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A few weeks back I mentioned I got a new feature for xssat in the works, well, here it is, the first ever installment! xsstyle is a style profile of stylish people in their stylish homes, just like my street fashion hunts, I will aim to get a broad cross section of people and interiors for this feature.

For this first installment I’ve asked my good friends Grace and Hazim to let me into their cute cottage in Annadale, an up and coming suburb in Sydney’s inner west. Hazim is an art director by day and illustrator by night and Grace is an interior designer, so this really is the creative couple!

Hazim’s framed illustration and prints of Grace’s interior works

I started thinking about doing this feature quite a while ago, but approaching strangers on the street for photos is 1 thing, asking them to let me into their homes is another, so I’m starting with people I know. Hazim and I used to work for the same ad agency, he doesn’t talk much, he’s really most happy when given time and space to simply draw. When I met Grace I was amazed at how adorable the 2 were together and how much more Hazim comes out of his shell. The 2 lovelies tied the knot over a year ago, I attended and photographed the wedding. Grace’s outfit was stunning, the simple dress from Akira, the jeweled head wreath, the leather sandals, arh… that’s when you can tell the couple work in the creative industry.

xsstyle is more than fashion, it’s about how one’s style translates into clothes, interiors and one’s way of life. Style is life! Grace has always had a distinct style, I envy people with a distinct style. Going through Grace’s wardrobe I was really surprised at the small amount of clothes, every time we met up she was dressed great and I barely remember seeing repeat outfits. Grace firmly believes in quality over quantity, she invests in classic pieces that are versatile and will last, chatting with her really made me think about my shopping habits and I’m proud to say I haven’t bought any clothes for a whole 2 months! Quality, always think quality… woo uniqlo UK site ships to Australia…

A light lunch of cheese, ham, jams and fruits served on a George Jensen cheese board

Noodle, the couple’s cute cat

Grace and Hazim’s house really reflects their taste, simple good designs mixed with cutesy art and funky items. Everything worked together and at the same time it’s a livable space, it’s cozy, it’s not an art gallery because that’s the last place you would want your home to feel like. A photographer I met in New York told me he made his apartment as uncomfortable as he could, so he’d go out to take photos more often. Hmm… that’s a little extreme for me, I do like a cozy home and my creature comforts.

G+H also had a cool attic which contains Hazim’s study where he draws and creates til owl hours of the morning.

Awesome coffee table

Noodle’s bed stylishly perched on top of a Missoni cussion

Love those Marc by Marc Jacobs boots

And as always, the usual mini interview!

Grace
Occupation: Interior designer
Describe your style: Classic
Favourite fashion designers: Lover, United bamboo, Marc by Marc Jacobs (assercories & shoes only)
Favourite clothing stores: Blood orange, Via Alley and Incu.
Hazim
Occupation: Art Director
Describe your style: Jeans and t-shirts
Favourite fashion designers: APC, Vans
Favourite clothing stores: Incu, Via Alley, Somedays (Online – needsupply, blackbirdballard)

Did I mention Hazim’s a very talented illustrator? Please check out his folio here and H’s just done a series of limited edition fine art prints inspired by bands, animal collective, grizzly bear, dodos, modest mouse… yes… animal bands! Buy some prints here and feed the hungry zoo!

Now it’s time for me to curl up in the easy chair with a book and a cup of tea. Hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of xsstyle, many more to come in the future.

Psssstttt, I’ve booked a return flight to Shanghai for later this year! I’ll be taking 10 weeks off altogether, to explore my home town where I haven’t been for 6 or 7 years, but also to do some intrepid backpacking through China’s south west. To top it off, I might even sneak in a week or 2 in Japan. Quite the adventure huh? I know. I can’t wait!

Speaking of China. I had the pleasure of meeting Anina at RAFW, well, let’s see… ok… yeah, it was definitely her awesome yellow jacket that caught my eye. Anina is a model based in Beijing, was even awarded top foreign model there last year, she’s also the founder of online fashion network and community 360 fashion. This girl’s got a lot on her plate and still looks fabulous.

Name: Anina
Occupation: Model, founder of 360 fashion
Describe your style: Elegant, gothic twist with some Chinese accents.
Favourite fashion designers: Lu 12.28, Le Divan and Dan Jones.
Favourite clothing stores: Lu 12.28 and Le Divan (Beijing).

http://www.360fashion.net/

Ruby Rose - LMFF

Ruby Rose - LMFF

Ruby Rose is a MTV presenter here in Australia, a bit of celebrity spotting at LMFF :D

Just a quickie. Melbourne girls love black! But they wear it well I have to say and black will always be the new black.

Black with a dash of red - L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

Black with a dash of red - L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival

Name: Alice
Occupation: Architect
Describe your style: Dresses made by me and my mum.
Favourite fashion labels: None
Favourite clothing stores: Alpha 60

Alice’s red socks caught my attention, then I noticed the cardigan as scarf, love it! Turns out, Alice was wearing stockings, but it was too hot, so she bought some red socks and changed. She’s too lazy to carry the cardigan in her hands so wrapped it around her neck. Et Voila! Little unique touches always does it for me.

What makes you a New Yorker? Do you have to be born in New York? Live here for 10 years? 20 years? Is it a lifestyle, an attitude, or maybe you just need to put on a big parka and stride the streets of New York with confidence.

You know I was secretly so happy when on 3 separate occasions recently that people asked me for directions in New York! Even though I only vaguely helped 1 of them, but still, to appear to be a local is a huge compliment to me. Well, as soon as I open my mouth, they’d know they asked the wrong person, but hey, that 1 I can work on!

So when I saw Dorothy from across the street I knew that this was a New York gal. Something about the way she dressed, the boots, the stride, the coffee in her hand, oh-so-New-Yorker! Well, I stomped across the street with my 3 trillion shopping bags and asked to take her picture. (Ok, 3 shopping bags, but that’s still a handful.)

New Yorker - Soho

New Yorker - Soho

Name: Dorothy
Occupation: Student
Describe your style: Whole heartedly New York
Favourite fashion label: None
Favourite clothing store: Vintage shops

Dorothy is a born and bred New Yorker, now that’s kinda rare but not so hard to spot.

I am back! Well, somewhat, I am still traveling, constantly on the road, so internet is hard to come by, but at least I’ve started to style hunt again.

A little recap, I’ve just spent the last month in France, the first 2 weeks on an organic farm with no electricity and hot water, eating vegetarian only. It was very idyllic, a bit of hard work and a strange existence in the middle of the mountains surrounded by nature, my hosts have 4 lovely/crying/screaming children. To top it all off I had the worst hayfever, it felt like I was allergic to everything, the trees, the flowers, the cats, even dosed on Zrytec I’d spend the first 2 hours of everyday blowing my nose constantly. Perhaps I got used to the polluted London and my system decided to reject such pure nature.

I feel like I really need to explain that, drinking water straight from the mountain everyday, eating only organic vegetarian and fruits of my labour, vanity and style was the last thing I cared about. So it has been a slow process starting to hunt street style again, but alas, I was in Paris!

So Parisiennes, now they are a different brew. Classic, simple and always always always stylish. It made me cringe with my peasantness and the clothes in my backpack for 2 months.

Black and white - Paris

Black and white - Paris

Name: Victoria
Occupation: Biology student
Describe your style: Classical, bourgeois bohemian.
Favourite fashion label: Vanessa Bruno

Black and white - Paris

Black and white - Paris

Name: Mya
Occupation: Work in a college
Describe your style: Eclectic
Favourite fashion label: None
Favourite clothing shop: Zara

So going from pulling out weeds with my bare hands, I went on to meet and snap these lovely and stylish Parisiennes and that has been France for me. I feel like the week I had in Paris was not enough at all, I would like to return and explore more, well I am sure I will be back.

A bientôt Paris!