Feb 2024

Editor's letter

"Australian designers have a certain taste and aesthetic that is in line with what a lot of people want to wear, regardless of where they hail from."

When I shop online from big international sites or even in overseas department stores where I have a veritable world of fashion at my fingertips, I’ll inevitably still find myself drawn to pieces from Australian designers. And it’s not that I’m not all for supporting our home-grown talent, but when you’re shopping in another country, the dream is to discover some great little thing from a local designer no-one has ever heard of to show how well-travelled you are and what a good eye you have, not to murder your wardrobe’s carbon footprint by bringing some Dion Lee right back home that only just arrived on the other side of the world from its starting point three suburbs away from your house. But I can’t seem to help myself, apparently compelled to keep adding more Dion and and Sir the Label and Matteau to my cart. Do I put it down to some sort of instinctive patriotism? I don’t think so, because that really only comes out when the Matildas are playing. What I think actually explains it is that there’s nothing like Australian designers for creating the kinds of clothes you just want to wear, at a price you can (mostly) afford. Maybe that’s partly because an Australian designer is designing for an Australian lifestyle, but I suspect it’s more than that. Australian designers have a certain taste and aesthetic that is in line with what a lot of people want to wear, regardless of where they hail from. (The Scandis are also very good at this.) And never were they better at it than in the early oughts. What an era for Australian fashion! Zimmermann - who had already launched a decade before but were really hitting their stride then in what has turned out to be single, long-running 30 year and counting high point - the cultural juggernaut that was Tsubi/Ksubi and the viral-before-we-knew-what-viral-was power of Sass & Bide took our particular sense of style to the world, and the world ate it up. Those three brands wrote the song that Australian style has been singing ever since - accessible, wearable, just the right balance of cool and sexy.

"Everyone knew, even then, that we were witnessing a kind of HISTORY being written."

If you look back at the time with fondness (and likely also partly through your hands), or even if you never lived through it but are nostalgic for what feels like a simpler time (was it though, really, or was our trauma at that time just less documented?), you should absolutely read our oral history in this issue, the making of which took me right back in time. At school, I used to catch the train on a Saturday to Paddington markets. I couldn’t afford to buy any Zimmermann with my saved up pocket money even then, but I thought Nicky Zimmermann was the coolest girl I’d ever seen. (I wasn’t wrong.) Years later the fashion director of the magazine I was working on got me an early pair of the jeans made by two girls from Brisbane that everyone I knew was talking about. They had maybe the lowest rise I’d ever seen and instantly made every other pair of jeans I’d ever worn feel horrifically dowdy. I thought I’d wear nothing else for the rest of my life. And speaking of jeans, a little later, a boy I was dating told me about an all nighter he’d had sewing some with some friends. Cool story bro, I thought to myself dismissively. But then those friends showed the jeans at Fashion Week and the energy was electric, especially when they released 169 rats - my biggest phobia - onto the runway. I have never been so happy to have been as second row-unimportant as I was in that moment; if one of those rodents was coming for me, it was going to have to get through some actual VIPs first. But everyone knew, even then, that we were witnessing a kind of history being written. And hopefully the story in this issue takes you right back there with me.

Enjoy the issue,

Justine

Read more from this issue

About face

Charlee Fraser carved out a career as one of Australia's most successful models. For her second act, she's taking over the big screen

READ MORE

Glory days

The insiders and creatives behind Zimmermann, Sass & Bide and Ksubi share an oral history of their golden era in Australian fashion

READ MORE

Bright star

Australian actor Geraldine Viswanathan has the kind of Hollywood CV most young actors dream of and, as Courtney Thompson learns, she's only just getting started

READ MORE

Stealing beauty

Dream holiday vibes for sexy, sweaty days and nights

READ MORE

Magic of the mini break

Small in length but big on impact, the micro-cation is one of life’s underrated pleasures. Check in to one of these dreamy Australian stays, and totally check out

READ MORE

Woman of the night

With the launch of Rouge Allure Velvet Nuit Blanche, a classic Chanel icon gets an updated look that has the power to totally transform your energy

READ MORE
Editor-in-Chief
JUSTINE CULLEN
Managing Editor
ELLE GLASS
Executive Editor
LAURA AGNEW
Creative Director
HANNAH MARTIN
Fashion Director
RACHEL WAYMAN
Commercial Director
NICOLE CORFE
Associate Editor
KATHRYN MADDEN
Digital Editor
COURTNEY THOMPSON
Market Editor
ANNIE DOIG
Content Writer
MAEVE GALEA
Content Writer
NONI REGINATO
National Partnerships Manager
ANNIKA ROSE
National Sales Manager
ANALISE GATTELARO
Client Services Manager
GRACE HANNAH
Junior Advertising & Sales Executive
JULIE WILLIAMS
Editorial & Advertising Coordinator
DELANEY ASHTON
Publisher and
CEO
SIMON BOOKALLIL
COO
DAVID ASTWOOD
TRUE NORTH MEDIA
INSTYLE AUSTRALIA IS PART OF TRUE NORTH MEDIA. © COPYRIGHT 2023 TRUE NORTH MEDIA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. EVERY PRODUCT IS INDEPENDENTLY SELECTED BY OUR EDITORS. THINGS YOU BUY THROUGH OUR LINKS MAY EARN US A COMMISSION.