We were delighted to have fashion-icon Marina Afonina join us for our Wonderscape event in Sydney in March this year, where she shared with the guests some of her thoughts and feelings on how to dress to impress while staying cool and comfortable. While she was with us, we took the opportunity to ask her a few more questions about her fashion philosophy and her tips for hosting at home.
How do you change your approach to dressing for events from season to season?
My personal dressing style stays the same between seasons. my style is minimal and classic with a modern twist. Working on fashion for so many years I have developed my own uniform for the day and night which really makes me feel confident and my best self. Lots of tailoring – suite and simply shirting if my staple. I dress it up or down depending on event and accessories to make it more causal for day ware and dress it up for an evening event.
Can you provide a couple of great tips for hosting events like long lunches?
Hosting events at home is a perfect way to treat your guests. Creating a fun atmosphere and mood with beautiful wine to complement the meal is very important. I regularly host long lunches for my friends and family at home. I start the process with a theme and choose beautiful tableware and linen to start the table scape, florals, paired with background music this creates the perfect atmosphere with your guests. Food is very important in my culture, combined with the perfect wine, this sets the tone for a successful lunch, and obviously picking the right friends to set the tone for the lunch.
Do you approach 'getting dressed' for travel/holidays differently to how you would dress if you were going out leisurely?
I keep my style quite simple, a lot of shirting, denim, and tailoring. On a hot summer holiday you would see me in a variety of linen looks.
What inspires your design process for Albus Lumen?
I get inspired from so many different elements such as travel, textures, nature, cinema, and friends. But I feel the most important is staying true to my own style and create clothes that I feel most comfortable in, and I would like to wear myself.
What are your go-tos for cooking up a storm for friends and family?
Lots and lots of fresh seafood and fresh produce such as vegetables. I am so inspired by the way Europeans cook for their friends and family. If you pay good attention to great produce, you can never go wrong. Quality breads and simple tasty vegetables and fruit is so important. My best tip is prep as much as you can before hosting, as it lets you truly enjoy yourself with your guests. We always start our lunches / dinners with a pre-dinner bottle of sparkling wine and of course Louis Armstrong in the background.
How can the host of a long lunch differentiate themselves from a guest, through fashion?
The host can set the tone by always taking their look a little further that the dress code given to guests. Put a few extra accessories on and a heel can always elevate the look.
When planning ahead for events such as the Wonderscape lunches, do you pre plan outfits, or see how you feel on the day of?
I always pre plan my outfits and have two options that are different from one another. One would normally be cream in colour, and the other black. For the Wonderscape lunch, both outfits would be on the dressier side due to dress code. I would go for the cream when I want a fresh crisp look to stand out, and black when I want to go with a comfortable, more simple option.