Melbourne native Sian Pascale is an architect, designer and yoga instructor. Whether co-designing an eco-medical centre in Papua New Guinea, working on Bombay?s coolest boutique hotel, seeking out unusual materials to outfit a no-frills non-profit school, or planting seeds in disposable earthenware chai cups, Sian?s work manages to be both deeply rooted and totally whimsical. The same can be said of her style: Both airy and architectural, Sian?s effortless elegance expresses not only who she is, but also?like the style of any committed traveler?where she is.
How would you describe your style?
Eclectic. I can waver from Goan hippy chic, to uptight euro in vintage pencil skirts and pussy bow blouses.
How does place inspire your style?
Well fashion is like architecture, it has to respond to its context. It?s climate specific, but culture and what's appropriate also play a huge role. When I?m in Bombay it's so hot and sticky I can only wear pure cottons and silks that are flowy and comfortable. The styles generally need to be more conservative and for some reason colors just look better in the light there. When I?m in Melbourne it's colder so I have more freedom with fabrics. I tend to dress smarter, in harder lines and tighter cuts and in more neutral tones. I guess I am a bit of chameleon in that way.
Favorite places to shop in your city and around the world? Be as specific as possible, can be markets or stores.
When I am in Melbourne and travelling around the state I love to shop at local op shops. I love rummaging through things to find vintage gold!
I also love wearing items made by my friends because they know me and my style and are such incredible and innovative people. So in Melbourne it's jewelry by Ele Misko and in Mumbai I shop at Obataimu and Bungalow 8, with all my scarves and duppattas in hand-woven cotton by WomenWeave (a wonderful Indian charitable organization). I also love buying reams of ikat fabrics from Mangaldas market in Mumbai and getting tailors to create bespoke items for me, something that's only possible in India.
(above: Pascale's design concept for the Abode Boutique Hotel in Mumbai)
What's your favorite item you've ever purchased while traveling?
When I was in Paris I found the most beautiful YSL pencil skirt while rummaging around a flea market in the dead of winter. I still wear it. It's a classic. Also while in Hong Kong I purchased two beautiful Marni necklaces that I still wear nearly every day almost 7 years later. They validate any outfit.
Any packing tips?
I am the world?s worst packer. My tip is get someone who?s better at packing to help so you don?t do anything too ridiculous.
(above:Yoga 101, a project built from recycled materials)
If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
I would live between Paris, Rio and Mumbai.
(above: rehabilitation project for the WomanWeave Handloom School)
What's the most inspiring place you've ever visited?
I have visited too many places to choose one (I am utterly spoiled)! I suppose India has a magic about it for me and has inspired me to create my best work, so it would probably be at the top of the list. It's got such an amazing energy and it's filled with so much potential for creating things and it manages to inspire and delight me even on the days when I am completely exhausted by it all.
(above: Pascale's design concept for The Art Loft by Young Citizens. Images courtesy of Prarthna Singh)
Visit Pascale's site to see more from her creative work portfolio.