We’ve all seen her work gracing the pages of Russh, her street style and party snaps at various fashion weeks and mesmerize over her effortlessly cool style, wishing we could adopt it for one day. Or two.
Ex-Sydney-sider now residing in the heart of where it all happens, New York, contributing editor of the other cool kid publication Oyster, and now teaming up with Melbourne’s GPO for its High Summer campaign, we catch up with international stylist and style icon… Stevie Dance.
MG: How is New York? And aside from it, is there any other city that you love in the US?
SD: New York is amazing. And I love LA. Probably because of the weather it’s so similar to home, but also has some great energy going on there.
MG: How would you compare the fashion between NY and LA?
SD: It’s just different, I think it’s just reflective of the weather. End of the day California is a beach town and the fashion reflects that. New York is a more corporate environment and the fashion reflects that.
MG: Have you done the drive around America?
SD: Last time we did Texas and LA. I’m hoping this summer we drive down to Yosemite Park, I want to drive down to Mexico as well. I love driving across America.
MG: So tell me a bit about your background, how did you begin?
SD: I just fell into it – it’s a terrible thing to say, but I really did. I was studying journalism and photography in University and I just started assisting because I put my hand up when someone said ‘I need help’. And then it just went from there. And I’ve been able to use everything that I learnt from writing or that I learnt from authors and that I learnt through my favourite directors, cinematographers. I’ve been able to translate that in the way that I invest in fashion and invest in editorials.
I think to be a contemporary stylist is to stay really open – to your environment, to your inspirations and also to the practicality of what’s going on in your life.
MG: How would you describe your style – both personal and creative?
SD: I don’t know, people always ask that. Style is one of those things that’s always changing and moving and it’s usually in relation to the way you’ve been brought up and what you’re looking forward for in the future. I think to be a contemporary stylist is to stay really open – to your environment, to your inspirations and also to the practicality of what’s going on in your life. I don’t think I even have a specific style, I just wear what I feel like. I think in New York and in traveling I’ve become a bit more uniform.
MG: Do you follow trends?
SD: I don’t think anybody follows trends, I don’t know what they do. I think trends stem from an interest in culture. If you’re going to do something because you love that song or you love that movie or you love that poster or you love whoever, whatever it is, that’s what trends stem from. I think collective movements in fashion where people start leaning towards the same things are interesting reflections of society more so than just trends.
MG: Do you have any favourite designers?
SD: I have lots. My favourite Australian designers are definitely Lover and Josh Goot. I love Nic and Susien as people, I love the vibe that they create and the role that they have. I think what Josh does is really, really interesting, his silhouettes are unique.
MG: The industry has changed a lot over the years, is there anything you’d like to see change or improve?
SD: No, I think everything is valid. I don’t think I want to see anything change, I’m open to whatever does change and that’s the best outlook to take.
MG: What are three things you can’t live without? Say, if your house was burning down what are three things you would grab?
SD: Oh no, can they be people? I would obviously grab everyone I love.
MG: Haha no let’s say everyone’s already evacuated and they’re safe – people and pets.
SD: OK. My camera, my bike… I don’t know, that’s probably it. Possessions you can always buy.
MG: Is there something that’s really valuable to you, for example I have a rings my mum gave me that I freak out every time I think I’ve lost it but just misplaced it. Something that has sentimental value?
SD: I have a pendant that was my grandmother’s that’s really important to me. I’m not wearing it now as I’m traveling I’m too afraid to lose it. But at the end of the day you have to let go of everything, right?
MG: What’s your go-to piece in your wardrobe?
SD: My denim jacket.
MG: Aside from consulting GPO with their summer campaign, is there anything else your currently working on?
SD: Magazine editorials. I just backed a story for Pop, and I’m going home to shoot another one. I’m onto curating the next issue for Oyster.
MG: What’s that like?
SD: I can’t tell you! We’re working on our one hundredth issue, celebrating eighteen years in fashion.
MG: What’s your most favourite styling gig you’ve worked on to date?
SD: We just put together our ninety-nineth issue of Oyster, it’s out, it’s our all-women’s issue about celebrating all female photographers and women to be revered and admired. I got to work with Shalom Harlow – she is an amazing performer and model, and a generous subject. But each job replaces the next in excitement.
MG: So you’re currently running your site Shop Ghost – how did that name come about?
SD: I was staying in Seattle in a haunted hotel. Just a precursor to the name of the site.
MG: Do you have any advice for any aspiring stylists out there?
SD: Just to work really, really, really hard and invest in it for the right reasons, whatever is the right reason for that individual. Stay true to it and it will work out.