Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Interview Files || Sarah Jones of The Corner Shop


Last week I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with the effortlessly stylish manager of The Corner Shop in Sydney's Strand Arcade, Sarah Jones. 

After meeting Sarah back in 2010 when we both worked at Sass & Bide's flagship Paddington boutique and again working with her at Bondi's resident fashion icon Tuchuzy, she has continued to be a style icon of mine that I've looked to for inspiration and advice, as she never looks anything less than amazing. Having started her career in fashion at David Jones, Sarah went on to work for renowned Australian designers Sass & Bide and Josh Goot as store manager before working with Tuchuzy and now The Corner Shop. Between all this, Sarah has interned with Vogue and worked in PR for Belinda, which is what led her to the role as The Corner Shop's store manager. With all this under her belt, Sarah's also about to complete her third qualification after already knocking off a Bachelor of Science majoring in nanotechnology as well as a Diploma of Journalism. Soon she'll have finished her Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing, and after that, it's postgraduate Medicine specialising in Psychiatry. Take all this, plus a wardrobe most people would sell their souls for. The girl does not mess around. 

It seemed only natural that The XY Venture's first female interview would be with someone as informed and well dressed as Sarah, so we decided to sit down and chat about this season's trends, what wardrobe essentials every woman needs, and what to wear when it matters most. We also asked Sarah to style six of her signature looks - and the photos speak for themselves. 
Venturists, meet Sarah Jones. 


Kenzo Jumper, Equipment Shirt, Topshop Shorts & Chloé Susanna Boots

You are responsible for dressing some of the best-dressed women in Sydney. Do you have a formula for achieving a fashion-forward look for your clients?

"Working in retail and dressing people for so long you really get to understand a base knowledge of people’s bodytypes and what brands and styles suit them. Whether it be my VIP customers or anyone else, I think you have to have a gage on what their personal style is as well. While you have to obviously work in current trends and current season pieces you also have to stay true to their personal style and really understand what they like and what they feel comfortable in. I also think it's exceptionally important to be very honest with people; to just be truthful about what looks good on them and sometimes say if something doesn’t work because at the end of the day they’re going to leave feeling completely comfortable and feeling amazing in what you’ve put them in."

Knit, Shorts & Boots by Isabel Marant 

Who are your favourite designers to buy into and why? 

"First and foremost would be Isabel Marant. I’m not a particularly feminine dresser but I feel like she always has this amazing balance of pieces that are very pretty but they also still have so much street cred… they’re very cool and very easy to wear. All of her collections somewhat work back together, so I think by buying the right pieces, you can definitely get some investment pieces that will always work no matter what season. I also love Acne, it’s just such cool street-wear;  from jumpers and tees to their jeans… Acne jeans are my favourite jeans to buy, I find that they’re the best fit… even their boots and shoes are great. And of course Alexander Wang. He has awesome street cred and I always feel very confident wearing his pieces whether it be a mainline dress or a simple little skirt by T by Wang... his pieces work back so seamlessly with everything else you would have in your wardrobe."

What key pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?

"A crisp, clean white shirt, a structured blazer always works a treat... a pair of jeans that you always feel fabulous in... and you can't go wrong with a simple pair of black point toe pumps... they work with everything."

What are the essentials for a wardrobe update this season?

"Khaki is having a bit of a moment for the fall-winter collections. I think a big oversized khaki military jacket is going to be quite timeless. Isabel Marant has done some amazing ones... there's actually one that I have my eye on. It’s going to work back seamlessly with other pieces in your wardrobe... layered over a dress or a little skirt or with a shirt and a pair of jeans... even with a hoodie underneath for a more street look. I’ve also seen a lot of oversized jumpers and chunky knits – again, they’re good investment pieces because if you buy correctly you’re going to have them forever and they’re going to go with everything in your wardrobe."

What's your next big purchase?

"Oh that's easy! A red Chanel wallet on a chain." 

"Khaki is having a bit of a moment for the fall-winter collections." 
Above: An Isabel Marant Fall Winter runway look. 


Josh Goot Top & Skirt, Aquazzurra Heels 

 What's the best look for a woman to wear on a date?

"You really can’t go wrong with a cute little shift dress, a pair of ankle boots, a killer leather jacket and, if it’s night-time, a swipe of red lipstick certainly won’t hurt either. It’s very simple, very nonchalant, but it’s always going to look good."

What are the biggest fashion faux-pas that you hate to see?

"Cork wedges, jelly sandals, pom-pom earrings, and dare I say it... I'm not the biggest fan of the Birkenstock." 


Isabel Marant Suit Jacket & Pants, Adidas Originals Logo Tee, Stan Smith Adidas Originals Sneakers

What have you worn on your most important job interviews? 

"It comes back to the wardrobe essentials. I think you always need to look very professional, so I think a well tailored blazer, a simple white shirt, and depending on where you’re going either a pair of skinny suit pants or skinny jeans and just a simple point toe black pump. Never underestimate the power of a good manicure as well."

Ksubi Denim Jacket, Acne Skin 5 Jeans, Saint Laurent Pumps 

Who are your style icons and why?

"As far as Australian style icons, I love Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox, I think she is just so immaculately dressed but she’s very sport luxe; she's very cool with her Dion [Lee] and her Céline. She just looks fantastic… very minimal but always very cool. And obviously Christine Centenera, she never puts a foot wrong... she just looks fantastic all the time. I also love Veronika Heilbrunner, the fashion editor of German Harper's Bazaar – she’s quite eclectic but very fashion forward – always very cool outfits, very cool street style… I also admire Caroline Brash Neilson, she’s got a fantastic wardrobe behind her, she always looks very, you know, not only on the runway, but in all of her street style photographs, she just looks fantastic all the time."

Isabel Marant Top, Skirt & Boots, Rag & Bone Hat

What's your style advice for men? 

"Never underestimate the power of a well-tailored suit jacket paired with skinny jeans. All you need to do is channel Justin O’Shea and you will nail it."

Justin O'Shea 

What are your beauty essentials?

"I’m a massive fan of the Chantechaille Vital Essence serum, I put that on morning and night. The Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer is amazing and also the Chanel Le Volume mascara; for me personally I find it works really well. And if I’m going out or I ever need to jazz up an outfit, the NARS lipstick Scarlet Empress is my absolute favourite."

Sarah's Essentials 

Some of the favourites (clockwise): Isabel Marant Boots x3, Adidas Originals x Stan Smith Sneakers, Saint Laurent Pumps, Chloé Susanna Boots, Givenchy Pumps  

Vogue, Russh & Roses: Sarah's apartment is a fashion haven 

What's your advice to someone wanting to make it in the fashion industry?

"The most important thing that you have to understand is that there’s going to be a lot of hard work required. You have to deliver on everything that you’ll say that you’ll do. You need to be honest, you need to be hardworking and you need to go above and beyond in everything that you do – always give one hundred and ten percent and people will really appreciate it."

Boots by Isabel Marant 

Isabel Marant top, Rag & Bone hat. 

Any final pieces of style advice?

"It’s very important to understand your own personal style and know what works well on you, what your look is. It’s not necessary for you to buy every single amazing piece that comes out every season. While you can do that, you can also consider buying into investment pieces that you can have now and still have in two years time and it’s still going to be relevant. You just need to know exactly what works well on you and what your style is and if you always stay true to that then you really can’t go wrong."

 "I admire Caroline Brash Neilson, she’s got a fantastic wardrobe behind her, she always looks very, you know, not only on the runway, but in all of her street style photographs, she just looks fantastic all the time."

"Christine Centenera never puts a foot wrong... she just looks fantastic all the time."

 "I love Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox, I think she is just so immaculately dressed but she’s very sport luxe; she's very cool with her Dion [Lee] and her Céline. She just looks fantastic… very minimal but always very cool."

"I also love Veronika Heilbrunner, the fashion editor of German Harper's Bazaar – she’s quite eclectic but very fashion forward – always very cool outfits, very cool street style."

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SHOP SARAH'S ESSENTIALS 

White Shirt // Equipment
Structured Blazer // Isabel Marant 
Skinny Jeans // Acne Studios 
Point Toe Pumps // Saint Laurent

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For more style inspiration and tips, visit Sarah at The Corner Shop in Sydney's Strand Arcade, or find her on Instagram @sarah_emilyj 

Photography: Madeleine Lourey 
Sarah & Sebastian Jewellery worn throughout. 

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