19.3 These are My Top 5 Must-Have Wardrobe Staples by Ilsa Melchiori


There are certain items of clothing that I find myself buying on repeat, desperately trying to find the 'perfect' one however never quite managing it. This constant search for this elusive thing (at a good price) is fast becoming a huge waste of time and money.

For me, the items in question are:

The perfect high-waisted skinny jeans in black and dark blue. I have an incredibly long torso which makes this VERY challenging. Over the years I've tried jeans from Urban Outfitters, Asos, Topshop, Rollas, Nobody, Levis, Lees, Noisy May, Acne, Sass and Bide, Country Road and many more.

The perfect 100% cotton or linen Breton striped top (long, 3/4 and short-sleeved) I want a navy with white stripes combo and a white with navy stripes combo. I am open to neckline variations here.

The perfect black heeled leather ankle boot/booties. With my long torso come VERY short legs. So, for me, I like/need my ankle boots to just skim under my ankle (a very tricky style to find since sock boots came into fashion). I had a pair that were perfect, but unfortunately, they have seen their last day. They were pretty much a dupe for the Rag & Bones Harrow Boot, these might need to be a future purchase.

The perfect black blazer. This is a totally achievable task. However, I've just been a cheap-skate recently. I just need to bite the bullet and pay some cash dollars for this item. A good quality tailored blazer will never go out of style.

The perfect slightly padded black lace bra. I'm a 10-12 DD-E (it varies depending on the brand). Bras have been hard work since my boobs got bigger. I used to be a 10C, those were simpler times. Anyway, bras are very personal, unfortunately, I'm just going to have to go and try a bunch on until I find some the work for me. I've found that in regards to bras that fit me, expensive isn't always better. Simone Perele = bad on me. Lovable = fab on me.

Image by Michal Kulesza via StockSnap

26.2 What Do You Actually Do? Q&A with Jess Lafrankie by Ilsa Melchiori


Ever wonder about the lives of self-employed creatives? How do actually make money? What does their work day look like? This new Q&A series will start asking creatives just that, what do you actually do?

First up we have Melbourne photographer Jess Lafrankie. To check out more of her stunning images head to her website:

Describe what you do in 5 words or less.

J: Fashion and commercial photographer

Now expand…

J: I’m a freelance photographer based in Melbourne who shoots for fashion brands. My style produces crisp, clean and colourful images that maintain a feminine aura.

What has your career journey been like?

J: I discovered photography when I was 15 and was put in the wrong class in high school. I started shooting paid work when I was 16 and from there relocated from a beach town to pursue this kind of career further. It’s been my sole focus ever since.

Best part of your job?

J: Having the chance to enjoy what I’m doing every day. I wake up excited to get to work and my favourite day of the week is Monday.

Worst/hardest part of your job?

J: Never clocking off. I didn’t realise I hadn’t taken a day off in 5 years and it started to affect my health. Putting my health above my career has been a struggle.

What does your typical work day look like?

J: As a photographer I don’t have a typical work day, which is probably the best part of all. I’ll either be shooting all day or in my office retouching and planning. Before this starts to become too much like a routine I’m generally on a plane for a work holiday.

What are you favourite apps to use for work?

J: Wunderlist - I’ve got my shooting gear list stored in here so I can literally just tick what I’ll need and what I have saves me heaps of time.

Ubereats -  I’m not even kidding. Having the piece of mind that if I’m exhausted from shooting or I’m too busy with deadlines I can just order some food is a life saver.

What is it like working for yourself?

J: It’s the best kind of job in the world. It’s important that you can self manage, self motivate and be proactive.

What is your current work playlist?

J: I’ve made a playlist on Spotify with all the songs that have the word WORK in the title or are about working. I’ll play this if I need a boost. I’ll play Ben Howard for good retouching vibes though.

Best career advice/tips you could give someone?

J: Read Timothy Ferris’s books.

Can you tell us about your next project?

J: It’s inspired by paintings. It’s going to be epic, my favourite to date.

What's your next step/move? Any future dreams/goals?

J: Become even more portable with my work life and get back to Europe!