It has now been a fortnight since Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia took the spotlight on the fashion world stage. It was an auspicious week stocked with fruitful Aussie design, presented on sumptuously decorated runways across one of the most beautiful cities on the globe.
I was intending on writing an MBFWA 2019 wrap up but two thoughts came to mind; our Melbourne My Style fashion enthusiasts had kept abreast of each collection after its showing. It was a week drenched in fashion reporting, plus since our return, the MMS team have been asked the same question on numerous occasions;
Who was the most interesting personality during fashion week?
Every fashion week is crowded with chance meetings, it’s a visual feast, so the opportunities to let go of normal social restraint and to allow yourself to open up to meeting new and interesting individuals is very easy. To choose a favourite for MBFWA 2019 isn’t difficult. If you have not heard of her then Melbourne My Style, is privileged to introduce you to Sarah Jane Adams also known as Sara Mai Jewels.
We had all noticed Sarah, and all for different reasons. What attracted my attention was the vision of this beautiful woman dressed completely head to toe in vintage clothing, a rarity at fashion week. As the eye travelled around Sarah, I noticed and advanced colour theory being used in coordination with multiple traditional cultural and historical influences. It was the placement of Adidas in each look throughout the week that gave her style a contemporary edge, elevating her style from a literal interpretation of influence to something fearless. We were observing something quite unique to the Sydney Fashion Week scene, we were looking at progressive and intellectual style, one in which challenges the current fashion industries business model and subtly inspires us to use history, culture, craftsmanship and an artful eye as sources to creating a strong independent style.
A breath of beautiful fresh air, Sarah was initially introduced to me by Melinda of MMS who had met Sarah the previous year at MBFWA, upon meeting Sarah she was delightfully happy to share her story. We know her as ‘Sara Mai,’ the runway and photographical fashion model, style icon and powerful influencer who has done campaigns for H&M, Miu Miu, WWD magazine, has spoken at L’Oréal Paris on what makes her so bold and confident, and also graced the catwalk again at this year’s MBFWA, for designer Aqua Blu.
With an instagram following of 182,000 Sarah is a beautiful breath of fresh air, she tells me, “I am not an influencer, I influence”, explaining that she works with certain brands not because they give her things but because she has an appreciation for what they do.
Sarah proceeds to tell me a little bit about her past and how she came to become what the fashion industry deem a “mature aged model”; a term both of us agreed was derogatory. Sarah grew up in England and it was in the 1970’s when Portobello Road became her playground. This is where her appreciation for the exotic, inspirational and the bizarre blossomed. She later travelled to distant lands where she was delighted to realize that just like herself, people around the world had a quest for beauty and meaning. It was at this moment in the interview I realised that her observation and affection for these foreign lands had literally influenced the look she had put together this very day.
I had found the secret to Sarah’s advanced style; it is a beautiful pairing of her life experiences along with the symbolism of trinkets and fabrications that she had gathered throughout her journey. These are the ingredients that influence her fashion choices. She does not run on contemporary fashion trend, the fuel that feeds her style machine comes from the fabric of her very own life. In discovering Sarah’s mystery, I then realised this also is the reasoning to her fashion industry successes. Sarah was found by our fashion critics and has become so successful for simply being herself, it was her exploration, and sentimentality along with independence from current fashion trends, that intern has created a true fashion icon.
Sarah has no problem expressing thoughts as indicated by her third Instagram account, My wrinkles are my stripes which has a further 22k following her.
The profound advice from this ‘mature aged model’, “The day you start believing your own bullshit is the beginning of the end”.
Sarah Mai, we are so very lucky to have you within our industry. Thank you for your beauty, your smile, your cuddles, that amazing runway walk but most of all, thank you for your sharp and honest whit.
Senior Fashion Editor.