Celebrating Contrasts with Kylie Cooke

The campaign celebrates the contrasts within the ice-cream (the sweet white chocolate and tart raspberry coulis), and also highlights the trend towards contrasts in fashion. As part of this, Kylie has put together her list of top ten styling tips to create your own contrasting look. Check them out here.

Kylie styled the shoot and really brought the contrasting elements to life to create an interesting and accessible campaign. FashioNZ ed Nat sat down with Kylie to discuss the campaign, and to talk about contrasting fashion looks – what works, what doesn’t work and what contrast in fashion means to her!

You have recently been working on styling the Kapiti Celebration of Contrasts TV Campaign for Kapiti White Chocolate and Raspberry, and have put together a list of tips for styling your own contrasting fashion look. Can you tell me a bit about the campaign?
The whole brand focus point for Kapiti is to celebrate contrasts, so that needed to be deeply reflected in the overall look of the shoot. It comes from the combination of the actual flavour of the ice cream (the white chocolate and raspberry coulis), so this needed to permeate the entire look of the campaign. The narrative was about contrasts – e.g. the big bad wolf and the sweet girl, and so a lot of the styling was driven by the script – there were quick changes in contrasting clothing, for example.
It was fun from a styling perspective because I could mix up elements; I like to think outside the square, and be not so literally obvious, which gives the customer something to think about, and allows them to get involved with the campaign.

Some of our readers will know you from your work as key stylist on New Zealand’s Next Top Model. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve just done a campaign for Zoe & Morgan jewellery, (which was also used in the Kapiti campaign). I’m just about to start shooting the winter campaign for Overland, and over the weekend I shot an editorial for Trade Magazine, which is a hair magazine, which was an awesome collaboration of Louise Pilkington, Karen Inderbitzen-Waller and myself. And then of course, there’s another season of Top Model!

What does contrast in terms of fashion mean to you, in a nutshell?
To me it means a number of things; light and dark, patterns, prints, textures. Contrast is all about juxtapositions – one extreme or the other, e.g. beautiful leathers with light soft fabrics, or mixing colours. It’s head to toe, and includes your accessories, footwear – every element of an outfit can offer you some form of contrast.

What do you think are some current contrasting styles we are seeing in fashion at the moment, and keeping in mind winter fashion trends, how can we create contrast in our winter wardrobe?
With textures – there lots of great tribal, ethnic prints around for winter, for example Sera Lilly has used an Aztec-style theme in her latest collection. You can mix these with simpler, plainer fabrics like silks, denim, leathers. It’s a fun time in fashion – the trends are quite fun, but they can be translated, you don’t just have to be a fashion plate to make it work. The trends are easy to translate into work wear, casual wear.

Are there any contrasts that are always in fashion?
Animal prints! As far as I’m concerned they are a staple – always mix that into your wardrobe. Also polka dots and florals never date, when they are done well.

What is your favourite contrasting fashion look?
It would have to be animal print mixed with leather, stripes or florals, I’m definitely an animal lover, so I love animal print in all sorts of variations. I don’t get tired of it.

Are there any fashion contrasts that don’t work?
I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder – it’s like art or anything, it’s subjective. Yes, there definitely are combinations that don’t work, but that’s often more about how they are put together rather than what the elements are. If combinations are done well, they can work. As Chryssie Hynde and many other well-dressed women say, “it’s not what you wear it’s how you wear it”. It’s all about individuals being able to pull it off. That’s the great thing about the Kapiti campaign, it puts that idea out there and puts it in an understandable place. Sometimes you see things in a magazine, and the looks seem too removed from your world, whereas this campaign is a nice balance of being a little bit fruity, but quite real.

Check out some of the cool imagery from the Kapiti campaign styled by Kylie below.

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Interview by Natalie Cosgrove

11 February 2011

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