At The Bar with Fashion Designer Kirrily Johnston

Award-winning fashion designer Kirrily Johnston is the Creative Director of Husk; moving from Sydney to Melbourne to work as Womenswear Designer for Witchery at first, then taking on the design lead in 2016.

She also ran her own namesake fashion brand for 12 years in the early 2000s, closing those apparel doors in 2013; but not before reaching cult status.

At Husk, Johnston is all about capturing a chic yet free-spirited aesthetic for women who take their style seriously. When it comes to what informs her design ethos, Johnson is all about tailoring moments to suit day to night – designs are practical, playful and always cranked for a good time.

The boutique is also home to many cool international labels too – from the brightly charming Essential by Antwerp to Copenhagen’s ready-to-wear luxury brand Munthe.

They also like to keep a street style step ahead, collaborating with MasterChef’s Melissa Leong and media personality Maria Thattil who wear their Husk pieces proudly.

You’ll find Johnson in bayside Melbourne mostly – the Espy a regular haunt for a drink.

She describes her personal style as; “feminine with an edge” and she loves to push the envelope too. “Nothing outrageous, nothing too mainstream. A masculine touch to a feminine outfit works for me,” says Johnston.

She speaks to The Write Drop about her favourite wine, her nostalgia for the 80s and which hotel you’ll find her in Paris twice yearly when she visits for Fashion Week.

MY CITY

I’m a bayside girl. I lived in Sydney for a really long time and when I moved back to Melbourne eight years ago, I needed to be near the water. Anywhere from St Kilda to Brighton just feels like home to me. It’s a vibrational thing. The sunsets over Port Phillip Bay are frequently spectacular.

FAVOURITE BAR

I love Ghost Bar at the Esplanade Hotel. I do frequent the Espy and head straight upstairs to this gorgeous spot with a very Parisian vibe. Views of the sunset over St Kilda beach never disappoint. They make a delicious cocktail called California Dreaming which is kind of like a whiskey sour, but has Amaretto and candied ginger. It’s heaven.

WINE WITH FRIENDS

Petaluma Riesling is an easy fruity white with a little bit of spice that I never tire of. My more cultured wine buff friends tell me I am a cheap date, but I love it.

BEST HANGOVER CURE 

The best cure is a swim. If it’s too cold for a swim it’s nachos.

FAVOURITE INTERSTATE BAR

Bambini Trust on Elizabeth Street in Sydney. I lived in Sydney for 14 years and Bambini always reminded me of Melbourne. Great lighting, very European feel and perfect service.

FAVOURITE OVERSEAS BAR

Hotel Costes in Paris is my go-to. I’m at Paris Fashion Week twice a year and will go several times during the week. There’s always a vibe, it’s very fashion, often over the top, but always amazing. I drink champagne there.

A DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

A Japanese Slipper – fresh, fruity, sweet but packs a punch and full of 80’s nostalgia.

WINERY WE MUST VISIT

One of my best friend’s recently revamped the cellar door of Eldridge Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, which was recently taken over by other mutual friends [small world]. It’s on gorgeous rolling hills with beautiful gardens. They also have a fabulous totally separate farm house style apartment that can be rented for short stays. It’s gorgeous.

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