Westfield: In a fashion environment that seems to be speeding up by the hour, you have a distinct flair for mixing timeless pieces in a way that feels remarkably fresh. Did you always gravitate towards this aesthetic? How did you develop your signature look?
Jess Blanch: I’ve always been attracted to a masculine look. I just love those images from the late '80s and the '90s, of oversized suiting, trousers and silk shirts by Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, YSL Rive Gauche, Calvin and Hermes.
I find the sensibility of the middle class woman very intriguing. I like Woody Allen’s women, pinstripes, herringbone, beige, mum jeans. Anything bourgeois.
W: Are there any pieces would you be completely lost without?
JB: Jeans. I honestly don’t know what I’d wear every day if it were not for jeans! Lately, I’m wearing Rollas and Levis. I’m also forever betrothed to my many black pantsuits. My most-ever worn piece is a Saint Laurent tube jacket. I actually have two.
W: You are a great admirer of the humble power suit. What details do you look for in tailoring? Can you describe the most treasured sets in your collection?
JB: Yes, I'm drawn by the uniformity of the suit and how it makes a quiet but definite statement. Look at how it worked for Leonard Cohen, or now Nick Cave.
I look for longline jackets with one or two buttons, but sometimes double-breasted. A very fine wool is important for movement and comfort. My most treasured pieces include a YSL smoking jacket I bought at a Sydney market – it was almost ruined when I let it fall on a Paris dancefloor so now it is packed away for a temporary retirement –and my Celine and Stella McCartney suits.