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I asked influencer Holly Titheridge if she’s really as polished as we think

Photographer – Sam Wong
Talent – Holly Titheridge
Wearing – Medley Jewellery

What the creative director is like when no one is watching.

For Australian influencer, Holly Titheridge, wearing high end designers while shooting for a major luxury label is a typical Tuesday. A scroll through the creative director’s Instagram will reveal brand partnerships with the likes of Burberry, Hermès, Dior, Céline and Coach. She’s quick to acknowledge how lucky she is to be able to traverse around the world for her work, reminiscing on the time Burberry took her to South Korea, or when Mr Porter flew her Hong Kong.

It’s an impressive list but behind the scenes, Holly’s life is decidedly more simple.

For example, I’m surprised when she tells me she lives in regional Victoria. Originally from Bendigo, she recently moved to Ocean Grove with her partner Shaun, where they’re now building their next home. I’m on loudspeaker as Holly and Shaun are driving home from an early morning photoshoot. They joke that they’ve become so accustomed to the lengthy drives between their beachside home in Ocean Grove and Melbourne that they could do it with their eyes closed.

Perhaps it’s because of the false intimacy Instagram conveys, but I feel like I should have already known where Holly lives. Of course, how could I possibly? For two vivacious and cheerful people who are at ease in front of the camera, it was a surprise to learn they are actually quite introverted.

“We don’t share too much of our personal lives,” says her partner Shaun. “We’re quite reserved and shy people.”

Instead, he explains, the pair use fashion and statement pieces to express themselves. It’s a sentiment I think a lot of us can relate to. Fashion is a powerful tool for self-expression, especially when we take the time to develop our own personal style and start dressing for nobody but ourselves.

It’s this concept of ‘worn for nobody’ that is core value of the local jewellery label, Medley, that Holly has been wearing on set this morning. The brand is the reason why I’m speaking with her and Shaun today, asking them to ‘lift the veil’ and tell me what Holly’s life is like when no one is watching.

Our conversation confirms that Holly might be as perfect as she seems.

She tells me she rarely gets dolled up, but she always likes to feel ‘put together’. While you’ll probably catch her in activewear at the beach, but her style remains consistent, no matter the occasion. At home, she tends to lean towards oversized and relaxed tailoring, finished with statement jewellery like that from Medley.

“I’ll walk around in oversized white shirts [and] relaxed wide-leg pants,” she says. “I love minimalist chunky yellow gold jewellery. I do love a good statement earring as well.”

Out in Ocean Grove, Holly and Shaun try to switch off as much as possible by getting out in nature, going for walks on the beach or going to the gym. Their active lifestyles correspond with Holly’s university degree in health and PE teaching. While those skills may not come in handy on fashion shoots, they definitely feed into the couple’s love of the outdoors.

“I’ve also just taken up surfing!” Holly tells me. “I thought, why not – while I’m by the beach I think I’m expected to.”

“She’s better than me,” chimes in Shaun.

It all sounds quite idyllic but what’s perhaps most enviable about Holly’s lifestyle is that she has a genuine passion for her work.

Since 2013, she’s headed the online fashion and travel publication Base Colour, which acts as a portfolio of the couple’s editorial work and a vehicle for sharing the imagery they create with global luxury brands. Similarly, her own  Instagram feed is nothing short of an editorial portfolio. It’s void of blurry iPhone shots or reposted Pinterest shots; what you’ll find is quality, thoughtful and stylised imagery.

“It was sort of something we did for fun [which then] evolved into a career,” explains Shaun.

“We love what we do, we love our work,” enthuses Holly. “We get to work in a job we genuinely have a passion for.”

Of course, it’s not all luxury brands, fashion weeks and shooting with horses (but yes, there’s that too).

There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes that aren’t so pretty,” Holly admits. “People think it’s just one click of the button and it’s as simple as that… if it looks easy, then we’ve done our job.”

With any creative endeavour, there’s always an element of fear and vulnerability. When you choose to do something different and to pursue a career out of the ordinary, you’re bound to encounter obstacles.

“We’re from regional Victoria, you don’t really see many people out on the street shooting fashion photography,” says Holly.

“We had one shoot over the lockdown period, where Holly was in a full dress halfway up her waist in the water, and people walking on the beach [were] thinking, ‘what are you doing?’,” adds Shaun. “At first, it used to bother us and we were conscious that, ‘oh, people are laughing at us and looking at us,’ but now we’ve been doing it for long enough.”

Holly and Shaun have been together for 10 years now and have worked full-time with one another for around four years. And in that time, they’ve never taken a proper break.

During our phone call, they often finish each other’s sentences, a testament to how well they know each other, both personally and business-wise.

“Working together, we’re always constantly talking about business,” starts Holly, before Shaun chimes in.

“It’s a bit of juggle to [find the balance],” he adds.

“In saying that though, we genuinely love what we do,” continues Holly. “Sometimes we don’t want to switch off.”

“It doesn’t really feel like work half the time,” says Shaun. “I guess that’s why we’ve never really had a break, because we don’t see it as work.”

medleyjewellery.com.au

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