Long time, no post, hasn't it been! I thought I would start doing on of these "Style Icon" posts every week about some stylish people who I find really inspirational when it comes to all things fashion, so, on the list, my very first Style Icon is Kelly Smythe.
If you don't follow me on Twitter (@blackbirdblog), you won't know that yesterday night, I had the upmost honour of actually, legitimately meeting with one of Australia's top stylists through some people I know. It was absolutely ethereal. I was actually shaking as I went in, that's how amazing and iconic she is.
Before I met her, I suppose one could say that I sort of "stalked" her website and twitter a tad just to get to know her a bit better so I'd have a ground to stand on when I did meet her, and thanks to the joy of the world wide web, I found out a bit more about who Kelly Smythe really is and what she does.
In a nutshell, Kelly is a stylist; a person who arranges clothes for another person in order to suit their physique, their style and their personality. The company she works for is a private company, meaning that she doesn't market herself through television commercials or the newspaper or any public means of promotion, so hence, this would probably be the meaning to why you have probably never heard of her before. If you have heard of her, I commend you -- you know your stylists! As well as styling for members of the private public, she also stylist "famous people" who come to Australia, say, for a concert or a fashion show.
Just to name of the few people she's styled:
♥ Miranda Kerr (several times)
♥ Jodi Gordon (several times)
♥ Rachel Finch
♥ Jennifer Hawkins (several times)
♥ Megan Gale
♥ Chris & Liam Hems worth
♥ Delta Goodrem (several times)
♥ Eva Mendes
♥ Kelly Rowland
♥ Samantha Harris
So, now that we know a bit about Kelly, let's talk about the meeting! I was actually a bit surprised, as when my father drove me up the long, harbour viewing street in the very upmarket parts of the Eastern Suburbs, he stopped the car and waved at a lady buckling a toddler into a four wheel drive. She waved back. Curious, I asked which house was Kelly's and dad pointed at the house in front of where the lady, the toddler and the car were all situated.
The lady was dressed surprisingly casual, considering that moments later, I found out that she was Kelly Smythe in the flesh. She wore a pink singlet, a grey mini-skirt, her long brown hair was out and she wore black Havaianas. She was so casual! And here I was wearing an LBD and suede stilettos, thinking that if I was meeting someone so A-classed, I would need to dress accordingly. I did admit to feeling a bit embarrassed and overdressed when I saw her in her "casual" day wear. She is rather petite too. Probably about my height if I was not wearing the heels.
Anyway, she took us up into her office half of her Eastern mansion and into a lift. I'm a girl who lives in the older, but still upmarket half of Sydney and to have someone have a lift in their mansion was quite surprising. The office was gorgeous, filled with beautiful clothes and garments and shoes and fashion and wonderfulness.
At first, I was so extremely shy about meeting her, partially because I was wonderstruck about meeting such an influential person and secondly because I felt that if I talked, I would probably end up saying something extremely embarrassing. (which, by the end of the day, I did! :P)
After a drink, we were sat down at a table overlooking the glorious summer day ocean and we begun to talk fashion. I asked her several questions regarding fashion, the industry and just some other questions in general. Though I haven't got a recording or anything, this is kind of how her answers went along.
I think the first question was about how she found herself in the industry.
She talked about her arrival into Australia from New Zealand and pretty much straight after that, she was head hunted into working with Channel 7 (one of the main Australia television channels) as a premier stylist for the company, and so she did that for a while before being asked to style for the Olympics, dancing with the stars and a few more. She styled Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins and with her, travelled to Paris Fashion Week and I believe this is where she begun to promote herself and gain an international scale of acknowledgement. After that, she decided on taking the "giant life changing leap of faith" and opening up her own private styling business, Kelly Smythe pty. ltd. and this is how her "big" A-classed career began.
I then asked her where one would considering going to university if one would like to head off into the styling/design/general fashion career.
She pretty much responded instantaneously with the Whitehouse Institute of Design which, for those outside of Eastern Aus, is the top, most expensive (I might add) university school for fashion and design. She also made a mention that one wouldn't need to peruse textiles or design throughout schooling but it would be a good idea.
I asked for her five fashion tips and she came up with a few.
♥ Never wear more than one dominant colour (It's like looking into the sun)
♥ Don't dye your hair darker (for it creates for a paler countenance)
♥ Walk away from the current trends of geometrics and floral patterns (they will go out as quickly as they came in)
♥ Act your own age (Don't dress as though you are older because the years will come. Pretty much, dress appropriately)
♥ Chose a style that reflects on your personality and remember to always stay true to yourself. (She is really down to earth)
Overall, meeting Kelly was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I was only there for about forty-five minutes, it went by so quickly. As they say, time flies when you're having fun!