How Barack Obama has impacted the style of Aje’s Edwina Forest

Edwina Forest: “I try to avoid trends.”Credit:Ivana Martyn

How would you describe your style?

Classic with a hint of the unusual. I remember a quote from Barack Obama when he was US president; he said your brain only has the capacity to make six big decisions a day, so dressing should be simple. And that’s exactly what I do. I have a uniform which entails a blazer, an oversized T-shirt or man-style shirt, with a relaxed miniskirt and a heel. The whole outfit will either be in black, white or beige.

What is the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
A Jaeger camel cashmere coat my grandmother left me. I was always enamoured with her coat collection.

And the latest addition?
I tend to wear either Aje or vintage, so I really only shop for accessories. The most recent purchase was a pair of Mykita sunglasses from Paris.

Creative director Edwina in her Aje showroom.Credit: Felix Forest

What would you wear …

… on a first date? I’d keep to my uniform. I’ve never dressed in an overtly sexual way, but I like to have an element of femininity, so for me wearing a mini skirt allows for that. I’ll then wear something more masculine on top. It’s effortless glamour, I guess.
… on a plane? Many layers of black! Blazers seem to be my go-to, one lined in silk so it’s easy to get on and off, with a black tiered maxi skirt. On the plane I’ll slip into a lightweight pant and cashmere jumper.
… to the Oscars? Definitely not a big, extravagant ball gown. I love tuxedo dressing, something with a strong shoulder, deep vee and pencil leg in a colour … at the moment I’m into this odd shade of green, almost chartreuse.

What was your worst fashion mistake?
When I was in high school I would scour vintage stores on the weekend looking for unique pieces to put together in weird and wonderful ways. I do remember a pair of fuchsia velvet flares which I wore with a green blazer to a party. It was just so different to what everyone else was wearing. Normally I was quite confident, but I remember thinking, “Wow, I’ve pushed it too far.”

What’s your favourite fashion decade?
Definitely the ’90s. I love the freedom, the femininity and the sense of power.

Do you have a favourite designer?
For me it’s always been about people who take risks and push boundaries. Margiela has always been amazing and I love Yves Saint Laurent.

What are three essential items in your wardrobe?
A blazer, a black strappy heel and sunglasses.

What would you buy if money were no object?
Vintage Yves Saint Laurent or Christian Dior.

What would you never wear?
Sneakers. I’d only wear them to run in. A fashion sneaker is not my scene.

What shoes do you wear most often?
I’m a heel girl. Otherwise boots.

Is there a current trend you like?
I try to avoid trends. I do know the voluminous sleeve – always a brand signature for us – is having a moment.

Favourite fashion icon?
Georgia O’Keeffe.

Favourite casual Sunday look?
I stick to the uniform! I really like tonal dressing, so in winter it’s layers of black and in summer it’s lighter tones – white, camel or beige.

Do you have a favourite travel destination?
My husband [photographer Felix Forest] is French, so we try to have a European summer holiday each year, using Paris as a base. Also, we bought some land in the Southern Tablelands of NSW where we have a big Swedish tent set up and an outdoor kitchen and bath. It’s our piece of paradise.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale March 1.

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