Stylist, fashion blogger, creative director and social media darling Chloe Hill has lived out of a suitcase for the past 18 months while travelling the world. Josie Steenhart speaks to her from Wellington, where she’s returned home for some chilled-out fa
I’m from Lower Hutt originally, but I’ve lived in Sydney for about eight or 10 years, and then for the last year and a half I haven’t had a home. I’ve just been floating between Europe, New Zealand and Australia. It’s been kind of bizarre, but quite cool. [My husband and I] spent a bit of time in London, but we’ve mainly been in Paris. I’ve also been shooting in Athens and I spent a bit of time in Milan, Copenhagen, Stockholm – all over.
I split my time between styling, working with a photographer and doing other content creation, so every job is different. I shot a campaign for a French shoe brand called Clergerie. They did a collaboration with [fashion label] Self Portrait. I got to do all the creative – all the photography, and styling and casting. It was completely my idea and I got to execute it.
I have quite a defined style. It’s very eclectic and colourful. But there’s also classical elements and feminine touches.
My mum always dressed me in colour and she always loved colour, so even though everyone wore black [in Wellington], I’ve actually always worn a lot of colour my entire life. So it wasn’t a reaction to being around so much black, it was just what I personally loved. And then moving to Sydney and being somewhere where it was so summery, I could play around with lighter layers, which gave me the freedom to try out printed, summery dresses.
It’s been really good travelling as it has forced me to use a capsule wardrobe. It sounds so cheesy! I have my two favourite pairs of jeans, one that is more fitted and one that is more relaxed. I’ve got my favourite jumpers and a hoodie, and then I’ve got more dressedup pieces – ankle boots and midi skirts. But they kind of all work together, so I can throw a hoodie on with a midi skirt and boots for a more dressed-up look, or I can just chuck on jeans and sneakers and I’m ready to jump on a plane.
I definitely wasn’t as practical when I had a home and I could have all the other fun things, but now I think through what I pack.
I have things in a storage facility in Sydney and I stash heaps of stuff at my parents’ place in Wellington, so I’m able to swap things in and out, which is really handy. Right now I’ve got all my wintery clothes, but when I go back to Sydney before I head over to the shows in September, I’ll do a quick trade and grab some sandals and T-shirts and bits like that.
I do have some pieces I take with me everywhere I go. I’ve got some little cowrie shell earrings from Jasmin Sparrow, I think she’s based in Auckland. I always have them with me. And I’ve always got other little things, like Karen Walker sunnies, some pieces from Wynn Hamlyn and Kate Sylvester.
Not a lot of people overseas know about Kiwi designers, and it’s really nice when people ask me questions and I can explain about the beautiful merino over here, or about some of the really cool talent coming up. It’s nice to tell people about that in Europe.
I definitely try to always stick to my roots and have some way of showing I’m from New Zealand, and also I just love supporting any New Zealand brands. I’ll do anything I can to support them.
I don’t really have a set weekend look, it just depends on what I’m up to and where I am. So right now in Wellington I’m pretty casual every day, but when I’m overseas, doing the shows, on Sundays I’m often out doing work things, so I’m obviously more dressed up.
I do probably play it a bit more casual on Sundays, I’m probably guilty of wearing activewear the whole day if I go to a Pilates class in the morning.
I definitely try to switch off from technology a little bit on weekends, because during the week I’m on