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Meet The Doyenne of DIY Fashion: Geneva Vanderzeil of A Pair & A Spare

Does the mere mention of a DIY project send you into paroxysms of dread and self-doubt? Do you break out in a cold sweat at the sight of a Home Depot? Take a deep breath, because you’re about to be converted to arts-and-crafts chic faster than you can say, “Hand me that glue gun!”

Meet Geneva Vanderzeil, your new friend, fashion muse and DIY guide all rolled into one. This stylish Aussie—now living in Hong Kong—chronicles her adventures in do-it-yourself fashion over at her blog, A Pair & A Spare. Add to this her weekly column in Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and there’s no doubt about it: Geneva is a fashion fiend who knows her subject matter inside and out. Below, get to know this handy trendsetter a little better…

What inspired you to start your blog?
I have always had a passion for creating clothes and accessories, and while I was living in London I started blogging about my projects. I love connecting with people around the world who are interested in getting creative.

What is your all-time, most-loved DIY project?
Last year I made a pair of Miu Miu-inspired glitter heels; they were so simple and perfect. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with neon and raffia—I have made some very fun pieces that I can’t wait to share this summer.

How does DIY fashion complement traditional fashion?
DIY helps you update your look in a flash, to pay homage to key trends and reflect what’s on the runways. Admittedly, I have an addiction to shoes that DIY hasn’t (and probably won’t) overcome! But I love to add to my outfits: a pop of color here and a handful of chain there. It helps me feel unique and makes what I wear my own, which is what fashion is about.

Fashion muses?
I’ve recently started reading old National Geographic magazines for fashion inspiration—all those patterns, textures and colors!

1. Deborah Marquit French lace bra; 2. Proenza Schouler PS1 Pochette; 3. HELMUT kinetic jersey tee; 4. Alyssa Norton vintage rhinestone & silk chain necklace

If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
It would be hard to choose just one outfit—I’m pretty sure I would try on just about everything in the store! I would probably settle on some bright summery jeans—a pair by J Brand would be perfect. I’d then pop on a HELMUT by Helmut Lang slouchy jersey tee, but not before slipping into a super comfortable neon Deborah Marquit triangle bra. I’d accessorize with some amazing Givenchy heels—I love a chunky heel done just right—and a little Proenza Schouler PS1 Pochette to fit my cards and iPhone in. I’d top it all off with yet another neon piece: a subtle yet eye-catching yellow silk and rhinestone necklace by Alyssa Norton. Here’s hoping that whoever finds me doesn’t make me take it all off!

Most coveted item in your closet?
I’m such a sunglasses girl; they have to be the most cherished pieces in my wardrobe. Those and a black beaded jacket I bought for five pounds in an East London thrift store.

Main images courtesy of A Pair & A Spare. 

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