My Style: Alexandra Harper

Fashion designer Alexandra Harper

Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Harper

Which city has the best-dressed women?

That’s a tough one — it’s amazing how different cities really generate different aesthetics. London women are experts at experimenting and combining different pieces (vintage mixed with high street mixed with designer), and New York women are brilliant at committing to a look and expressing their individual style. I think Melbourne women are particularly good at dressing for an occasion, and of course Parisian women know how to get it right from head-to-toe.

Please describe your style in three words.

Individual, eclectic, expressive.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Being too rigid. You have to just go with it: your mood, the weather, the occasion, the vibe.

Do you believe in role models?

Not really. It’s great to be inspired by another person, style or thing, or to admire someone else's work, but you have to stay true to your own style and your own work, no matter what.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Anything in leather, denim, heavy cottons and interesting knits.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I’m not a big fan of showing too much flesh at once, but really, if you’ve got the body, style, and personality to pull it off, no combination should be off limits!

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Bold, sometimes quietly, sometimes loudly.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I don’t have any, other than to only wear clothes and accessories that work with or compliment my body shape. And I don’t do sleeveless.

Celebrities and style...

Are fun to critique!

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Hats and headpieces.

A woman should always look like...

Herself, or a different version of herself.

Who taught you what you know about style?

Who knows? I think style is inherent, but my mum helped. And copious quantities of fashion magazines.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I’m definitely a slave to my mood (and how far I need to walk).

What is your biggest regret?

I’m pleased to say I have none. No experience (or style combination!) is wasted. It’s what’s happening right now that is important.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

To think beyond what you’re comfortable with, to know what works for you, to be true to your own aesthetic.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

No, I’m a totally random shopper. I just love hunting for unusual pieces in lots of different places.

We will never see you wearing...

An exposed midriff.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I enjoy seeing the final collections of fashion students — they are unfettered by trends or bottom lines and are so hopeful for the future.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Australian fashion stylist Christie Nicolaides.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her accessories.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

One of my own-design headpieces made from shattered mirror, my emerald green Bottega Veneta ankle boots (that are so well-worn I dare not put them on), my wedding ring, and my new grey shearling winter coat.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

No idea. There have been too many!

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Alexander McQueen, and now, Sarah Burton.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Her underwear.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Absolutely not. Even if you have to be comfortably dressed for your work or lifestyle, small details can transform a look — a swipe of lipstick, some unique earrings, a manicure — small, easy details all convey personal style.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

My hairdresser, Adam Browne!

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

If you’re going to bother doing something, do it absolutely as best you can.

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