I’ve decided to start interviewing other bloggers and generally people that really interest me so I can share with you on this blog. Originally I was only going to interview expats living in Australia to give an insight into their views of the good and bad for others thinking about making the big move over to this sunny country. I have now decided that I’m not only going to interview expats or just fashion bloggers but people in general who really interest me around the globe. If you would like to be featured on here in an interview please contact me.
I decided that my first interview was going to be with the UK blogger Heelbillie. When I returned from travelling the world in Feb 2014, I was browsing through someone’s blog one day which led me to a UK fashion uploading site called Today I’m Wearing which is where I found Hannah Ward of Heelbillie. I hadn’t seen many UK bloggers living in Sydney before and I really liked her style. It was comforting to know there were other Brit’s in Sydney who liked a bit of fashion too as my friends didn’t have an interest for it here. Hannah posted on Today I’m Wearing most days and I began to look out for her outfits. I even ended up buying the same leather jacket she bought from Zara because I liked it so much (featured in the image at the bottom of this interview)!
So, here’s someone that I’ve been following yet I’ve never spoken to her and we even lived in the same city (Sydney isn’t that big). When I emailed her about doing an interview, I found out she was moving back home to UK. I found this quite interesting because more than anything I wanted to know how she felt about living in Sydney and whether she enjoyed it or not. I very much have a love/hate relationship with the city and although the love’s completely outweigh the hate’s, I always feel like there is something missing. I’m still trying to work out what that is so with her help, lets find out more about Hannah and the way she felt about living in Australia in an Interview With A Blogger – Heelbillie which is split into two sections – Living in Australia and life as a fashion blogger (this is why it’s a loooong interview!).
Name and Age – Hannah Ward, 26
Where are you from? Bude (which is in Cornwall) England
Tell me an interesting fact about yourself? In my teens I was an extra on Doc Martin
Why did you move to Australia?
On a bit of a whim really. My boyfriend and I were starting to get bored with our jobs in the UK and at the time we had a number of friends living in Manly (Sydney). As I had never been traveling, we thought it would be fun to move out to Sydney for a while.
How long did you live in Sydney and what was your favourite/ worst thing about Sydney?
Just over a year and a half. My favourite thing about Sydney was being able to live in a city while still being right on the beach, something you can’t really get at home. And of course the weather.The worst thing was the fact that they didn’t sell Galaxy chocolate (am a bit of a chocoholic)
Where was your favourite restaurant and bar in Sydney?
I loved going to The Rice Pot in Bondi Beach, their food is amazing and really reasonably priced It’s also bring your own wine which is always a winner with me. Shady Pines off Oxford Street was my favourite bar, loved the music, surroundings and peanuts.
What would be your perfect day in Aus and in UK?
Perfect day in Aus would be getting up popping to Westfield for a quick shop (unlimited funds of course), heading down to the beach for a bit of tanning and swimming then heading out for some drinks in the evening.
Perfect day in the UK would be potentially the same thing though currently the shopping would need to be online and the swimming would require a wet suit.
What did you miss most about UK and any reason why you moved back?
I missed everyone there, my friends and family were a real draw back to the UK. I actually started to miss the cold weather! (I know I’m a bit crazy there). We simply decided that we didn’t want to make Aus our permanent home so moved back to start setting up roots in the UK.
And so now onto the fashion questions…
How did the name Heelbillie come about and how long have you been blogging for?
The name came about because my circumstances when I started the blog. I was struggling to find work, between flats living out of a suitcase and missing my shoes collection at home. Thus the name Heelbillie was suggested and I decided to go with it.
When I first moved to Sydney I was doing a lot of temp work which left me with a lot of free time. I was using a lot of this time looking at different fashion and style blogs and eventually started to think that it was something that I wanted to have a go at. I’m a bit of a newbie at ten months.
How would you describe your style and where do you get your inspiration from?
Quite dark, I don’t like a lot of colour. Simple basics with a few extra touches and always involving either black, leather or studs somewhere. I take inspiration from Sienna Miller and if I could buy any collection it would hands down be the 3.1 Philip Lim collections.
The first blogs that I started to read and gave me the inspiration to start myself are Dulceida, Collage Vintage, Mediamarmalade, Nicola Claire and Ring My Bell. There are so many more that I follow now including fashion me now, Tuula Vintage, The Little Magpie and Beauty Crush.
What is your most treasured buy?
A leather jacket from the original Kate Moss collaboration with Topshop that I picked up in the sale. It just keeps getting better with age. It looks quite beaten up and battered now but that’s what makes me love it more.
Where did you buy your clothes from in Sydney?
A mixture of on the high street, online and from markets. I have to say that I was still addicted to Zara and Topshop while I was in Sydney and went there a lot. Two places that I got a number of things from were Atikk which is on Pitt Street and in Manly and Home & Wardrobe which is in Manly. I loved the markets around Sydney and really miss them already. My favourites to visit were Kirribilli and Manly where I have picked up so many bargains.
What is Australian style and are there any difference between Aus and UK styles?
I personally don’t feel there are many differences between Australian and UK styles. If I had to pinpoint something it would be that Australian style can be more casual and laid back than the UK presumably deriving from the beach lifestyle and culture there. With online shopping and global chains having stores in Sydney there were no big differences for me between available styles. One change between the UK and Aus isn’t styles but seasons. While European and American stores were bringing out the latest knitwear and winter boots in Aus you’re in your bikini. This often left me wanting new styles for the wrong season and a lot of pre-buying for winter or summer happened.
Did your style change when you moved to Aus and how?
Coming from a beachy area of the UK I have always had elements of boho in my look but I think living in Sydney highlighted that relaxed style for me. A number of more casual pieces were popping up in my wardrobe. I also spent half my time there searching for ‘the perfect’ playsuit, I built up quite a collection while I was there.
What are your favourite current trends and can you predict what will be a future trend to look out for?
I’m loving everything off the shoulder at the moment. For me I think sleeveless jackets will be big this Autumn/Winter ’14.
What is the most common fashion mistake you see girls making?
Not wearing clothes that fit or suit their shape.
What is the one piece every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A leather jacket.
And lastly just a couple of travel questions…
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
New York, I have always dreamt of moving there.
Favourite country and why?
England, it’s home.
Thank you Hannah for taking the time for this interview, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who shops a lot at Topshop and Zara in Sydney! I’m going to try out The Rice Pot soon and let you know how it is and yes chocolate just isn’t the same over here. It always feels like catch up with fashion here because of the opposite seasons but I’m trying to master my ways in buying in earlier than I normally would.
Thanks for reading,