Over the coming weeks I will share my monthly “Top 5 Tips” on a variety of topics drawing from my experience in the fashion industry both in Australia and abroad. If you had a topic in particular you wanted my tips on please reach out.

Networking to Success

Since my last post, as events and some kind of normality returns to Queensland, I have had quite a few followers reach out needing tips on how to network effectively. The saying “It’s not what you know, it is who you know”, is only halfway correct. It should read “…it’s who knows YOU”. Having successfully started a fashion festival out of thin air, which then lead my career to Los Angeles and right the way to Paris Fashion Week, this has certainly been true for me. I have 20 keys tips to success around networking, these are my top 5 – enjoy.

Carly with Edwina McCann Editor of Vogue


Before you even show up to an event “solo” where you are hoping to network, you must do your homework. Nowadays with Social Media, there is often an attendees list where you can view who else is attending. Have a look and note down any key people that you think would be good to meet. Research them; what is their business name, who do they work for, what are some common points you have etc. Also think to do this research for the sponsors of the event, they are genuinely there to also meet a new demographic so have a look at who is sponsoring and who might attend from that company. Maybe one day you might need a sponsor for an event. Remember it is not just about the guests attending. What about if there are guest speakers and if you have a chance to speak or ask a question, prepare what question you would ask? Lastly even the PR company that is helping publicise the event would be a great person to meet and chat to and strike up a conversation with. You never know when you too might need PR and it is good to have had a few chats to different people in the field already up your sleeve. The more research you have the more in control and less nervous you will be.

Carly with Gary Vaynerchuck


Don’t go to an event for the sake of it. Make it count! If you are going to show up at an event and the purpose is to network, have a clear goal that you want to achieve before the end of the night. If it is your first try at “networking” then keep it real, start with something like hoping to strike up conversation with at least two new people before leaving. If you are invited out to multiple events then really step up your game, have a goal to talk to the guest speaker etc. Also have a plan for the event. In my early nervous days, (because, yes practice makes perfect – no one wakes up an expert at networking!) I would put together a plan. Something like; arrive, walk the venue once as if looking for a friend, look for anyone standing alone, get drink from bar, walk room again, if still too nervous to approach someone, go to bathroom, pep talk myself, on walking out, just choose someone to chat to (or go home disappointed with myself!). If you have a strategy up your sleeve it makes you feel more in control and gives you a plan to follow.

Carly with Diane Von Furstenburg


We all know when you look your best you feel your best! If you are even slightly nervous about attending an event on your own and trying to meet new people there, you MUST be looking your best to really boost your self-esteem. You need to look in the mirror and think “yep I’ve got this!”. Keep in mind for men and women alike that others are likely to notice accessories before they notice what you are wearing, so think of wearing some bold earrings, or men a good watch or a key pocket square etc. This also gives you a great “in” to start to talk to others about … “oh I love your earrings etc” and already you have a point in common. Look your best = feel your best!

Carly with Kellie Hush


It’s not what or how much you say but also your tone of voice, eye contact and facial expression count for so much as well. So; shoulders back, big smile and no mumbling just jump in there are start a conversation. Tips to avoid (and there is a whole other article I could write just on this) always avoid the “how are you” or “what do you do” closed boring type questions. Likewise with standard current news type information eg. “Did you see the score of the tennis?” etc. Instead, take note of your surroundings, and ask genuine questions which warrant some thought and give a little taste of who you are. Remember people love talking about themselves, so make it about your guest not all about you. After a little icebreaker perhaps commenting on the earrings etc, and (if you have no research on the person in question) you can lead in with easy questions like “Who do you know here tonight” which might lead into “What do you think of the venue” if they talk about their career, think of interesting questions like “Who inspired you to get into that field etc”. Questions really can not be written by me, they need to feel authentic and natural and honest questions you would genuinely like to hear the answer to. And DO listen to the answer and engage, don’t throw a million questions in rapid fire. Hopefully you find a point in common after a few questions which you can jump into, otherwise you will find a subject that you would like to learn more about from them. If you are keen to grow your network; make sure you get their name and ask if you can follow them on LinkedIn. It is extremely rare that anyone would refuse if you genuinely have had a good chat and resonated with them on a few topics. Be genuine!

Carly with Julie Bishop


Make sure that no more than a week post the event that you reach out with a quick thanks for the catch up. If there was a topic you were talking about and perhaps there is an interesting news article you might attach this. Of course remember to mention if they are ever looking for a “designer” etc (whatever your trade may be) that they can always reach out. Lastly as I already mentioned networking does not come naturally to anyone, you are likely to be a bit nervous at your first event. Please keep in mind you are likely to really, really enjoy it by your 100th event (and won’t even realise you are “networking”). Practise makes perfect and just remember to have fun, the other person might be just as nervous as you.

Carly with Sara Maino Deputy Director of Vogue Italia

Onwards! I hope these tips help. Until next month - Carly

Is this the remedy to your outfit decision fatigue and desire for a functional high-quality wardrobe without losing your personal style?

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Thanks to Marie Kondo’s decluttering bible and a general movement to a minimalist aesthetic across a platform of creative industries, people have been transitioning their wardrobe and its getting a whole lot of positive feedback.

The capsule wardrobe is ultimately a mini wardrobe made up of extremely versatile and functional pieces that you genuinely enjoy wearing. To better explain, the concept requires intention. If you intentionally shop for clothes that fit your body well, that suit your lifestyle and work well with other pieces in your wardrobe, you will acquire clothing that last for a longer period of time and that you will continually wear. Each season, depending on the climate where you live, you rework your capsule wardrobe to work best for you and your lifestyle.

Many stylists suggest that 20-30 clothing, footwear and accessories pieces are an appropriate number to have within a capsule wardrobe. Don’t freak out! This does not include exercise clothing, swim wear, lounge wear, under garments, formal attire or any other event specific clothing. We are talking about clothing that you wear to work and on the weekend, when you are out and about with your family and friends. This doesn’t mean the joy of shopping on the weekend is now a fond pastime. It just means you will be more conscious and intentional on your shopping trips.

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There are a lot of other reasons why it’s time to transform your own wardrobe. Have you ever stood, almost completed paralysed, barefoot in your bra and underwear looking at all the hangers of clothes in your closet, but there is nothing to wear? We are all guilty of stocking some unworn and low-quality items. Consumerist culture and fast fashion have tricked up into believing that we must own everything. The capsule wardrobe promises more time, more money and more energy for the things in life that really matter. By also narrowing down your wardrobe, you might just also uncover or re-define your own personal style.

If I haven’t completely sold you on tailoring your own capsule wardrobe yet, can I also include that making this transition will help save the planet! Did you know that the fashion industry accounts for 20 to 35 percent of micro plastic flows in the ocean? Let’s not even get started on the carbon dioxide emissions, textile waste, use of chemicals and health risks of developing countries where a whole lot of the worlds clothing is manufactured.

So how do you achieve a capsule wardrobe? Where do you start? Here are Kingstone’s five steps and a few tips to beginning your capsule journey.

1. Plan

Grab out your notepad and pen or your tablet or phone and write down where you spend most of your time. Is it at work? relaxing at friends and families houses on the weekend? attending fashionable social events every weekend? Sun baking on the beach? etc. Be honest here. If you keep a diary, grab it out and actually look at what events you attended or where you had spent most of your time in the last week or month.

Next, with the above in mind, write down what clothing, shoes and accessories you would regularly wear to these events or during a typical week or month.

Viola! You now have the most common pieces that you will regularly re-wear. These pieces should compose at least 80% of your capsule wardrobe.

Customize the look of your media by making it widescreen or small and easily align media inside your posts.

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2. Clean out your current wardrobe

On your day off, or when you have enough time for a wardrobe clean-out, take everything out of your wardrobe and any draws and place on your bed.

Firstly, take out anything that is still in good condition, still fits you well and is outside the scope of the capsule wardrobe (we are talking underwear, socks, swim wear, exercise clothes, formal dresses and anything else that fits into this category.)

Next, if you have never worn the garment, accessory or shoes before and you purchased them over a four month ago put them in a cull pile.

Then if you have anything that is extremely uncomfortable, ill-fitting or is the incorrect size, throw that into the cull pile too.

Now, let’s take out anything you have not worn in the past year. Put it in the cull pile.

Do the same thing again for anything that you have not worn in the last six months (pay attention to seasonal changes however. If you haven’t worn it because the season has not been appropriate, don’t pop it in the cull pile just yet.)

This should have decreased your wardrobe already by at least 50%.

Next, using the list you created in step 1, pull out any garment or accessory that does not meet your everyday classic criteria.

Finally, take one last look at your keep pile. Is there anything in their you do not genuinely like? If you don’t LOVE it, add it in the cull pile.

Now take the cull pile to your closest charity shop or offer any garments to family member or friends that you think could utilise it.

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3. Create your capsule needs list

Hopefully you have significantly reduced the clothing, shoes and accessories in your current wardrobe. Now, let’s look at your list from step 1 and compare it with what you have left in your current wardrobe. Are there any gaps? Are you missing a good pair of jeans? A blazer for work? T-shirts for the weekend? etc. Write them all down and be specific. What colour do I want the blazer in, so that it matches the blouses I already have in my wardrobe? Take that list on your next shopping trip.

4. Shop

Before jumping in your car, plan your shopping trip. Don’t rush down to your local shopping precinct. Remember from now on you are shopping intentionally. You also do not need to purchase everything in one go. Consider the following:

  • Can you purchase the garments, footwear or accessories from local or Australian labels instead of fast fashion houses or international retailers?

  • Can you support brands that are ethically or socially conscious? (there are lots of them! Do some research)

  • Research appropriate garments online first. Understand what the garment is made from. What are the material characteristics? Does the garment need ironing on a regular basis? Is it breathable for your type of work? etc

  • Then read the care label. Can you meet the dry cleaning or hand wash care requirements of the garment?

5. Organise

Once you have acquired your final pieces for your capsule wardrobe, you need to make sure you can easily style them every morning. Can you clean out your wardrobe any further? Is there anything in there that isn’t clothing or footwear related? The goal is to create an accessible and minimal wardrobe where you can easily view and access your clothing. Place garments that are easily matched together in groups or present however you prefer!

In this instant we think less can actually be SO much more!

Until next month...

By Susan Haines – Head Trainer

Updated: Jul 30


Over the coming weeks I will share my monthly “Top 5 Tips” on a variety of topics drawing from my experience in the fashion industry both in Australia and abroad. If you had a topic in particular you wanted my tips on please reach out.

I have had quite a few designers reach out over the past few months during these unprecedented Covid-19 times. Each has the same concerns; business has dropped, production is down, collections may have needed to have been cancelled, and photoshoots postponed. As I have mentored a few clients through these past few weeks, I thought to share here my tips to stay motivated during this period and find ways to stay relevant to come out on top.

(Photo credit: Carly Vidal Wallace)


We are often so busy in the “day-to-day” of our businesses that we never get a chance to step back and reflect on making sure we are going in the right direction. You will hear some people use the expression “not working IN the business but ON the business”. If you have some down time at the moment, now is the time to plot out where you want the business to be in the next few years and what you could put in place to get there. This does not need to be complex and can be a simple list of steps. Without a road map, it is hard to get to the destination. If you need a great book to help you get started, I always learn something new each time I read The E-Myth Revisited Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber. (My copy is bent, written all over and so many years old by still so relevant!). (Photo credit: Carly Vidal Wallace)


Another great positive with having spare time, is the chance to really focus on the strategy of your social media. Make sure you have a great reason for what you are posting and that it is relevant to your brand and resonates with your followers. Now more than ever consumers are tired of “fake” and the last thing they want to see are products in their faces with no story or feeling.

Instead think to share your journey with your viewers to make the experience with your brand more personal. Take the time to document things like “a day in the life of” or “tour of the studio” so you can easily pull on this content when you start getting busy again and don’t have the time. If you are not already using a posting app, or have a social media calendar, now is a great time to get planning.


Something that often takes a long time and is never at the top of our to-do-lists, is to clean up all your online profiles. Do tasks like google yourself or your brand name and make sure that every image or article that comes up is exactly “on brand”. You can have articles or tags removed if they no longer relate to your business or are too outdated. Think about things like taking the time to have new profile images shot; make sure your bio is up to date, and all links still working. The final step when you are sure everything is in order, is to use this time to reach out to new connections. People are feeling isolated and overwhelmed so it is a great time to genuinely reach out to new contacts. Start following journalists, editors or public relations specialists; take this time to be really social, “like” and comment and genuinely build relationships. (Photo credit: @arnelhasanovic/unsplash)


Not something you would not have already heard during this pandemic, however this is a brilliant time to upskill. If you are tight for time maybe upskill for you is simply reading a new book, or following some new tutorials online, whatever it may be, make it your quest at this stage to keep learning. As a further tip, if you are running your own business and do not understand fully the dynamics of paid social media campaigns make sure you read up on this. You can never know too much, and the key to a successful business is knowledge, so make sure you are always learning. (Photo credit: @joelmuniz/unsplash)


These are very unique days we are living through. Maybe your dream was to launch your new collection and have a runway series with plenty of guests, and the pandemic has completely crushed all your goals or depleted any savings you had to start your own business? So my last tip is to stay healthy, meaning mentally and physically healthy. Don’t get caught up in watching other people success, set to your own plan and keep on going no matter what. Get out for fresh air, do your exercises, make sure you have some time just to relax and not stress, and make sure you have really set priority lists. Sometimes when there is nothing on the agenda it is easy to get nothing done, so regardless of if you are busy or not get through your task list and keep setting new goals. (Photo credit: @patrickmalleret/unsplash)

Onwards! I hope these help.

Until next month - Carly


Studio 2, 555 Brunswick Street

New Farm QLD 4005

Phone: 07 3157  3984

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