StyleStyle around the World

Style around the World: Aussie Rules

0b0ca5e390655b225b53cf5285c055b0A few months ago I was thinking about how a lot of cities have a signature style. Paris is classic, New York is all about grooming and London is regarded on a global scale as slightly eccentric. And yet, is this really true? Parts of London are experimental when it comes to fashion, but take a stroll around Clapham, Kensington or Kew and I’m betting you’ll be looking at a more restrained style of dressing. Similarly, Paris so celebrated for it’s classic looks also has it rock’n’roll quirks, just think of Emmanuelle Alt (the tres feted Editor of French Vogue) and Isabel Marant, whose boho luxe look makes headlines around the world. So, what better way of really getting under a city’s style skin than to ask someone who lives there? To make things even more interesting, we’ve asked British ex-pats for their thoughts, so we get the real low-down on Brit v. international style. Kicking off our new irregular series is Charlie Boyce, Founder and Director of Portobello PR, a fashion and beauty PR company based in Sydney, Australia. If there’s anything that Charlie doesn’t know about Aussie fashion, well, you could write it on a postcard…
Our Aussie correspondent Charlie Boyce

Our Aussie correspondent Charlie Boyce

How long have you lived in Sydney?

I moved here 9 years ago from London, where I was living in Clapham. I had always loved Sydney and spent quite a bit of time here over the years with friends and family. After 5 years in my old job and a long UK winter i felt it was time to live by the beach and see what Australia had to offer. I now live in North Bondi, right up on the cliff at Ben Buckler overlooking the ocean. I couldn’t be blessed with a better view or sound to wake up to every day.

How would you describe Sydney style?

It’s a high mix of fashion, relaxed beach style and glowing skin.  The Sydney Style is certainly affected by the proximity to the sand and shoes at times seem optional in some suburbs!

What differences have you noticed between the ways Australians dress and the way British women dress?

Australians love European fashion and luxury labels, but it’s mixed back with denim and easy pieces. There’s less need for black opaque tights and fabulous coats, but more opportunity to show skin.

Sydney street style: Sass and Bide dress, blazer, bare legs and boots.

Sydney street style: Sass and Bide dress, blazer, bare legs and boots.

Does style change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood as it does in London?  

Yes. The style from beach suburbs such as Bronte, Tamarama or Bondi is very different from Glebe or Newtown. There’s a real mix of super dressed up girls in the city to habitual denim short wears and also a hippy influence. You can spot the Mossman mums with expensive diamonds in the Eastern suburbs and the glamour girls of the west who are all nails and lashes.

Do you think that Australian women are led by trends or do they tend to have a distinct Aussie look?

Women in Sydney are hugely influenced by the catwalk and styles from overseas, but they tend to be worn in an Australian way with tanned limbs and sunglasses.

How has your style changed since living in Sydney?

I think my hair is messier! My look is probably a little less polished and more influenced by the surroundings but I shop every time I am back in the UK and avidly online for designer pieces. I am very fashion focused, just more relaxed about how i put things together

Are there any big ‘no-no’s’ when it comes to style in Australia?

UGG boots outside the house! They are strictly for indoors. This is totally different from how I felt in the UK when I would not prise them from my feet in cold weather.

What do you think is lacking when it comes to style/fashion in Australia (if anything)?

The only thing that annoys me is the price for European labels. I wish I could buy them here for the same price as home. It definitely curbs my spending habits and makes me think about which pieces I really want.

Is there more, less or just as much pressure to look good in Sydney as there is in London?

There is more skin on display so there’s definitely more pressure to be groomed as you can’t hide your pale and unshaved legs. Plus looking good on the beach is always a killer…

When going out for dinner or drinks do women get more or less dressed up than they do in London? 

It is still dressed up here. I would either wear a dress and heels or a dressed up leather or denim short with heels and handbag. I live in Equipment silk shirts, neuw denim and have an unrelenting passion for Isabel Marant footwear and Alexander Wang. I’m keeping it more simple in more old age.

What would you wear on a relaxed Saturday?

A Saint James breton top and neuw denim or Abrand cut off shorts. I love my Watson X Watson leopard print sandals and I live in tees from Bassike.



Have you discovered any amazing Australian labels since living there?

I love Bassike for simples tees and tops, Watson X Watson for dresses and silk shorts, Neuw for denim, Vanishing Elephant,  Elliatt for dressier pieces and Lover the label.

Where do Australian women go for basics?

Bassike for tops, neuw for jeans and I love jumpers from Jac and Jack

Where’s your favourite shopping area in Sydney and why?

I love shopping on Gould Street at Bondi, Westfield City, The Intersection in Paddington, which features all of the key Australian designers’ shops. Boutique-wise I am always in The Corner Shop in Paddington scoping out the Kenzo and Isabel Marant, and Tuchuzy in Bondi Beach which sells Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Rag and Bone etc


Do Australian women place more or less emphasis on beauty than British women? 

Australians really care about their beauty from organic skincare brands such as MV Organic Skincare and Jurlique to weekly manis and pedis. I look after the PR for The Bronzing Boutique in Double Bay and they are constantly booked solid for regular spray tans as Sydneysders want glowy skin without the skin-cancer. There is a big emphasis on grooming here (such as the perfect eyebrows) – I think more so than in the UK.

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Rose soothing and protecting moisturiser, £68, MV Organic Skincare; Rose Love balm, £10, Jurlique; Instant Revival Booster, £57, MV Organic Skincare

As a rule do Australian women wear more or less make-up than British women?

I think it is the same. Maybe slightly different make up to cope with the climate

What is the Australian attitude to the body? Do they exercise more than British women? 

You are more likely to see people exercise here as it is all outdoors. There are lots of boot camps on the beach here in the morning, yoga, Pilates and people running on the sand before work. The pressure to stay in shape is probably larger here due to the fact that there’s less clothing to hide behind.

What is the Australian attitude to eating? Is it stricter or more relaxed than British women’s?

It depends on the season. Australian women probably stick closer to healthy foods over summer, but everyone I know has a healthy appetite for good fresh food. It’s probably more about the quality than the quantity.

Charlie wearing a Saint James top and Neuw Denim jacket.

Charlie wearing a Saint James top and Neuw Denim jacket.

Aussie style is becoming more and more popular in the UK. From long-established labels such as Sass & Bide and Collette Dinnigan to newer names such as Banjo & Matilda and Lover, Aussie fashion is about so much more than looking good on the beach….
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Frances leopard-print sweatshirt, £314, Lover; Alpine contrast panel dress, £440, Camilla and Marc; Daisy chain lace top, £195, Collette by Collette Dinnigan
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Skinny pins jeans, £166, Ksubi; Kimono top, £210, Sass & Bide; Star cashmere sweater, £290, Banjo & Matilda
If you liked this, then keep an eye out for our next Style around the World feature on Paris…
Image: Miranda Kerr for Vogue by Will Davidson

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