The Storyteller

The mother and design virtuoso behind Binny talks of past lives (the designer got her start at Playboy!), her current inspirations, and visions for the future.
Where do you call home? 
I spend most of my time now in Adelaide where Binny HQ is based. But home for me is the farm- an old stone cottage overlooking a lake. I get back as often as possible and do all my designing there. It is 20 minutes to the Coorong National Park (Storm Boy country) and 20 minutes to my parent's horse stud where I grew up. I wake up to kangaroos, pelicans flying over and the smell of salt in the air. I could not love it anymore. I spent nearly 20 years away in Melbourne and Sydney I feel like I was on another planet.
Have you always been a designer? 
No. I never really knew what I wanted to do although I have always been very creative. I deferred my Arts/Law degree, somehow fell into a chefs apprenticeship, dabbled in wine marketing, many other things in between & then through a boyfriend at the time who was a designer got into fashion.
My first design job was launching Playboy bikinis into Australia and convincing Hugh Hefner's daughter they needed a liberty style floral print with bunny heads in their international style guide. (She drawled back at me ‘But Binny it needs the bling, where is the bling!!') My finest moment was getting the front cover and a 10 page spread of the Girls of the Playboy Mansion in all my bikini in UK Hello. It was such a ridiculously fun, funny job.
I laugh at the ridiculous route I have taken. Although I did use to wear my Sass & Bides cheffing well before they were famous and read Vogues religiously on my breaks.
What was the last great book you read?  
Tim Winton's ‘Shepherds Hut’ was brilliant. ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover: absolutely outstanding.
What would we find on your playlist in your studio/office?
An uncool playlist I used to sing to Ollie when I was trying to make him sleep in the pram. Back in the days I used to have spare time to make a playlist.
John Denver, Xavier Rudd, Ben Harper, Bossa Nova then this slides into Peter Coombes Greatest Hits for some upbeat tracks to get the office pumped! Ha !
If you weren’t creating beautiful clothing what would we find you doing?
I love interior design. I have stacks of Architectural Digest everywhere. My dream is to turn the farm into an eco tourism high-end retreat, but might need to keep making dresses for a while yet.
Dream holiday destination? 
I've been to Brazil so many times but am still yet to get to Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil. (My son is half Brazilian)
Also, Le Sirenuse, Positano.
If an out of towner was visiting you where would you take them?
Mclaren Vale Cellar Doors then lunch at the incredible Star of Greece overlooking a shipwreck, the purest pale blue water and ridiculously epic coastal views.
What are you currently coveting?
A vintage Rolex.
Describe your style in 3 words. 
Eclectic, casual, colour.
Favourite Instagram feeds? 
@cutterbrooksshop makes me faint with happiness.
@moppypilcher @romainveillon @thecoolhunter_
Do you collect anything and if so what? 
Art. Since 17 on my first overseas trip and so many since, I have always made a point to buy something. Old posters, craft markets, beautiful embroideries from Mexico, India, Brazil, Bali.
Summer or winter?  
Hmmm an even split.
Now I am back in South Australia winter on the farm with gumboots & open fires, collecting & stacking wood. Such simple pleasures.
But S. A beaches! When I’m in town I go to the same city beach every morning with my two dogs who go mad, I swim in crystal blue water with Ollie looking at fish, we park right in front of the steps, dolphins often swim past, then we have breakie in a super cute old school café. It’s so incredibly peaceful & special after the years of mayhem of postcode 2026.
Favourite Restaurant/Cafe? 
At this point in time it is my local café which serves delicious healthy food. More importantly the kid's food that comes out within seconds of seating and has heaps of space & toys. That for me is dining heaven right now. Sadly, as an ex chef I have a deep love of fine dining but I am still recovering from a surprise birthday degustation at Brae and trying to hide my horrendous morning sickness.
What takes your breath away? 
Looking at my son's sleeping face. When there are hares playing on my front lawn in the sea mist that rolls over the farm in the mornings. When I find a fabric, idea, vintage piece that I know is really special for my collection.
Favourite Australian product.... 
This is so hard! Lucy Folk jewellery is so fun and clever. I used to share my office behind Aquabumps and I do love his captures of Sydney life. Aesop. Dinosaur Designs.
Why shop local?
What do we have if we don’t? Hideous shopping malls with zero personality…I am so passionate about this from food, corner shops, boutiques. It is heartbreaking to see so many tiny country towns shutting down, strip shopping is struggling so much.
Do you have a signature scent?  
Byredo Tulip for Day, Nassomatto Nuda for night.
Favourite Artist?  
I just bought myself an Ian Abdullah painting for my birthday. He was a Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal artist which is the local tribe from the area around the farm. I love his work as it reminds me so much of home and I really love so many forms of native style art.
Favourite Cocktail?
Caprinia !
Favourite Flower? 
Dahlias equal first with green hydrangeas.
Use one word to describe Jim & Jane.