Celebrity stylist Lara Lupish on how her style bible Façon flies the Hunter flag – with the third issue out soon

Hunter heart: Lara Lupish flies the region’s flag in her fashion magazine Facon.

What were your ambitions at school?

In Year Nine I did a quiz and it told me that I was going to be an interior decorator. But as I went on to Year 11 and 12 for some bizarre reason I started doing chemistry and thought I wanted to be a pathologist. Who knows where that came from? I was absolutely terrible at chemistry and had to have a tutor to get me through the HSC.

What was your first job?

Candy bar girl at the Tower Cinemas on King Street.I learnt how to work hard at a young age. I got a job as soon as I legally could 14 and 9 months. Everyone did. It was the cool thing to do. I like my uniform too, it was cute little red all in one dress with zip at the front! I also learnt to respect my boss. Tower Cinemas was where I’d spend my Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. I worked there with a bunch of girls from my school so we always had fun.

What did you do after school?

Went straight to university and failed a science degree dismally. I don’t even know how I was accepted into science. I failed for two years in a row, all of it! The only thing I didn’t fail was psychology, which I did as an “interest” subject. Then, knowing what I’d always known –that I couldn’t do any form of science without a science tutor -I switched to an Art Degree and went through the psych degree. I also studied film and english and education, so more relevant to what I have chosen to be my career path.

How did you get into styling?

My boyfriend (now husband) who I went to live in Canada with was a professional musician and signed to Warner Music America. They would ask me to “style” their music videos or photoshoots. I was hanging around with people in the film industry too, so it just made itsway into my life.

Doqualifications or experience counts for more?

My academic qualifications are a degree in psychology and education. I have to say psychology is a big part of my work. From creating an image that uses psychology to portray a message, to dealing with creative personalities that all need a little more love and attention. My celebrity styling work was also about pure psychology, winning my clients over with the right things to say at the right time that would make them feel comfortable with me and what we are trying to achieve.

You’ve styled covers for WHO Weekly and other major glossies. How do you keep abreast of trends?

I love watching fashion weeks from all over the world, but trends are a gut feeling for me. I can kind of sense when its time for things to “come back.”

You are about to launchissue three of Façon magazine, madein the Hunter. Why did you decide to launch it in the notoriously tough mag trade?

Well asking me that question right now as I’m approaching the end of production of Book Three I would say I’m mad doing it. It’s tough. But the creativity keeps me going, as I’m also the creative director of the magazine.Magazines are having a resurgence, people still want to curl up in front of the fire or by the pool with a nice glass of wine and look at fashion and beauty.

You moved from Sydney back to Newcastle intent on making a go of it here. Has your opinion of the Hunter changed in making the magazine?

Yes, there are lots of talented creatives here and that is what encouraged me to do the magazine, to give them a platform and voice in the cutthroat, metropolitan business of making fashion magazines. It’s almost a comment on that! We function like Vogue or Marie Claire just in Newcastle with smaller staff. We also have the same production values.

Lara Lupish

What can we expect from issue three of Façon?

It’s “the Fashion Issue.” It works around Façon’s philosophy in mixing local with national and international. So readers will find features on amazing local designers and brands as well as national fashion icons and international historical brands. Our opening story is on the House of Dior. That was a big deal for Façon to be able to run this story. The issue isfashion editorial heavy.

What do you hope the magazine offers readers?

An interest in the creative talent we have in Newcastle. The great designers we have and a unification on the Newcastle fashion front.

Where do you hope to take Façon?

I want the fashion industry in to look to Façon as it looks to Russh,Marie Claire and other titles. I want the people that work at Façon (including interns) to be able to go anywhere in the world and work for any magazine.

The hardest part of publishing Façon?

Money! Nothing else, just money! The rest is second nature to me. I don’t like money very much or at least talking about it. Art is more important to me.

The best part?

The talented people I work with and the buzz I get when the image comes together.

What advice would you have for someone keen to get into fashion?

Learn to take no for an answer. Work hard. Be organised. Be respectfuland appreciate the help you are given by brands, your team. You’re only as good as your last shoot.