Discover Brisbane Through Fashion: Fashion on Stradbroke Island


Part of WONDERMIKA’s Discovering Brisbane Through Fashion project is this fabulous fashion shoot featuring gracious model Amanda Vietheer. The Brisbane beauty is the star is this fashion spread set against beautiful Stradbroke Island. Photographer Steve Bull captures the beautiful collection featuring brands from Queen Street, Brisbane, itself, edited and styled by Wondermika editor Mel Kamaruddin. This spread pays homage to local names like Sheike, Designer Archives and Pigeonhole which are available at the Wintergarden mall. Amanda’s minimalist look is done by talented makeup artiste and hairstylist Maria Rivera who has years of makeup artistry under her belt.

The purpose of this shoot was to bring together a pool of talented people in Brisbane and to collaborate in producing quality fashion images. With fashion magazines mostly in Melbourne and Sydney, rarely do we hear editorial shoots being done with a Brisbane fashion crew. Therefore, it has been the personal goal of all of us here at WONDERMIKA to help you discover Brisbane through fashion. The truth is, there is an embarrassment of riches here when it comes to talent. Now, the only way forward is to keep on discovering them.

Read on for the journey of this all-Brisbane fashion crew.

Wintergarden_LowRes_credited-09  Wintergarden_LowRes_credited-14

Jacket, top and skirt, all from Sheike.



The fashion shoot diary –  A recollection by fashion stylist Mel Kamaruddin

A ride on the ferry

We gather at Cleveland early in the morning to catch a ferry to Stradbroke Island. The ferry ride takes around 30 minutes. As we make our way to the island, we spot two dolphins jumping playfully around the ferry. What a sight to behold. Photographer Steve Bull is transporting his 4×4 as we will need a vehicle to carry shooting equipment, outfits and of course the crew. The spot where we are shooting is very far to go on foot, so Steve’s ride is important.

We’re here on Stradbroke Island. The jetty looks very simple. No stalls or many tourists like you would expect in Bali or Phuket. Stradbroke Island is pretty much mainly a private home to the islanders. There is a bus that you can catch from the jetty. You can pay on board the bus and it takes you around the island with stops in between.

On the way to the shoot, we see some ice cream parlours and cafes. 20 minutes on the winding road, we reach the destination. Now, none of us have been here at this spot. It is revealed to us by Nick, Steve’s long time friend and assistant for the day.

As we approach the beach, we are overwhelmed by how expansive it is. Truly breathtaking.

Steve and Nick  are getting the equipment ready. While that happens, Maria does the makeup on Amanda. She had already prepped her skin in the car so now it’s all about the foundation and colours.

The makeup and hair

Maria and I discuss about the look for the shoot. We both agree that a slicked up hair would be best to suit the outfits and given that it is an extremely windy and sandy day. Maria gives Amanda a barely there makeup look. Trust me, to do ‘barely there’ needs a lot of effort. We are doing defined brows and a silver eyeliner to match the outfits. A look that we wanted edgy but wearable by real women. Amanda’s lips are kept nude to balance the eye makeup and cheek contouring. Maria does an amazing job keeping the hair in place and the makeup look natural and at the same times helps me with the outfits willingly!


The styling

I loved the juxtaposition between the natural beauty of Stradbroke Island and the urban edgy of the outfits. All of the clothes that I’ve curated for this shoot are carefully transported using a waterproof trunk to avoid any damages. Damages are the biggest worry of any stylist! Amanda changes on the beach with Steve and Nick looking away. The beach is really quiet with no other human in sight. I clip the skirt and top to fit Amanda’s figure perfectly. Clips wrapped with tissue makes the best tool to hold things in place. The location is super windy and I find myself adjusting the jacket and top on Amanda a few times. Steve shoots and the images tether to an Ipad where I look at them and give feedback to both photographer and model. Amanda is a great model. She gets it real quick and understands briefs really fabulously.


The shoot

Steve is a calm and knowledgeable photographer. Not a diva at all. He has this natural artistic lens built within him and can visualise things amazingly. You’ll see from the shots itself.  Steve clicks away and every now and then stops for a quick check with myself and the model. Steve is one of those photographers who takes suggestions positively and shares is feedback to get the best pictures possible. Nick keeps us on track with the time as we’ll need to catch the last ferry back to mainland. He’s now telling that we have to wrap up or miss the ferry.


Back in the city

The shoot is over. I’ve returned all the clothes. We’re relieved but also anxious. I’ve only seen the thumbnails and the not the real deal. Every stylist gets jittery at this stage! Then Steve sends me the full res images and that’s when I go ‘phew!’

I’d like to personally thank Chris Reid of Sequel PR who really took a chance with me and this shoot. Special thanks also to Karin Wong, Sequel PR, the Wintergarden Queen Street Mall and all the retailers who willingly loaned the items to us.

Last but not least, a big thank you to Brisbane’s finest fashion crew Steve and Maria as well as model of the day, Amanda.



For those of you who would like to explore Stradbroke Island, click here for more info.

Please note that all editorial/commercial shoots on the island will need prior approval.