Tuula by Nicole Cooper

“I first started the blog when I was travelling Europe and friends told me I should start a blog to share my photos… I started getting readers and hits and it turned from a hobby to work,” says Stein of the beginnings of Tuula.

Now with 9,000 followers on Twitter, almost 70,000 on Facebook and a whopping 114,000 on Instagram, Stein has a larger daily reach than most Australian magazines. Not bad for a girl from the NSW Central Coast. One of eight elite bloggers featured on what’s been dubbed as Australia’s fashion super blog, Jessica Stein is perhaps one of the most watched trendsetters in the country.

Launched earlier this year, united a group of bloggers perceived to have their collective fingers on the pulse of Australian and international fashion and Stein’s blog Tuula Vintage earned her a place at the table. A self-confessed wanderer, Stein travels frequently, a trait which appropriately inspired the name of her blog.

“I had someone in Switzerland tell me that my name should be ‘tuula’ as it’s the Finnish word for wind, and I go with the wind,” she says. But asked where in Australia she would most like to settle down, she’s quick to nominate Melbourne. Where else but the fashion capital?

Though she might not make it here often, Stein has a few favorite shopping destinations when she’s in town, revealing that despite enjoying the convenience of Bourke St mall and Chapel St, she can’t go past a vintage find at the Camberwell Markets. “I’m a big fan of Camberwell Markets, I’m big on thrift and vintage shopping so finding something cheap is really good,” she says, referring to the second half of her blog’s inspiration.

Just as at home in high fashion stores as second hand markets however, Stein mixes up what she features on the blog, citing the Zimmerman sisters as her favorite Australian design duo. While Stein’s enviable wardrobe is lusted after by her massive and dedicated fan base, many would be surprised to hear that she regularly empties her cupboards, striping her collection down to bare travel essentials before she sets off overseas. As for the piles of designer wares she discards, followers will be pleased to know she heads to eBay to unload, a practice which additionally funds her travel.

Level headed and fun, if a little interview shy, it’s clear Stein loves what she does and brings the same passion and dedication she has for travel to her work. Leaving the lobby of InterContinental Melbourne at The Rialto, Stein imparts one more fashion savvy tip as she steps out into the fickle Melbourne spring, “My Melbourne wardrobe essential is definitely a coat,” she says with a laugh. To read more about Jessica, visit Tuula by Jessica Stein. – See more at: http://www.melbourne.intercontinental.com/concierge/2012/03/17/jessica-stein-girl-of-the-moment/#sthash.yqt16L30.dpuf

Please describe your personal style in two sentences or less.
I think my style is about finding wearable and fun combinations of vintage, thrift, and labels. I love finding amazing one-of-a-kind pieces, and then paring them down with boutique or high street pieces to suit my ‘less is more’ approach.

How does the city you live in inspire your day-to-day style?
I live in a small coastal town north of Sydney, which isn’t fashion-focused, but offers a laidback beach culture. I find most of my inspiration from traveling to cities like London, Berlin, or New York and adapting what I find there to everyday life.

List some of your favorite current trends and why you appreciate them/how you are wearing them.
Since I am quite tall at 5’11”, I have been appreciating flat loafers for quite a while!

Who are some of your style icons and why?
I can’t think of a style icon that has inspired me as much as my mum. Flicking through photos of her at my age, I see how she was always taking risks and having fun with it, but always dressing only for herself.

Name one go-to piece in your closet and why.
My 3.1 Phillip Lim handbag was an investment piece I purchased last year that I can’t go a few days without. Apart from suiting nearly every outfit it is also sturdy enough to fit everything from a spare pair of heels to my laptop and camera.

List 5 of your favorite places to shop.
My favorite place to shop would either be Berlin’s flea markets at Mauerpark or Paris’ Kiliwatch vintage store. I also shop online at ASOS, or my favorite Australian labels Zimmermann & Sass and Bide.

List 5 of your fashion sites/blogs.
Personal favorite blogs by fellow Aussies are Oracle FoxStudded Hearts, and Gary Pepper Vintage, which I read daily. I also love international blogs Man RepellerJak and Jil, and Style Bubble.

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Assembling outfits that appear sophisticated yet youthful is always a tricky task, which explains why we have a serious style crush on Australian blogger Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage. The subject of this month’s Style Stalker melds the two looks with seeming ease for a unique style all her own, and her legions of fans would agree! Stein’s blog is a spectacular fusion of both her insatiable wanderlust (recent destinations included Indonesia, Croatia, and Italy) and her love of clothes (her closet includes well-curated vintage and dazzling designer pieces). Though she’s a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, if Stein’s staggering number of Facebook fans is any indication, she’s only just embarked on her rise to fashion blogger fame.

Stein’s many ensembles range from preppy to feminine to glamorous, but no matter what she wears on any given day, she’s consistent about maintaining a polished, streamlined aesthetic. That means no piled-on jewelry or excessive layers; rather, Stein exercises careful restraint in the accessories department, accenting her looks with only one or two statement pieces-a gleaming gold cuff here, a handheld vintage clutch there.

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Even though she embraces vibrant colors and lively prints, Stein’s cool, minimalistic approach infuses each look with elegance beyond her years! For example, we particularly admire how she balances a flowing floral skirt featuring thigh-high splits with a solid white t-shirt and ladylike t-strap heels. The stunning result is an outfit that’s fresh, not frivolous! Stein applies the same sartorial trick when she pairs a fun, fashion-forward dip-dye dress with gold jewelry and pointy-toe heels, again blending youthful and classic elements to achieve her trademark style.

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We also appreciate the blogger’s sharp eye for clothes that will easily complement the rest of her wardrobe. As she adds to her growing collection, Stein snaps up pieces with interesting textures (allover sequins and delicate crochet) and a slew of floaty separates (her mint green Dion Lee tank and striped State of Georgia skirt). Most of all, we adore how Stein proudly reps several beloved Aussie-based labels like Zimmermann and Ellery, clearly proving that she hails from a land of likeminded stylish thinkers!

In between globetrotting and blogging, Stein found time to share details about several of her sleek, chic outfits, in addition to her favorite places to shop and most-visited fashion blogs. And if you’re a new initiate into the Tuula Vintage fan club, as we are, check out the essentials that will help you score Stein’s spot-on style.

Jessica Stein headshot

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