GUEST POST: What does Australian style look like?

If a strange man comes up and asks if he can take your photo in the next couple of weeks, pat yourself on the back. You may have been annointed one of the most stylish people IN THE WORLD. The Sartorialist, the most powerful fashion blogger – and one of the most influential people in the entire fashion industry – has arrived in Australia to capture the essence of Australian style.

His shots are always stunning – it’s not just about the clothes and it’s never really about labels. His shots are always so beautifully composed and capture something that goes way beyond fashion.

Here’s an example of what he’s shot so far….

Former fashion retailer and writer Julie Cowdroy has more….

At Hugos bar in Manly on Saturday night, I channeled Scott Schuman.


Better known as the Sartorialist, this guy pretty much takes photos of people on the street (fabulous streets, darling, like Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris), posts them on his website ( and defines to the world what style is. He’s kind of a big deal on Planet Fashion and has been heralded one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Design Influencers.

Back to Hugos. As I sipped my champagne, waiting for a table, I looked everyone up and down and thought about whom I would and wouldn’t snap, were I he. Oh, and of course, all the while running a commentary on everyone’s fashion faux pas to my husband who found the entire exercise excruciating. (Really, who the HELL do I think I am to do this?? I am a mother of 2, and we were out for the first time in TWELVE MONTHS at an establishment filled with people younger and way cooler than me). Anyway back to my fantasy. I only found one worthy lady. She was an Asian woman in her forties who looked effortless and elegant in a short black swing dress, ankle boots, round thin-rimmed specs perched on her nose, a gold clutch, a FABULOUS neckpiece with a killer strut. She was the essence of Parisienne chic. A little Japanese lady, looking all French and sophisticated in the beachside suburb of Manly, Australia. That’s who deserves to be looked at through the lens of Mr Schuman’s camera. Oh and of course, he would obviously want to snap me. *Cough*.

Why was I pretending to be the authority on street style? Well, he is in Sydney and Melbourne this week, promoting his newly published book, The Sartorialist, and having book signings at Sass and Bide. He will also, of course, be snapping away and looking to, as he said last week “meet some of you in your Down Under Summertime finest.”

Here you can see he has already taken some shots. I was quite disappointed to see one of his subjects was a hot chick on the beach. BORING. I mean, I could have seen this type of shot in any of the swimwear editorials in January’s fashion mags. Having said that, I really enjoyed his findings when he was here in April this year.

This time, his focus seems to be summertime in Australia. It got me thinking how I would sum up Aussie Summer fashion. Would it be the dude in boardies and thongs flipping snags on a Sunday; Akubras on the farm; bikinis, zinc (and not much else!) in Bondi?

Then there is our vast array of Aussie fashion designers – Sass and Bide, Willow, Ksubi (you know the brand where you can’t quite tell if the clothes are for boys or girls???) Ginger and Smart, Bassike, Collette Dinnigan….

PS – if you want the Sartorialist to notice you, here is a step-by-step guide of how he chooses his subjects: (I wonder if “mother in yoga pants and sensible black t-shirt pushing a pram that smells like vomit with crushed up biscuits through it, a screaming baby inside while dragging a defiant two-year old wearing Dorothy the Dinosaur gum boots, pink tutu and stained red t-shirt would catch his eye….?)

What do you think about the Sartorialist and how he should present Australia to the world? What would you wear if the Sartorialist was going to snap YOU? Who are your favourite Aussie designers? What is typical Aussie fashion, anyway?


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