Text Bridgette Hungerford Images Sari deMallory
Sari deMallory and Joshua Petherick are the owners of Melbourne-based independent book service, World Food Books (WFB). Since 2010, the duo have been presenting intellectuals and creatives alike with a comprehensive accumulation of art journals, contemporary publications and rare out-of-print books. World Food Books stocks titles in fashion, architecture, theory, as well as interior and graphic design. BITE recently spoke to co-owner Sari to learn more about the business.
So Sari, tell us a little about World Food Books. What was the inspiration to start such a niche bookstore?
Travel! We would travel overseas and discover bookstores and it was just such an experience. We would bring it all home, and look through all these incredible books and want to share it with people, but it sort of seemed ridiculous that this wasn’t available to anyone here. We would just be sitting on our hands in Australia waiting to go overseas to get some more books! Initially, Joshua was planning to start the bookstore in the foyer of his then Mitchell House studio, but it never really happened. It came together a little later in the form of a trolley at the Y3K gallery in Fitzroy where Josh and I both had studios. It was a real experiment in that space, just to put it there. We were all working very closely with the gallery then, spending a lot of time there. The WFB trolley was there for two years. When the studios and the gallery closed in 2011, by chance a space in the Nicholson Building came up through our friend Warren Taylor, who used to run The Narrows, and the bookstore organically grew together.
Where do you find most of the rare books and collectors items WFB specializes in?
Joshua is completely obsessed with finding and trawling through second-hand bookstores when we are overseas. When we were in Japan recently a friend of ours told us about this fashion movement in Tokyo in the 80s where particular design books became a fashion accessory, simply by placing the book under your arm as part of your outfit. It became such a phenomenon that bookstores were hard-pressed to keep up with the demand! Quite incredible, but it would account for some of World Food Books’ most wonderful, rare book discoveries.
Where are a few of your favorite places in Melbourne for those who haven’t been?
I love picking up a hand-packed picnic from the Stables of Como in South Yarra, and nestling up in a sunny spot among flowers in their gardens with Josh and a Jack Vance book. The Royal Botanical Gardens are just a few steps from our apartment, and is so hard to resist on a warm afternoon. Centre for Style in Fitzroy is a favourite store that showcases emerging and experimental contemporary fashion practice from both Australia and overseas. It also hosts exhibitions that present new types of fashion production and consumption. And, of course, World Food Books, that is housed in the beautiful old Nicholson Building on the corner of Flinders Lane and Swanston Street.
In a perfect world, if you weren’t living in Melbourne where would you be?
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania.
What was one of the first songs, films or artworks that really stuck with you?
One of the first films I can remember really sticking with me is Daisies by Věra Chytilová. I must have been eight or ten years old. I was flicking through channels on television, and stopped on SBS, which was playing this film about two girls. I remember being totally enthralled by their fashions and their surreal worlds, like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland. It made a huge impression on me at the time, and for years I couldn’t remember the name of the film but I would daydream about the banquet scene. When I eventually came cross it again (through Josh) years later I almost cried and watched it four times in a row. I could watch that film every day for the rest of my life!
Images Anders Haal FW 14 Text Hung Tran
Swedish-born designer Anders Haal launched his womenswear and eyewear label in October 2013. After graduating from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, he worked with Ann-Sofie Back and became her long-time first designer. Anders is influenced by surf, sports and subversive iconography. BITE recently spoke to Anders Haal about his current collection–a site of cultural clash and realism.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your current collection.
I wanted to work with the concept of freedom with a lifestyle approach, and the collection turned into a collage of different references and contexts. I wanted the products to create a story together, but let the wearer fill in the gaps. Putting together a leather trench coat with a peace sign towel and a pair of aviators, for example. I was tired of what was going on in the market, since everything has been extremely streamlined for a long time.
You’ve stated that fashion is sexual liberation. In what way? And from what has it freed you?
[laughs] I’m not sure fashion has freed me, but perhaps it could, in the way sex is close to your primitive self. It was a liberation to come to fashion in the beginning. Designing your world can be a very sexy concept.
Coming from a background in photography and film, how has fashion—which is a relatively static art form—changed the way you consider light, colour and movement?
In many ways I would say that fashion is the opposite of static, at least in the way I choose to work: visually and conceptually. All these things come together as whole. I don’t think fashion made me different, I can´t see how.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been told? And the worst?
The best advice I’ve heard is to be happy, but never satisfied. And the worst? I can’t remember.
Where would the HAAL girl be on a Saturday night?
It’s up to her, depending on her mood and desires. Perhaps in a club, or at home, or on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere.
Where do you see yourself in five hours, in five months, and in five years?
Maybe not in five hours, but you might see me taking a bigger step in the same direction. In five months I will release my new collection and hit stores. In five years I want to continue working with people I like, that feel relevant for HAAL, and my visions about the project will develop continuously as we go.
Photography Mariona Vilarós Styling Nickque Patterson Makeup Mai Kodama using MAC Hair Fumihito Maehara Model Robin Laird (M+P Models) Location London
21 year-old Robin Laird’s greatest passion lies behind the lens. “I remember the day I took my first photo when I was 8. I placed some fruit in what I thought to be a very artistic arrangement and went crazy with a cheap point and shoot. I remember this so well because it’s when I first realized that people actually do this extremely fun and exciting activity for a living! I’ve been hooked ever since.” Set to take on Spanish as her third language – apart from English and Dutch – the fresh faced 5’11 beauty is lensed by Mariona Vilaros in London.
What is one shocking thing that you’ve heard or been told about yourself?
My cousin once told me that I have the voice of a squeaky male cartoon character, which I clearly never forgot! I guess it’s a good thing I’m modelling then.. haha
Did you have a model crush growing up?
I didn’t follow fashion much when I was young. I actually liked when I didn’t know who models were because then their anonymity mades them more relatable. But now that I am older and do follow fashion, I will admit that I have a HUGE girl crush on Cameron Russell. I fell in love with her after I saw her incredible TED talk on the modeling industry. She just seems like such an intellectual and I am a real sucker for a beauty with brains.
If you could only eat 3 things in your entire lifetime, what would they be?
Definitely smoked salmon–it’s absolutely delicious at ANY time of day and compliments so many foods! I am also a big avocado lover. But probably the weirdest food preference I have is that I LOVE sauces and condiments! So I don’t know if that counts, but I definitely could eat sauces forever. As long as I have a good sauce, dressing, dip, or spread, I can literally eat anything! My dad is the exact same way. People always ask us if we want salad with our dressing or bread with our peanut butter, because we just love to pile it on.
Do you have tattoos? If not, what would you get and why?
I don’t have any tattoos. For now, I can’t think of a single thing that I am sure I would want on my body for the rest of my life. But if I did get one, I would want it to serve as a reminder to live presently. We are constantly preoccupied with other tasks and thoughts, living distracted lives. I try to work against this by reminding myself to enjoy the sensations of single moments in time: the sounds, the smells, the company. So I think I would want my hypothetical tattoo to reflect this ideology.
What would you say to someone you miss at the moment?
I would tell my sister that I love her and remind her not to let her own perception of who people expect her to be, keep her from following her passions. Be your own person, baby! xo