The truth is before I started Style Voyeur, I hated Perth!
In the beginning, starting a positive, Perth based blog, I actually had to pretend I loved this humble town.
Don’t feel deceived, this journey has changed my life!
I’d travelled a fair bit growing up having a German mother, so as soon as I finished school I literally got on a plane, alone at 17, out as fast as I could. I travelled around Europe for over a year, working at some of the finest hotels, seeing the world and living by my own rules. I had a working visa, had created a base primarily in the stunning naval town of Dartmouth in England where family friends resided as artists but as soon as my visa ran out I had to come ‘home’. Although my mother is German and I am actually a distant relative of the current Pope – Benedict XVI – hilarious right!? Mother dearest wasn’t in fact a citizen when I was born and surprisingly (not) Germany has the strictest rules with citizenship. My father is as Aussie as they come and on his side I am 8th Generation Australian, stemming back to Mr Brisbane so I had no other choice but to return to P-town.
I left all my friends behind, had nothing in common with anyone I knew before I left (bar my best friend who is from NZ and travelled her whole life) and I felt as though I didn’t belong anywhere on this planet. It’s hard to explain why it impacted me so but I felt as though my heart was ripped from me and until you know what it’s like to feel as though you belong nowhere, I can tell you it is like nothing else – the worst. It took years to accept that this is where I live. I went to University, got a great job Art Directing at one of Perth’s biggest design studios, but all the while. inside I felt empty. Alien to my life.
It wasn’t until July of 2008 when Perth Fashion Festival Event Manager, Lauren Elliott spotted my Myspace that I was rescued.
Immediately my life changed for the better.
At the time my Myspace was my safe heaven. My outlet, filled with inspiration, prospect and colour. I had people from all over the world, most notably, Wendy James (former front lady of Transvision Vamp, residing in New York) tell me they found inspiration in my pictures and what I was all about. I was doing a similar thing to what Style Voyeur started out as – taking pictures of people and things that inspired me, discussing clothes and ideas with designers and writers (Brent Billman, writer for V Magazine became a friend) and constantly was obsessing over fashion imagery in general. Lauren Elliott decided I was the girl to create the Official Blog of Perth Fashion Festival and so I was appointed.
Back then I didn’t really even know what a blog was or how to create one. I totally made it up – I did what felt natural and with the help of PFF’s designer from Entropic Design, Style Voyeur was born.
It has since taken on a world of its own.
I would go out onto the streets and take photographs of stylish people spotted in the most unexpected places. I’d attend fashion events in the hope to find someone or something SV-worthy. Instead of coming home from a night out depressed with tears in my eyes at our lacklustre culture and Australian ignorance, I would sit on my front patio smoking cigarettes looking excitedly at the images I’d captured of Perth’s subculture. I began to realise that you don’t have to have travelled the earth to know that Perth has some of the most remarkable sights, most talented creatives and a collection of subcultures that rival some of the biggest cities in the world today.
[Artwork by Jaime Lee]
I would spend hours staying up late looking at and writing about those well dressed individuals, the individual nature of our little sub cultures, the people here who make their own reality – stylishly – while inhabiting the most isolated city in the world. Everything in my life had been preparing me for this opportunity, it made so much sense. I was complete.
For all those who love fashion and style as much as I do, Perth Fashion Festival means hope. I had been into PFF’s campaigns and closely watched everything released by the festival from a young age, but it wasn’t until I was involved that I felt proud to be from Perth. Ever since Perth Fashion Festival was founded by Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan, Perth’s cultural diversity and creative flair for fashion has been enhanced. Every year I am delighted to be a part of such a fantastic platform for emerging and established WA creatives.
For 2010 Perth Fashion Festival will take place on September 9th – 15th and the team are already steadily planning another year of out of the box events.
There are so many questions to be asked. Who will be the photographer for the 2010 campaign? Who will fill the shoes of the gorgeous Emily Cattermole this year as the FACE of 2010?
Will the festival be held at the old Gasworks building again? It was such an amazing venue and I really hope so. I arranged the graffiti artwork with the help of artist Hurben who told me I was the inspiration for his piece [above]. It has to be the coolest and most humbling thing someone has ever done for me. It was a massive effort to get the walls painted by graffiti artists and we spent hours cutting through red tape with City Of Perth counsellors to make it happen.
L’Oreal Professionnel will direct the hair looks again this year with the team from Head Studio. Mark and Marie Cain from Head Studio are some of the coolest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I’m looking forward to hanging out with them all again behind the scenes this year.
[Model Emily Cattermole with L’Oreal Professionnel Hair Director, Mark Thompson.]
I cannot wait to hear all the other announcements to be revealed by the fabulous Perth Fashion Festival team in months to come!
[Lord Mayor and PFF Ambassador Lisa Scaffidi with 2009 Campaign Photographer Christian Blanchard.]
Youth Ambassador and Top Model Tom Bull.
Perth model Jessi Moloney backstage at PFF ’09.