With a view that brighter is better and an equally bold approach to making things happen, Nicole Warne is one of the most visible innovators on Australia’s fashion landscape – even when she’s not wearing a colour-blocked three-piece and Nicki Minaj lipstick.
Nicole quit her day job back in 2009 to plunge head first into the fashion blog-slash-online store business, starting a visual online diary on the same day she opened the virtual doors of her online vintage store. This was a time when the fashion blogosphere was not yet confoundedly over-saturated, and her seemingly natural grasp of the three blogging stalwarts (fashion, vintage, and photography) struck a chord with readers from early on. Gary Pepper Vintage quickly went from online store to style bible, the undisputed draw card being exquisitely styled shoots of her one-off vintage finds and the cream on the cake being that the girl herself is an ultimate babe.
Though the outfits are eye catching and the legs insane, pivotal to Gary Pepper Vintage is the adage that less is more. Nicole’s style often seems eclectic but it’s never not pretty or feminine. She prefers simple mini-dresses and elegant shoes over piling on layer over printed layer to maximise her appeal to street style photographers. Though her personal blog verifies that she’s now inspiring jealousy in the heart of every average female Australian under the age of 30, by running around Milan and Paris watching Gucci shows and getting dressed by Dolce & Gabbana, she’s somehow managing to refrain from turning each post into a visual bragging exercise.
In between making brief mentions of the Gucci show, Nicole gushes about the thrill of being a “completely Asian” tourist climbing Milanese stone statues and lining up to scale the Duomo, and she does these things in a dress gifted to her by relatively unknown designer Patricia Chang (short, lacey, elegant — check, check, check). It’s this awareness of her own style that has led so many national and international brands to on the Gary Pepper bandwagon. Online retailer JASU is just one company to take notice, enlisting Nicole along with four other local tastemakers to create editorials showcasing their personal style and favourite items.
The most appealing thing about Nicole is that her awesome style is pretty easy to emulate. Think Alexa Chung if she was a Japanese anime character, or Hayao Miyazaki if he was a twenty-something girl. Or, you know, you always could just look at her blog.
Images via Gary Pepper Vintage