Allude & Friends: Yasmin Sewell, Stylist, Editor and Fashion Influencer
Australia is not only famous for the outback, its shell-shaped opera house, kangaroos and the yeast-based spread Vegemite. One of the most inspiring street-style stars and all-round creatives comes from there as well: Yasmin Sewell. If she isn’t busy fighting off photographers during one or the other fashion week, then the 39-year-old trend expert works as fashion director of Style.com and consults well-known companies in style questions. We talked to the mother of two about her love for cashmere, the legendary openness of “Aussies” – and embarrassing tattoos.
To see how Yasmin Sewell wears her personal favourites by Allude, visit her at Instagram. In the photos, the web-style icon is wearing a Jacquard knit cardigan (top left), a sweater with raised collar (top right) and a striped turtleneck (below) by Allude, by the way.
Yasmin, how did your love affair with cashmere begin? Was there an epiphany kind of moment?
I grew up in Sydney, Australia, which has a pretty mild climate, so knitwear doesn’t really have a large place. I started wearing cashmere when I first moved to London in my early 20s, and that’s also when I began to invest in a few wonderful pieces.
What do you like about the finest wool on the planet?
I wear natural fibres and materials whenever I can… it feels so much better on the skin and is a much more comfortable experience overall. And wool is great because it’s a natural insulator – so summer or winter, it’s always your friend. I particularly love wearing cashmere on exhausting (and often chilly) long-haul plane trips.
How did you first hear about Allude?
It was actually my husband Kyle Robinson who found and introduced me to this unique label and showed me Andrea Karg’s collection – he now works together with Allude through his showroom Paper Mache Tiger.
What makes this brand so dear to your heart?
Every piece I own (and I have quite a few by now!) makes me feel special whenever I wear it.
Please share some hands-on style advice with our readers – for these three scenarios:
* You overslept: What outfit will make every woman look dressed right in just under five minutes?
High-waisted jeans, a cashmere V-neck sweater, a great blazer and red lipstick. Heels are optional. Keep colours understated: navy, black, tan…
* After work event: how do you quickly glamour up your workwear?
Throw on some statement earrings and replace your day bag with a great clutch
* Your winter essentials: Which pieces could you not do without during the cold season?
Knitwear everywhere: sweaters, scarves, beanies, even some great knitted flare trousers for a top-to-toe look. I can’t get enough wool in winter.
Your winter hotspots in London, New York and your hometown Sydney. Culinary, culture, nature – your choice!
London: The beautiful pop-up skate rink set against the striking backdrop of Somerset House. A cosy breakfast of sage scrambled eggs and hot coffee at Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch.
New York: Taking in the magic of the Christmas windows on Madison Avenue. The Highline Park built on former elevated train tracks is at its best in summer when all the plants are in bloom, but the view of snowy Manhattan in winter is beautiful, too.
Sydney:: The restaurant Sean’s Panorama in Bondi Beach is a favourite of mine at any time of year. , The food is incredible, with a focus on fresh farm produce.
Your tip on how to buy knitwear?
It’s all about touch and feel. The moment your fingers meet with premium knitwear and you just know without a doubt that its quality is outstanding.
How would you describe your style in three words?
Evolving, unlimited, me.
What do you like about a man’s way of dressing?
I actually borrow a lot from men’s fashion… I like the simple combination of just a few elements to create a strong silhouette.
Please tell us about your morning ritual(s)! What do you do before leaving the house?
As you can imagine, my mornings are pretty hectic with a 5-year-old and a nearly-2 year old in the house. In an ideal world I’d somehow find 20 minutes within all of the chaos to fit in a short meditation, which always helps me a lot… but most mornings involve quickly deciding on what to wear, dodging the sticky breakfast-covered fingers of the little ones, and juggling a game of hide-and-seek with checking emails. Meanwhile our NutriBullet blends together fruit and vegetables for a smoothie, after drinking which I’m all set to start my day!
Did you ever expect to become such a global street-style icon?
Let’s put it this way: When I first started my career in fashion, I was still using a fax machine… I could never have anticipated the huge success of the internet, let alone the large part it now plays in the fashion industry and how bizarrely widely spread the phenomenon known as street style has become.
Any stylish gift ideas for last-minute shoppers?
My tip: Sometimes it’s nice to give the gift of an unforgettable experience instead of an object… so for example a voucher for a super special dinner at a restaurant the recipient wouldn’t normally go to or a couple of lovely treatments in a spa for a relaxing indulgent day.
What’s your secret for the perfect street style photo?
I wish I knew the secret… Could you perhaps tell me? Basically I try and avoid being snapped mid-sentence or mid laugh… that can definitely result in a double- or triple-chin situation.
How would you spend a perfect Sunday in winter? From morning to (late) night?
It can be a real treat to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. For a brief getaway weekend I love to check in at the Lime Wood Hotel, where you can have a fantastic truly British lunch and enjoy a long walk in nearby New Forest… At the end of the day it’s marvelous to sit by the open fireplace and listen to the crackle of the fire.
Is there a special Australian fashion sensibility that helped you succeed in London and New York? A style gene from Down Under, so to speak?
Our country is relatively young; perhaps that’s why we Australians are very open to new things. We’re not so steeped in history or set in our ways and traditions. And while London is quite a bit older, it is also known for its love for experimenting in fashion. It embraces young designers who want to push boundaries. I think that is the reason why London and Australia are so compatible.
Most fascinating region right now, fashion-wise?
Everybody looks to Eastern Europe right now, that’s where it’s at.
The most daring fashion experiment you’ve ever undertaken?
Probably the mesh stockings with tattoo print by Jean Paul Gaultier, many, many years ago…
Your secret to happiness?
And how do you manage to juggle your career with being a mother and a wife?
For me, meditation is key!
Photos: Yasmin Sewell via Instagram