images courtesy of garden life

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