Sarah McLean is a Sydney based fashion writer & graduate of The Fashion Institute. With ambition and perseverance bigger than her ever-growing-shoe-collection, Sarah’s words have previously been published on several online fashion publications and among her many talents lies an uncontrollable shoe-hoarding tendency and an incurable case of bad budgeting. We ask her the tough questions and dig a little deeper into the fashion writer Sarah McLean.

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When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had a few different career prospects growing up – I think it began with wanting to be a jockey, to then wanting to be a teacher or a lawyer. I remember wanting to be a flight attendant at one point, however, I soon grew to love fashion and as they say, the rest is history.

And now?
I’m currently working in the fashion industry and just graduated from a fashion college here in Sydney, so I’d say my fourteen-year-old dreams are well on track. To be perfectly honest, I can’t imagine myself working in other industry.

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What do you love most about your state or country?
I actually grew up in Tasmania before moving to Sydney at eighteen. Tassie holds such a huge part of my heart, I love, love, love going back there! It’s such a beautiful place with so much space as apposed to Sydney which is very residential – equally as stunning though. Give me a beach close by and I’m happy. I also think that Australia has an amazing fashion contribution – we’ve produced some of the best luxury fashion houses. I’m certainly proud to say I grew up here.

Describe your style, who inspires your look?
My style revolves around two things: shoes and frame of mind.
I always begin an outfit with a shoe to build a foundation of what I’m planning to wear. My shoes act as a focus point so to speak and whatever I choose to wear has to mimic that same focus but in a different way – creating a harmonic feel probably best describes my style. Right now for instance I’m obsessed with my new Acne Studios Boots (despite being in summer) them and my Missoni Espadrilles are on constant rotation, paired up or down with a linen shift dress or statement skirt and structured blazer.My style icon is Anna Dello Russo. In my opinion, she is a fashion god.

How, where and with who do you like to shop?
I love shopping at the Intersection in Paddington! I love Ellery, Scanlan Theodore, Zimmermann and Acne Studios, however, my bank account doesn’t seem to like them as much as I do.
I love shopping with my girlfriends, however, we tend become bad influences on one another. They do offer great moral support though after I’ve purchased something overly expensive and just need a coffee and a hug!

What are the five most worn items in your closet?
My Acne Studios Ankle Boots

My Aje striped shift dress

My Stewart Weitzman open toe heels

Yoga pants! (I’m a sucker for anything lycra)

A simplistic white dress by Josh Goot – it goes with everything!

Is there a trend that you think your state/country has adapted well? Why?
I think Aussies do simplicity really, really well. We’re constantly renowned for pulling off those “I didn’t even try” ensembles – whether it’s a linen shift dress with a pair of Adidas sneakers or a roll neck sweater with a flared herringbone pant.
We seem to love our neutrals as well which is evident from a lot of our luxury designers – Ellery, Dion Lee, Camilla & Marc and Zimmermann all incorporate those much-loved Aussie tones – from black and white to oat and pastels. We like to keep it simple while still packing a punch.

Finish the Sentence:
Date night: jeans, heels and…… a Zimmermann silk floating cami. There’s something oh so romantic about a silk garment – and paired back with jeans and a heel equals the perfect date-night-approved ensemble.
The item in my wardrobe I cherish the most is….. When I was 17 my family and I went to Europe for a month and I purchased this divine dress from St Petersburg, Russia to wear to a wedding. I can’t even remember the designers name but it’s just so special to me. It’s fitted with hand-sewn sequins and beading on the front. I’ve only worn it twice in fact, once in Finland and again in New York City.
My most extravagant purchase was…… A pair of handmade Missoni Espadrilles. My heart literally stopped beating when I saw them.IMG_4979
Looking back, my biggest fashion fail was….. I was a huge fan of layering pants under skirts. Unfortunately, the items I was using weren’t very flattering… So to say the least, it was certainly an experiment that went very, very wrong.
Any look is not complete without….. The perfect shoe. Never underestimate the power of a darn good shoe. Incorporating the right shoe into your outfit can transform it from day to night – from boring to exciting or from plain to luxurious. Shoes are a woman’s gift to fashion. Don’t ignore them!
The hottest look for this season is….. Anything linen. I think adding easy, breezy garments into one’s closet is definitely on trend at the moment. Australians in particular have definitely adopted linen fabrics and garments.
My fav fashion designer is….. I can’t name just one! My top five however are: Dion Lee, Ellery, Zimmermann, Acne Studios and Dior.

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You can read more articles from Sarah here and follow her on Instagram.


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