Our Stylist Series brings to light the people behind our brand—join us as we discuss their journey's into the world of tailoring from their first suiting experience, to their current style influencers and favourite suit details, to the items they place value on, their favourite coffee, literature, wine and more. This week, meet Oliver, our Woollahra Showroom Stylist.
On Your First Suit Experience…
I think my very first suiting experience of sorts would have actually been with my school blazer. I actually grew to the same height (185cm) that I currently am in year 7, at the age of 13. Because of this my wonderful mother, aided by the advice of the school uniform shop lady, decided to buy me my senior school blazer 2 sizes too big, as I'd evidently would grow much more during my teens. I in fact didn’t grow any taller at all and the blazer always was very 90’s in style being so oversized! Unknowingly the uniform shop lady had given me an unconventionally grunge look for school so it was of sorts in fact every school boy’s dream aesthetic!
On Your Items Of Value...
Obviously I cherish my family, friends and loved ones above all but up next, in terms of actual possessions that are prized to me and especially working in this industry I’d have to say: My Clothes. Many of these hold symbolic memories and I still actually own the dark blue shirt that I named my “lucky” shirt as it aided me in acquiring my first real kiss at 17. I also held onto a very catching deep chocolate brown velvet suit of my father’s that I wore to my school formal that did in fact receive a burst of applause as I entered the school hall that night.
I equally love both and consider myself a bit of a dual citizen of Sydney and Melbourne, these being the two cities in which I've spent most of my life to date other than about three years working in fashion in Paris in my mid twenties.
I’ve always been interested in art and design and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to spend my annual leave usually touring mainly Australia’s and Europe’s cultural institutions. I feel that the historical world in particular is full of such artisanal magic, interesting stories and powerfully guiding forces. I adamantly believe in the adage “In order to build a future you must also cherish where you’ve been”.
On What You’re Wearing…
I’m wearing my olive green linen InStitchu double breasted suit. I’ve always loved green and also I find the way linen absorbs the light in a very charming way. This is especially true of linen at this time of year when the sunlight is transitioning from the bright sharp whiteness of the winter sunbeams toward the yellow glow of the mid summer.
Linen is great to wear and although some clients hold some adversity towards this fabric with regard to all day work wear suits I feel that the textural quality is interesting for slightly more relaxed environments and for any celebratory event held outside.
On Suit Details…
Firstly and most importantly in terms of the details of a suit is, the fit. This is entirely fundamental although in my opinion a sense of a little fun comes a close second to this. Dressing generally and having a suit (or any other item of clothing) made should always be an enjoyable experience and I feel that it’s important to have fun as a client who’s diving into our creative processes and herein harnessing the self expression (if desired) that we enable through this.
One of the biggest challenges also after fit and a bit of fun too is the occasion-appropriateness of the style as all the little details and finishes especially in menswear always dictate the levels of formality within a suit.
On Your Day-To-Day
As a lover of narrative (and also a painter) one of the aspects that I love most about my role here is that I am (on a daily basis) able to create both a visual and an emotional item for clients. No matter what the event or the context for which the garments are required there’s always an interesting backstory and a future vision too that we work through together.
On Working From Home
I actually moved up to Sydney about two weeks before we went into this lockdown from Melbourne where I had lived the long lockdowns of last year working from home also there. I believe that perhaps at the end of all these lockdowns I might be one of the Australians who has been locked down for the longest period of time overall.
I feel very blessed though here in Sydney to have a little courtyard garden during this time where I've planted a diverse vegetable patch. Maintaining this series of potted plants has been an enjoyable process and one that I wouldn't usually be able to commit as much time to regarding its upkeep if it wasn't for the more hours at home.
During these times I think if we can we should try to develop and invest in new skills or activities that we’ve always yearned to do but have always said we “never had the time”.
I remember early on in the pandemic I watched the French news and Emmanuel Macron advised the citizens of France to use their time in lockdown for cultural pursuits, he mentioned all the reading, creativity and pondering they should explore. I thought this was very good advice. If possible to take this time to really breathe deeper and for longer and absorb new skills and thinking too.
On Coffee...What do you wake up with in the morning?
Depending on how much zen energy I’m trying to bring to my morning I can either start with a fruity herbal tea or a strong black coffee. If I’m planning on doing a little yoga then the tea is what’s required as it’s wonderful for your hydration but I also almost always throw back a delightful black strong shot of coffee on my way out the door.
On Food and Wine
I really love almost every type of spicy food, such as; Indian, Thai and Malaysian curries, Mexican mixes and Chinese hot pot dishes. My culinary tastes dictate that I require that really kick that spices provide and I love ending a meal with that tingling feeling that needs to be soothed by a yeasty beer or a rich red wine.
Charles Dickens; As I share the name of one of his most famous characters (In Oliver Twist) I feel that it’s essential that I mention this famous English author as one of my top three reads. Within his repertoire though of outstanding novels I feel that my two favourites are, A tale of two cities and Great Expectations. No-one writes characters like Dickens.
F. Scott Fitzgerald; In my opinion the greatest of American writers and the only one to truely capture the perverse beauty and fickle fragility of the 1920s jazz age. I feel that one of his most quotable and entertaining works isn’t his most famous in, The Great Gatsby but is in fact his brilliant book, The Beautiful and Damned. There’s an exploration into the human condition with all it’s flaws that I feel is utterly unparalleled here.
Fyodor Dostoevsky; Sometimes I feel that a writer and or a specific narrative can be experienced and therein be lived at just the right moment in a reader's life. I feel that this occurred with me and the epic novel; Crime and Punishment. I was 22 and having stumbled upon it quite by chance I read it cover to cover and found that every idea and deeply thought out chapter resonated with me so completely.
Currently I’m actually reading a backlogged stack of Wentworth Couriers that have sat by my bed for a while now. I’m inquisitive about the Sydney real estate market and consider reading these as part of my required homework with the idea of one day making a purchase somewhere in this wonderful city… I feel that reading these helps me channel this Wentworth shire real estate dream.