Fashion Styling Student, Melbourne, Age 19.

This week, I chatted to my lovely cousin Innes. At just 19, she’s already experienced living in five different countries. She tells me what life is like living in Melbourne, explains what studying Fashion Styling is all about and talks of her dreams to launch her own clothing label. Her clear determination to succeed and her charisma, is both refreshing and inspirational. 

Hey Innes! Let’s kick off. Tell me about what you’re currently up to?

I’m currently in the middle of studying Fashion Styling at RMIT University in Brunzwick, Melbourne, which is a course I’ve been doing now for the past six months. It’s great because it covers a broad spectrum of topics, meaning I’m learning about things such as Personal Styling, Fashion Editorial, Print Styling, Event Management, Fashion Textiles, Social Media for business as well as understanding about the world of Freelancing.

What made you choose to study Fashion Styling?

After finishing high school, I hadn’t yet figured out exactly what career path I wanted to take but it was my overall love for fashion and clothing which drove me to choose this as my starting platform.

And are you enjoying it?

Yes, it’s helped grow my love for clothing and design and has encouraged me to realise my dream which is to start my own collection of garments, so that’s what I’m actually doing at the moment and working towards. I’ve been designing and working out the logistics which my course is proving to be fundamental in helping me do this. For example, during my first semester, we had to design an outfit with accessories which I loved- the more hands on, the better!

That’s amazing! Do you have a name for your own fashion label and what’s your vision for it?

Yes, it’s called ‘Innes Lauren’ and I’ve planned to launch my first collection at the start of 2018. I’d say I definitely have an end goal, which is to put into practice what I’m learning and pursue a career connected to my love for design. One day, I’d like to have a small, successful fashion brand and open up my first boutique in Paddington, Sydney. Since travel has always been a huge part of my life, I’d hope to continue to travel around the globe getting new inspiration each year.

And is this the recent Instagram you’ve set up?

Yep! @inneslaurendesigns. Right now, I’m using this as an inspiration board in terms of ideas that resemble what I want for my brand aesthetic. Once I receive my samples, I will direct photo shoots so I can post photos of the garments I have designed. I really want my Instagram page to be fun, natural and feminine.

Where do you take inspiration from? Are there people you look at that you follow for inspo?

I enjoy looking for inspiration from other peoples Instagram pages. Some of my favourite boutiques are Tuchusy in Bondi, Sydney. Gani, in Sydney and Zimmermann. People I look at for inspiration are Kelly Maker – a photographer, Matilda Djerf – a Fashion Blogger and Saasha Burns- Blogger.

You mention you’ve travelled a lot and I’d say you’ve had so much life experience already. Tell us about where you’ve lived so far?

I was born in Bali, where I lived for the first 7 years of my life, before our family moved to Wyoming in the US for 3 years then onto Australia for 3 years, then to Singapore for 4 years, then back ‘home’, which I guess you could say is Melbourne. Oh and I also briefly lived in Spain for a summer to learn the language. Due to the nature of my parent’s work (British* Dad, – he’s pretty much lived overseas his whole life* and an Australian mum) we’ve lived in some pretty cool places – such as being able to call the hotel Amankila your home is a bit mad! So you could say, my sisters and I have been very lucky and have had a privileged start in life.

But It’s also been pretty crazy. I have lived in more than 10 houses, I’ve been to 8 different schools and packed my bag countless times. Some might read this and say that kind of lifestyle is amazing and it mostly was, however, sometimes it felt like I needed a sense of grounding. I think a lack of knowing where my ‘home’ was which is what brought me back to Melbourne. I think and hope I’ll stay here for a while now but my love for adventure and travel will always be part of who I am.

So many places! I remember we came to visit you all in Bali in the early 2000’s which is where my love for SE Asia begun (anyway… this isn’t about me!) You mention that you’ve attended several schools in different countries. Isn’t there one school in particular, ‘Timber Tops’ which ended up being a particularly significant time for you?

Yes, it definitely was. So Timber Tops is a one year programme from Geelong Grammar school in Australia that I attended in grade 9 – aged 15. I partly went because my older sister Sascha had already been and the aim is to give you a different experience, academic but also very heavily built around the outdoors. The campus is located in the mountains by the Victorian Alps, close to Mt Buller, a ski resort, so it’s not your average year at school! We hiked, canoed, swam, fished, ran in the summer and skied in the winter.  We were living away from our families, in cabin’s with 14 other girls, sharing 2 showers and having to chop wood and boil our hot water; so I guess you could say it was a struggle at times! It is designed to be challenging but the skills I got from this year out weigh the tough times. It brought me my own independence, which I have today, it also made me strong both physically and mentally. Still to this day, this is by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life, the friendships, lessons and resilience I got out of that year is incredible and shaped who I am.

 You’ve done so much, how are you only 19! So what’s it like living in Melbourne outside of studying? Where’s good to hangout?

There are endless, amazing, chic cafes in Melbourne. As a South Yara girl, I’m living on the edge of a very sociable area – with shops and café’s, it’s meant that I’ve grown a love for eating out (although I don’t think my bank account loves it as much as I do!) Some of my favourites are Miss Chu for fantastic funky Vietnamese, Oriental Tea House for literally the best dumplings in Melbourne, Drugstore Espresso for a very good healthy breakfast and lunch and also with the cutest baristas in town!

I also work most weekends at a boutique called ‘Flannel’. I love their stuff and being surrounded by beautiful clothing, accessories and fabrics only inspire me more for my own designs. On the occasional Sunday I get off from work, I like to just take things easy. After my final year of high school, my mum moved to Sydney with my younger sister, so I moved into a lovely two-bed apartment with my boyfriend and second cousin from England; so I enjoy spending time with them.

Who’s been your biggest inspiration so far in your life?

I think I would have to say both my mum and dad but for totally different reasons. My mum and I are very similar, we share common interests such as, yoga, going out for breakfast, cooking healthy food and talking about the newest coolest boutique, stylist or instagramer. She’s an interior stylist, so we feed off each other’s creativeness which I love.

My dad has always been a big inspiration for me. He is very driven in his career and has worked his way up in the hospitality industry. One day, I’d love to be as dedicated to his work as he is. We also connect on a level where we both love a bit of ‘glam’, checking out the newest, chic hotels around the world, enjoy dressing up and spending a bit too much money on our wardrobe!

 Favourite holiday destination?

That’s a hard one but probably the Amalfi coast in Italy.

Do you have any travel plans in this next year?

Once my first collection arrives, I plan to head to Europe for 2-3 months and travel around the coast of Greece, Croatia, Italy, France, Spain and Morocco. I plan to eat lots of pasta, get a good tan and take lots of photos for my brand! I can’t wait! Better start saving….

Thanks so much Innes, it’s so interesting to see how your passion from your course has helped you translate this into really finding your path and goals for your future. Good luck, I’m very excited for you! 😘  You can follow Innes’ own design journey on Instagram here

 Stay tuned for the next ‘Kg Meets!’