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A WRITTEN PORTRAIT
Coco van Dijk is a fashion stylist from Sydney, Australia whose electric eccentricity fashions her in highly saturated fabrics drenched in punches of color. Coco, who describes her style as “aggressively colorful,” can be most accurately painted with heavy strokes of red in its boldness, energy, and power. Coco grew up surrounded by bursts of blazing creativity and funky waves of music filling up the air as she tells us, “I don’t know where I’d be without a play button.” She likes to be surrounded by noise and feverish movement bolting like flame-colored streaks of lightning, electrifying the space around her. The scents Coco would bottle are frenetic- a crackling fireplace, a sizzling pan, and pouring rain- yet they offer her the velvet tranquility of a smooth red wine. For Coco, there’s a stability and stillness in all that frenzied movement, a feeling that seems to describe Coco’s personality well. She tells us that she considers herself someone to be relied on, a caring stable force, while her best friend sees her as a shock of vitality that is “joyous, eccentric, and bold.” This sense of stability colors the backdrop of her portrait in Melanite Black, showing a steadiness that intensifies her ruby-toned passion whirling out.
Coco’s energy seeps into her work as a stylist in her colorful approach. She always had a love for funky fashion, however after a 6-month Vogue internship she realized that her favorite part of the fashion world was dressing people, and having a hand in letting others express their own colors. Styling suits Coco well in its fast-paced movement while working with PR companies, speaking with clients, sourcing clothes from shops, and visualizing different combinations. Coco also brings a Eucalypt-green approach to styling as she nurtures the idea of sustainable sourcing as seen through her many fashion finds from Vinnies, shared on her TikTok. Coco tells us tips for shopping sustainably, details early childhood fashion-related memories, and chooses clothes and decorations in her house that best describe her. Read below for a full written PORTRAY-T of Coco!
First, since it’s the beginning of a new year, did you have any resolutions this year?
For 2022 I want to take all opportunities that are thrown my way and not be afraid of doing new things. Kinda basic I know, however I think this year I want to spice up life a bit! The past couple of years have been quite a write off so it's time to jampack as many life experiences into 2022 as possible.
Getting into fashion, I live in New York, and I think there’s a unique aesthetic that affects the fashion I choose to wear. How do you think where you live affects your fashion choices if in any way?
I feel as though the majority of the fashion in Sydney is quite same same. You go out and a lot of people are wearing the same brands, same styles and I feel like in some areas it's rare to see people with their own unique style (I know that's rather savage, eek). However I was luckily raised in a household with creative parents who weren't shy of letting us branch outside the box! I think that no matter what you wear, if you act confident no one will question you - so just rock up in the wackiest outfit you possibly can with a smile on your face and I'm telling you, not a word (that's not praise or a compliment) will be said! Even if they think it is whack…
I’ve noticed that your style seems to have a certain aesthetic especially with bright colors, layering, and mixing sporty styles with basics. How would you describe your aesthetic?
“Aggressively colourful sporty chic?" I'm a sucker for brightly colored Adidas trackies, oversized jackets and a colourful pair of sneakers.
Who are some of your fashion inspirations?
11 year old @coco_pinkprincess is the coolest, most well dressed human i've ever come across. Yes, she's only 11 but check her out and you’ll agree.
Maxine Wylde is also epic! She's one of the most colourful dressers I’ve seen and I just love how she's not shy of being as bold as she wants!
What is one of your earliest vivid memories of fashion as a child?
My parents would have to cut the sleeves off my long sleeve shirts so I could add them as an accessory to every outfit… Don't ask, I can't explain.
"I think no matter what you wear, if you act confident no one will question you- so just rock up in the wackiest outfit you possibly can with a smile on your face and I'm telling you , not a word will be said!"
COCO VAN DIJK
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into styling professionally?
I interned at Vogue for 6 months and during that time I was completely exposed to the fashion world. I just loved being surrounded by the clothes and seeing the team work their magic in putting funky outfits together. After my period there I dedicated some time to making connections in the fashion world and sussing out different aspects within the fashion industry - styling, designing etc. But in the end I just loved dressing people! I’ve always been a sucker for dressing my friends and the thought of doing that as a job was just so exciting to me.
What do you find most enjoyable about styling? Most difficult?
Most enjoyable - sourcing the clothes, working with brands and PR companies and building outfits in my head.
Most difficult - guessing whether the clothes will fit the model. Bulldog clips are my best friend on a photoshoot!
You’ve said that you source clothes sustainably and a lot of your TikTok content is about upcycling or styling clothing that you have thrifted. What advice would you give to people who want to start shopping sustainably?
Be patient!! Shopping in op shops, vintage shops or on Depop takes time - You don't always leave with THE item but if you go rack by rack and give random things a chance you’ll leave the store with the most unique goodies of all. My favourite thing about shopping second hand is having the right to tell people you got it from Vinnies … “Oh this, it was $10 from vinnes aha x ”
Interior design and fashion are often closely related. If you could choose two fashion pieces from your closet and two items from your home that best represent you, what would they be?
Fashion Items - Danielle Cathari Adidas pants in red! I have these pants in 4 colours but I think that boldness of the red is one of the best representations. And my colourful cowboy boots that my sister hand painted for my 21st birthday!
From my home - A painting of my puppy Wilbur and I that my parents got me last year. Wilbs passed away last month so that one's rather special. Oh, and my orange rug in my room- it's funky, fun and aggressive, just like my wardrobe!
On your Instagram I saw that you were a part of the fashion/merch drop for Dylan J and your brother Ruel’s song “Notice Me.” I really love the merch design and the photos for it. It's sort of rare for merch to also function as luxurious-looking fashion pieces which makes it so interesting. Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement in this?
Ah yes that merch was sick! Dyl has some great connections with screen printers and the Dickies manufacturers in Melbourne and thought that it could be a sick collaboration for the merch. Honestly I didn't do much other than give my tick of approval and suggest moving some letters around - Dyl was the mastermind behind the creation. However when we did the shoot I did creative direction and styling which was a very fun experience, especially getting to work with my sibling and a very good friend!
Other than fashion, what are you passionate about?
Over the past few years I’ve really immersed myself in as many creative industries as possible. I’ve fallen in love with watching people create their own art. Some of my best friends are photographers, make up artists and musicians and I just love being able to watch them thrive. You can learn alot from watching other creators' work.
Music would probably be one of my biggest passions and I believe that musicians are the fashion models and promoters of the future! You never come across someone who doesn't listen to music, it's universally loved and appreciated and a conversation about music can get you out of any awkward interaction, everyone is passionate about it in their own way!
I’m also someone who constantly has music playing. Awkward silences and hearing people chew stress me out so I don't know where I'd be without a play button.
"Music would probably be one of my biggest passions and I believe that musicians are the fashion models and promoters of the future. I'm also someone who constantly has playing music...I don't know where I'd be without a play button."
If you could bottle three scents, what would they be and what do they remind you of?
Rain - reminds me of England (where I was born) & winter wardrobes.
Cracking Fireplace - yet again reminds me of winter and the cold, as you can tell... I have a preferred season! With a glass of red, hot steamy fire, a cheeseboard looking tasty and some jazz on the speaker. The DREAM!
Cooking Bacon - because… food.
Do you have a favorite piece of advice you’ve ever been told or favorite saying?
I know it's cliche but ‘everything happens for a reason." It might not be completely true but you can say it in any situation and feel better. It also reminds you to not sweat the small stuff and just keep powering on. Dwelling on the past doesn't cause improvements, but reflecting and accepting does!
How do you view yourself? Is it different from the way others tend to view you?
I always get awkward answering questions like this. I’d like to think I'm outgoing, caring and someone people can rely on! I asked one of my best friends for some help with this one and he described me as bold, eccentric and joyous, and I’m not mad about that at all!
coco van dijk
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