Catherine Baba: dress up!


j'adore the theatre, of fashion – i love to be bold with it

Photograph by Candice Lake

“Decadent” seems to be an all too easy way to sum up Catherine Baba’s personal style, yet her life is filled with red carpet moments, no matter how banal the situation. The Australian-born, Paris-based stylist has an excessive viewpoint that allows for turbans, kimonos and cat-suits by day. Her flamboyance is further fueled by an otherwordly sense of drama – Baba counts artists such as Lucas Cranach, Jean Cocteau, Manray, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol as favourites, she commutes by bicycle and heels and preps for a night on the town by listening to Grace Jones on repeat. Herewith, Baba’s tips for dressing without fear, and the top ten films she recommends you study up on beforehand.

The well-styled films that inspire her:                                                      1. The Women, 1939
2. Puzzle Of A Downfall Child, 1970
3. Last Year at Marienbad, 1961
4. Boom!, 1968
5. L'Atlantide, 1921
6. Orlando, 1992
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961
8. Cabaret, 1972
9. Dangerous Liaisons, 1988
10. Play Girl, 1940

Her red-carpet essentials: I love Guerlain’s Rouge G Jewel Lipstick Compact, in #21 Gala, and Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in #2, a vial of White Onyx, NARS pressed powder, in Corfu, for my eyes and sweet almond oil, which I use everyday. I also j’adore Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium fragrance.

Her favourite designers: I love how Elsa Schiaparelli embraced art and fashion, also Madame Grés for her draping and precision. Monsieur Saint Laurent has always been a favourite for his love of women, theatre, art and colour and I love Azzedine Alaïa for his engineering, precision and aerodynamic appreciation of the female body. More recently, Alber Elbaz for his timelessness.

And on a Sunday afternoon, we would most likely find her: At the markets, with friends or in my bed reading and recovering. It depends on the weather, the city and my current state of humour.

Image above, clockwise from top left, Baba's favourite celluloid moments: Puzzle Of A Downfall Child starring Faye Dunaway; Elizabeth Taylor in Boom!; Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s; The Women starring Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell; Cabaret's Liza Minelli; Uma Thurman, John Malkovich and Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons. Images courtesy of Austral Press