About Me

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I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Melissa Hoyer : HIRED!

I am so chuffed that media personality and fashion expert Melissa Hoyer agreed to an interview!

A woman whose extensive media career has the ability to turn one as ambitious as myself every stylish shade of green with envy!

I have only recently discovered Melissa's blog and straight up I knew I had to talk to her.

When she sent me her CV (I wanted to write a bio as a prequel to the interview) I wrote back to inform her she had the job ...!!!

I only wish I had one to offer her


Highlights include:

* Fashion and style director and columnist on News Limited's Daily and Sunday Telegraph

* Creator, executive producer and presenter of Fox Fashion the first locally produced fashion show on Australian screens - then co-hosting a similar show with Hugh Jackman.

*Hosted Arena Style on Foxtel's Arena, a series she co-hosted with Australian designer Jodhi Meares and has been guest judge on Foxtel fashion reality shows like Project Runway and Australia's Next Top Model.

With her free-air-television and cable TV work, Melissa has interviewed the likes of Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell, Cate Blanchett, Mischa Barton, Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman, Linda Evangelista, Sarah O'Hare and Megan Gale, all for Foxtel, while she was the number one style commentator for the subscription network.

Melissa has also interviewed popular culture figures as diverse as Ian Thorpe, Jennifer Aniston, Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Zoe, Sarah Ferguson, Russell Crowe, Collette Dinnigan, Helena Christensen, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Hawkins, Jade Jagger, Marc Newson, Kylie Minogue, Sophie Dahl.

These were just some of the standouts from her CV - by no means her entire CV - I didn't have enough room!

What credentials!

As I always say (well twice now) - being interviewed here was her next logical step ;-)

Included in the interview with Melissa are the questions readers suggested - thank you.

So here is the interview with Melissa Hoyer proving that Australian Women in the Media are not only incredible movers and shakers but they are extremely down to earth!

What was the riskiest move that you have made in your career to date?

Does it pay to take risks?

Guess the riskiest was leaving the comfort of being an employee for 20 years to going out on my own as a freelance journalist and commentator, early in 2008.

So far, it has been a fantastic career move, opening up so many more opportunities where I can use the ‘brand’ I built for myself in many other avenues.

Online, ambassadorial roles, working for a string of magazines, on more TV shows, as a consultant, the opportunities are now totally endless.

I feel more in control of my life, and am a million times happier not to have to work or deal with people who only want to hammer you!

For somebody to get to your level in the media - what traits should one possess?

You need to be resilient (yep, Teflon-like) and GO WITH WHAT YOU BELIEVE. You cannot be a puppet for an employer, a PR company or a brand as that, in the long run, earns you no respect whatsoever.

You also need to really love what you do and in my case, be extremely open to the ever-changing landscape of the media.

Realise that things changing is so important, so always be prepared to embrace change. It also makes working life interesting, as complacency can set in very easily. I adore diversity and that is exactly what I have now.

Who is Australia's up and coming Style Icon?

In Australia, the chick with the potential X-style factor would have to be the actress Abbie Cornish or the designer Camilla Freeman (of Camilla and Marc fame)

Whose style do you admire most?

I look at those who never try too hard, as those who I admire.
Some who spring to mind are the two Ms Hepburn’s (Audrey and Katharine)’; Australian marie claire style director Jane Roarty; Oz Harper’s Bazaar editor Edwina McCann; French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld; Pink; actors Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep and the film director Jane Campion.

Why is fashion so important to you? Does it really matter what somebody wears?

Fashion, as a tentacle of the popular culture octopus is what I like observing.
I do not give a rats (!) about WHAT someone is wearing (whether it is high, low, cheap, chic) but enjoy seeing how someone puts their own look together.

How we ALL look is a reflection of how we think about ourselves and the older you get the more confident, and therefore more at ease I have certainly become with my own wardrobe choices.

What makes someone stylish?

Style is totally innate.
It’s all about how we put together our own look and not about being a slave to too many fads, top-to-toe designer looks and only expensive labels.

Readers questions:

Do you think it is time Madonna hung up her fishnets? (thanks Paula!)

You know what? No. Sure, there are times when we would all like to say, ‘just cover those arms up Madge’, but you’ve got to admire the dedication she has to retaining a youthful persona even if it is, at times, verging on mutton . . . Let Madonna go on until she’s a hundred I say!

What is 'in' for Mum's this year? (this one is for you Sharna!)

I don’t think we should differentiate ‘mums’ from ‘non-mums’ when it comes to fashion and style. Because a woman has a child or children, doesn’t automatically put her in the uncool basket, but if she isn’t comfortable with, say her arms or a post-babe tummy, cover them up and don’t feel obligated to wear shoestring straps or low-rise jeans because they are decreed to be cool!

Who is the biggest "a-hole" (readers words not mine) you have ever interviewed and why? (this one is yours Quixy)

There was band called Australian Crawl and the lead singer, James Reyne, was hideous when I interviewed him.

He was a smart-arse; condescending and patronising to the point I fled the interviewed, jumped in my car and cried.

The fact I (along with most other 80s teens) used to really fancy him probably had something to do with me not coping with his attitude.

Anyway, since then we have kissed and made-up. Not in the biblical sense, but we bumped it each other at a bar and he admitted how average he had been that particular day.

What is the most ridiculous fashion trend?

Still find a balloon skirt a hard one to take . . . even though I bought a Miu Miu one a few years ago . . .

How have you found a balance (if you have) between motherhood and your career? (all yours Heather)

By not taking everything, or anything, too seriously. Also going out on my own in a career sense has given me a much better perspective on what matters in life. It re-iterated that NONE of us are our jobs. We sit in a seat that is a job title, but you don’t ever take that job ‘title’ with you. It was the most cathartic and wise thing to learn.

I read somewhere that becoming a mother is the 'realest' thing you have ever done. What was the most fake - and what is so real about motherhood?

Motherhood put everything into perspective even though it took me a while. When I first had my son, Connor, I did wrestle with the ‘social’ aspect of my career – the going-out, the parties, the late nights but I got into a workable rhythm and that has pretty much stood the test of time.
As for ‘fakes’, I still indulge in ‘fake’ things every day, from sometimes having eyelash extensions or wearing hair pieces or painting my nails or having my hair collared or having a wax . . but if these are the 'fakest' part of my life, then I am pretty happy!
As far as fake people are concerned, I allowed them in for awhile but certainly don’t let them into my life anymore.

What would your advice be for a no-name writer trying to build a name for themselves?

Offer to write for every magazine, newspaper or website you can, for nothing (initially) and develop a blog and get onto Twitter, pronto. It will be a tough slog but you will get there if you are passionate and keen enough on your subject matter.

and finally... the question on every body's lips....

How hot is Hugh Jackman really? (Quixy - hope this will put an end to your sleepless nights)

I love Huge to death, but HOT I have never found him. Ok, so kill me now!
Because we worked so closely on a fashion series at Foxtel, he, his wife Deborra-lee and I got on so well and I never ever allowed myself to get hooked into the ‘hot’ factor.
To me Hugh was just a great guy who is so genuine, with no agenda or ulterior motives. A real gem!

Another inspirational Australian Media icon - and down to earth Mother - love how this fashion expert really couldn't give a rats!!!


Cheers Melissa -

(ps - I did have the cheek to ask Melissa , after she had already so kindly, answered these questions - what her expert take was on the Cowboy and I's miserable Fashions on the Field attempt.... I'll let you know if she plays along )


  1. Really enjoyed the answers Melissa provided to a series of good questions Sharn. An interesting read, well done to you, and also to Melissa for not being too big headed to reply. It certainly shows that she has plenty of 'style'.
    Her take on James Reyne is a bit like the time you interviewed John Stevens. They both must get a thrill out of exhibiting 'power' and putting interviewers down.
    They have a job to do, but so do you. I'll bet if they (Reyne and Stevens) wanted - or needed - positive publicity the attitude would have been different.

  2. Excellent Sharni! What a great read!

  3. Cool! Great job Sharni, really interesting. I liked that she sees fashion as an extension of popular culture and how it can be an indicator of the type of person you are. And yup, I am totally jazzed that my questions got a look in!! Whoo hoo! :)

  4. wow! fantastic interview-great questions and very considered and informative answers. I met David Reyne once and he was a huge a-hole! haha!

  5. Your interviews are always so cool. Being over here across the pond if you will, I am sure I lose the WOW factor that you Aussie girls share, but they certainly are cool down to earth women to let you blogaview them!

  6. Damn I hate twitter...I have a bunch of followers and the only post I ever put up was "Gee this twitter thing sux". WTF?

    Love your interviews.

  7. I really enjoyed this. Great interview and well done to Melissa for taking part.

  8. Great 'view Sharni. I have so much more respect for her since she took part in this.


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