If you’re scrolling through Katherine Sabbath’s Instagram feed there’s a 100 per cent chance you’ll suddenly start craving cake. Since starting the account in early 2013, her candy-coloured, extravagant desserts have garnered an international following of close to 300,000. And it’s not just her cakes that are aesthetically pleasing – she wears colours, prints and accessories in a way that few people can pull off.
It’s been just over a year since the avid home hobby baker quit her job teaching high school to pursue her cake career full time. Based in Sydney, these days Sabbath spends her time teaching cake classes, developing recipes for major brands and creating special cakes for friends, families and loved ones. We find out about her style icons, her favourite places to shop and why she opts for patterned aprons.
Broadsheet: Where do you take your style cues from?
Katherine Sabbath: Iris Apfel is one of my style idols! Not just in the way she chooses to dress, but in her philosophy and perspective on life. I also really love Lee Lin Chin and her unique style – everything about her is interesting.
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BS: How has your style evolved alongside your cake career. Do they influence one another?
KS: I can quite happily wear the same outfit time and time again, but I can very quickly resent making the same cake over and over again! When it comes to my own creativity with cakes and desserts, I like to learn new skills, perfect flavour and develop my ideas further. When it comes to style, I enjoy trying new things, but for me that doesn’t have to mean always wanting to buy new things. I try to take really good care of all of my belongings, so that they’ll last for years and years, for either myself or another person to cherish.
BS: Clashing prints and colour blocking seem to be your go-to, what is it that draws you to colour?
KS: Colour excites me, and although black or white clothing can look effortlessly cool, I find that wearing colour instantly lifts my mood. I am a big fan of black though, especially when it’s used in contrast.
BS: Tell me about you apron collection.
KS: I rotate between seven aprons and they’re all pretty colourful! I find that a nice pattern hides buttercream stains more effectively. My favourite aprons at the moment are by the Finnish brand Marimekko, because not only do they look lovely, they fit and function well, plus they don’t need any ironing!
BS: Does your day-to-day style vary much from your working and cooking style?
KS: My day-to-day style is more preened and, to be honest, much more flammable (loose hanging, glittery, synthetic fabrics really shouldn’t be near an open flame or oven). When I’m working away in my kitchen, I’m wearing a sturdy pair of sneakers lined with my trusty custom orthotics, my hair is always secured and I like to give my face a rest from make up.
BS: Where are your favourite places to shop?
KS: My favourite fashion stores and labels besides Opening Ceremony, Marimekko and Alexander Wang are mainly Australian. Labels such as Discount Universe, Alice McCall, Studio Elke, Gorman, Marisa Mu, Obus and Karen Walker (from New Zealand but close enough!). They always have unique and quality pieces on offer.