So in a nutshell I guess my journey started in Fashion Design. It has always been my passion and after graduating High School whilst also studying Clothing Design & Production at TAFE in my home town Geelong, I moved over to Paris and took part in quite an intensive Fashion course over a summer at the Paris Fashion Institute.
Following that I came back to Melbourne and got my first real job as a Buyers Assistant in Menswear for Myer. After realising that numbers and spreadsheets were not so much my thing I moved to London for two years where I spent a year interning and working in Fashion PR. Following this I made the switch over to the editorial/styling side of the industry as I had always been a stylist at my core and was grew up sort of innately knowing how I wanted outfits to look, without even realising it. I suppose this is when my Freelance career began as whilst I was working in PR I began Celebrity Styling on the side, so it was the birth of that crossover into styling. I then spent the remainder of my time in London interning and working as a Fashion Assistant across titles like InStyle, Cosmo UK and British Vogue before landing a job as an e-commerce stylist at Burberry.
When I came back home I decided to keep my creative juices flowing by starting a video based Fashion blog and so 'Style By Deni' was born. Following that, I packed everything up again and moved to Sydney, to pursue my magazine career, where after interning at Cosmopolitan/Cosmo Bride for 6 months I was offered a job. I spent 4 incredible years there starting with the online team as the Interactive Producer and Video Editor. It didn't take long for the Editor at the time Bronwyn McCahon, (who instantly saw my love for Fashion) to move me from the digital team into the fashion department. I started off in the role of Style Editor and was later promoted to Fashion Editor of which I spent 9 months in before Cosmo's closure last year. It was around that time that I began to freelance more and was signed by my agency DLM.
The thing I loved most about Cosmo was that it allowed me to look at what was happening across high fashion, celebrity style, pop culture, on the street etc... and dissect that and deliver it in a way that a young reader in Geelong would understand and be inspired by. So I think that is where I excel, its always about making the person consuming my work - be it a celebrity client, a reader flicking through a recent bridal story I styled, someone reading my lengthy Instagram captions or a viewer watching my #FiveMinutesWithDeni story on socials - feel informed and inspired.
In the lead up to the event I had a Skype call with the Canadian team who briefed me on the brand. As someone who used to sit on the journo side, I have been to my fair share of launch events but this one was so personal and intimate. Each journo came in one by one for an hour appointment with me, where I talked them through the brands ethos, what they stand for, their concept and then measured them up for their suit and off we went designing their custom made suit together.
Following the event, I did a video on the brand's launch, what it offers their customer and how I feel its truly here to solve solutions - as part of my #FiveMinutesWithDeni series. In terms of engagement, it remains to be one of the highest episodes viewed. What I loved about this whole project was from the planning stages of the launch, to the event itself and then the video that followed - it allowed me to work collaboratively with the client on how they wanted this message to be delivered and they were super open to any ideas or suggestions I had. Following that, working one on one with the journalists that came in, meant I got to exercise my passion for that personal styling element and putting together the perfect look for each of their personalities. From the social media perspective it allowed me to communicate, inform and inspire my followers about this brand and what it stands for.
Readers, viewers, customers, clients, brands - want everything instantly. With the world at our finger tips - quite literally - technology is challenging us in that we way communicate the thing we're all here to share - fashion. So, I don't think thats necessarily a bad thing I think it just means we need to be more innovative and more savvy with the way we approach creating content. I think technology aside we also have a huge sustainability issue on our hands. The fashion industry is among the highest that contributes to waste globally so that's a narrative that needs to keep being discussed so that we can come up with the necessarily solutions.
I however take it all with a grain of salt and have imposed a rule for myself that I only share things I'm genuinely passionate about and feel will inspire others or bring other people up. There's enough hate, tearing people down and negativity across the board of these platforms - we need more love, more inclusivity, more diverse representations of beauty and style. So its about finding that balance which can often be hard to do on platforms like Instagram but I think at least for me, I'm finally comfortable with my voice and the messages I'm trying to share with my community.
Whilst I worked in the Fashion department primarily, the aspect of that job I loved most was being a part of the daily conversations we had in the office that would inevitably turn into features, stories or campaigns. One that comes to mind was the #CosmoPride campaign, which grew from an idea I pitched to our Editor in the first 6 months of my journey at Cosmo and Cosmo Bride. It evolved into an annual issue that celebrated the queer community in such a beautiful way. I'll always be very proud of that.