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A stylist’s guide to Sydney fashion

Petta Chua, Sydney-based stylistCREDIT: Gavriel Maynard

Sydney-based stylist Petta Chua honed her keen eye for fashion during stints at Vogue Australia, GQ Australia and homegrown brands including Ksubi, Perks And Mini, Camilla and Marc.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

A stylist’s guide
to Sydney fashion

Petta Chua, Sydney-based stylist CREDIT: Gavriel Maynard

Sydney-based stylist Petta Chua honed her keen eye for fashion during stints at Vogue Australia, GQ Australia and homegrown brands including Ksubi, Perks And Mini, Camilla and Marc.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Hashtags #lovensw #ilovesydney

Sydney-based stylist Petta Chua honed her keen eye for fashion over an eight-year stint on Vogue Australia, where she started out as a fashion assistant before being elevated to contributing fashion editor. She was later appointed fashion director at Vogue’s stablemate men’s title GQ Australia, before returning to freelance styling. She has a great love for Australian fashion and has worked as a stylist for homegrown brands such as Ksubi, Perks And Mini, Camilla and Marc, Bianca Spender and Dinosaur Designs. Here Petta shares her take on Sydney style, and reveals the Sydney designers and craftspeople whose creations she most cherishes. 

Where do you take friends who are visiting Sydney? “I'm a total Sydneyphile and love to share my city with travelling friends. I think the best treasures in Sydney are the less obvious ones: hidden local rock pools, pho in Bankstown, Lebanese sweet shops in Lakemba. There is plenty to discover off the beaten track. 

“But you also have to head to the beaches when you’re in Sydney, right? If you go to Bondi, you should check out Albus Lumen’s Societé store on Glenayr Avenue — it’s beautiful [book an appointment here]. It really encompasses the idea of Australian luxury. Albus Lumen’s pieces are breathable and there’s attention to sustainability. The clothes are well made, elegant, easy and relaxed; you can dress them up really easily and dress them down really easily.” 

What would you say sums up Sydney style? “I think it’s just the feeling of being sun-kissed after a day at the beach, stepping fresh out of the shower and putting on something that makes you feel confident in your skin. The key to ‘Sydney style’ is being able to go from the beach to dinner, and brands like Sir, Bassike and Matin do that transition so well.” 

What is your favourite backdrop for a fashion shoot in your home town? “The magic of living in Sydney is that the world’s best set of beaches are only a 20-minute drive from the city centre. I grew up in Sydney’s west and I’d previously always lived in inner-city suburbs, but I moved east to Tamarama after a couple of years of intense travel at Vogue, when being away gave me the chance to fall in love with Sydney all over again. So when I returned I moved closer to the beaches, and it’s where I also end up shooting. It’s not out of laziness: you can’t live in a place like Tamarama or [neighbouring] Coogee and walk down to the beach at any time of day and not feel inspired.” 

Albus Lumen’s Societé store CREDIT: Jiwon Kim

Australian fashion label Albus Lumen’s Societé store in Bondi.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Albus Lumen’s Societé store CREDIT: Jiwon Kim

Australian fashion label Albus Lumen’s Societé store in Bondi.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Tamarama Beach CREDIT: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Tamarama Beach, Eastern Suburbs Sydney

#ilovesydney

Tamarama Beach CREDIT: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW

Tamarama Beach, Eastern Suburbs Sydney

#ilovesydney

Do you have any favourite stores in the city centre?Andrew McDonald Shoemaker in the Strand Arcade [a Victorian-era shopping arcade between Pitt and George streets in central Sydney]. Andrew hand-makes shoes and boots — he’s brilliant. There is ready-to-wear, so he does have shoes you can just walk in and buy straight off the wall, but I think the full experience is to see the lasts, choose the leather, choose your laces and your colour. [The process of making bespoke shoes or boots takes from six to 10 weeks; you can have your measurements taken at the store and have the finished shoes shipped to you.] 

“In terms of buying something that you’re going to hold on to, a pair of his shoes or boots is such a keepsake of Sydney. I have three pairs, and they’ve aged incredibly well — or not aged at all. 

“I also love Feit for handmade shoes — they have a great focus on sustainability and their vegan leather sneakers are my favourites.” 

And outside the city centre?The Intersection precinct [where Glenmore Road meets Oxford Street in Paddington, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs] is a good little trip to do. You can spend a couple of hours here and get a broad stroke of what Australian fashion looks like. You’ll find the boutiques for local labels such as Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, KitX, Gorman, Zimmermann and many more here.” 

Are there any cult Sydney stores you recommend seeking out? “[Melvin Tanaya and Lyna Ty’s men’s and women’s label] Song for the Mute is such an incredible space. The label has a cult following internationally, and its headquarters are tucked away in a street a couple of blocks off Broadway in Glebe [a 10-minute drive from the city centre in the Inner West], so you would never really know it was there unless you specifically went. And people do specifically go there: it’s the darling of so many rappers. People in music, in K-pop, they all love Song for the Mute.” 

Where do you go to spot great street style? “The Inner West — Marrickville and Newtown — is where you’ll find the best Sydney street style. A lot of people say Bondi, but you see more unique style in Marrickville and Stanmore. There is an organic food market on Sundays where creative upcycling organisation Reverse Garbage is [at the Addison Road Community Centre complex in Marrickville], and you get a broad taste of Sydney style. I love Reverse Garbage. I spend a lot of time there with Jordan Gogos, the industrial artist, because he can turn anything into something magical; he’s a creative genius.” 

When you want a break from the city, where do you go? “You can drive two hours down south from Sydney [to the South Coast] and be in the greenest rolling meadows, and a short distance from that would be some of the best NSW beaches. They have such good fresh food markets around there, too. Now when I’m with a friend in Sydney, they ask me what to do and I say we have to take a day trip to the Kiama Farmers’ Market [on Wednesday afternoons in Kiama] — they’re insane!” 

 

The Intersection, Paddington CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Intersection shopping precinct, Paddington

#ilovesydney

The Intersection, Paddington CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Intersection shopping precinct, Paddington

#ilovesydney

Kiama Farmer's Markets, Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Kiama Farmer's Market held every Wednesday at Surf Beach, located on Manning Street.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Kiama Farmer's Markets, Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Kiama Farmer's Market held every Wednesday at Surf Beach, located on Manning Street.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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