What to Wear This Week: Poppy Lissiman’s Lessons in Maximalism

In today’s edition of What to Wear This Week, Poppy Lissiman, Australian accessories designer, breaks down the mechanics of what she wears and why.

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?

Always comfort. I don’t wear heels very often and I’m not a fan of bodycon silhouettes.

Do you ask yourself any questions?

Typically, if I’m going to be cold later (I feel the cold like you wouldn’t believe!). I tend to plan an outfit around avoiding getting chilly later!

What comes first: the shoes or the clothes?

Depends! If I’ve got a brand-spanking-new pair of shoes I’ll usually have the whole outfit revolve around them. The same goes for a new item of clothing I’m keen to show off.

Are accessories or shoes more important?

I consider both equally important. Before I started my accessories label I worked in the shoe industry for almost six years, so I place a lot of importance on nice shoes.

What color do you wear most?

It fluctuates every few years and also depends on what color my hair is. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite hard to get dressed and find outfits that go well with neon green hair.

But at the moment I would say mostly red.

How does being a designer impact the way you shop and style yourself?

I’m a young designer and have definitely gained a lot of appreciation for other up-and-coming brands which are less known and left of center. I would always rather have pieces which aren’t everywhere, and supporting small businesses over mass-produced high street retailers has impacted the way I shop and style myself. I’ve never been into vintage shopping until fairly recently as well. I’m more conscious of making smarter purchases which have less of a negative impact on the environment. There is nothing more rewarding than trawling for vintage and finding the most incredible piece you know no one else will have!

Do the pieces you choose to wear aim to say anything specific?

Sometimes. On the day the US Presidential election results were being called I wore an American-themed outfit to the office. But as soon as the results came in I actually walked home and changed into something black!

I tend to dress to my mood, which means I can easily go from wearing something girly, lacy and frilly to dressing more rugged.

Where are you from and how does it affect your style?

I’m originally from Perth in Western Australia but I recently moved to Sydney. Perth is a small city and the vibe is very casual. Sydney is certainly just as casual but you tend to turn less heads if you dress a little more wild.

What’s your foolproof styling trick?

Massive statement earrings can lift any outfit, even a T-shirt and jeans.

What’s the one garment that never lets you down?

Probably the ‘Poison’ vintage tee I bought at a vintage shop in Tokyo. I have worn it with almost everything recently, from jeans to a tulle skirt for a cocktail event.

At what point in your life did you really start to come into your own in terms of personal style?

Probably when I was in high school. My mum taught me how to sew when I was about 10 so I used to make a lot of my own clothing because I could never find exactly what I wanted.

Where do you look when you are feeling totally “blah” about your wardrobe?

My mum used to be a department store buyer. She kept loads of samples and has mountains of the most amazing vintage pieces. When I’m feeling a bit ‘meh’ about my current wardrobe situation, I just go digging through her old wardrobe or the boxes of vintage she has and I’ll pull out something really incredible.

What inspires you?

Art probably gets me the most inspired. I try and get to as many exhibitions as I can and I go to Art Basel every year.

What’s the best song, soundtrack or album to listen to while getting dressed?

Definitely something upbeat! I mostly listen to older music like ’70s or ’80s disco. I’ve just gotten back into some old school Kylie Minogue and been paying my respects to the legendary George Michael with plenty of air time of his greatest hits.

Have you discovered any cool brands lately? What are they if so?

I love fellow Australian designer Christie Nicolaides‘ earrings. Dyspnea is another amazing Australian brand I’ve been loving lately. Double Rainbouu make the best summer essentials, I’ve been living in their printed Hawaiian shirts this summer. I’m also really into London designer Mimi Wade’s printed dresses and can’t wait to buy one when they hit the market soon!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned in the last week?

I’m so glad you asked me this! I’m reading an art history book at the moment and I just learned that Salvador Dalí designed the logo, packaging and display stands for Chupa Chups lollies! The owner of the Spanish confectionary company blew a huge amount of money on getting Dalí to design the branding. Everyone advised him not to, but it totally paid off.

Follow Poppy on Instagram @poppylissiman and on Facebook. Check out her online store here. Photos by Chloe Nour.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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