The Stylist Alphabet: F is for...

F is for...


There is an extraordinary synergy between interior design and fashion, and so it seems a pity to hide clothes behind closed doors. We all have pieces that tell a story, whether due to the design of the garment, the reason for purchase, or a place it was worn. My advice is to display some of your beloved pieces for all to see. Note: study fashion with an interior stylist’s eye and you’ll discover common threads for you to reproduce at home. 


How many clips does one person need? About 5000 is you go by my books! I do not quite have that many, but it may be close. In Japan, while trawling Ito-Ya, the nine-level stationery store, I managed to come out with at least 10 different styles in a range of sizes from teeny weeny to huge. Irresistible. Perhaps I should have worked in a post office. Along with the clips are all the other fasteners I need, such as staplers, paperclips and clipboards. 


I have never lost the thrill of the discovery of a fallen feather. Lorikeet, kookaburra, seafaring birds, blue jay – I’m yet to find a red cardinal. For all the bits and pieces I gather while out shopping, walking or on location, my style philosophy could almost be called ‘lost & found’. Feathers are one of the things I spot with a vengance. I look for stripes, colours, neutrals, big and small, dotted, white, jet inky black. My mother told me many times I was an angel with dreadlocks & mottled wings! I find lots of feathers and am also given many by friends. I’m sure this is so I can replace the fallen ones and still be able to fly. As well as single bird feathers, I have many things made out of feathers – shuttlecocks and arrows, darts, paintbrushes, fans, hair ornaments and headdresses. 

Field study

The study botanists, marine and other sciences (but not to dismiss the enthusiastic amateurs) that collect specimens, record & observe nature. Equipment required on a field trip (though, not necessarily all at once): Flower presses & herbaria, specimen jars, gumboots (or a sensible shoe), clear bags with secure tops, test tubes with cork stoppers, petri dishes, sketchbook & pencil, artist’s roll, shears & scissors or a knife that folds, belt with pockets or cargo pants, butterfly net, alarm clock (for early-morning foraging), sticky tape (a collection in itself), boxes with clear tops, labels & tags, pith helmet, entomological pins, arsenic, camera, fern trowel, magnifying glass, album.  


The flags that flew – tattered through strong winds, relentless storms, high seas and all the wildness of the ocean. The seafarer in me can’t get enough of things that fly, although I am just as satisfied for my flags & bunting to live inside and/or be made of cardboard & paper. A warning, a celebration, an indication of a win or a loss, to scare or attract attention, to signal or even spell something out; there are so many reasons for them that come in an endless variety of forms. Not to be used in a formal way, I soften hard lines with flags that protrude into a space or bunting that is oh-so-casually placed over doorways & in entrances. 


The collective noun for a group of these incredible birds is 'flamboyance'. I'm quite partial to a flamboyance of flamingos, here & there. You'll even find a flamingo on my one of my surfboard designs with McTavish.  

Flotsam & jetsam

The dashed pieces of a shipwreck, the debris of the wreckage. Flotsam is wreckage thrown off a ship, while jetsam is matter that has fallen off a ship. Aging imprints beauty onto even the most humble of man-made objects. Consider a beached piece of broken boat: most would see this as unremarkable flotsam ready to be discarded, but for me it has unique textural appeal  and its sculptural qualities pair beautifully with rough-hewn stools next to an otherwise plain white wall. Note: There are rules to be respected about taking flotsam & jetsam from the beach & shore lines, so be conscientious and read the signs at local spots. 


A stylist’s dream – I love fresh, fabric, milliners’, and all sorts of printed and artistic renderings – as the combinations are endless and almost impossible to mismatch. Experiment with your own floral motifs and see where it takes you. 


To rummage, search, sticky beak or have a very good look through. A handy skill to pull out of your bag of tricks at markets of any kind, antique shops & side-of-the-road sales. Most likely to reward the fossicker with a rare treasure or two.

The Stylist Alphabet:
A is for...      
B is for...
C is for...      
D is for...
E is for...

FILED 30, Aug 2015

  • SYDNEY SHOP & STUDIO 3.02 75 Mary Street St Peters NSW 2044
  • 0429 589 982
  • SYDNEY SHOP & STUDIO 3.02 75 Mary Street St Peters NSW 2044
  • 0429 589 982