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Up Closet and Personal #3 – Alex Zorbas

Source: Alex Zorbas

This week we chat with our style muse, Alex Zorbas! Alex has a way of bringing seemingly disparate pieces together  – she’s a lady with her heart in past decades, she’s always a touch rock star and always has on an outfit with an edge. Luckily for us, she has been a long time bams & ted customer!

And she has her finger in lots of pies. Professionally she is a psychotherapist and consultant psychologist to GANDANGARA Aboriginal Medical Service. But she is also a mother of two, a singer, a songwriter and a photographer. In her words, she loves to “absorb all the richness, contrast, absurdity and beauty life has to offer.”

You can check out her photo work at xela-z.com

Favourite place to shop…

My favourite places to shop are generally markets but I love a colourful vintage store drenched in old time goodness. I like Grand Days on William Street in Sydney for books, jewellery and clothes, and Route 66 is always fun and the place to go for some denim.

Online or instore shopping? 

I do shop online.. but I will never stop in-store shopping. Talking with shop owners, the ability to touch fabrics and just take in the store vibe, makes in-store shopping way more pleasurable.

Last vintage purchase?

I think it was a sexy black dress from bams & ted actually! Asymmetric shoulder straps, very demure. Feels classic to me… I’d like to wear it to do a show in, bluesily singing into an old vintage microphone.

The one that got away…

My grandma used to have a large hat box with beautiful and embellished hats that she wore from 1930s – 1960’s. Unfortunately, after she passed away it’s uncertain where they have ended up.

I can’t think of anything I’ve been tormented about not snatching up but recently I did miss out on getting an artwork by India Mark that I really wanted.

Do you collect anything?

I have a sizeable hat collection. My grandma’s collection made an indelible impression on me. Maybe collecting is my way of staying connected to her, and a way of trying to reclaim what was lost!

Style icon?

My style has been influenced by film, fashion, music and art.

I love the style of Catherine Baba. The way Loulou de la Falaise wore jewels. Zouzou in Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon. The costumes and stylistic vision in Fellini’s Juliette of the Spirits. Rita Hayworth in Gilda and Hollywood costumes. The beauty and glamour as per Serge Lutens and In Erte’s drawings. The attitude and freshness of street in Wild Style. The punk and new wave romantic fashion in Liquid Sky and Derek Jarman’s Jubilee. The effortless cool in Jim Jarmusch’s films… Patti Smith… I could go on!

And my Mum of course, who has impeccable personal style.

Liquid Sky film still


What film can you watch over and over?

Céline et Julie vont en bateau by Jacques Rivette or Beat Street

Beat Street film still


Last book you couldn’t put down?

Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater’s Thought Forms written circa 1901. I’m also very excited to start reading Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta and to learn more about the wisdom and perspective of our First Nations people and how we can apply this understanding in order to really live sustainably.

Words to live by…

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

“Self-mastery, maturity and wisdom are defined by our ability to hold the tension between opposites.” — Louis Herman

“Perhaps its not where we are going but just that we go.” — Patti Smith