I recently met Melissa Ogier, co-founder of The Garb Wire while she was presenting a guest lecture at my University. Melissa agreed to help me along my own creative journey and answered a few questions about her life on the Northside. She shared valuable insight into her career as a blogger, discussed her accessories line Run To Paradise and gave me some great recommendations for the best places to eat, drink and shop.
Are you a Northside local?
Absolutely. I’ve lived in Thornbury and Northcote through the ages, and Fitzroy for the past 10 years. I met my husband at a kebab shop one night on Brunswick St. at around 3am. Ha! Now it feels like our family has always been here.
How long have you been running the Garb Wire?
I started it with Rich (hus) in 2009 as a side hustle. Neither of us took it very seriously. We used to run commentary on various crimes of fashion - guys wearing sunglasses on their necks, WAGs, outrageous bogan antics at Spring Racing and the like. It has changed a lot in those ten years. I changed the intent of TGW in 2014.
What prompted you to begin your career as a blogger?
I started while I was still working at Myer. Blogging was a creative outlet for Rich and I to both be a little bit punk and challenge what the general population thinks it means to be ‘stylish’. When you have a need to share a point of view with the world, a blog is the perfect vehicle, because it is self-led. You don’t need to seek permission to write and find an audience. I mean, there is no guarantee that you will find one, but it’s fun to give it a try with your own voice. These elements remain as the underlying motivation for everything. For me, anyway.
What inspires you?
My family! Compulsive music consumption – listening, watching live, playing records, dance - imagination, humour, travelling the world, challenging the status quo, soaking up fashion history, the ocean, making things with my hands, road trips to Australian country towns - pies, op shops etc, and the wildly clever people I am fortunate to have in my life.
How did you come up with the name for the blog?
It’s supposed to mimic an official, authoritative newsprint title. The Garb refers to a mode of dressing, and Wire refers to a communication device.
What is the best experience you have had so far as a result of running The Garb Wire?
Being interviewed for The Wana Podcast in New York, styling the backstage lounge at Listen Out Festival Melbourne, and when Venezuelan hat designer Yosuzi shipped one of her ah-mazing hats from London as a gift for supporting her brand on TGW. I adore. I take it everywhere.
Describe your personal style in three words?
Vintage. Hula. Rocker.
Can you give away any details about your accessories line?
I named it Run To Paradise after the classic 80s Choirboys song. It’s an ode to being an Australian kid with Samoan heritage. Growing up, my Mum and her sisters had pretty flamboyant style, dancing their way through the 70s and 80s. So, of course they were my first style icons. On the other hand, my sister and I spent many Sunday nights watching Countdown at Nanna & Pa’s, entrenching a deep love for Aussie bands and OTT glam rock costumes. Music has always been my anchor.
Run To Paradise captures the fun & frivolity of an island escape, without having to leave our real lives in the big smoke.
What is your favourite local boutique/ label?
Go to coffee shop?
Stagger Lee’s. Good coffee, amazing staff and probably 90s hip hop playing
Describe the vibe of the Northside in three words?
Camp, eclectic, electric
Melissa described her perfect day spent on the Northside, you can follow her Journey by clicking the link below.