Local Style: Cydney Cosette
Interview by Brittani Lepley
Photography by Alexandra Valenti
You’re relatively new to Austin by way of London, but you were raised in Australia. What are the major cultural and style differences you’ve experienced so far between each of these places?
I grew up in Brisbane. It’s pretty big, and also quite close to Sydney and Melbourne so I have spent a lot of time in all three major cities. I was quite fixated on traveling to new places – I always felt out of step with the world because we’re so isolated down there. In hindsight, I realize that isolation has allowed Australia to become a very modern and advanced country in its own right. The landscapes are gorgeous and diverse, so it’s very rich in inspiration. A lot of people in the cities embrace minimal, uniform-esque styles, natural fabrics (its hot y’all), simple shapes and plain colors over wild patterns. Everyone in Australia is generally really cute, it’s madness!
London is full of grit, history and packed with cultures from all over the world. It’s a harsher climate, so dressing with proper outerwear was something I had to learn. There are so many subgroups there, but what really inspired me was the blending of streetwear with more classic tailored pieces. Practically speaking, you’re walking everywhere so embracing sneakers as your main footwear is a must.
I love living in Austin. One thing that’s unique about America is how optimistic and experimental it is, and within each geographical area there is a special direction of its own. I mean this in terms of design, style and art. That aspect has rubbed off on me, and I find myself experimenting more with my personal taste and style. It’s also taught me to appreciate and embrace things I used to write off as “ugly” or “not my taste.” I love that! It’s certainly a melting pot and I’m inspired daily by my friends and the community here.
What are some of the more exciting photography assignments you’ve gotten since moving to Austin?
I’ve been so lucky to work on many great projects since moving. Some highlights: Airbnb commissioned me to go to New Orleans to shoot historic homes, the Mineral summer campaign, and very recently I shot the VADA FW19 campaign at the Bloom House which is some of my favorite work to date. We had a killer team. My sister has a sustainable fashion label based out of Melbourne called A.BCH. I shot her latest campaign here in Austin with one of my frequent collaborators and friend, Margaret (whom of course pulled a lot of VADA for the shoot). It was pretty special bringing everyone together for that.
Love the outfits you chose — what are your favorite styles of clothing to photograph? Styles you tend to gravitate towards personally?
I love shooting fashion because I get to interact with clothing that is otherwise outside of my own realm of dressing. I’m drawn to confident shapes and colorways that are going to bring something valuable to the composition. It’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it. Personally, I’m probably wearing a toned-down version of what I like to shoot. I have to be able to move, crouch, climb ladders or do a handstand if I so desire – so clothing that is physically restrictive is not in the cards for me. I’m drawn to matching sets, a good blazer or jacket, wide or straight-leg pants, t-shirt or a turtle. And usually sneakers (sometimes heeled boots). I came to this shoot fully intending to pick a pair of Common Projects but could not pass over Chloé sneaks. I always wear my new VADA Wilson chain and get a lot of compliments on it.
Where is the place you feel most at home here in Austin?
My husband and I are kind of a homebodies, so our home is our sanctuary. We always have music playing and have a good routine going. We live on the East Side and we really enjoy our neighborhood food/coffee/drink offerings. In summer, I’m swimming almost every day at Barton Springs or Deep Eddy.
What are some exciting new projects on the horizon for you that we should be keeping a lookout for?
I have a couple things on the horizon, but the most exciting would be the next A.BCH campaign which we’re shooting in Tuscany in August! It’s my older sisters’ brand, my younger sister and her husband are art directing and I’m shooting. It’s a family affair.
I am also working on a personal interior project – where I’m exploring how people organize their homes as an extension of themselves. I’m really interested in spaces and furniture both from a design perspective and in the context of personal use. All up I’m super excited about this year!
Look 1: Floral blouse and skirt by Ganni
Look 2: Green jacket by Proenza Schouler, Black jumpsuit by No. 6
Look 3: Tie die tee by Proenza Schouler, Black jumpsuit by No. 6