As a youngster, I grew up watching a few different shows like Heartbreak High, Hey Dad! and Home and Away. I also watched a show called Totally Wild, which started off the successful career of the very talented Faye De Lanty.
The gorgeous TV presenter and fashion designer with her own fashion label, Love Chile has captured the hearts of many Australians over the years, including mine. A kind, honest and spiritual person, her warmth pours out of her.
When I met with Faye to interview her, I was welcomed into her home, greeted at the door by her cute beagle, Soho. A glass of Puglia red, vegetables and lamb roasting in the oven, Faye and I relaxed on her exquisite Louis XV lounges and talked about everything that makes Faye, Faye…
What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?
I have my own clothing label called Love Chile (pronounced ‘Chyle’). I have been working on my 2nd collection. It’s inspired by Hindu Goddesses and it’s a range of accessories for clothes – detachable shoulder pads, double brooch chains, pieces for the hands and feet, as well as some gorgeous customised vintage pieces. Before I could finish the collection the first few pieces got snapped up for a show at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. I also just supplied all the accessories for the White Party parade at Sydney Super Club ‘Ivy’. It’s an Amazonian theme so I had a ball creating crazy feathered/chain pieces. I will be finishing the collection and taking part in an event during Sydney Fashion Week called the Fashion Forward Festival. I am also a freelance TV Presenter/Producer so I have lots of on camera/voice over work that always pops up. Plus I teach TV Presenting for NIDA and AFTRS.
Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?
Fashion wise I LOVE the 70’s rock aesthetic… Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin had killer style back then, so did Mick Jagger. I also love the American Indian culture so my two favourite jewellery pieces are hand crafted silver/turquoise pieces from NYC. Designers that really resonate with me are people like Karl Lagerfeld, D Squared, Anna Sui, Zuhair Murard – these guys are storytellers – they are always pushing the envelope and doing something unique, always with exquisite attention to detail.
In my home I love quite a few styles so I like to mix them… my home has a real eclectic feel. I have a baroque vintage couch teamed with a glass top table from the 60’s. There are feathers everywhere (I am obsessed with feathers) I love colours. A white room with splashes of green or a bright yellow lacquered chair taking centre stage. Personality, warmth and richness.
What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?
Accessory wise I think it would be a tie between my turquoise cuff I mentioned before and my caramel leather embossed handbag/satchel – it’s an original piece from 1973, long plaited leather strap – worn in leather and carvings of flowers and birds. I found it in an antique store in Brisbane for $30 about 10 years ago!
Clothing – I think it would have to be my black silk Butterfly tuxedo jacket. It was my Dad’s in the 70’s – it’s an original from the coolest store back then called ‘Granny Takes a Trip’ (there is now a remake of the store in Surry Hills). The jacket has coloured butterflies all over it. There were only two made – Keith Richards from the Stones has the other one!
Do you have one feature in your home you love most?
Oh so many things I love in my home… I have the most divine tree outside my balcony window – I have filled it with fairy lights – it looks beautiful at night, makes me feel like I am a fantasy forest somewhere. Nature aside – I have a beautiful pearl/oyster like vase from BIBA – the most unbelievable style destination in 60’s/70’s London. My Mumma was a BIBA girl and my Dad bought the vase for her – it takes pride of place on my mantelpiece in the lounge room – it’s filled with giant feathers.
Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?
I love lobster, goat’s cheese, beautifully cooked fish or lamb and I am a sucker for anything with caramel or white chocolate. Drinks – French Champagne for sure – Moët and Dom Pérignon would be my pick. Apparently when Benedictine Dom Pérignon discovered he could make champagne he called to the other monks “Come quick, it’s as if I’m drinking stars!!!” I also love a good vodka on the rocks with fresh lime… If I’m feeling extra fancy I’ll add a dash of soda water and chopped up fresh chillies from my little garden.
What is your greatest extravagance?
French Champagne, going out for a beautiful meal and I love to buy flowers and candles for myself.
Greatest lesson learnt?
You have to love and honour yourself before anyone else can!
What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?
If it’s what truly makes your heart sing – go for it! Life is too short not to do what you love. Immerse yourself completely in it, become a sponge, learn and do all you can. Become a ‘junkie’ for your craft! Work hard, believe in yourself and know that you can do it. Then stop talking about it and go get your dream!
How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?
Transcendental Meditation. It saved my life! I was such a stress head, always thinking/worrying I didn’t have an ‘Off switch’! It came to me just at the right time and has opened up my world – I have more energy, clarity and an unlimited supply of creative thoughts and ideas for my label. It’s taught me to honour and love myself, be kind to myself but has also instilled an overwhelming need to give love and help people in my life or those I come into contact with. Check it out www.timbrownmeditation.com.au
Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?
Definitely Robert Plant from Led Zep, Mick and Keith from the Stones. The Girls – Mary Kate Olsen and Rachel Zoe.
How did you get into doing what you do?
TV – I started when I was 15 on a show called ‘Totally Wild’. I actually jumped out of a plane for a story while I was on work experience – the GM of the station at the time said to me “Your that crazy b*tch that jumped out of the plane, I said if she’s that F’ing crazy, give her a F’ing job!” True story. Fashion I have wanted to start my own label for as long as I could remember, so 3 years ago I decided to do it.
What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?
Always fresh flowers in the lounge room and the bathroom, turn as many lights off at night as possible and use candles to illuminate your home and always do the washing up before you go to bed!
My Mother/Father always told me…
To be cool! (don’t ever get too big for your boots!)
Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?
The Butterfly Foundation www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
My label is aligned with The Butterfly Foundation – a charity dedicated to supporting people suffering with eating disorders and negative self-image. I have been through low self-esteem and an eating disorder myself… my life journey was a big reason to create Love Chile. Love Chile is all about inspiring women through style to love and believe in themselves. We did a big fashion fundraiser together last year called the ‘Night of the Butterfly’. We plan to do lots more together this year too.
Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?
My house or Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay.
How often do you eat out and cook at home?
I probably eat out casually once a week. A really special dinner once or twice a month.
I’m just getting into cooking so right now I’m keeping things pretty basic – I ‘m loving my oven baked lamb cutlets, sweet potato and pumpkin dusted with fresh herbs, cracked pepper and seasoning.
Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?
Look I think we have some fantastic labels – I’m a big fan of Sass & Bide, Toni Matichevski & Antipodium. But I feel like we could take more risks and tell more of a story… I love to see a show that is dripping with personality and detail or where the models actually look like they are happy and enjoying themselves like in a Sonya Rykiel show! She even got them to speak in her last one! Fashion can tend to take itself a little too seriously sometimes. I feel like International designers push it a little further.
The one thing I can’t leave home without is…
My lipgloss, eyedrops and a happy heart.
What frustrates you most about Sydney?
That it’s not New York!
If you were Clover Moore, what would be the first thing you’d inject money into fixing?
Dogs allowed in all restaurants – that request comes from my Beagle! From me – the roads… there are holes and bumps everywhere.
Favourite beach in Sydney and why?
Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay – this place is heaven. No matter how crappy a day you may be having – go there and everything is washed away – it’s magical.
If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?
Robert Plant or maybe Lady Gaga to see what she wears to bed!
Three pet hates?
3. People who drive up my street the wrong way.
Fashion and home must-have’s?
Fashion – a great tuxedo jacket, a cool rock tee, sexy jeans and a killer pair of heels.
Home – fresh flowers, candles and a clean space. Your home is your haven – it should be well looked after and reflect your style and personality throughout.
What is your one diva demand?
A special meditation room with Indian paintings, lotus flowers, Buddhist or Indian goddess statues, a small potted palm tree and incense, a soft pillow or designer blanket for my dog and vanilla scented candles everywhere! (Man I could definitely handle that!)