Fashion

Two Minutes with Candice Lake | Fashion Photographer, Blogger and Designer

By Sophia McMeekin - 07 Nov 2013

She's the former model with the kick-on career that would make you totally jealous, if she wasn't so gosh darn sweet. With an international modelling career that's included walking for Chanel and Louis Vuitton, she's now based in London, working as a photographer, blogger, and designer. As if you weren't jelous already, get this, her wedding day was covered by Vogue, and her dress was custom designed by Alberta Ferretti. And, she's an all-round nice girl to boot. Her new label, CANDIDATE, inspired by the insouciant style of bloggers and street style stars, is in store at General Pants right now.

We took two with the delightful Candice, to talk true style, modelling for Steven Meisel, and working your butt off.

TUL: How did you get started in the fashion industry?

I had always wanted to go to art school when I was younger although somehow I ended up at Law School. A couple of years into it, I luckily fell into modelling doing the runway circuit for designers like Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Chanel and shooting campaigns for Ralph Lauren and somehow the idea of a corner office as a lawyer went out the window!! A few years into modelling, whilst in between shots on a Harpers Bazaar shoot, I asked the photographer if I could come with him on his next shoot to assist and that was how I began assisting fashion photographers and transitioned to the other side of the camera. I went back to university to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography).

TUL: How would you describe your style?

I have a love affair with colour and I wear a lot of bold statement pieces mixed with classic staples. I tend to wear pieces that I feel comfortable in whilst still experimenting a little. I think that is key: Have fun but don't divert from what your style is. I am experimenting with being more of a lady this season, so I love all the classic 50's silhouettes of pencil skirts and little bandeau tops as well as oversized coats. Because I wear such bold pieces I love to keep my hair and makeup minimal with natural 'I just rolled out of bed' hair and little-to-no make up with a shock of red lips. 

TUL: Which 3 pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe? 

A great coat that goes with everything; a great white shirt or, if button ups aren't you're thing, a great white Tshirt; a pair of shoes that make you gush with happiness every time you put them on. 

TUL: What drew you to photography?

Shooting a campaign with photographer Steven Meisel. I remember calling my modelling agent distraught telling him I had been dropped from the shoot as he only shot 5 frames of me... and then a few months later I saw the amazing image he shot of me on a billboard. That's when I began to understand the genius of the people behind the industry and I decided I finally wanted to go to art school and study photography. 

TUL: What catches your eye when you are choosing a street style subject?

I love shooting girls with confidence and a really strong sense of style. I love it when I see someone make a trend their own, or interpret the current trends in a really creative way. 

I love finding the girl on the street whose hair is dyed bright pink, orange and blue, who's maybe wearing a one-of-a-kind safety-pin-embellished denim jacket paired with a designer item she saved up for, like a Marc Jacobs skirt or Isabel Marant heels. To me, that's total style and those are the women I love to photograph. It's not about having a credit card with no limit—it's about choosing a few pieces to splurge on every season, mixing them with a little bit of high street, some vintage, maybe a thing or two borrowed from your mom or boyfriend. When it's thrown together, it's amazing.

TUL: What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?

I learnt pretty early on that nothing just falls in your lap... you have to make it happen and take advantage of any opportunities you've been given.  My 4 points of advice would be: Listen to your gut instinct, take risks, don't take no for an answer, and work your butt off doing something you love. 

TUL: You've been blowing up our Instagram with shots from New York and London fashion weeks. What were your highlights from New York Fashion Week?

Seeing all my friends that I only get to see a couple of times a year, a croissant from Balthazar (SO GOOD!) working with TRESemme on a campaign, and, of course, shooting all the incredible girls at NYFW.

TUL: And the highlight from London Fashion Week? 

I always love the excitement leading up to the Burberry show and this season was no different. The show was incredible.

TUL: Which designers were you most excited to see and Which shows did you really enjoy?

My favourites in NY were Alexander Wang, 3.1 Philip Lim  and Aussie designers Dion Lee and TOME; London is all about Burberry and Christopher Kane; in Paris it was Louis Vuitton – Marc's last show!

TUL: What does a typical day look like for you?

A usual day at fashion week will start at 8am before the first show, shooting and attending shows all day until 7pm, then I often attend a client dinner and then race back to the hotel where I meet with my assistant to see how the day looked and go over final selects and send off to clients. I think to be able to do 18 hour days for months on end and constantly be travelling, you really have to love what you do. Luckily for me I am really inspired by my work and all the travel, so I feed of this. I also have a great team around me that I don't know what I would do without. It is important to have balance, although this is something I am still yet to achieve (although it's always on the New Year's resolution list!) I think it is also really important to take a break every year to reevaluate your intentions, preferably near the beach!

TUL: Favourite city in the world?

Well I live in London so I think it is probably here. Although, ask me over the Summer when I am in Sydney and I will surely change my answer accordingly!

I always analogize London to an artichoke. You have to peel back layer upon layer of wonderful underground things and eventually, if you work hard enough, you will find the incredible heart of this city. There are pop-up cinemas and bars on roof tops, great creative spaces to work in, amazing little underground bars, fiddler bands in farmers markets, inspired people who have travelled from all over Europe to come together in this creative hub, and free galleries and museums. I actually think the democratisation of art galleries and museums in this city is London's greatest attribute for a young creative mind. 

TUL: Favourite bar?

Mission Cheese in San Francisco. I only went there once, but can't get over how amazing it was… the perfect little wine bar.  

TUL: Favourite restaurant?

The Wolseley in London, 10 William Street in Sydney.

candice lake

TUL: What was it like wearing a wedding dress designed by Alberta Ferretti? (We're jealous!) Having Vogue cover your wedding day is every girl's dream come true. Can you tell us a bit about that experience?

My wedding dress is the most beautiful dress I have ever worn. It was custom made by Alberta Ferretti and we designed it over the course of 4 months in her studio in Milan. Watching the dress evolve from the many sketches she had developed was a testament to Alberta's genius. The whole process was so magical, like a dream come true. I wore wild Australian flowers in my hair and it was the most moving and magical day of my life, so seeing that process in Vogue was very special. 

xx

You can follow Candice on pretty much every social network, or check out her blog for daily fashion inspo'.

Image credit: Candice Lake

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