Eternal Optimism: Olive Cooke On Spring Styling

Eternal Optimism: Olive Cooke On Spring Styling

According to Olive Cooke, a fresh Spring palette and soft floral prints have the power to lift your wardrobe – and your spirits. Here, the Byron Bay-based creative shares her tips on staying charged, dressing with positivity in mind and transiting your wardrobe (mindfully) into the new season.

There’s a wonderful sense of lightness to the way you dress – tell us about your style and how you came to fall in love with fashion:

“For me, style has always been about being comfortable, if I’m adding a new piece into my wardrobe then it has to be something that I am going to enjoy wearing, something I’ve really thought about. I’m quite a tactical dresser in that sense and I’ve always loved fashion. When I was younger, I used to sew and knit, I always enjoyed the creative process and making things myself.”

Today, your approach to dressing and shopping is considered, scaled back even:

“We know better these days, don’t we? We know how important it is to be conscious of what we’re consuming, and from a fashion point of view, to make clever purchases, opting for natural fibres such as silks and linens and choosing clothes that you know you’ll wear time and time again rather than one-off wears. I’m not really a seasonal dresser, most of my wardrobe is made up of light, fresh tonal pieces – the kind of outfits that I can wear endlessly and everywhere. I purposely steer towards white and tonal styles because they’re like a blank canvas, and your accessories, your shoes and bags can easily transform your look so you don’t feel as though you’re dressing on repeat.”

Can you talk us through your edit from OROTON’s SS21 season, which pieces were you drawn to?

“I adore the Daisy Camp Shirt and PJ Pant. I think the soft floral print is really fresh and sweet, and it’s a look that can be worn head to toe or with jeans, again and again – it’s such a simple floral yet classic and I love the shapes of the shirt and the trousers in those muted pastels. I think the whole Spring-Summer collection is really considered and concise. I love all the colours, they go together beautifully in ways that make sense.”

Can you share your tips for dressing to feel good, a lesson in styling Spring?

“I am wearing a lot of white because it feels light and I think, subconsciously, I don’t want my mood to feel heavy right now. You can wear a white dress or a white shirt across the seasons, they’re transeasonal, the perfect pieces to wear at the beach or layer up for dinner, it’s an easy formula for everywhere. I particularly love the big sleeves on the Oroton Sculptured Dress– the sleeves are sculptural but the silhouette in white is simple and feels so gorgeous on. Spring is also such a good time to layer – this would have to be my favourite time of year for evening dressing, when you can wear a summer dress layered with something warmer and if you choose pale tonal pieces then they’re easy to style in so many different ways just by adding in a great leather handbag, a statement shoulder bag or tote.”

How are you maximising your mornings and getting your day off to a positive start?

“I’m very much influenced by being outdoors, I’m the kind of person that needs to move. I start my day by walking the dog and I’m lucky that we’re close to the ocean, that’s where I recharge and get my creativity from. I really need exercise for my mental health, to keep moving and to make sure I have some kind of routine, keeping up all those things that are in my control. We all have different needs, though – I have friends that need to read or bake to feel inspired. Ultimately, I think it’s about finding the time to do something that makes you feel good, something just for you.”

And in that sense, how are you remaining charged and inspired right now?

“By finding joy in really mundane things such as cooking great meals, watching the sunrise, making an effort to get up that little bit earlier. I think it’s important to find joy in the everyday and I’m so focused on that. I’m also trying not to set too many deadlines, to not add to my stress levels, to slow down and then enjoy the slowness of it all.”