The contrasting realms of nature and the human-made world have long inspired Melbourne jeweller and stylist Nye De Marchi, whose label By Nye launched in September 2015. Her professional look is defined by cinched waists, modest tailoring, playful juxtapositions and subverted menswear. She likes to mix second-hand finds and unexpected silhouettes with traditional tailored pieces.
If she’s toiling at “the bench”, hand-crafting jewellery in her North Carlton studio, she shelves the frills and cowboy boots for Melbourne label Base Range’s track pants and big jumpers. For meetings or when styling on-set she opts for tailored pants and open shirts, toughened with a Bonds singlet underneath – a look elevated at night with a pair of statement earrings.
Broadsheet: How did you get into styling and jewellery design?
Nye De Marchi: I’ve always styled my campaigns and that organically flowed into other brands asking me to style their shoots and then into styling bands. Jewellery design came through making clothing. I had a small – very small – clothing label with a friend when I was like 18 or 21. I was making pretty haphazard necklaces to style with the looks and just wearing them myself, and people would comment on them. My boyfriend bought me a silversmithing short course for my birthday one year and that set me off on the path I’m on now.
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BS: How would you describe your personal style? Does it differ to your professional style?
NDM: I’d say it’s full of contrasts. If I’m going to wear something tailored and refined I’ll make sure to pair it with something a bit dishevelled. Or, if my outfit is really clean, I’ll have my hair a bit messy. I’m always trying to get to a happy medium. My professional style sits pretty close to my personal style, except I’m a big fan of a tracksuit and it’s been a bit hard trying to get one into a professional context.
BS: How do you get dressed for date night, a styling job, a day in the studio?
NDM: I’d say I go though a few phases of what I like wearing and a tailored pair of pants by Melbourne label Dress Up definitely gets highly featured on a date night. When I’m styling a job I don’t have any energy to put into what I’m wearing, so I just throw on whatever is the most comfortable and hope it looks semi respectable – luckily I’m not the focus. If I’m going to be at the bench it’s practical. I’m a big fan of [Melbourne label] Base Range’s tracksuit pants and I have four pairs of the same colour that I rotate through.
BS: How do you approach transitional dressing, going from a meeting or styling session to a dinner party?
NDM: If I know I’m going out straight from work I just sub out a pair of my droplet studs for a pair of statement earrings or bangle – luckily I’ve got a lot of those around.
BS: What are some of your favourite labels at the moment?
NDM: Bode. They’re predominantly a menswear brand but they create these one-off shirts where they reuse antique fabrics – anything from tablecloths to napkins. They’re really beautiful.
I also love Sister Studios. It’s run by two friends of mine, Alice and Emma, and I think they know how to bring a sense of playfulness and fun into everything they do. They use a lot of dead-stock fabrics and everything is made in Melbourne.
BS: What else influences how you dress?
NDM: I’m definitely obsessed with Elizabethan-era clothing and I try to bring that into By Nye whenever I can. My mum definitely is one of my references. We don’t always agree (probably an understatement) but she has great taste and I love trawling through the clothing she still has tucked away from when she was my age.
BS: What’s your approach to make-up and beauty?
NDM: It’s extremely relaxed. I don’t wear make-up. If I’m going out I’ll probably reapply some face oil and maybe once every month I’ll get excited about the idea of a cat eye and give it a go. I think I’d definitely like to explore make-up more but it just hasn’t been something I’ve focused on. I think when it comes to my skin I’m quite sensitive. Every now and then I’ll buy a product and get excited about upgrading my routine but then won’t like the smell or the feel and won’t use it.