‘Australian Fashion Isn’t Just A Sunburnt Surf Culture Anymore!’ Says Yasmin Sewell

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives in Sydney today. So we rung up three Aussie fashion insiders to get the debrief on the fashion scene Down Under.


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

Sydney, your time in the spotlight is NOW. Last week saw Sydney Fashion Week (MBFWA) where The Debrief purloined various styling tips from the leading Aussie street stylers. This week sees the very first Australian Indigenous Fashion Week, and with The Duchess of Cambridge arriving in Sydney today for her 10 day Australian tour, all eyes are down under. As all our favourite designers and bloggers seem to be Australian right now, we rang three of Australia's leading fashion insiders for the inside scoop on Aussie fashion scene in 2014 - and got ourselves a few suggestions for what labels the Duchess should really be wearing.


Yasmin Sewell – retail consultant and founder of label Etre Cecile

For so long, Australia was pitied in the style stakes

Ten years ago, teens at school weren’t cool unless they were decked out head to toe in surf labels. Which is kind of hilarious, really, given that only a portion of Australians live within a short distance of the beach! Today it’s a different story. The first H&M has just opened in Melbourne’s beautiful General Post Office building and COS is coming soon....

The internet has transformed the fashion scene

The past five years has seen a huge surge in Australian retail; the internet and the instant accessibility that comes with it has played a massive part in that. There are Australian fashion designers really proving themselves on an international level – the likes of Dion Lee, Yang Li and Ellery.

**I dig Australian girls right now


For fashion inspiration, I absolutely love Pop’s Fashion Director Stevie Dance, Cate Blanchett and businesswomen Ita Buttrose.

Kate Middleton likes to keep things classic

For days when she is more on mum duty than royal duty, I would suggest Bassike. It’s a homegrown favoutite, perfect for great quality and fashion relevant staples… they even do a Bassike Mini range, so Prince George could pick himself up a few bits and bobs too! For something a little more dressed up, Christopher Esber is a new name to rise up in the Australian industry. His pieces have a sophistication and uncomplicated femininity that would likely speak to Kate’s classic style.


Candice Lake – photographer, founder of CandiceLake.com and Style Editor of Vogue Australia

Sydney style is a mixture of luxury fashion and high street….

Put together with a sense of ease that other cities don’t have. This uniqueness brings almost every international street style photographer to Sydney for MBFAW – because finally Australian girls are right up there with the girls in Paris or London in terms of great style.

**There is so much Australian fashion talent that the rest of the world needs to know about


The labels I like include Lover, Camilla and Marc, Mania Mania and Ginger and Smart.

Aussie girls are polished in an understated way

Designers Kym Ellery and Camilla Freeman (of Camilla and Marc) are both super chic. Bloggers Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintageand Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl are both very stylish.

**I hope Kate Middleton wears some Aussie fashion on this tour


Toni Matecevski’s collection of gowns was breathtaking last season and The Duchess of Cambridge would certainly look magnificient in his pieces.


Zanita Whittington – photographer and founder of Zanita.com

Aussie girls love to wear colour

So many of my friends have a vibrant aesthetic and it’s quite a talent to juggle so many hues without looking like you’re hosting a children’s TV show! The Aussie look is fun and chic at the same time.

Sydney fashion is all about mixing and matching

It's a misconception that Sydney is always warm, but you don't really need a summer vs. winter wardrobe; you can just mix and match. Some of my favourite labels are Josh Goot, Scanlon and Theodore and Zimmerman.

My blogger friends have great style

Sara Donaldson of Harper and Harley, Jessica Stein, Nicole Warne and Mandy Shadforth of Oracle Fox all look good.

People get more worked up over Lara Bingle than Kate Middleton!

But I think the Duchess should try some Bianca Spender and Jayson Brundson.

  1. Solstice Necklace, £180 Mania Mania; 2. Writer Curve Bikini, £134 Zimmerman; 3. Printed Silk Top, £840 Dion Lee at Net-a-Porter; 4. Printed Silk and Cotton-Blend Bomber Jacket, £199.60 Camilla and Marc at The Outnet; 5. Downtown Leather Shorts, £270 Lover at The Iconic; 6. Feline Pant, £223 Ginger & Smart

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Pictures: Getty, Candice Lake

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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