Formerly Editor of Oyster Magazine, the über talented Paul Bui is now the Contributing Fashion Editor at RUSSH Magazine. Working as both a stylist and writer, the New York-based all rounder also contributes to international publications such as i-D and Interview. He's also somehow found the time to make a film, which will be out in the coming months. We think Paul is pretty awesome so we were tickled magenta when he agreed to chat to us.
TPD: Why did you get into fashion – what drew you to it?
PB: I was always drawn to magazine covers from publications like The Face, i-D and Follow when I was teen. So my interest in fashion really came from my fascination with these magazines and the pictures within them.
TPD: And how did you get started?
PB: I was working as a music writer contributing to music publications, pretty much to score free CDs and concert tickets. When I was 19, I got a job in Sydney working for an independent fashion magazine. After a few years, I worked my way up to become the Editor and from there, everything kind of just flowed naturally. Nowadays I’m based in New York freelancing on various projects.
TPD: You’re both a writer and a stylist – a rarity in the industry. Did you always aim to do both? Or was one a natural progression from the other for you?
PB: I never planned to become a stylist – it was something that kind of happened accidentally. When I was working at a magazine in Sydney, a stylist pulled out of a shoot at the last minute so I was forced to take on the task. I realised that I actually love the process of translating trends into images that can resonate with an audience. Writing and styling are not too different – they both tell great stories when done well.
TPD: Who are your icons and inspirations, past and present?
PB: There are so many creatives that I look up to, countless photographers, designers, other stylists etc. For shoots, I usually get a lot of inspiration from movies, music, books and random stuff I see. It could be an old movie I watch, an album cover or some beautiful girl wearing something crazy on the streets of Brooklyn. Inspiration can come from anywhere really.
TPD: And who would you most like to work with?
PB: I’m kind of obsessed with Drita from Mob Wives at the moment. Not sure if I want to work with her but I think she’s amazing and hilarious. Photographer wise I’ve always admired Inez and Vinoodh, Juergan Teller and Mark Borthwick. My favourite designer is Dries Van Noten - his collections are constantly intelligent yet accessible. I’m also digging performance artist boy child as well. But of course the ultimate client would be Madonna. Love her, but I think she’s in need of a good stylist these days.
TPD: Can you tell us about some of your favourite shoots you have worked on?
PB: I don’t really have a favourite shoot. I’m never 100% happy with them. However I’ve got to say that the brilliant models I’ve worked with have always been good sports whether they’re getting bogged in sand dunes, submerged in freezing water, or smoked in boat flairs - they always come out smiling. I’ve also worked with a lot of great musicians. It’s interesting because a musician can be extroverted and over the top on stage but completely shy and sweet in front of the camera. Working with Roisin Murphy, Peaches and Grimes was particularly fun.
TPD: And as a journalist, who has been the most fun to interview so far?
PB: Anyone who has a good story to tell. Whether they’re famous or not. I’ve talked to tattooed Roller Derby girls in Philadelphia and graffiti artists in Iceland and they all had something interesting to say. Celebrity wise, Dita Von Teese, M.I.A and Eve were a delight to interview.
TPD: What are your favourite fashion sites/blogs/tumblrs?
PB: T Magazine, Huffington Post, Racked, Thedailyfrontrow, V Files, Refinery29, Buzzfeed
TPD: Any big trend predictions for 2013?
PB: Camo, panelled fur, quilted textures and all things that sparkle. I think there’s also a move towards designers using fabrications in more innovative ways. It doesn’t always show up in photographs but for a customer investing a lot of money in a piece, they want to know a bit of experimentation and development has gone into it. Take for example, the cleverly heat fused embroidery at Proenza Schouler this season or Dion Lee felting wool to mesh in a beautiful gradient effect. With high street offering so much value to consumers, I think the biggest trend we’ll see are designers offering new ideas in innovating fabrics and materials.
TPD: And lastly, tell us about your biggest fashion faux pas?
PB: When I was younger I had a really fucked up haircut. It was asymmetrical with streaks of red and orange – like a munted sunset. Anyway, at the time I thought it was really cool.
Follow Paul on Instagram @paulbui
Rae Begley is the founder and director of Little Hero, a Sydney based fashion PR and marketing agency committed to creativity and excellence. Little Hero's impressive client roster includes adidas Originals (and their collaborations with Jeremy Scott and Opening Ceremony), Romance Was Born, Shakuhachi, Jerome Dreyfuss and Kate Sylvester.
TPD: Can you tell us how you first got started in PR?
RB: I never studied PR, so much of my expertise has been learnt on the job through sheer hard work! I completed a Media Arts degree and this creative base coupled with a strong working history in hospitality led to a natural flair in communications with people.
In 2004 I travelled to London and started working with cult agency Antipodium which, at the time, was a shop in Shoreditch and a sales and PR agency for Australian and New Zealand designers. I was the PR Manager at Antipodium, promoting the labels stocked in the store and also key accounts which the business was selling into UK & European stores. I was fortunate to work with brands including Zimmermann, Zambesi and Karen Walker. The Antipodium agency was really well respected in London and we were instrumental in communicating the 'cool' of Australian and New Zealand brands into the UK; it taught me the importance of a pro-active personalised approach with the media when representing brands and also the notion of a 'curated' portfolio of designers to garner media respect and attract new contacts, which is how I shaped Little Hero.
TPD: What's in a name, why Little Hero?
RB: While living in London I came across a man in Covent Garden who sold plaques of 'coat of arms' for family names. When I looked up my surname 'Begley' I discovered that Begley evolved from 'O'Begley' which in Gaelic meant 'Little Hero.' Little Hero to me means 'family' in the way we work with clients, media and the industry. It's always been about a personalised approach akin to family dynamics and relationships.
TPD: What's a day in the life of Rae Begley?
RB: Multi-faceted! Managing day to day in a busy PR agency is always stimulating as every day is so different depending what is going on for the clients and media at the time. You have to be prepared to juggle many different elements and manage multiple forms of communications.
TPD: You're the mastermind behind a HUGE number of events every year … Do you have a favourite part of an event?
RB: I love the idea generation at the very beginning and then seeing that concept come to life during the production.
TPD: You're speaking on the subject of The Fashion Media Landscape Transformation at L'oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival this week. How is The Photo Diner contributing to that landscape?
RB: The Photo Diner has been forward thinking in creating a tool that operates in the digital space and addresses the increasingly fast paced nature of PR. Providing access to imagery online in a centralised hub means less clogging of email inboxes, the site acts as a 'storage' area for approved media to plan out their pages and to browse trends from multiple designers and PR agencies.
TPD: Little Hero has been using The Photo Diner for a few months now – how has it helped your team?
RB: We're really looking forward to commencing the new season with this tool so we can maximise the opportunity. So far it's been great as instead of emailing lots of images we can send media to a link, so it saves both us and them time. It has also opened up some new contacts for us that have discovered Little Hero from browsing the site.
TPD: Who are the people that inspire you?
RB: Romance Was Born are a constant source of inspiration - we've been working together since 2007 and each season they never cease to amaze me with their pure creative concepts.
I am also inspired by strong, empowered women who live life with passion and spirit. I'm genuinely interested in things that last as opposed to 'hot right now' so people who have created work over many years - Jenny Kee, Diana Vreeland, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, artist Marina Abramović, Del Kathryn Barton, Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes), Mary Ellen Mark, Diane Arbus and Anna Piaggi (her book 'Fashion Algebra' is so incredible). I also love film so directors David Lynch, The Coen Brothers, Alan Ball and the bold writing of newcomer Lena Dunham. Musicians with an impressive body of work are equally inspirational Stereolab, Prince, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and right now Michael Jackson as performed by my 3 year old nephew!
TPD: Is there a cause you're passionate about?
RB: Education about the future of our environment, health and the importance of eating quality, locally sourced produce to prevent illness. I'm not sure if it's a cause but I'm also passionate about yoga and yogic principles in life.
TPD: All-time favourite song?
Prince - Purple Rain
TPD: If you weren't a gun publicist, what would you be doing right now?
RB: Making documentaries.
A fixture in the Australian front row, Glynis Traill-Nash is hard to miss with her trademark flaming red hair, square specs and perfect tailoring. Having held editorial roles at such notable publications as In Style, Grazia, Harper's Bazaar, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Telegraph, Traill-Nash is a one woman fashion dynasty and we happily bow down to her.
Flaunter: Can you tell us about how you got started in fashion writing?
GTN: I was a sub-editor for 10 years, in Perth, London and Sydney. When I arrived here in 2000, I started working at Who, and later became their first beauty editor. Then In Style called, and I started as their fashion news editor.
F: Who were your inspirations? The writers/editors/stylists who made you want to work in fashion?
GTN: Judith Cook at In Style was particularly inspiring when I was starting out. She looks at the big picture, is informed by everything, especially art, and is just so damned chic and funny.
F: And which fashion writers/bloggers do you like to read these days?
GTN: I adore Suzy Menkes, and also follow Cathy Horyn, Tim Blanks, Godfrey Deeny. I like reading well-informed writers. And of course, my good friend Damien Woolnough, who always impresses with his sheer wit and smarts. Alyx Gorman of The Vine has a refreshingly twisted way of looking at fashion, she’s a really fresh voice.
F: Who are your favourite designers – local and international?
GTN: I really love to support Australian designers. In terms of what’s hanging in my wardrobe, I love Toni Maticevski, Aurelio Costarella, Yeojin Bae, Fleur Wood, Jayson Brunsdon, Josh Goot, Willow and Dion Lee.
Internationally, I’m positively obsessed with Roksanda Ilincic, and I love Haider Ackermann, Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou. I’ve long admired Alber Elbaz, Raf Simons, Christopher Bailey, Karl Lagerfeld and Phoebe Philo, who have all managed to marry their vision with that of their respective heritage houses. Having said that, Yves Saint Laurent has always been my catnip, but I’m not yet convinced of Hedi Slimane’s approach. And, if I could fulfill a current wishlist, it would be the entire pink sequence from Frida Giannini’s Spring 13 Gucci collection.
F: Any predictions for big fashion trends in 2013?
GTN: The bomber jacket has gone from a hint a year ago to being ubiquitous. Not something I’ll be buying into, though, as I remember them from the first time around. I think the tunic-and-trousers ensemble looks great (did I mention that Gucci collection?), a fresh update on a ’60s classic. One request: can we call time on leggings as trousers now, please?
F: You’ve been using Flaunter for a while now – how’s it going for you?
GTN: I’m finding it a really useful tool, especially when I’m working on heavily trend-based stories that require a lot of supporting imagery. It’s a real time saver, as instead of doing call-outs to a host of PRs, sifting through the options put forward, then following up for high res images and details, I can find a selection of suitable images in one place.
F: What are you finding is the most useful function for you?
GTN: Definitely the search function – I can search by item, trend, colour or even fabrication, to a point.
TPD: Who would you most like to see on Flaunter?
GTN: The more the merrier – and the easier. It’s great to see so many high street brands coming on board – they’re always great for trend stories. But it would be good to have more of the big Australian names up there, and eventually internationals.
F: What’s the last big fashion purchase you made?
GTN: I just took possession of my latest order, a beautiful Maticevski cocktail dress in gold and black organza. It’s a very classic, early-’60s silhouette, but there’s a contrasting box pleat in the back of the skirt that makes a nice surprise when you turn around.
F: And lastly, what’s the worst fashion purchase you’ve ever made?
GTN: If I can pass on any wisdom, it’s this: never shop when heartbroken or drunk. I think possibly my worst purchase – and there have been many – was made after a particularly bad break-up about 10 years ago, after seeing a hot pink shearling jacket in a shop window… It was to that date the most money I had ever spent on a single item, took me three months to pay off, and I wore it three times. It’s currently at the bottom of a trunk, where it belongs. Although, if anyone’s interested…
Sling, clutch, tote, hobo, saddle. A bag for every occasion with Jérôme Dreyfuss on The Photo Diner.