In the Woo Hot Seat, we have Sarah Woo’s fashion photographer, Trudy Baker.
Trudy is a dynamic, fun-loving Australian, with a big love for street style and has been making clothes ever since she can remember. Trudy grew up on a farm in the outback, in a small town called Moonie in Queensland. After finishing up at Brisbane University, Trudy swapped wellies for Jimmy Choo’s and headed to London. She met her English prince – who she is set to marry this year – and now plans to make her own wedding dress. Way’da’go Trudes! Her creativity, passion and amazing fashion photography inspired me so much, she is now Sarah Woo’s official photographer.
My style in a nutshell
Vintage chic, full skirts and good tailoring.
My Canon EOS 500D camera – it’s a few years old now, but I know how to use it and I love it.
I started taking fashion photos when I was little. As little girls do, my friends and I used to play dress up in clothes and do poses and take photos of each other. There are some very embarrassing photos out there!
My photography really kicked off when I picked a photography elective at university. It really inspired me and I never missed a class. I learnt about the history of photography, why and how the camera was invented and how to use different imagery styles. For my final assignment, I chose to do fashion photography.
Anywhere outside on a clear sunny day makes me happy. But I guess amongst the cherry blossoms in spring, like Ueno Park in Tokyo. It’s absolutely beautiful.
I asked for a sewing machine for my 18th Birthday
My mum has always been a great sewer, she makes clothes and quilts, she also used to take all her customer’s clothes to the dry cleaners, she would always tell me how important it was to be clean and fashionable . I was always around sewing machines and her material. When I was two, I pushed her sewing machine off the table and smashed it, so you could say I was curious from an early age! My first thing I ever made was a dress from two leftover cast-off pieces from a skirt that my mum had made for my sister – it was navy with daisy’s on it and I loved it!
We never had fashion magazines on the farm, so I learnt about fashion design by looking through my mum’s patterns. Mum helped me when I got stuck, but most of my sewing is self-taught through trial and error. Oh so many errors. Quick unpicks are my true frenemy.
London College of Fashion
I make my own patterns now but I’d wanted to do a course for years, however, they’re not easy to come by in Australia. Last year my dream came true, I completed a short course at London College of Fashion and I absolutely adored it. Every second. So I am using that knowledge now plus a few pattern books from the 50’s to perfect my techniques and to become more methodical.
Dream product to make
A ball gown with lots of flowing material and use amazing fabric akin to a Norman Hartnell dress from the 1950’s.
I am also attempting to make my own wedding dress. It’s something I feel I should do even though I am very nervous about it. I mean, what gets more scrutinized by people and has so many photos taken of it? But I am excited about a big project with the most amazing fabric from Broadwick Silks, which is probably my favourite store in London. I just need to perfect my sewing skills before I’m game to cut into the material. I got my inspiration for it from one of my all-time favourite movies, Funny Faces, with Audrey Hepburn. This dress is just perfect, and I look how she wore it with ballet flats too.
Where do you get inspiration?
It can be anything from the media to someone stood in front of me on the train. Just one small detail can expand that into a whole new design.
Style wise, it has to be Blair Eadie on Atlantic Pacific. As well as fashion, I love DIY blogs. I really like the idea of recycling furniture so I want to learn more about how to do that.
I keep coming back to Oscar de la Renta. I just love his clean lines and girly silhouettes. He uses traditional, simple shapes enhanced with amazing fabric. I also love Ellie Saab for exactly the same reason.
You can find me
Window shopping along New Bond Street and Knightsbridge, and hitting charity shops and vintage markets. I particularly love Frock Me and the Hammersmith Vintage Fashion Fair. My closet is packed with things I have bought from them. Sometimes I buy things to make them into a completely different product. I recently made a red midi-skirt from which was originally a ball gown. Or, if I can’t find what I’m looking for, I just make it myself 🙂
1) My tweed coat, which cost me $15 and I have worn it more than anything. It’s vintage and made from real tweed, it’s made really well and it’s long lasting. That’s what some clothes lack today, durability.
2) Chanel red lipstick, it’s bold and makes me feel pretty.
3) My over-knee black Jimmy Choo boots.
Key staples for SS14
I’ve just finished making a peplum pencil skirt in a crazy fabric, which I will be wearing a lot this year. And full skirts in nice bright colours too.
My best style tip is
Wear what makes you happy 🙂
I never leave the house without
A pencil or pen in my bag for random moments of wisdom, to write (or draw) things down as soon as they pop into my head. My Lucas Papaw lip balm and Crabtree & Evelyn hand moisturiser.
Best advice ever received
From my mum – ‘right sides together’, the number one sewing rule.
All time favourite experiences
A month long road trip I took with three friends across 10,000km – but only three states of Australia – it was the most liberating and greatest trip of my life. With no worries in the world, I saw some amazing sights and parts of Australia. Style tip: Flannel shirts all the way!