We are thrilled to introduce Kit Palaskas as our Cocobella guest stylist for May. We were instantly drawn to Kit’s panache – her bright and bold compositions really embody the Cocobella spirit and we welcomed a chance to chat to her about her creative processes. Kit’s DIY craft-aesthetic is all constructed by hand, enabling a distinct and organic charm to shine through her work and highlight her past experience in fashion design and styling. We caught up with Kit to talk inspiration, extravagant tropical outfits and how to find creative balance.
Kit’s creative journey started while assisting a fashion stylist in Sydney, where she was eventually commissioned to make hand-crafted props for photo shoots. As a bit of a self-confessed jack-of-all-trades, Kit now dips her toes in all types of creative ventures; crafting props, objects, installations and imagery for various creative industries, as well as producing a line of home wares and accessories. When asked how she would describe her artistry, Kit is adamant that she doesn’t belong in one box, “I am interested in all sorts of different creative avenues and don’t want to ever tie myself down to just one, I believe it’s possible to do them all!”
We adore Kit’s Cocobella creations – her leafy paper umbrella’s, swizzle sticks and garnishes make us want to drop everything and jet off to a tropical paradise. Interestingly enough, Kit cites beachside locations as her favourite places to unwind and relax, and positions Bali as an easy-favourite, “I’ve just returned from Ubud, which is such a lush, jungle paradise. It’s so peaceful there and there are so many vibrant colours and things to see.” Such vibrant colours, it seems, are not only to be restricted to geographical surroundings, as Kit cites her number one travel essential to be “Some kind of extravagant tropical outfit – I love the heat so I don’t tend to go on many cold weather holidays. Vacations give me a perfect excuse to bust out all my favourite tropical prints.”
When it comes to creative aspirations, for Kit it’s all about scale, “I would love to work on some more physically large-scale projects this year, where I have to build BIG props and sets. I used to work really small scale but have been doing a few projects where I’ve had to scale everything up massively and it’s just so challenging and crazy, making stuff that big. I want to do more!”
We couldn’t help but wonder how Kit manages to balance all her creative intentions with the needs of her client-base. Communication and authenticity, she says, are key. “I always try to stay true to my style and aesthetic in each project that I do, while also satisfying the client brief. It’s kind of like a problem solving challenge in a way, how do I fulfill each different brief using my unique skill set? I think good communication with clients, and a strong belief in yourself and your design style are key. Your style will always show through if you stay true to it.”
So, what’s next for Kit? “I have a solo exhibition coming up in mid June. It’s my first major show in a while as I’ve mainly been focusing on the client work and not the visual art side of my practice. I’m really excited about it because I’m taking a little departure from the bright, fun iconography that I usually work with and exploring some darker, creepier subject matter, while using the same craft-based techniques. It opens on 17 June at Enough Space in Prahran.” If you’re in Melbourne, we recommend checking it out!
Follow us on Instagram to check out Kit’s upcoming styled images.