Industry diaries: every single item a stylist buys in a week

Illustration by Twylamae
Words by Jade Leung

Hey big spender.

Ever wondered what a stylist spends their money on? Or how many proseccos you can buy in seven days?

In our new column ‘Industry diaries’ we ask people working in the fashion and creative industries to share how they spend their money across the course of a week.

First up, stylist Jade Leung takes us through how she spends her hard-earned.


I head off on my morning walk – to get coffee ($4).  OHHHHH PASTRIES.  I grab a chocolate croissant ($4.50) to eat on the run today.

It’s going to be a big day of running/driving around, with my week packed full of shoots. Rose Chong is my first stop, before my other five stops around Melbourne. I leave Rose Chong two hours later and $389 poorer. Something tells me this is gearing up to be yet another, big spend week.

Yep, petrol light comes on. Filling up is the BAIN of my existence.  But, it’s got to be done. There goes $40.

By about 6pm I’ve finally completed my errands for the day and get to take my stuffed-to-the-brim tiny car home and begin the laborious, glamorous task that is unpacking. My studio now looks like a Zara store at the end of trade, but I am FINISHED for the day! The smell of dinner being cooked begins to permeate through the house, and I go to the glowing beacon around the corner (Bottlemart) to contribute to dinner duties for (some of) the week’s wine pairings ($70).

Prosecco x 1.  Merlot x 1.  Boulder Canyon olive oil chips x 1.

Total daily spend: $507.50 – WOW IT’S ONLY MONDAY.



I buy a morning coffee ($4) before driving to my photoshoot location. Today is hopefully going to be a low spend day – as long as I manage to move my car all day and avoid a parking ticket while on location. Lunch is also provided on set today (hello savings).

Successful and stressful day on location with four different models to dress, but that’s a wrap! AND also a high five to myself for not getting a parking ticket.

This calls for celebrations.  It’s my first oyster(s) for the week. A dozen should do it ($60) along with three knockoff drinks ($21).

Oyster count: 12
Prosecco count:
one bottle + three glasses
Total daily spend: 



Morning coffee ($4).  This time I resist a breakfast pastry, but also bank on the fact that there’ll be breakfast catering on set.

Okay, so I haven’t eaten bircher muesli in about a decade.  It is sugary and delicious, but am very much wishing I’d just got that pastry.

Again, low spend day on set. Catered Jimmy Grants for lunch!

Today sees me on set with an amazingly fun, relaxing and hilarious team.  We are all here to recreate Vivienne Westwood, in all her flaming hair and punked out glory.  Some leftover tattoo transfers end up on my neck, which I Instagram storied, to result some overwhelming responses.

On my way home I stop into Deans Art for some coloured paper boards ($20.71) – getting my crafty duties on for tomorrow’s shoot. I get to work on some paper folding/paper crafting (see attached pic for results).

Time to head to our friend’s house for dinner.  As always, I’m in charge of the prosecco ($21).  We stop to pick up some ingredients for my boyfriend Kieran to make a rather MasterChef-inspired dessert ($14) – I’d attach videos of proof but George Calombaris will probably get offended at how great some of the impersonations were.  And yes, we stopped into a Coles.

Oyster count: 12
Prosecco count: two bottles + three glasses
Total daily spend: $59.71



Yesterday’s gamble with breakfast has me playing it safe this morning – I pick up a coffee and chocolate croissant ($8.50) before heading to my shoot for the day.

Shooting an editorial today, the lead up to this one has been like a rollercoaster of emotions.  There are a few familiar faces on set which helps ease the tension.

My paper-made flower corsages and bows are a hit! Lunch provided again.

We wrap up our three models and eight looks. I pack the 50 billion items I’ve sourced for the shoot to then repack into my car, which I then have to unpack into the house.  My studio upgrades from Zara at the end of trade, to David Jones at the end of Boxing Day sales.

I have a friend’s art launch tonight, so head to Napier Quarter in Fitzroy to wind down after the unpack. Oysters. Bubbles. Chats. Pretty standard ($30).

The art opening is heaving.  I do a couple laps, see my friend’s piece and head for quieter territory. I then wander into Dingo’s for a post ART CROWD drink ($27), then off to a Turkish restaurant to soak up all the art boozing ($48).

Oyster count: 14
Prosecco count: two bottles + six glasses
Total daily spend: $113.50



After a week of early starts, I decided to shake things up a bit and walk to a different gluten shop! Babka for some pastries and a focaccia loaf ($13).  I speed home to meet the smoke detector inspector.

Inspector is ACTUALLY on time! Once he’s gone, I walk to the cafe for morning coffee.  I feel a light spitting of rain.  Reach the corner to find the cafe closed today.  The spitting becomes a heavy pouring of rain. The next closest cafe is 200 metres away. INCONVENIENT! But I do it.

I head back home so I can enjoy my raindrop-filled long black ($4) and start packing the weeks’ worth of returns. They equate to seven drop-off returns and $144.03 worth of Australia Post returns.

I have a special lunch date today with the gorgeous Jordan Drysdale.  We’re long overdue for a catch-up and shoot together. We have our scheme session over lunch at Addict ($22.90).

OOPS! That went longer than planned. Dart home to complete the rest of the returns.

I finish up well past peak hour with my last stop with P.A.M.  The brand’s pre-order night for SS19 Strange Loops collection is next week.  We chat catering.

Finally I head home. Feet up and done for the day!  Have a snooze before late dinner at Arlechin, where I stupidly keep ordering prosecco by the glass. It’s safe to say at this point, I have lost count. I’m just going to leave it as one bottle ($130).

Oyster count: 14
Prosecco count: three bottles + six glasses
Total daily spend: $313.93



Saturdays are always my day to catch up on NOT spending. Here’s how that goes:

  • Morning coffee before work ($4)
  • Ohhhh, a new long plaid virgin wool coat! I LOVE!
  • Matcha Koicha latte from Kyo Tea House during my lunch break ($5).
  • Mayyyyyy have put the coat on layby… ($150)

I finish work and go straight to my sister’s house for family dinner.  Thankfully, my brother-in-law has a wine cellar…conveniently full of prosecco. It’s a long family dinner, plus it’s the weekend… who’s counting right?

Oyster count: 14
Prosecco count: three bottles + nine glasses
Total daily spend: $159



This morning’s coffee is over brunch at Cumulus Inc ($48).  As is this morning’s first prosecco. There’s no point catching up on a Sunday morning unless you do it right!

We finish brunch and take our friend, who is in town from Hobart, for a bit of a shop before I bid my farewells and meet Kieran at the Vic Markets.  I buy some flowers, feeling very happy to be doing normal Sunday people activities ($26).

Kieran can’t find a park so after waiting on Elizabeth Street, he eventually gives up.  We decide to try South Melbourne Market instead.

We (as in Keiran) get some deli goods, herbs and veggies. He also gets a South Melbourne dimmy (LOL) and we head home.

Kieran puts dinner on (it’s a slow-cooked ham hock soup) before we head out to meet a friend at Napier Quarter for a catch-up.  We both eat oysters.  There’s some steak tartare.  Most importantly it’s topped with homemade crisps.  I focus on the other bowl of crisps put down separately in front of me ($80).

We create some room in our full bellies on the stroll home and settle for a warm night in.  Great end to a big week.

Oyster count: 16
Prosecco count: three bottles + 14 glasses
Total daily spend: $154

Total weekly spend: $1,393.64

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