Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The May 2022 Issue Of Model & Mode Magazine: Arundhati Banerjee

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Arundhati Banerjee’s journey from a South Australian Women of the Year – Emerging Leader, performing artist, pageant winner, humanitarian services to winning the title of “Australian Supermodel of the Year – Commercial category” has been rewarding and fulfilling.

Arundhati, also fondly known as Ari, is a teenager pursuing a second-year Bachelor of Creative Industries (Theatre and Performing Arts) from Flinders University with a vision to work and contribute to the performing arts industry.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Arundhati to discuss her recent win at the Australian SuperModel of the Year competition, and here’s what went down:

How was your journey to winning ASOTY?

It was a gratifying experience to be part of the entire process and live the sisterhood ethos integral to ASOTY. The mentorship program that involved sessions on the fashion industry, wellness and mental health, networking, collaboration, the significance of personal branding with social currency, sustainable fashion, and sisterhood was an experience that I personally enjoyed. To me, winning was a part of the journey, and I feel truly humbled to receive the title of Australian Supermodel of the Year – Commercial category.

What has been your greatest triumph to date?

I believe life is about experiences, be it success or failure, and it cannot define an individual. Every milestone, whether big or little, had its struggle and sense of accomplishment for me. I still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.

What has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

The greatest lesson that I have learned is that success and failure are two sides of the coin, and they should always look like stepping-stones to move ahead. So, I don’t let success go to my head or failure dampen my spirits. I would say humility is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Photo Credit: Tide and Tribe Photography / Outfit: Glassons and Princess Molly / Location: Glenelg

If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go, and what would you attempt to change?

I would not alter any of the past events of my life as it has shaped who I am today. But I would like to mention that one should only look at their past if they are going to build from it.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I consider every day as a new chapter with its ups and downs. I have always tried to be around positive people who have believed in my dreams, encouraged my ideas, supported my ambitions, and brought out the best in me. I resonate with those same values to people and organisations who need that support from me.

What projects are you working on right now?

Currently, I am focused on working on my career ahead in acting and honing my skills by attending workshops, events, reading literature, and the like.

What would you still like to attempt in your career?

My goal since childhood has been in creative industries, and hence from a young age, I have been learning several dance forms and performing. I would focus on furthering my skills, network, and work on projects that I find fulfilling in the coming years. However, I am aware that the road ahead will not be easy and requires great determination, hard work, and perseverance.

What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?

I am too young to offer any advice but can certainly share my thoughts. It has always been important to follow where my passion lies, there is nothing wrong if sometimes you need to alter or change your path, and it is never too late in life as every day is a new beginning.

Photo Credit: Tide and Tribe Photography / Outfit: Glassons and Princess Molly / Location: Glenelg

Woman Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Fabulous Pavli Ostrolucká

Being creative and creating something new was always very important to Pavli Ostrolucká. Ever since she was a child, she wrote short stories, and she had a dream of becoming a bestseller novelist. But eventually, she fell for interior design, and now the fashion world. She started her Instagram account because it’s her escape to the creative world. She graduated from Medical school and worked as a Pediatrician in a general hospital. Creating for her blog allows her to express her creative self. But it’s not only about fashion; she enjoys styling outfits as much as taking photos or organizing visual feeds. Last but not least, it’s amazing to be a part of the community. She has met many people there who inspire her to be better.

 Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Pavli to discuss her journey as a fashionista, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I usually shop online. Even “basic “fashion stores like Zara or Mango are 5 hours far from my city, so fewer shopping options forced me to search for more and try different styles. Generally, I don’t mind paying more for the quality. Quality materials feel better, look better and last longer, but of course, you can find gems in fast-fashion stores too. I love to browse Zalando or The Frankie shop when it comes to designer clothes. Moreover, The Frankie shop’s edits are so inspiring!

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

Invest in boots. A good pair of boots not only keep you warm but can elevate any look. Knee-high boots on heels, rubber boots, and combat boots for an edgy street style look are some of my favourites. The same goes for coats. A good fit and cozy material are essential.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

The inspiration is all around you. There are direct ways to get inspired quickly – fashion magazines, Pinterest, or fashion influencers on Instagram. Pinterest is one of the best inventions; I love creating mood boards. But the inspiration can come from anywhere, and I often look beyond fashion, art, streets, culture, nature, architecture. I’m constantly searching for new locations that work as a good photo backdrop and could inspire an outfit or the whole mood.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

In my opinion, more important is to stay authentic. “Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it. “Finding your personal style allows you to express yourself and to feel more confident. On the other hand, new trends are pushing me out of my comfort zone, and that’s the creative part I enjoy the most. It is hard to learn not to make impulsive decisions and buy clothes you won’t wear or need.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I don’t really struggle with it. Staying true to yourself is the best way how to be unique and have loyal followers. When I work with brands, I have to like the product before recommending it to my audience. It is that simple.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Lots of patterns, microwear or sheer dress, but my personal favourite is a structured blazer styled with Bermudas or skirt. There’s a lot of positive and sexy vibes to come the next season.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think we should change our approach to fashion consumption. It’s well known the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters. It produces greenhouse gas emissions and causes water pollution, not to mention often alarming working conditions in textile factories that supply fast-fashion brands. As fashion consumers, we are responsible for change. Some studies show that people don’t wear up to 88% of their wardrobe. How to start the change? Stop making shopping hauls, think about your purchase a day or two before buying it, and choose quality over quantity.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

If you buy clothes only for one season, does it mean you have a different style every season? My advice is to focus on building a capsule wardrobe for S/S and A/W seasons instead. When the garment is considered “last season, “let’s style it in a new fresh way, not get rid of it. I love my clothes and always try to buy pieces I can’t wait to wear the next season.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

It’s hard to succeed in a fashion world where’s a lot of competition but the most important in my opinion is to do things with passion. I’d only say set your goals clearly and enjoy yourself.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years, what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

I’m not a trendsetter and don’t feel like the right person to give advice on how to stay ahead. As previously said, making things with passion and hard work always pays off. Watching fashion shows and staying in touch with “big “influencers really helps. But it’s all right not to be the first; above all, be you; it’s your power.

Woman Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Emma Barrett

Emma Barrett is originally from Brighton, UK, but now living in London. She’s a content creator on Instagram who produces pictures and reels showing affordable and wearable fashion. She wasn’t always a content creator – her background is originally in construction. However, she finally found the courage in September 2021 to start taking her Instagram seriously and share her style with others. She loves that content creation has brought her closer to other creators and loves connecting with her followers.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Emma to discuss her journey as a fashionista and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I buy my outfits from a whole range of different shops. My entire style and platform is about promoting affordable fashion that also looks expensive. My go-to shops are; Vero Moda, Zara, H&M, Weekend, and ASOS. I think the best thing is to look for great staple items – if you spend a little bit more on these items, you will be able to use them to create many different outfits.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

Layering! It’s a bit cliché, but layering is the only way I get through the colder months. I am constantly cold – whether outside or in the office, I always make sure to wrap up. I will always wear tights/ leggings/ thermals/vests underneath my clothes! Once this is paired with a good jumper and coat, no one can tell, and it helps you stay warm and fashionable.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I get inspiration from various sources, but my go-to is definitely Instagram and Pinterest. Whenever I don’t know how to style something or am looking for inspiration, I will type in keywords on these platforms and take inspiration from others.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Definitely! I think with the way fashion and media are going that it’s very difficult to stay fashionable. I try to go for more staple items that can be interchanged and tend not to go out of style as quickly.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I think it’s very difficult to balance between these two. I would say that my style is to be wearable and fashionable at the same time. This means that I typically wear more commercial items; however, I try not to buy trends that would have a short shelf life and wear things that feel unique to my style/ are more timeless.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Stripes are definitely in at the moment – stripe jumpers are a go too, perfect to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring. I’m also hoping to see some longer-length tops come back into fashion (rather than crop tops). My style is constantly evolving as I get older, and I am definitely considering more ‘practical’ pieces for my wardrobe.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think that the fashion industry is more fast-paced than ever. However, I think this has meant that there isn’t necessarily one style that is ‘in.’ I personally am seeing a whole range of different styles and outfits being simultaneously trendy, which I hadn’t previously seen before.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

I’m not sure anyone should necessarily get rid of clothes that are ‘last season. Although we live in a very fast-paced fashion society, we also live in the most accepting of fashion. If you have an item in your wardrobe that is ‘last season’ but you still like it – why not wear it still?! I do! I have items in my wardrobe that I’ve had for ten-plus years and consider staple items. Having a good sort out of your wardrobe for things that you will no longer use is also good, and a great way to get rid of these is donating to charity for a second life.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

Don’t care about what other people think. I was very fashion-shy when I was younger, and I cared a lot about what people thought about me. I think the best thing to do is to try and shift your mindset to being open to exploring new things – it’s okay to change your style too! I’m constantly evolving and ‘improving’ my style, and some people may think that this is not who I am, but it definitely is. Just keep going, and you’ll find the fashion sense that you feel comfortable in.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Research new trends through both Instagram and Pinterest – follow your favourite content creators and see what’s out there! TikTok is also a great way to see different styles through fun trends. It can be hard to necessarily ‘predict’ what trends will be in, but if you see something new that you like – wear it!

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Dashing Dennis Walter

Dennis Walter is 36 years of age and the founder of two digital advertising companies, and currently resurrecting a third digital enterprise; jack of all trades with an interest in menswear, cigars, music, chess, race biking, gaming, and the outdoors.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Dennis, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I normally shop online only, with 90% of my buys being made specifically for me (MTM or MTO). eBay is a great source for second-hand high-quality items, especially when you know what to look for and if you know your body measurements.

What are your top tips for fashion for the cooler months?

Layer up – it not only adds protective layers to keep you from getting cold, but it´s also a great way to combine colors, textures, and designs.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

A lot of different resources inspire me, be it books, films, or the accounts on IG I admire – there´s an abundance of guys with a great sense of style out there!

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Not really – once you find out who you are and what you like to wear, it´s easy to stick to your drum. I´ve never cared much about fashion and prefer to dress exactly like I want – regardless of what´s “in” at the moment. This approach is much more sustainable and obtainable – since you only invest in pieces you will want to wear for the rest of your life.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

It really isn´t a thin line for me at all – since I´m dressing up mostly for myself, I don´t have to “please” anyone. Luckily, there are a lot of brands in my field of clothing that appreciate my aesthetics and are happy to partner up.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

I´ve seen a lot of tonal looks as of late, so outfits centering around a certain color shade (light brown or cream, for example). These do really look great if you´re able to mix and match.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

It slowly turns to more sustainability and environmental consciousness – which is to applaud. Still, too many fast-fashion retailers are out there, feeding an already saturated mass market with goods of questionable quality and eco-impacts – this needs to stop, and people should seriously consider a “less is more” approach.

What clothes can we rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

Phew, I definitely wouldn´t know – maybe the pair of ugly fashion sneakers with that blown-up, massively oversized dinghy sole?

What fashion advice would you give an emerging Men of Fashion Blogger?

Use Instagram as your inspiration mood board and consider your evolvement as a journey – you will buy things you will regret, you´ll wear stuff that will look odd two years from now, etc. Embrace this development as a “try.fail.fail better” process – you´ll find out what works best for you and what makes you feel like a million-dollar. Don´t copy trends – be unapologetically you.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

I wouldn´t be able to really give sound advice here – but maybe a life principle of mine can be applicable here as well: “be yourself – everybody else is already taken”. This is not to say we can´t change for the better – just make sure you stay true to yourself and don´t let anyone else define your value.

Model Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Elhem Rich

Elhem Rich was born and raised in Tunisia. When she was 13 years old, her father used to bring her several magazines; at that point, she discovered the world of fashion models and fashion brands. Since then, Elhem decided to get into the modeling industry. What she loves most about modeling is the sense of freedom – the fact she can be herself in front of the camera without any limitations coming back for more.

Elhem grew up in a conservative country, where women had fewer rights, and they were not free to speak up or even dress up the way they wanted. They face controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic violence, and religious fundamentalism. And that’s what inspired her to rebel against everything. She knew she could help inspire women and make a difference.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Elhem, and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

What I love most about modeling is the sense of freedom. The fact I can be myself in front of the camera without any limitations coming back for more. The fact that I grew up in a conservative country, where women have fewer rights, and they’re not free to speak up or even dress up the way they want. They face controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic violence, and religious fundamentalism. And that’s what inspired me to rebel against everything. I knew I could help inspire women and make a difference.

Downside to being a model?

Not getting paid a lot of money at the beginning.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modeling industry so far?

The most memorable experience I’ve had so far was seeing my face in magazines, reminding me where I came from and how I made it so far. I also worked with amazing known brands; it’s a massive accomplishment for me.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve had so many incredible experiences, met amazing people, and learned so much about them, the modeling industry, and more about myself.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

You need to believe in yourself first before anyone else will. Enthusiasm is infectious, especially when that translates to self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself or think you are awesome, capable, smart, resourceful, and worthy of an opportunity, then who else will? Taking risks and being fearless is hard, but I promise you can do it.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family is not supportive of being a model because of their traditional belief, but my dad is extremely proud of my achievements.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t do anything differently! I believe everything happens for a reason. If I didn’t go through those lessons, I would never be who I am today. I’m so proud of myself, how I made it too far, and I know that I’m here on Earth for a reason.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I have a lot of plans; I want to work with some of the biggest modeling brands in the near future. I also want to land lead roles in the film and television industry. And of course, I want to have my own organization where I can focus on helping children and empowering women for the rest of my life.

The Lightning-Fast Round:

Last good movie I’ve seen: Bird Box.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why?

Be it any living being, a human, or an animal, for me, beauty lies in their heart. If their heart is beautiful, you don’t need to look for anything else. If their heart is beautiful, it automatically converts into beautiful actions, beautiful thinking, and beautiful behavior.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?

Travel to Europe and some of my favorite islands such as Bali, Maldive, Hawaii, Bora Bora, etc.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d” be fearless! Fear is a choice; feel the fear and do it anyway.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Suave Massimo D’Agostino

Massimo D’Agostino originally hails from South Italy but was born in Switzerland. As a kid, his Italian mum used to style him up for every occasion – that’s when his love for fashion and the feeling for color combinations started.

Besides his love for fashion, his other passion is traveling and discovering new places worldwide. He has been able to visit over 24 countries so far, but there are so many more he wants to discover and enjoy. His social media account is about fashion, lifestyle, and travel with style.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Massimo, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I shop everywhere as long as I like it; from Gucci to Prada to H&M and Zara to Uniqlo and Vintage shops. I have found my hidden designer gems in vintage second-hand shops, and these are shops where I regularly go to find some nice vintage pieces.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

As I am a huge coat lover, I am supposed to say coats in different styles and fabrics. You can wear a very basic style and upgrade it with a nice coat and bag.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

There is not a special place where I take my inspiration. I take them everywhere. On the streets while traveling, on Instagram, in magazines, on TV. I mean literally everywhere.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

Being fashionable is such a huge expression. In my eyes, you can wear everything as long as you feel comfortable in it and you wear it with confidence. So to answer your question: no, it is not hard to stay fashionable.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I always have enough basic clothes in different colors in my wardrobe; t-shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, and classic pants are never out of fashion and are timeless. Then, I buy new coats, jackets, bags, and sneakers to spice up the style. For me, it is all about the accessories.

Imagine a style with a black t-shirt and black pants. It’s nothing bad at all, but it is not the WOW Style. Now imagine how you put a very nice oversize houd’s tooth fabric coat on it, with nice Dr. Martens boots, Versace Sunglasses, and a cool Tote bag – now that’s a cool street style. In my opinion, with the accessories, magic happens!

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Normal Trenchcoats and Leather Trenchcoats and red are very asked for the upcoming season.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think fashion is getting faster and faster, but in the end, everything comes back again in fashion.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

In my opinion, ripped jeans with patterns.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging Men of Fashion Blogger?

First of all, be patient and constant. You really need to love what you do and the story you want to tell; otherwise, it will be a short thing. Build up a network. Go to events, connect with people, and not only with people you think will be useful to you. You never know who they know, and suddenly a new opportunity comes. Don’t be selfish; help others as well.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

I would always buy high-quality basic things that last for ages and then create a style out of them. Like a painting, the canvas is always the same, and then you add the colors to it.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Charming Chulumanco August

Chulumanco August is a man of style who hails from South Africa, Cape Town. He loves minimal and earth colors. He believes in following your style, having your unique way of presenting yourself, and remembering fashion is a trend, but style is your true identity.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Chulumanco to discuss his journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

When I go shopping, I always look out for minimal and earth colors; these colors bring versatility to combining outfits. 

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the hotter months?

Since summer is around the corner, gents should invest in clothing that will make your skin breathe and start with your essentials; that’s the way to build a versatile wardrobe. 

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Purpose and teaching are great inspirations as a fashion creative; most of all, I get direction from these two aspects. 

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

To stay fashionable is not hard; you just need to keep up with the latest trends, but I advise every gent to focus on knowing your style; that’s a true definition of who you are.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I always consider the way I style and combine clothes with a particular trend that brings in uniqueness and makes me a trendsetter. 

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

This year what I have noticed is that most of the well-known clothing brands are focusing more on loose fit styles, for me personally I don’t feel comfortable with this trend. I am more of a tight-fit gentleman.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

Fashion is changing each and every year that creates options for everyone to get out of their comfort zone.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Personally, I advise that for every gent to just keep everything simple when shopping, look for something that will be easy to wear with a lot in your wardrobe. To make things easy for yourself follow your style, have your unique way of presenting yourself, and remember – fashion is a trend but style is your true identity.

Model Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Emily Nicks

Emily Nicks originally started modeling by posing for local hobbyist photographers shortly after moving to Portland, Oregon. Since then, her modelling career has evolved, to the point that now she’s comfortable with how her modelling career is going.

Model & Mode magazine recently caught up with Emily to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a model?

Modeling allows me to be more in touch with my body. I have learned how to utilize certain poses and facial expressions to alter and enhance others’ perceptions of me through it. Being a model has also granted me an abundance of confidence. It has taught me the perennial value of confident, feminine expression.

Downside to being a model?

Having a career based largely on aesthetics makes it easy for me to compare myself to others in the industry. This competitiveness often causes models like me to wrestle with self-esteem issues and feelings of inferiority.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the modelling industry so far?

Seeing my autonomy and self-confidence develop has been the most memorable experience of my modelling career. Using my body to express myself positively has exponentially increased my feelings of self-love and continues to do so every day.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The most interesting people I have met throughout my modelling career have been other models. These women are some of the most courageous, tenacious, and compassionate people I know.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the modelling industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

My time in the modeling industry has strongly emphasized the value and necessity of autonomy. Independence from social expectations, unattainable standards, and pressure to compete is vital to one’s overall happiness in both thought and practice.

Is your family supportive of you being a model?

My family is largely supportive of me being a model. Like most parents, my mom and dad worry about the unknown, but they trust my intuition and judgment.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

If I could return to the start of my modeling career, I would be more skeptical about who I gave my time to. Some people in the industry are quick to take advantage of newcomers, often promising to bolster their careers but exercising more nefarious intentions.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Most models will tell you that safety is always their priority when attending a shoot, speaking with potential clients, or posting content. I use this advice in every facet of my career.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

In the not-too-distant future, I plan to attend law school. In doing so, I hope to achieve a viable platform to effect the most change for those in marginalized corners of society. The amazingly brave and talented models, sex workers, and content creators I have met throughout my career have been some of my greatest inspirations for this goal, and I hope one day to eradicate some of the hardships they face in their daily lives.

Fashionista Of The Week: Introducing The Beautiful Shane Lin

Shane Lin was born in Taiwan, educated in Boston, and now based in London. Coming from a long line of businessmen and women, she followed her family’s footsteps and studied Entrepreneurship and Economics, which later landed her a career in construction management and consultancy services. Due to the nature of her job, Shay has been working in male-dominated industries for years. As a female and a minority, she is very much aware that women had to fight much harder to be heard and seen in the workplace and society. Being encouraged by her sister and friends, Lin decided to start an account as her creative outlet. She explores the benefits of using her platform to amplify women’s voices by sharing her everyday style and hoping to, in the slightest, inspire the ladies out there to stop picking apart their bodies, discover their most attractive selves, and feel confident in their own skin.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Shane to discuss her journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I am a big believer in high-low fashion. I find mixing more expensive tailored pieces with more casual everyday pieces makes me look more styled and aesthetically balanced when done right. Aritzia, Storet, Arket, and COS do quality staple pieces with a subtle twist. Mango and H&M are also my go-to’s and good places for trendy and basic pieces at a more affordable price. For the past few seasons, they carried the most beautiful knitwear and dresses. I like to shop for jeans and trousers at Uniqlo. There’s something about their design that fits your body like a glove. I’d go to Zara for trend pieces as they are fast at catching on to the latest trends without breaking the bank. I would check out third-party retail websites like Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, and Forward for brands with hefty price tags. I’m always on the lookout for the best deal and shop around off-season or at the end of the season before I take the plunge.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

Layering. Instead of putting on just one layer of top and a heavy coat, I’d start with a high neck or a crew neck sweater, throw on a blazer for a little bit of structure and complete the look with an oversized coat/jacket. This combo not only keeps me snug in cooler months but provides versatility for multiple occasions. I would also choose a nice pair of boots that give room for thick socks for some added warmth.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

I usually take inspiration from Pinterest, people on the street, my mom and auntie (I might sound partial, but their generation had the best style, in my opinion). I also like to take ideas from other creators but avoid styling pieces the same way they look at others. I will usually personalize it to suit my aesthetic as some styles might suit others but might not make you feel 100% comfortable with them.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

To me, staying fashionable is to have a clear mind and idea of what works best for you. Social media can be a double-edged sword. It is super helpful for new ideas, style tips, and inspiration, but it can make you feel more confused about what you want at times simply because there is too much going on out there at every single second. When I run out of ideas, instead of hunting frantically for ideas from social media, I would have a good look at my wardrobe and lay everything out in front of me. This helps to style things up visually in terms of what colors and pieces coordinate and harmonize.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

Under the influence of social media, we are so vulnerable to losing our individuality because we are not looking like someone else. What is in today can be out tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong; I used to fall into the trap of catching trends without thinking if that would suit or pair with the rest of my wardrobe. I believe comfort and fashion are equally important. I now tend to go for styles that I am the most comfortable with and confident in. At the end of the day, your uniqueness will only shine through if you are being yourself.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

I see cut-out dresses or tops everywhere. I find this trend easy to replicate and not too “trend” driven. When done very minimally, I find a classically fit dress with very flattering and very fine slits, which adds a little extra something in a very inoffensive way. This year, I also see many blue and yellow in accessories and clothing, from duck egg blue, bright royal blue, and custard yellow. I love the contrast the vibrant colors create when paired with deeper shades, especially grey.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I am happy to see more and more people promote sustainable fashion. Both brands and consumers are putting more emphasis on sustainable production and consumption. The focus of the whole industry is shifting towards more of an environmentally-friendly narrative.

It’s got us to put more thought into what goes behind a piece of clothing and if what we buy has been ethically or environmentally produced. We don’t have to purchase new clothes constantly to create a new look or to stay current. We need to realize the power of reinventing, restyling, and reinvesting in something we already own. It’s still a long way to go, but I’d like to think we are on the right track.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

Low-waisted jeans, neon-colored items, branded monogram belts, super exaggerated platform shoes need to be out the door. Those used to be the ‘it’ items, and you see them everywhere….(still remember that studded or rhinestoned Ed Hardy). It’s just my personal opinion, but I’m over them.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

I once heard a stylist named Molly Bingaman say that “the most attractive look is always the most authentic one.” I 100% resonate with that. How to show up authentically is something I believe we all struggle to a different degree at some point in our life. We put ourselves at the mercy of the critics and are constantly seeking acceptance, and because of that, we start questioning our style, taste, body image, and identity. My advice would be to take that control back. Don’t feel insecure if you don’t look like someone else. Celebrate your uniqueness, discover your authentic self, and everything will follow naturally.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Don’t follow trends blindly, and don’t spend a ton of money on overhyped items. New trends are created every day and can spread overnight thanks to social media. Don’t feel like you need to catch that trends train all the time. I’d say to be selective and discreet about the fashion elements that are trending and mix bits and pieces with what you already have. Keep things simple. You don’t need to be doing what other people are doing. Source unique and classic pieces that will stand the test of time and will complement you and your wardrobe.

Man Of Style Of The Week: Introducing The Dashing Luka

Luka is a fashion stylist and digital influencer who hails from Sydney, Australia. He gets fashion inspo mostly from movies or out on the streets, and he’s very open-minded when it comes to shopping for clothes – he can shop in prominent designer boutiques but also wear local designer brands.

Model & Mode Magazine recently caught up with Luka to discuss his journey in the fashion world, and here’s what went down:

Where do you usually shop? Are there any hidden gems when it comes to snapping up some awesome designer clothes?

I’m very open-minded when I’m shopping. I can go to either big designer boutiques, but I also love shopping for local designer brands too. I think it is very important to support them.

What are your top tips when it comes to fashion for the cooler months?

I think the trick is to layer it out since you are going to spend time indoor. Having a nice top/pants and putting a super vibe coach can create a perfect outfit. Having simple colours is always the safest option to play around the season.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Mostly on movies and the street. I do love bloggers and magazines, but I think you have to find your style first instead of copying someone.

Is it hard to stay fashionable?

No, it’s not. As soon as you dress for yourself and be confident, it is not hard at all.

How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?

I think you need to find a line that you want to be first and add things to your personality, so people will understand who you are.

Are there any key trends you’ve seen for this year?

Since the pandemic started, I think we are all going back into a more comfortable style, which I believe will be continuous for the next season.

What do you think about the state of fashion today?

I think fashion has become very important globally, but we always got to remember that we can’t be slaves of fashion.

What are the clothes we can rid our wardrobes of that are considered very ‘last season’?

I’m always donating pieces that I haven’t worn for a while. However, I recycle a lot of clothes as trends always come back, so we must reuse things again.

What fashion advice would you give an emerging fashionista?

Be yourself and play simple first.

The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years; what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

It is tough to keep up with every single trend out there, so I think having a simple knowledge of what’s is on at the moment and trying to adapt it in your own style is the key to staying ahead of the curve.