FiFi Milne is an expert in style and shopping. Oui! The creator of The FiFi Report (FiFi.com.au) an online style blog, FiFi has been in the fashion industry long enough to know how the cycle of trends work. Starting out as a fashion editor at magazines such as Vogue and Instyle she is now is in demand as a Personal Shopper and Stylist. FiFi knows her stuff...
Looking amazzzzzing in her Good Day Girl White Shirt, FiFi took us on a tour of Queen Street, Woollahra and answered some stylin questions.
You are a master of putting looks together for your clients – when you meet a client for the first time, what is the most important information you need to ensure a successful shopping expedition? There are a few important things to take into consideration: Understanding my client's lifestyle and budget. Where they’re going, what they’re doing every day. Then their body shape, what to hide and what to show off. And it’s also about finding their groove comfort zone. A successful shopping session means a happy client who loves her new wardrobe. Feels fabulous in it. Who wears it again and again. It’s later when I get lovely emails telling me that they love their clothes and find it easy to get dressed in the morning that I know I have done my job!
Your blog, fifi.com.au was one of the first fashion blogs on the scene in Australia – what piece of clothing endures through the trends? One of the most common problems I find is that women forget to update their basics. My answer? Nothing endures through trends: it’s a fashion myth! Fashion is implicitly about change. It’s true that everyone needs a white shirt, jeans, trench, stripe tee and a blazer in their wardrobe but all those things DATE. The shape changes – For example you need a white shirt but in the new shape and cut, with the right collar and length of cuff (THANK YOU Good Day Girl!). There is nothing that will age your wardrobe more than the classics in old shapes. Even a Burberry trench or Chanel jacket will change its shape over the years. Funnily enough it’s actually the crazy stuff that will endure: The mad Prada green faux fur or the crazy Comme des Garcons skirt.
Favourite fashion quote? Diana Vreeland said ‘Elegance is refusal’. Keep it simple and understated. Pare it back.
Is there a present or past day style icon you draw inspiration from? I probably draw most inspiration from street style blogs and what major designers like Celine are doing on the runway. I am not a huge fan of celebrity style because it’s actually their stylists who are the creative brains behind the looks. That said I do love the every day style of Gwyneth Paltrow, she always looks great and sticks to a pretty minimal look.
When travelling, what is the most important thing to always pack in your suitcase? Shoes change an outfit so I pack at least 3 pairs of shoes… and a black leather skirt and a stripe tee and a trench. I never pack light. I need to breathe into a paper bag if I DON’T have a choice or the right thing to wear. Yikes.
Memories are in what we wear, what piece of clothing or accessory takes you immediately back to that moment? I have a beautiful Hermes ring that I bought in Paris which I wear every day and it always brings back memories of great times in Paris!
Favourite colour combinations? Black, grey, white, camel and navy. These are what I call ‘ expensive colours’. They look expensive (But don’t have to be) and they all love each other so you can mix them up – with a few crazy shoes – and you can’t go wrong.
Do you plan what you are wearing the night before or do you reach for whatever is closest when you get dressed in the morning? I always say I don’t count sheep I work out my outfits! It saves time in the morning if you work out your outfit the night before.
How important is it that your clothes are functional? The most important thing is to be comfortable – in your skin , in your style, that’s the key to looking effortless. Then you can forget about you’re wearing and get into what you’re doing.
If you had to only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be? Anything French! Fromage, unsalted butter, baguette, fries and a green salad. And an almond croissant. Oh la la!
As a stylist, is there one element that you always start with when putting an outfit together? Is it the colour, the silhouette or a piece like shoes or jacket? Shoes, shoes, shoes ! Shoes maketh the outfit is my motto. My number one rule? Put on shoes before you decide what to wear. Even in the fitting room I make everyone try on shoes and then decide if the outfit is right. Because when do you go out in bare feet? Never !
A very big thank you to Fifi for playing with us and also to:
Photographer extraordinaire, Dean Tirkot
Beautician with the touch, Maya Bayliss T:
GREENE & GREENE - Antiques - 86 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW 2025, Australia, (02) 9328 1712
Quincy Shoes - 76 Queen Street, Woollahra NSW 2025, (02) 9363 0559
Robert Burton - 25 Queen Street, Woollahra NSW 2025 (02) 9363 9848