Krissie Cao is a freelance fashion stylist and creative artist from Melbourne, Australia. When we first checked out work we thought that her creative flair to create complementary outfits and ensembles was incredible and wanted to know more. We were delighted when she agreed to complete a full in-depth interview with Urbanity Chic. Read on to discover, amongst other things, which fashion designers Krissie is inspired by, what she does to relax when not working and what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I recently finished a very beautiful shoot that is quite artsy and fantasy based over the Easter Sunday. Currently, I am working on two major shoots with a team of highly talented creatives. The first shoot will be based on a very strong concept with lots of mind-blowing gowns and garments, hair, makeup, extravagant headpieces and a story to go with it as well. The second one will be all about bringing back Hollywood glamour, luxury and richness. I’m excited about both working on these shoots and sharing our finished products.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Incredible. I feel very blessed to have a supportive partner, family, and friends within the industry who continue to inspire me. The past 12 moths have been about growth both as a person and stylist.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
To me, fashion is about expressing one’s sense of self, individuality, what one is most comfortable with. Very much like music for example… One may like a certain genre of music and not others because within it, they feel happy, confident, and beautiful. All of those good things.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
It is hard to choose a favorite, but if I must, I am in love with Chanel classic designs (cliché I know), and also YSL, Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood not just because they are the bigger names within the fashion industry, but simply because I love that they are able to express their emotions and arts through their designs, and are not afraid to take risks in being fashion forward and creating trends rather than just following the trends.
Q: What was the first thing you ever designed?
Although I am a fashion stylist, I have designed headpieces, a couple of dresses and even underwear sets. My favorite piece of headpiece I designed was made of black feather and metal pieces. I really liked it, but sadly my cat mistook it for her toy and so…. headpiece no more.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspirations everywhere… from fashion designers, icons, to music, flowers, books, nature, imagery. I often catch the train to the City everyday and I love this time where my mind can just drift off and take in everything around me which otherwise taken for granted or not even noticed if I was to drive in. Simple things like seeing an old dress with pretty lace would trigger me to think of how it could be styled differently to my liking on somebody…
Q: Who inspires you?
Creative people inspire me. It is so wonderful to get into a conversation with somebody, you know those moments when you meet someone and realize that you both are on the same wavelength when it comes to all things fashion-sy and creative. The next thing you know, you’d both be chatting at a hundred miles an hour with your loudest voices, almost screaming at one another, hands gesturing wildly about even…. Those are the people who inspire me, creative people who are passionate about their art.
Q: How would you define the style your work exemplifies?
Depending on the project I am working on and the restrictions I can work within. But in general, I’d say that my work is usually about telling a story and conveying certain emotions to the audience.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I would have been the worst example of a Fashion Stylist if stereo typical was to go by. I have been making more of an effort when it comes to my own personal style of late, but previously, I’d be a typical jeans and t-shirt or plain dresses type of girl. I have not been very brave when it comes to colors or prints for my own wardrobe.
Lately though, I have been experimenting with a lot more colors, prints, cuts and I can tell you that I am loving it. There is something very liberating about wearing a bright bold prints blazer with jeans having been a Black on Black girl for quiet some time.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in Melbourne, Australia.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Blessed. I love, and am in love with Melbourne and Australia in general. I love that getting off the train would means a walk through the subway then up to a famous little Cafes filled stretch call DeGraves which is very Parisian, where I’d have my coffee before arriving at the office. I could be any where I want to be in Melbourne, Rome means a short stroll down Lygon Street where Italian men dressed in impeccable suits and matching mustaches would bow and invite you into their various diners promising nothing but the best Italian cuisines, or the back alley ways in China Town where you can get Asian dishes fit for a Chinese Emperor, the choices are endless.
Melbournians are very much my kind of people and Melbourne is certainly my kind of place. Although Europe and America are on my must-visit places within the next couple of years.
Q: How would you define your city’s fashion?
Melbourne is a very multicultural city, because of this; our fashion is also influenced by all the different backgrounds inhibiting our city. It has been said that Melbournians dress to show off their figures rather than the clothes itself, and that we are more conservatively dressed as opposed to our Sydneysiders. Our fashion is also very much influenced by our weather, and Melbourne has one of the most unpredictable weather in the whole country, we may end up having four seasons in a day, so expect to see lots of layers and colors.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I am so grateful that I get to work with every one whom I have come across in this industry, from makeup artists, photographers, designers, models to assistants and behind the scene team members, so it is very hard to differentiate. However, my three most favorite photographers to date are Lam Tran of www.vampita.com, Vlad Savin www.vladsavinphotography.com and David Yeow of www.davidyeow.com. These guys are some of the most talented photographers and nicest people I have worked with in the industry. And also for the fact that each of the shoots I have done with these three amazing creatives have been about telling a captivating story through pictures. I like that a lot.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
I hope to continue growing as a better fashion stylist and as a better person. I am also working on an online store aimed at youth contemporary fashion stocking some designer brands as well as local designers, the new online store promises to bring one right back to youthful summer days, friends and laughter with pretty dresses, tops, blouses, accessories, those kinds of girlie things. The store will be called ‘Que Toi’ which sounds like French, but in fact, it means ‘My Land’ in my mother tongue language.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Very spiritual and responsible adult things… Like online shopping and Draw Somethin’ on my iPhone, or playing Animal Match.
But on another note, I used to practice Aikido Yoshinkan religiously and have even been given the opportunity to write for Blitz Martial Arts magazine. Nowadays, due to my work and personal commitments, I’d sometimes go to Yoga class or write. I enjoy writing.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
My favorite holiday would be anywhere warm and tropical and with my favorite boy in the whole World, my partner Nick, who has supported me through everything.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to Mezzanine by Massive Attack right now.
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
I really love learning about history now that I am no longer in school. History was never my thing, I usually either failed or got really bad grades for this subject, where as I’d get a straight A in Maths or English or other things… so now I am playing catch up and scanning YouTube channels every couple of days or when I get some spare time, and the information I learn from it just continues to amaze me everyday. So guess, YouTube surfing is a hobby of mine.. and it is sort of interesting, no?
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Being a Fashion Stylist is not as glamorous as it looks. Sometimes, you may be working from dusk ’til dawn, in very cold weather, standing in freezing water to make sure that the model looks just right. Sometimes, your work may be well received by some, and not by others. It is hard work, and it can be lonely work, especially when no one knows that you may have driven one side of town to the next just to pick up just one outfit for the shoot, etc. But these, mean nothing when the final images come out and you, yourself, feel that euphoria, that sense of accomplishment knowing that you have done this despite the hard work you have gone through to make it happen. That, is gold and what keeps me doing what I do. Simply and purely because I love it.
As a Fashion Stylist, I think it is important to remind myself that my role is there to bring out the model/s’ most striking features even more through choice of outfits and accessories, which also incorporate colors, tones, patterns, cuts whist remaining within the theme and shoot’s restrictions. All egos need to be left at the door of a shoot. For me, everyone on a photo shoot brings a different element and viewpoint to the table, and the results are best produced when these can be collaboratively expressed in the shoot somehow.
Q: Where can we find out more about your work?
You can visit my styling website www.krissiecao.com or my Facebook styling page at Krissie Cao [Fashion Stylist]
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
The final images are always what motivate me and drive me further. I already have the next two and a half months solidly booked and I am looking forward to sharing more of our work soon.
Editor’s Note: Krissie Cao has an incredible appreciation of composition both in fashion and art in general to bring together items of clothing to create an appealing look.
If you’d like to check out more of Krissie Cao’s amazing portfolio, or get in touch, just follow the links below:
Web page link: www.krissiecao.com
Video embeds: http://vimeo.com/29438571