Jo Blankfield - Fashion Stylist

logo

Fashion Editorials all styled by Jo Blankfield

jo

Fashiolista Jo Blankfield has created a personal stylist profile arising into its twelfth year of unimaginable success in the industry. Jo’s career guide as a fashion stylist boasts of a collective itinerary consulting with broad forum of services. Freelancing her aspiration to assist clients improve their image whether corporate or your street walk in boutique sheik fashionists. Wide-ranging consultancy styling from personal, editorial, wardrobe, merchandising, photographic, catalogue, fashion gala’s, and commercial just to name a few of her mode talents.

Not long ago, I became acquainted with the style fashion diva at the Spring Racing Ultimate Fashion workshop staged at the SOFITEL Melbourne at Collins Street. Jo’s mesmeric charm leaves you hypnotic as she silently approaches you for a chat about aspiring fashion stylists and designers. Observing the mogul strutting her flair of tips and ideas is inexhaustible.

Jo Blankfield has a layer of depth as she relaxes to respond to questions and comments which are out of the ordinary. Learn more about the fashiolista’s life and current ventures from both sides of the industry – what inspires this driven stylist.

098

What firstly made you want to become a stylist? And how long have you been a stylist for?

I actually fell into styling, originally I trained and performed as an opera singer and studied law at university. For fun and a bit of money, I started assisting my best friend’s mum backstage at fashion parades, and with the styling and gradually realized it was something I had a natural talent in. I started this when I was about 17, so I’ve been in the industry for over 12 years.

How did you first start working as a stylist? What was your first styling job?

I assisted for many years and during this time realized that my interest was in personal styling, so I started taking friends and their friends and mum’s shopping to get experience and then the word got out and it grew further and further. Outside of assisting, I honestly don’t remember when my first solo styling job happened, but I moved from assisting into presenting side by sde with my mentor and then by myself. Whilst still assisting her.

 Had you previously study any fashion related courses? Or did you learn on the job.

I have not done any fashion realated courses and have only learnt from on the job training. Saying this I spent years training on the job, probably over 5 years and even when I was styling solo or running events myself, I would still assist to learn more. 12 years on, I’m still learning from others, including my clients!

IMG_1153

Two years ago you were apart of the Westfield National Tour for Autumn/Winter. Tell us more about the experience of touring!       

I was fortunate enough to work with Westfield as their touring stylist for some time. I toured with Gok Wan, styling the looks back stage. The expectations and pressure in this were incredible, but so enriching. I was literally given 8 minutes to style a complete stranger from scratch, including ensuring that they had hair and make up done in this time as well. I learnt so much from this experience, working with Gok and working under the pressure and learnt that anything really is possible!

 What would you say is your favorite part about working in the fashion industry?

I love the fact that as a personal stylist. I can really make a difference for my clients. I make them feel better about themselves and show them the simple tricks and tools to ensure they always look good and feel confident.

You also do visual merchandising, what’s your favorite part? And how do you go about creating inspiration for VM

VM for me is really an extension of my styling. I like to think about what will inspire the people looking at the display. What is the VM there for, am I setting a scene, is it to sell product, is it to inspire an idea? I get a lot of my inspiration from the context and then create from there. I guess you could say I have quite a practical and logical approach to VM and styling.

150

 You also host styling parties! Tell us more about this.

Booking a personal stylist can be an investment, one that people aren’t always able to make or uncertain about, so styling parties are a great introduction to the service, but also a great way to get personal styling ideas in a group in an affordable way in your own home. Really it’s a great reason to get the girls together and learn about how to dress for yourself and know what works for each other so when you shop together you can help each other.

 How many Celebrities have you worked with? What was the experience like do you ever get “star stuck”

I’ve worked with Celebrities from time to time, including Jennifer Hawkins, Gok Wan, Trinny and Susannah, cast members from Neighbours, Home & Away and Winners and Losers, Brynne Edelstein to name a few. I have always found them to be lovely and down to earth and I don’t get star struck as I view them as real people who happen to be well know.

 Where is your all time favorite place to shop?

I’m an eclectic shopper. I have great pieces from random shops overseas from Japan to New York and pieces from great Australian designers including Thurley and Sass & Bide, as well as main stream pieces from Portmans, Jag, Sussan etc. I will always check out any store and shop everywhere. I always look for a piece that fits well, suits my style and budget and will work back with my wardrobe.

monika05

 Most treasured item in your closet?

wardrobe-1

This is a hard one! I’m a shoe girl, and have a shoe wall, so I guess it has to be my shoes. I have an amazing pair of Givenchy wooden heels that I picked up for an absolute bargain in NYC. I live in them through summer, and also a pair of leopard print Payless shoes that I always get a compliment on when I wear them and they cost me $20 about 4 years ago and they’re still going strong!!

Five items every girl needs in their wardrobe?

Honestly your key wardrobe pieces do depend on lifestyle, however every girl needs a well fitted bra, it can completely change your shape! Great Jeans are always a good piece to have and any age, shape or personality can find a style that will suit them. A leather Jacket or blazer that isn’t too long is a key piece for anyone. The jacket should end around your hipbone or slightly shorter. This will mean you can work it back with pants, jeans, dresses and skirts as it won’t be too long and overwhelm the look. I often guide my clients to try print pants as they can really lift a wardrobe as too many flat colour pieces won’t mix and match well. They come in so many styles that they really can work for everyone. Remember that the print doesn’t have to be big or too colourful. Finally an LBD or something similar if you don’t wear black. Basically a dress that you can dress up or down and can recreate to look different each time you wear it with accessories and layers. If you had a time machine what is your favorite fashion era you would like to travel to?

I’d like to travel to the future to see where fashion and style is going. My feeling is that over the last 5-10 years we’ve become more about style than fashion and are trying to work with the best styles from past eras that suit current body shapes and lifestyles and am keen to see how this will develop into the future.

136

How would you describe your signature look?

I’m quite chameleon-like in my style, however I only wear heels, so I guess that’s my signature look. Obviously I wear sneakers to the gym, but otherwise I always wear heels at work, casually or going out. Right now I’m loving boyfriend jeans and in winter I’ll often be seen in a leather jacket or leather pants.

Favorite stylist trick?

Rubber bands to ¾ your sleeves, which will highlight your waist, make you look taller and leaner, and make an outfit less bulky!

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by the everyday person, particularly my clients. I love seeing them transform and appreciate their openness and willingness to try new things and open themselves up to me and the experience. People who are confident in their style are also a huge inspiration to me as they own their look.

monika08

 Lastly What advice would you give anyone looking to work as a stylist?

Don’t be in a rush. Learning to style takes time and on the job experience is the best thing you can get! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and always be open to learning. Think about what aspect of styling you want to do. Do you want to be an editorial or commercial stylist, is VM your thing, do you like personal styling, do you want to be working in shopping centres? The opportunities and areas are limitless these days and knowing where you want to be and trying them all first is a great idea. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in all aspects of styling and although I am capable of all, I have realized after 12 years that my passion lies in working with the everyday person and working both one on one and presenting at events to do this.

  Special Thanks to Jo Blankfield

IMG_1217

APOM

apom

http://www.apom.net.au/

APOM is the collaboration between Kajsa Kvernmo and Kate Brook, a partnership bound by a mutual affinity for handcrafted techniques, narrative and the natural world.The two met at university started designing together in their final year, both undertaking a second degree, with a dream to pursue, years of interning and work experience behind them, a vision unlocked and empowered by our chance encounter

Kajsa is Sami indigenous Norwegian, which is a group of people who have a rich culture, their own language, and deeply engrained tradition. The Sami have a deep connection with nature, they live by the law of nature and learn from an early age to respect and cherish it. Kate grew up with polish heritage and spending time on her grandparent’s farm in the Adelaide hills. As a child, on adventures with siblings she would dream up dazzling stories assisted by her, grandfathers involvement in horse racing and a her grandmothers closet full of race-wear treasures.

SONY DSC

Prints are an integral part of the APOM brand. They work with a local artist each season to design a print that is unique to their own label. Collaborating with local artists to turn their creations into unique prints and an inherent narrative behind each collection, they strive to bridge a connection between the wearer and the creator of each APOM garment. Kajsa and Kate pride themselves on making beautiful wearable clothing that is not too delicate to be lived in. From the high quality fabrics to the carefully designed cuts and details, the collection resonates with those seeking both quality and beautiful design

What is your label about? 

APOM is a label dedicated to easy wearable day to day clothing.  Beautiful quality flattering silhouettes.

What’s a usual day in the office?  We religiously sit down every morning with a cup of coffee and de brief. Plan the day, talk about what’s happening with the label and have a giggle. Besides the coffee everyday is different from the next depending what stage of the season we are in. We could be pattern making the whole day or visiting suppliers/ customers or the factory.

apomsssss

Did you study fashion? If not what did you study? Kajsa and I both studied Fashion design in Melbourne.

What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?  We are very lucky to have a career in something we love doing, not a lot of people can say they get to go to work doing something they love with their best friend. Our favorite part of our job is seeing each collection come together, after months of pattern making and toiling seeing a beautiful array of garments is the best feeling.

How did you select the materials you used?

We are always drawn to texture and color, we initially pick out a few key fabrics and try and fill in the gaps with some basics. We work with an artist each season to design a new print based on the inspiration behind the collection.

Before creating your brand did you work for another label?

Kajsa and I both interned in our last year of university.

What made you create this label? Tell us your story

We both finished university and where at a point in our lives where we wanted to create something for ourselves. Tired of throw away fashion we hoped to create something a little more meaningful.

How did you get started in all this?

We always had a love for creating which led us both to study fashion, which eventually led to the label – an outlet for us both to be creative.

How did you get to where you are now with your label?

apomssss

We have worked extremely hard for the past two years. We started the label fresh out of university and were a little niave. We made a lot of mistakes but learnt hard and fast not to make them again.

How and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration? 

We base each collection on a narrative, creating a story inspired by something that has come into our lives during the previous 6 months. It could start with a song, a movie a news story anything that has sparked a thought of inspiration and stayed with us. Before we begin designing again we like to get out of the studio, we often take a day or two and get out of Melbourne to refresh and relax and talk about what we want for the next season.

Who is your target market? The APOM lady has her own style. She likes to be comfortable but still feel elegant.  she has an active lifestyle,  and needs her clothing to cater for that. We have found there is no limit on who wears our clothing, we have found women from all ages wear APOM clothing the way they want.

newphoto1

Where is the final product made?  We have a factory in Melbourne that makes about 80% of our garments, all our printed garments are made  in India.

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

 Seeing our first collection materialize and sold in stores around Melbourne. It was the first time we saw our clothing on a rack. These first few months were very exciting times. Every little achievement APOM gets we still get a bit of a buzz out of, the Label is still growing and every day is exciting for us.

apom

Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

We admire women who have ever lasting style like Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly. We get inspired by local artists and makers but some of our favorite designers are Phoebe Philo and Proenza Schouler for their innovative prints and textured fabric

Special thanks to Kajsa Kvernmo and Kate Brook xx

Christie Nicole

CN
me

Become acquainted with flairfashion designer Christie Nicole Trowbridge. A pipedream that blossomed into her own label at the youthful age of 23 years. Completing a Bachelor of Design in fashion, Christie landed the grand opportunity of an internship with one of the finest fashion icons of the century, Karen Walker.

Based in New Zealand, Christie embraced prospectus offers to learn the business and flourished with the continual success of where the brand has emerged today.

Christie Nicole took sexy intimate apparel pieces and tailored every woman with the desire to feeling and looking beautiful. Accessories are an ensemble when assembling an outfit. The designer’s exquisite handcrafted bralettes are carefully crafted in her personal Sydney studio.

A roundtable discussion with Christie about her passion – her label.

“Grabbing inspiration from anywhere & everywhere.”   

4R4A3515

What’s your name?

Christie Nicole Trowbridge

 Age? 23

Did you previously study fashion? 

I sure did, studied a Bachelor of Design

4R4A4454

How did you get started?

Once I graduated I went an did an internship with Karen Walker in New Zealand for 8 months and I came back and I could not get a job anywhere within the design industry. So I decided to start my label and amazingly it has bloomed and all my time goes towards

What made you get into fashion?

My grandma, I remember her always sewing around me when I was younger, then I did textiles at school and really loved it!

4R4A5728

Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

Riccardo Tisci – Givenchy – IN LOVE

4R4A4385

What’s your up coming design theme for your brand?

My Spring / Summer collection is being launched early October, called the ‘The Great Escape’ – that is all I can tell you for now, you’ll have to wait and see J

4R4A3399

What made you create this brand?

I always wanted to have my own brand from the start it was just a matter of when.

How many years did it take for your idea to hit reality and start producing and selling?

It honestly took about a month or two.

4R4A3671

what’s your main focus on your brand, where is your label made?

My main focus on my brand is to produce beautiful products that everything lovely lady will want. At the moment I am taking everything one step at a time, its all a learning curve at the moment.

I hand make all bralettes in Sydney, Australia and leather clothing pieces are made in Indonesia.

4R4A5389

What are your future plans with the label and your feeling for future trends!

A soon future plans would be to eventually expand into doing clothing etc

I do have a plan for the future but its top secret! :) 

Special thanks to Christie Nicole xx

www.christienicole.bigcartel.com

4R4A5978

Bird & Knoll

birdknoll
BirdandKnoll_MacaylaChapman_NatalieKnoll_circle_lowres_large

Bird and knoll was founded by Macayla Chapman and Natalie Knoll in 2013.  Both dynamic duos having Natalie's talent behind the camera and Macayla's creative business background having a broad experience in New Zealand with the most successful fashion businesses. Collaboration focuses on combining tactile, quality textiles and finishes with distinct photographic images to create a beautiful brand of lux accessories. Each of their luxurious oversized cashmere-blend scarves is printed with a photograph of an iconic and exotic destination - a narrative of the modern woman's contemporary lifestyle and travel aspirations.. "we have set out to create an accessories collection that the discerning fashionista would use as the final edit of her outfit - like a great handbag, a beautiful pair of shoes … an eye-catching scarf" says Chapman "these are pieces that simplify her life with their versatility, quality and creative impact."

I was delighted when Natalie agreed to be interviewed for LeBlondeFox about what Natalie and Macayla have created together. Below is a further insight about the two and their brand for us to read. Their achievements with the brand are rising and which we are proud to see in our Australian brands as they continue to do so!

b&kkkk

 

What is your label about?

Bird and Knoll is elegantly brings together fashion, travel and photography on our oversized cashmere blend scarves. We are very much about luxury and quality and versatility.

What made you create this label? Tell us your story.

I (Natalie) have been a professional photographer for more than ten years but had been looking for another creative outlet for a while. The idea came to me when we were travelling and I knew that I needed to do this with friends and fashion aesthete, Macayla. We have been working on the label for a year and a half now and have just lauched our second collection to our more than twenty stockists across five countries and online. 

b&kkkkk

How did you get started in all this?

We had the business background from my years as an investment banker in London and New York. We had the creative photography from my more than ten years as a photographer and we had the fashion and editorial industry know-how from Macayla’s experience working for top fashion labels in New Zealand doing sales and marketing. Taking all of this knowledge and experience and a lot of research and product development, we have slowly but methodically built a brand that we are very proud of. 

b&k7

How many in your team?

The business is really Macayla and I but we have a phenomenal support team with our PR firms in Australia, New Zealand and New York and from our supplier in China.

How did you get to where you are now with your label?

A lot of research, asking the right questions, comparing what we have and want to do with what is out there, taking constructive feedback from our stockists and customers…really focusing on important details that make the Bird and Knoll experience a complete one. 

How and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration?

  Bird and Knoll appeals to a broad demographic right from younger fashionistas to more mature fashion doyennes – but they are always women who recognize the value of one of our scarves as the final edit to their outfit.

b&k3

How do you go about sourcing your products?

Once we have quite a clear idea of what we want from our own research, we liaise with our supplier agent in Hong Kong who is brilliantly effective at helping us to source the right finish, the right quality, the right look for Bird and Knoll.

How many years did it take for your idea to hit reality and start becoming a reality?

It took us a year from when we first started talking about it to delivering our first collection to stockists.

Where is the final product made?

Our products are made just outside of Shanghai using an Italian owned company with representation in China. They are as pedantic about quality as we are. 

b&k4

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

Being described by Harpers Bazaar as a failsafe travel accessory, being instagrammed by Lindy Klim and Lesley Crawford, being selected as part of the wardrobe ensemble for a new Australian movie…There have been a lot of highlights! We are really so happy with how Bird and Knoll is flying… 

What are your future plans with your label?

Scarves will always be the core product of Bird and Knoll but we are looking to introduce an interesting and beautiful new product next year. We have also started collaborating with a well-known Australian designer and head to New York next month for meetings with buyers and media there. 

b&kone

Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

Travel and culture and the imagery they generate are our greatest inspirations but we get a little giddy looking at labels like Givenchy and Chanel for their unbelievably amazing details. Australian designers have really come into their own too – wonderfully fresh and unique perspectives that have really made the world sit up and take notice of what is happening Downunder. 

What’s your feeling for future trends – We see people wanting more and more simplicity in their lives but not at the expense of style. Design is already and will need to continue to accommodate this in cuts, fabric and versatility. 

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!

It may sound clichéd, but hard work, research, knowing your market and not compromising on the quality and finish you want are imperative. Most importantly….Be nice!!

b&k8

Special thanks to Natalie & Macayla xx

http://www.birdandknoll.com