Katrina Israel - Fashion Features Director at Harper’s BAZAAR Australia
Katrina Israel is the Fashion Features Director at Harper’s BAZAAR Australia and moved back to Sydney after having worked at Evening Standard Magazine, Wallpaper* and RUSSH magazine in London and contributed to numerous fashion and lifestyle titles including Time, The Telegraph, WSJ, Elle and Vogue Australia.
She shares with us the positive things she will take from the lockdown, how she plans to celebrate Mother’s Day and what she carries in her favourite DeMellier bag, the Montreal.
Inside Katrina Israel's DeMellier
Where are you based at the moment and how is your daily life being affected by the pandemic?
I moved back to Sydney, Australia in November last year after 10 years in London. I feel very lucky to be 'closer' to family at this uncertain time. However, my heart breaks for what my friends and colleagues are experiencing in London. So far our lockdown isn't as extreme as the UK, but then we still have winter ahead of us so caution is of the utmost importance.
What are the positive things you think you will take from this experience?
A true respect for maintaining good health and the selflessness of the people at the forefront of this field. We've also experienced a renewed sense of local community. For so long we barely knew our neighbours and now the people over the fence have become friends from afar- it's like reverting back to my grandmother's time, where you brought your kids up with your neighbours rather than rushing past them. I'm also liking the low key market stalls that have popped up outside restaurants that have been otherwise closed, as this industry pivots to survive. Again it feels so authentic. Like we got caught up in a lot of branding and now it's just like 'we make great bread' and they do, so you buy it.
What is the first thing you will do when you are able to get your normal life back?
Lie on the sand or picnic in the park. We are still allowed outside here, but we have to be on the move, which isn't always easy with small kids.
It is soon Mother's Day in Australia - what are your plans to celebrate it in the current context?
Definitely gift deliveries for my mum and mothers in law. It's funny how much someone leaving a bunch of flowers on your doorstep or a slice of homemade cake really lifts your mood.
In my DeMellier
The perfect bag for me is one that can take all my daily work essentials plus emergency kids snacks on the weekends without having to do a repack, and the Montreal is just that. Having twin toddlers I also love that it goes cross-body for when I have little hands to hold.
I’m usually doing this en route to meetings as it is somehow calmer than trying to apply with little people holding onto your knees in anticipation that you are leaving. So I keep it simple: Irene Forte pistachio lip balm, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Bare Minerals Tinted Hydrating Cream, Chanel powder blush in Angelique and NARS Wonder lip gloss - orange tones work best on me for day. Also in the mix: my monogrammed Byredo leather-clad, travel size Gypsy Water fragrance.
I still like a hard copy diary for physical appointments, and as handbags have gotten smaller, so too has my diary. I’m now down to the most petite Smythson Wafer that comes with a retractable pencil to avoid pen marks in my bags. Each year I get a different colour and the brighter the better so it’s always easy to find. For the same reason I ditched carrying a wallet years ago and now keep my cards in a leather card holder that easily fits into clutches for evening bag changes at work. I’m currently using a 2.55 Chanel one. My twins like to play with AirPods cases a little too much so I’ve reverted back to old school headphones, and then there’s always a hair barrette - my current favourite is by Completed Works.
My Other Companions
I always have a few Jasmine Pearls TeaPigs tea bags with me - I don’t drink coffee so this is my caffeine hit. And I usually have a KeepCup in my hand - I’ve tried them all and this Aussie brand with the cork grip is the only one that doesn’t burn your hands when you make boiling tea to-go.
Also in my bag: my self-cleaning LARQ water purification bottle (It uses UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants and you just simply charge it like your phone), and classic tortoiseshell Oliver Peoples frames.