The van decision


For some years now I have been working as a stylist, I LOVE my job.

I had worked previously as an advertising art director and had varying degrees of success but some how never felt that it was really me. Finally one day I decided enough was enough and I summoned up the courage to investigate my options, the looming fear of working for little or no cash was a very real and scary probability but I had decided that that was what I wanted to do and I figured that I’d regret not even trying. I started by taking a few courses at the local fashion college and discovered that there were quite a few similarities between styling and art direction, they are both about creating a look or a mood for something whether its a brand, person or event or all 3.

Armed with this knowledge I set about pestering any photographers that I knew for opportunities to style for them, the first brief came through from the amazingly talented and now good friend Jonathan May. The brief “A dwarf dressed in three Musketeer style outfit riding a great dane into battle”. I said ‘yes’ straight away, then thought how the hell am I going to do this, in hindsight was the best brief ever as it totally threw me into the deep end and I was hooked.

Now what has this got to do with buying a van? Well, the dwarf shoot led to another styling opportunity and then another and so on and so on, then I found myself styling windows for shops and events and the props were getting bigger and bigger – my little soft top Jeep Wrangler just wasn’t cutting it, so I was borrowing my boyfriends prized V8 Diesel Range Rover Sport – this was fine until I dropped props on it, scraped the inside window with the head of my steamer and scored the side of it whilst distracted at having a little person as my passenger, his response ‘can you buy yourself a van’ my response ‘ I’m not a f#@king trade!!’ so I scoured the market place for a new set of wheels. I love the Landrover Defender and test drove a couple and researched parking laws in NSW specifically parking in loading zones and figured if I bought the long wheel base version I could park in a loading zone – this is necessary as a lot of the fashion houses are in the city and parking close by is tricky, trying to lug 8 x boxes of shoes and 4 x suits from Prada across Martin Place isn’t easy when you are parked in an underground car park half a kilometre away, the only issue is the Defender isn’t a city vehicle and I whilst I was doing location shoots in the country and various places I also need a vehicle that I could easily drive and park in city traffic.

Next I investigated a Toyota Prado and contacted an automotive engineer about ripping out the back seats to make it a goods vehicle and re-registering it, hmmm too hard & expensive & not guaranteed that I would achieve goods vehicle status, plus I wanted to insert a rail in the back so I could hang clothes for shoots and it didn’t really have the height I wanted due to the spare wheel jutting up in the boot space. So the car debate continued in my head and on

Whilst looking at other options, possibly the Mitsubishi Pajero even a Toyota Hilux I was styling another window and an event, this time I was buying vintage fireplaces, industrial speakers, vintage ladders and various other bits and pieces and trying to squeeze them into my Jeep, I found by putting the passenger seat down and taking out the back seats I had a little more room – however, I scraped my glove box with a ladder and barely could see out of my car driving home, my boyfriends words ‘buy a van’ ringing in my ears, as much as I hated to admit itI realised he had a very valid point.

Three days later I was the proud owner of a Pearlised Black VW TDi Transporter.

My van at Barloworld Volkswagen

My van at Barloworld Volkswagen