When it comes to effortless style, Bondi-based artist and mother Vicki Lee has her fashion formula down pat. “White T-shirt, white jeans, white shoes and white underwear” or “Black T-shirt, black jeans, black shoes and black underwear.” She’s lost count of the number of jeans she owns, but knows they’re mostly ripped. She favours her photographer partner Ted O’Donnell’s shirts – “I like to wear Ted's shirts more than my own. He wears them in so well” – and she tackled maternity wear with oversize T-shirts and a new pair of Givenchy boots...
Lee and O’Donnell are the creative photography and art duo behind Tovl and are part of the new One Generation, One Family, One Westfield campaign (you’ll also see such faces as Dame Edna, Say Lou Lou and Kitty Callaghan). The campaign features a cast of real families, spanning four generations aged 3 to 82, brought together by fashion icon Dame Edna. The artistic pair started dating in Spring 2011 after they met at an organic fruit and vegetable shop and their adorable daughter Yokie was born in 2015 (you can’t miss Yokie in the campaign with her mop of sweet brown curls – she’s too cute for words). “Becoming a mother has solidified who I am as a person. The volume has been turned up on every facet of my life, in the best possible way, including the way I dress,” says Lee. We caught up with the chic mother of two (the newest addition of their family has very recently arrived) to chat fashion, art, motherhood and more. Photo: David Mandelberg | Go to www.westfield.com.au
How does art influence your personal fashion style?
Being sincere to yourself is an essential element to making art. If I’m not comfortable in an outfit – the fit, the colour, the fabric, I can’t wear it. Fashion is just another form of self-expression.
What about your favourite go-to brands?
Acne always has the exact tone of colour you want. Not a Pantone number off the mark. Camilla and Marc always have the best tailored jackets. T by Alexander Wang for basics.
How often do you clear out your wardrobe?
Every year. To create something new, you have to destroy first!
Can you tell us about your role as an ambassador for Westfield this season?
My parents had homeware stores in Westfield centres around NSW in the 90s and early 2000’s, so I literally grew up inside Westfield shopping centres. It really is a one-stop shopping destination.
Do you think Yokie will inherit your love of fashion?
Yokie is starting to have an opinion on almost everything and I let her decide what she wants to wear when she has the urge to. Of course, it’s usually gumboots to the beach and singlets in the rain. I love Adidas for kids. It’s so cute.
What is the most rewarding part of being an artist?
Watching Yokie’s face when I tell her I have to go to ‘work’ and she follows me into the studio and thinks I’m joking. She gets her paints and gets right into it beside me.
What's the most challenging part of being an artist?
Being my own boss and working alone. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I worked in an office. I think I’d enjoy working alongside fun, like-minded people.