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February 15, 2010

chronicles of marina didovich

Stylist extraordinaire Marina Didovich is one of my closest friends, a mentor and my sometimes therapist. She arrived in Sydney (from our home town of Auckland) a week after I did, and over the past year has helped me navigate this city like no-one else. After six years as the Fashion Editor of CLEO back home, she followed her heart, packed everything up and headed for Sydney's sunny shores where she now works as a freelance stylist with DLM.

How did you end up becoming New Zealand’s youngest fashion editor at 21?
I studied photography at university and had to do a work experience module in the industry. I loved fashion photography and being slack I left my placement to the very last minute, meaning all the fashion photographers had already been approached. I figured the next best thing was to work alongside a fashion editor guessing they worked with photographers (I had no idea what a fashion editor actually did). I looked up the phone number of Fashion Quarterly [New Zealand's only real equilvent to Vogue] at the front of the mag, and ended up starting an internship with Cleo the following week (the Fashion Editor at Fashion Quarterly was on annual leave, so they passed on details of Cleo's fashion department). The internship was only meant to be two weeks, but I loved it so much I stayed for four and realised I had found my calling. After finishing uni I returned to ACP interning for Cleo and SHE magazines unpaid for about a year. I then applied for the role of Fashion Stylist at Cleo (age 20), got the position and at 21 was promoted to Fashion Editor.

 Marina (above) on location in America; with photographer Steven Chee and his assistants Duncan and Tobias (below).

What is your best bit of fashion industry advice?
It might sound a bit corny, but you have to believe in yourself. When I first started, I was told countless times that I was too young to do what I wanted to do. I was even told once that I was 'aiming too high'. If you don't believe in yourself it becomes contagious and soon enough, no one else will either. You become what you manifest.

What made you move to Sydney?
I was doing the long distance thing with my boyfriend (Auckland - Sydney) for about a year and a half.  It got to the stage that enough was enough and one of us had to make the move. It was a no brainer that it would be me as there are many more opportunities for styling in Sydney than Auckland.

What style quote do you live by?
I don't know about being a style quote, but the sign "Uro est partout, pas très Chanel", (pissing everywhere isn't very Chanel) on the door of Karl Largerfeld's workroom toilet in the documentary Largerfeld Confidential has definitely stuck in my head.

Fashion Quarterly Spring 09 - styling Marina Didovich, photography Christopher Ferguson

What are your wardrobe's key pieces?
These tend to change weekly for me with my mood. At the moment the pieces in my wardrobe giving everything else a run for their money are my Isabel Marant chain boots, the jumpsuit I bought online from 4th and Bleeker and my Ruby denim dungaree shorts.

What’s on your shopping list?
Shakuhachi's entire autumn/winter collection. Love love love it.

What’s your favourite piece you always get comments on?
Actually, it's more like a brand that I wear a lot that I seem to get never ending compliments on - Stolen Girlfriends Club.

Cleo Jan 2010 - styling Marina Didovich
   Fashion Quarterly Spring 09 (the cover and Marina hard at work behind the scenes) - styling Marina Didovich 

Russh #26 - styling Marina Didovich

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What are you currently obsessed with? 

What’s your guilty pleasure?
E Bay vintage shopping. I need to cut that dirty habit.

Favourite destinations for shoots?
The States and Croatia [where Marina's dad is originally from].

When I'm not styling I'm...
Crossing all fingers and toes that it's a nice day so I can go to the beach.

Fashion Quarterly Summer 09 - styling Marina Didovich

x Olivia


  1. I love behind the scenes shots. It's great knowing what went on to produce such beautiful images, she is an amazing stylist!

  2. Thank you so much for this post! As an Aucklander and recent journalism graduate it's inspiring to hear of a fellow kiwi who has done so well. Her tale of how she broke into the fashion industry has inspired me to keep trying to gain fashion journalism experience and not give up. Many thanks.

  3. Wow what a wonderful story to hear, becoming a fashion editor at 21 is amazing! Very inspiring story as I play the game of becoming established in the fashion industry. Marina's styling work is gorgeous :)

  4. What a great post!
    It is always good to get an inside look at how someone delved their way into an industry that is so hard to penetrate.
    Love your blog!

  5. Yay, Go the Didovich! Really enjoying your blog Olivia! Megan at FQ xox

  6. I am a fashion designer at and would love to get in touch with Marina?
    Please let me know she is amazing!