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Pristine beauty in a world that is never as perfect as a magazine’s pages: Imogene Barron

One glance at Imogene Barron’s work and you’ll immediately want to throw out your wardrobe and start over. Not that you would be able to replicate her looks even if you tried – as one of Sydney’s most prolific stylists, the way she puts an image together almost always has you stand back and ask for more. Her ability to think outside the standard, ever day editorial that has become all too common today is exactly the kind of inspiration aspiring trend-setters should look to when they contemplate what to wear in the morning – oh, and how to stand, where to turn their head and what to have in the background. Perhaps most well-known is Imogene’s work for Yen, where issue after issue, Imogene’s flawless styling had people aching for pristine beauty in a world that is never as perfect as a magazine’s pages.

Imogene refers to her foray into fashion as “inevitable”, with a long family history in the industry, but it was the iconic imagery of the world’s greatest photographic legends that captured her passion.
“To be honest I was most inspired by photographers and the imagery behind it all. Some of my favourites early on were Corrine Day, Juergen Teller, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Peter Lindbergh and Mario Testino. To me, the images made the garments look beautiful,” she says.
“There is a whole driving force behind [fashion editorial].... The creative union of teams which bring everything to life.”

It comes as no surprise then that as one of the best, she started working with the best, including David Bonney and Michelle Jank. Today her resume spans from the pages of Russh to her own creative endeavour, the independent publication LOVE WANT, which she collaborated on with photographer Bec Parsons.
“It is really nice to know that people like what I do… it still sometimes feels surreal that people take to my work, but as long as someone is appreciating it at the end of the day it makes the whole process worthwhile,” says Imogene.
“To be part of creating beautiful imagery is such an incredible experience. I try to have lots of fun when I’m working and not take anything too seriously – it’s all about creating a pleasant working environment.”

Just like any highly coveted job, it hasn’t been all glamour and glory – especially at the start, when long days of free labour were a given. She tells aspiring stylists to keep this in mind when they try to get their foot in the door, because once they enter, that’s only the starting point.
“The best advice I can give is to stay focused and driven. It’s sometimes not an easy road, so don’t be fooled by what you think is the glamour of it all. It is definitely not glamorous – it’s hard work!” she says.
”I think assisting/ work experience is a must, and in the early stages unfortunately you have to do it for free! I think it is also key at that stage to have a part-time paying job that has flexible days so you don’t miss out on any opportunities that present themselves.”
Today she says the worst part about her job is feeling like a “glorified courier most of the time,” but that seeing the end result in print gives her all the satisfaction she needs.

As someone who can make Australian fashion look so beautiful, Imogene is confident about this country’s industry – but she says it needs to make sure it stays genuine.
“I think Australian Fashion is in a good place – it has great strengths through a handful of designers that are keeping their ideas new and evolving, such as Jessie Hill, Arnsdorf, Dress Up, Lover, TV, Marnie Skillings and Tina Kalivas. I think its biggest weakness is an ability to fall victim to taking to the overseas trends too literally and apply them to their own collections – it is one thing to take inspiration from something but another thing entirely when it becomes somewhat of a direct rip off.

“The imagination is not that small, so let it go wild I say!”

As far are her dream projects go, Imogene says she would love to work with Madonna, Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsborg because of their incredible individual style, and that contributing to any of my favourite major international titles would be a dream come true. For now though, it looks like her hands are full with a long list of exciting endeavours ahead.
“Over the last couple years I have been doing quite a bit of consulting work with various designers which I thoroughly enjoy. It’s a great experience to work with them from the beginning and develop an idea and a vision from scratch. I also have a few side projects in the pipeline that will hopefully be launched a little later in the year, so watch this space!”
How could we not?

Imogene Barron

The next issue of Love Want will be out in October.

words: Seema Duggal


September 18, 2009 at 9:18 AM HotCaviar said...

i love her... great read seema... i'm going to link this one... xxxx

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