Sydney siders can grumble about this year’s lack of a real summer yet nothing can stop time; here in the Southern Hemisphere the days are regardless getting shorter and the nights longer. We don’t even have seasonal perks such as autumn turning our green streets into an explosion of yellows, ochres and browns, neither do we get mulled wine or street roasted chestnuts but we make do with warm ocean temperatures, pink sunsets and even tempered weather. Still, autumn remains one of the hardest times to dress for; it can be surprisingly cold in the morning and boiling hot in the afternoon so wearing pieces that work for both is a godsend. I partnered with the Australian label Backstage to bring you a transeasonal edit of their collection - perfect for the upcoming months. These are items that you can buy now, then when days get cooler, layer with additional pieces and still be on trend
Above: It’s all in the details - emulate Brigitte Bardot in a simple black playsuit with beautiful split cut bell sleeves then pair with knee high boots and a fisherman’s hat to complete the look . Perfect with a vintage fur bomber in winter ( Backstage playsuit, vintage Martin Margiela boots, greek fisherman’s hat)
This season, dare to bare…shoulders that is! Showing a rounded back, sleek neck or tanned clavicle is one of the strongest fashion trends of this season. This dress is relaxed elegance with it’s pretty stripes, tie front, loose sleeves and off the shoulder prettiness... throw a cashmere turtleneck over it when the sun goes down
Wine, burgundy, ochre - get a headstart on autumn by implementing muted reds into your palette then add a heavy coat over this look when mornings get frosty ( Backstage top, choker and skirt, Lack of colours hat and vintage Martin Margiela boots )
A pretty slip is a parennial wardrobe staple and an all time favorite - this baby sports a scooped out back and peek of a thigh to boot. In autumn I love to throw on a long grungy angora cardigan over for warm cred ( Backstage slip, Proenza Schouler mules)
Photographed by Alice Wesley-Smith
Net-A-Porter's head of personal shopping Lupe Puerta covers all the basis of the perfect wardrobe - transeasonal and resort.
Lupe Puerta joined Net-A-Porter 10 years ago and 3 years ago she became the head of global personal shopping - a position that involves creating a unique, private and bespoke experience for the invitation only customer. Lupe travels the world , hosts events and does one on one wardrobe cleaning with her customers, not to mention provides her luxury clients with tips and tricks on how to create the best functional wardrobe. I met up with Lupe in Hamilton Island and scooped up tips on how we can all get the sort of wardrobe we deserve...
My Empirical Life: Is it fun doing wardrobe cleaning?
Lupe Puerta: It is so much fun! Imagine going to people's wardrobes? I really love it.
M.E.L: What are the 10 things every woman should have in her wardrobe?
LP: For me , a white shirt goes a long way and so does a blazer- those two elements are the key. Your cashmere is important, good denim is also important -so you know the basics are really the key of your wardrobe. Then comes in the evening wear and a lot of jewellery, fun accessories, color! I love color in a wardrobe. If you do not want this so much in your ready to wear, maybe you can add a bright Bottega (Veneta) clutch, a stand out tote, a bright pair of earrings...Once you have that list of basics, you can start updating your wardrobe every season and having fun with all the new runaway pieces that come through.
M.E.L How do the shopping trends differ around the world?
LP: It's interesting because it doesn't matter if you are in London, Dubai, New York or Sydney- a lot of our customers gravitate toward the same pieces, everybody wants the same pieces! It is true however that the weather is the big factor in terms of what our customers buy. In Sydney , for example, different pieces are worn in a completely different, more laid back way than in other places.
M.E.L: Do you believe a woman's wardrobe should change after she hits 30?
LP: I think your needs might change, in terms of of your lifestyle so it's not necessarily about wearing the current season pieces, there are always the things you will love. It's funny how we have these rules for our wardrobes and everybody thinks the rules might have to change as we get older. My job is to move away customers from these rules. Often, I will do a wardrobe clean with my customers and they will say : "I can never wear these anymore!" and they will categorically believe that. My job is to say; hey, let's see if we can incorporate it in a different way. It's about how to wear it.
M.E.L: Is it important to follow trends or is it more important to have a great transeasonal wardrobe?
LP: Look, we are all influenced by trends, it's what you find in the stores, it's what we have at Net-A-Porter but I think it is more important to have a wardrobe that will take you from season to season and then inject it with seasonal trends. It is also so important to clean your wardrobe and make space for all the pieces. If you haven't looked into your wardrobe for a year, then have a clean out. Ask yourself : how long haven't I worn these for? You must have visibility on what you do have in your wardrobe to make most of it.
M.E.L: So what are your rules on cleaning out your wardrobe?
LP: Insure that you give the pieces you don't want to someone who will love it. Have a look for the gaps in your wardrobe, what you love, what you wear very often, what you are super comfortable in and what you can put in to really add an injection each season. Separates are so important, they add game to your wardrobe as you can incorporate them in very different ways -keeping your wardrobe very fresh all the time.
M.E.L: You are packing for a beach weekend away. What do you pack?
LP: Must-have items:
· Fabulous swimwear – one piece or bikini
· Chic kaftan
· Wide brimmed hat or fedora
· Statement jewellery – to take your look from day to night e.g. statement rings, cuffs, necklaces, body jewellery
· A maxi dress or maxi skirt
· A metallic pair of flats and/or statement pair of heels
M.E.L: What are the key 5 go-to rules on how to get the resort / cruise look correct?
1. Have fun with swimwear – embrace colour and print
2. Invest in an amazing pair of flats – to go from beach to bar opt for an embellished pair, check out Musa for something unique
3. Think of all the elements. Keep makeup natural and use great hair products. I like Original & Mineral Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray for tousled beach hair and for a slick pony tail I turn to Oribe Crème for Style.
4. Don’t forget about your accessories – they’re the easiest way to update your look and embrace new season trends.
5. Keep it simple through relaxed tailoring, and fluid, floaty fabrics.
M.E.L: What is your ultimate personal advice on what not to wear?
LP: Don’t wear something you don’t feel confident in. Channel your own sense of style – if you prefer pants then opt for a wide leg pair rather than a maxi dress. When clashing prints, pick items that have at least one colour in common – you don’t want your outfit to be too much of a mismatch.
M.E.L: If you were starting your resort wardrobe from scratch, what would you buy?
LP: Buy resort wear staples - a crisp white shirt, denim cut offs, a maxi dress, a chic kaftan, some statement jewellery and don’t forget a great pair of sunglasses.An oversized, lightweight knit for cooler evenings is a must.A one piece or bikini – strapless styles are great for keeping tan lines to a minimum.A sun hat is a must. Love Sensi Studio’s Panama designs and Eugenia Kim for something glam!Invest in a great day bag – an oversized clutch is a great transitional piece that will take you from day to night.Buy a stylish pair of flats. I love Ancient Greek Sandals for their paired-back designs and Manebi espadrilles for fun prints.Heels for evening. Metallic styles from Jimmy Choo are timeless as are Givenchy’s Nadia sandals in neutral.