The French films and artists that shaped one of Australia’s most influential bloggers

Text: Yeong Sassall

To kick off the new year in style, Chandon invited four influencers to share their secrets for fusing the best of French and Australian fashion, beauty, design and culture

Badlands Journal founder Talisa Sutton joined Sara Crampton from Harper and Harley, Sibella Court from The Society Inc. and Kiara King from Lion in the Wild to celebrate all things French-Australian chic. The event was inspired by Chandon, which is a fusion of French heritage and Australian innovation. It was founded by French Champagne house Moët & Chandon and makes quality Australian sparkling wines in the Yarra Valley, using the same method used for Champagne.

Sutton has built a career around her enviable style, which, as a Sydney-based Francophile, is equal parts casual Australian chic and refined French elegance.

Check out the video above to hear about the French films and artists that inspire her, and read on for more.

What sparked your love of French culture and arts?
I was doing a Fine Arts degree, and as part of that I took a class in French film. I've always been drawn to the French new wave, and this particular class made me realise I wanted to pursue French studies further. I then changed over to a double degree in Arts (French studies) and Fine Arts (painting and drawing), but I only completed one semester before leaving to take a full-time position. I would still love to live and study in Paris at some point.

How often do you go to France and what keeps drawing you back there?
I usually visit Paris once or twice a year. I'm drawn in by the style, culture, food and architecture. No matter how many times I visit, there's always something new to discover, and I love experiencing my favourite parts of the city in different seasons, or with new friends or members of my family. On my last trip, my brother and his girlfriend came with us to Paris for the first time and it was such a joy taking them to the places I first fell in love with six years ago.

Are there any French films you've been particularly inspired by, and how have they influenced your work?
I absolutely love Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (À Bout de Souffle) and Contempt (Le Mépris). In terms of influence or style, I think it has more to do with the overall feeling or visual language of the films, particularly from a graphic point of view - that step-roofed house in Capri from Contempt is amazing, and the way it's shot is visually very interesting. I also love Anna Karina in everything; she was Jean-Luc Godard's muse and always brought her unique charisma and sense of style to their films.

Who are your favourite French artists and how have they influenced your work?
I'm inspired by the work of the impressionists and post-impressionists - a few of my favourites are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Seurat, Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Edgar Degas. During my art studies, I was inspired by the way they were able to capture their subjects and surroundings, and that they were constantly experimenting with their style and direction. A lot of these portraits, still lifes and landscapes paint a romantic, yet realistic, look at life at 19th century France. 

Are there any Australian artists you've been particularly inspired by, and how have they influenced your style or work?
I'm a big fan of Caroline Walls' paintings, I recently acquired a work from her Sydney show, and I can't wait to hang it at home. Australian art is very inspiring in its freedom and creativity, we tend to experiment a lot here, and draw from both local and international influences. I also love the work of Dane Lovett, Abbey McCulloch and Del Kathryn Barton. They all have their own distinct style and approach to creating.

How would you sum up the French and Australian influences on your work and style?
My style can be quite relaxed, which I feel is a very Australian approach to style. I also love refined, classic pieces in my wardrobe, and a touch of femininity, which is definitely inspired by my travels, and a few favourite French films.

Did you know that Chandon was founded by French Champagne house Moët & Chandon, but makes sparkling wines in Australia?
I did! I love learning about the process of winemaking, and it's great Chandon is Australian-made, but French inspired (like me!). Both Australia and France are lucky to have the beautiful landscapes to support vineyards, and produce excellent wine. The benefit of this combination is being able to enjoy one of my French favourites, knowing it has been produced locally, using Australian-grown grapes. A fusion of two of my favourite places!

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The French films and artists that shaped one of Australia’s most influential bloggers (фото 1)

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