Lover of all things beautiful, Perth based Su James of Oyster and Pearl blog insightfully chronicles her life with envy inducing imagery and tongue in cheek posts, emphasising that life is not to be taken too seriously. Su intimately documents her fashion finds, worldly travels and delicious food through her blog whilst maintaining a busy full time corporate career as well as a freelance writing gig; it’s no wonder we describe her as superwoman in the making! Here we speak to the delightful Su about her obsessions with shoes, her love affair with New York and her adoration for pearl jewellery…
How would you define your personal style?
I define my style as quite feminine with just a little touch of edge to it. I dress just as much for comfort and functionality as I do for style but from time to time you just may find me in something outrageous.
I’m a devotee to the doctrine of high/low dressing and almost always mix less expensive and high street purchases with designer items. My biggest weakness are bags and shoes (I am currently battling an addiction against Valentino Rockstuds!) and there’s nothing that makes me swoon more than the arch of a beautiful stiletto heel.
What are your favourite Australian fashion brands?
I absolutely adore Lover. I would own almost every beautiful piece in their collections if I could. I adore the femininity of lace and the cuts of their dresses can be demure yet desirable all at the same time.
Where is your favourite place to go shopping?
Being quite busy, with both a full time corporate career as well as my blogging and freelance writing committments, I don’t have the time I once did to leisurely browse the retail stores. My weekends and down time are now prioritized to getting some rest and relaxation in addition to catching up with my nearest and dearest. For that reason, online shopping is the go for me.
My favourite online stores are ASOS (don’t we all love ASOS?!) and Farfetch for fantastic buys on designer items.
Who is the influential figure in your life?
This is such a difficult one to narrow down to one person and I’ve concluded that I can’t definitively decide on which one person is the most influential. Thinking about this I realized that I am fortunate to share my life with many creative, talented, smart, and generous people and they collectively influence and inspire me to be the person I want to be and pursue my dreams and goals and encourage me when I need it. So, if I can, I’ll take this opportunity to let my squad know – you guys are the greatest!
Are there any hidden gems in Perth you’ve discovered recently?
I spent a significant amount of time during the summer at a little patch of beach in between Scarborough and Peasholm Beach. Hidden from the main road by the high sand dunes, it has been bare of but one or two people each weekend I visited, and amazingly only a few metres in each direction there were crowds of people fighting for space for their towels. I’ve loved being able to come down here for a couple of hours with my magazine, cut fruit and bottle of water and just relax and recharge my batteries, and enjoy our climate and spectacular coastline. It’s something as simple as this that makes me appreciate this beautiful city even more.
Where is your favourite holiday destination so far?
Hands down, without a doubt, always will be – New York City. I’ve been so often and spent so much time there I almost don’t consider it a holiday destination anymore and I even half jokingly refer to it as my second home. Undeniably I love Perth and will consider always consider Perth to be my home, but I feel that my heart resides in two places – here and NYC.
I feel as home over there as I do in Perth. It’s everything that people say yet it’s so much more and you almost do yourself a disservice if you don’t allow yourself the time to discover NYC beyond the frenetic energy and hustle and bustle. It’s full of surprises, there’s always something new to discover and I think it’s the kind of city where you discover a little something about yourself as well.
My love affair with NYC started many, many years ago and it’s one I don’t envisage ending any time soon.
Where do you wish to visit one day?
I’ve been interested in ancient civilizations since I was in primary school and definitely cannot leave this earth without exploring the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan.It blows my mind that structures of such scale and magnificence were created centuries ago without our modern technologies, yet the detail and intricacy of their work is phemonemal. To be in a place like that and to experience it all while knowing that it’s been there through so many changes in this world and seen the rise and fall of ancient empires, that is something just incredible.
How would you describe your jewellery style?
When it comes to jewellery, I prefer to invest in quality pieces that are classic and elegant. My favourite piece that I own is a long double strand of pearls that is joined together by a diamond clasp. I adore pearls – is it any surprise then that I named my blog Oyster & Pearl? Far from being something that your grandma or great-aunt would wear, I feel that pearls are something so simply elegant and ladylike yet I don’t think they’re out of place at all paired with a fuss free outfit of nice jeans and a simple top.
What is your favourite piece/or a piece that stood out from Tayha Designs.
The sterling silver double wattle branch ring by Rei Minohara-Starke really stood out for me. I think it would have a great presence on the finger and of course, the use of the wattle is such a lovely homage to one of our native Australian trees.
Where are your favourite places in Perth for:
I don’t drink coffee, but I do drink hot chocolate and won’t say no to a little piece of cake. For this I can’t go past The Flour Factory in Queen Street. Their baked goods are out of this world and I have to thank their pastry chef for bringing their delightful Valrhona chocolate and double salted caramel cupcakes into my life.
A current favourite dinner spot in Perth is Cecchi’s in Inglewood. The menu offers fewer dishes than many other restaurants, however everything on the menu is done exceedingly well. The pasta is featherlight and silky and the flavours are some of the best Italian I have had outside of the home of my friend’s nonna.
Dim sum may not be most people’s first thought when asked of their favourite place for breakfast or lunch, but to me dim sum is practically brunch, if you’re Cantonese – which I am not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to partake in the enjoyment of those delicious little dumplings. My go-to for dim sum is Imperial Court in Como. Though slightly pricier than the dim sum served in some Northbridge establishments, I do think Imperial Court’s dumplings are fresher in taste with a few very unique dumpling creations you don’t usually find elsewhere. Their soft shell grab is very moreish as are their yummy egg tarts.
Working on the terrace, I can’t go past enjoying one of our gorgeous Perth days on the rooftop of Bob’s Bar at Print Hall. Bob’s has a great selection of drinks to go along with the fun and relaxed atmosphere.
What’s the best thing about living in Perth?
I think our carefree spirit is what makes living in Perth so wonderful, and having travelled extensively the people I meet have often remarked to me that people from Perth and Western Australia are amongst the most life-loving people they’ve come across. I’ll never forget sitting in a cafe in Chamonix, France speaking to one of the musicians who had just finished up their set, discovering that he knew Perth as he had once backpacked through Australia and in his broken English and my less-than-perfect French he shared with me that he loved Perth because “you people, you know life.” I think that sums it up perfectly.
5 words to describe yourself.
Living life like it’s golden.
Photos by http://soulofshu.com/