A Style Workshop with Swiish

 

With the change of season comes that oft dreaded task: taking a good, hard look at our wardrobes. What pieces are still working from last year? What can be carried over from summer with the clever addition of opaques and a jacket? What do we need that’s new?

If you are one to follow what’s hot and what’s not, the new season also brings with it another difficult task: navigating the trends you want to buy into. Luckily for us we have sisters Sally Obermeder and Maha Koraiem from fashion and lifestyle website Swiish on hand to help.

On a cold, grey Saturday morning we headed along to a style workshop with the pair at the Canberra Centre. Sally, also a TV presenter, and Maha, a certified health coach, not only took us through what they saw to be the biggest trends of the season, but also shared their story.

Their online destination Swiish, which now also boasts an online store, blossomed from an idea Sally had while recovering from a breast cancer surgery. The sisters had always wanted to work together before this but the timing had never been quite right.

They then set about creating a platform to share their ethos of ‘luxe for less’. Both sisters work closely together to create fashion and style content that has resonated with a huge audience.

The advantage of working together,’ explained Sally, ‘is we have different body shapes. We are different sizes and different heights. We have different styles. We balance each other. We think about how what we are doing is going to translate for our customer and our reader. Is she going to get mileage out of it? Will she feel comfortable?’

‘We definitely argue; we run a business, there is a lot of pressure and a lot at stake,’ Maha revealed. ‘We have different strengths and different weaknesses. We don’t take anything personally, we don’t have time to. First and foremost we are sisters and having got through Sally being sick, now we have a business and its fun, but nothing comes between us and our relationship.’

So what were the trends for the season?

Monochrome

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When it comes to picking a monochrome piece, it’s all about detail this season.

Sally says: ‘Detail around the neck, detail around the sleeves. Ruffles. These are things that look a little stepped up. It [monochrome] always looks expensive even though it doesn’t have to be. Black and white together always look smart.’

Look for: Clever details, bold cuts, flared sleeves, A-line shapes.

 

Ruffles and Sleeves

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Ruffles are everywhere and sleeves are everything.

Sally says: ‘They are pretty and feminine. In summer it was all about off the shoulder. But now it’s colder, it’s all about sleeves. Sleeves are long this season, it can feel a bit weird. If you want to push them up and keep them up use an elastic band or a hair band.’

Look for: Anything with a ruffle, big or small, and anything with a statement sleeve.

 

Prints

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Prints are big news this season, particularly moody florals.

Sally says: ‘If you feel all out print is too much break it up. Do a print skirt or a print top. If there is an area you don’t want people looking at don’t wear the print there. Another good way to branch into print is to choose a familiar shape.’

Maha says: ‘I’m not a print person, I’m rarely a colour person. I used to wear black 100% of the time. But over time I’ve learnt to branch out and try colour, as a block colour. I’m not ready for print.

Look for: A print dress if you are bold or print separates to pare back with basics in your wardrobe.

 

Metallics

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Whether it is a dress or separates, its metallics’ time to shine.

Sally says: ‘I love! If it’s sparkly it’s got my name on it.’

Maha says: ‘You can pair a metallic top with black pants, jeans or an A-line skirt. A metallic A-line skirt is great paired with basics on top to tone it down. Mix your textures, try a chunky knit.’

 

Honourable Mentions

Stirrup Pants

Sally says: ‘The thing that’s different this time is that the stirrup has buttons so you can take it off and be left with a beautiful slim black pant. That’s the sort of trend tricks you want to look for. Things that will let you dip your toes in a trend but still has longevity.’

 

Texture

Sally says: ‘You can embrace these warmer textures. If you don’t feel brave enough to wear a velvet jacket or fur coat start with accessories. Ease yourself in.’

 

Double-Breasted Blazer

Sally says: The double breasted blazer is back. You can wear it as a tuxedo suit or break it up. Satin looks delicious. I would wear the jacket over jeans with white t-shirt and big accessories.’

 

Bomber Jackets

Sally says: ‘Bomber jackets are a big trend. Get one that is a bit bigger or longer that sits in the hip. Just go up a couple sizes to cover the bits you want to cover but you don’t miss out on a trend.’

 

Soft Trench

Sally says: ‘The new trench is a soft trench. Navy is the black this season. It looks expensive. You can dress it up or down you would get a lot of wear out of it.’

 

Denim

Sally says: ‘This season a slimmer leg jean is on trend. When you are looking for jeans don’t worry so much about what’s happening in the legs focus on what happening in the tum butt and hips. Fraying, embroidery, ankle grazing cuts, spliced denims are all on trend.’

 

 

The sisters final advice is to go in to every store and go regularly as things change. And if you see something and you like it and it fits, get it now because you might not find it when you need it. Happy Shopping.

 

Shop the Workshop

  • Metallic Top
  • Floral Bomber Jacket
  • Panel Detail Denim
  • Soft Trench Coat
  • Floral Print Dress
  • Double Breasted Jacket
  • Bell Sleeved Top
  • Stirrup Pants
  • Blush Bomber
Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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