Coty Farquhar - A little bit about me









Ever since I can remember I have always been
associated with photography and the Visual Arts.

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After finishing school I attended Alexander Mackie College of the Arts in Sydney as a student majoring in photography, painting & screen printing. Then a couple of years later I went outback Australia to work on a large property as a Jillaroo, this was the most wonderful time of my life and it was here that I decided what I wanted to do with my life. Work in magazines...and working at Vogue Living was at the top of my list.
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My career started in the early 80's firstly working as an editorial assistant to the three Decorating Editors, Robyn Richards Holt, Helen Marshall and Claudia Thomas at Vogue Living Magazine. I joined Conde Nast Publications at the age of 22 years. The very first day I arrived I was whipped up and off on a shoot at the Antique Centre.
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I remember thinking, this is perfect, I just fitted in and I felt so at home. For each issue I spent weeks sourcing beautiful products, styling in beautiful private homes, visiting decorators & designers, styling photo shoots and helping the Editors with the the creation of the magazine. My real break came when a contributing editor didn't turn up on a shoot and I was left to create by my self. That was the day when my name was finally added to the stories and not just on the masthead.
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In the mid eighties the food industry was changing in Australia and I was watching with great interest (from across the hallway at Vogue Living) at the beautiful pages & stories of Vogue Entertaining Guide magazine. I jumped at an opportunity to be on the team as Editorial Associate for Vogue Entertaining Guide when one of the girls was leaving.
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Vogue Entertaining Guide was a very small team lead by editor Carolyn Lockhart and with Food Editor Joan Campbell. I learnt so many wonderful ways to style from these two clever and creative women, as I did with all the Editors that I worked for. I travelled with amazing photographers to shoots in the snow fields, to the cities and many country areas. My job was to source amazing new products and create some of the stories for each issue. My love for table settings grew even more whilst working with Vogue Entertaining Guide and I was also in charge of the entertaining ideas pages. Food, wine and wonderful chefs, it was a fabulous time to be a part of Vogue.

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Our team also produced the magazine Vogue Children which I just adored working on.
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After many years with Vogue, it was time for me to move on and try something new and I was encouraged by a group of photographers to join their studio in Sydney. I then freelanced as a professional photographic stylist through my agent, Vivien's Model Agency covering fashion, interiors and food & wine. I still continued as a contributing editor for a few different magazines and each day was different. I was designing sets for television commercials one day, styling fashion stories for another and working on cookbooks. I remember styling all the Christmas catalogs for the large department stores and just running from one studio to another throughout the day and meeting with advertising agencies late in afternoon.
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My sister encouraged me to join her in a flower shop business as well and this proved to be a very interesting side for my styling business as I was not only using flowers for my own styling jobs but also for many weddings and events. I would head off to the markets at 5am and buy flowers for photographers who would call and say, Coty, can you get this for us today, sourcing beautiful flowers for photography was just delightful.

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Then a couple of years later, I suppose, I could say I was 'head hunted' by Murdoch Magazines. I was contacted and asked if I would like to be the Fashion and Beauty Editor for 'New Woman' magazine.
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Well, why not, something different and it was lots of fun.
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For each issue I designed and created all the fashion & beauty pages for the magazine. Attending all the fashion shows, promotions, choosing all the gear to be photographed, directing and styling the shoot, p.r work for the magazine, organising the locations, seeing all the models, booking make up and photographers..... I was very busy all the time and luckily I wasn't dating anyone as there was no time for anything but this job.
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The beauty side was amazing!! As Beauty Editor I attended many wonderful lunches and promotions for new cosmetic products, I travelled overseas for incredible events for perfume and had divine boxes and bags delivered to my desk daily filled with bottles and bottles of everything you can imagine.
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It was Heaven!!
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Boy, I wish I was still there now!

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Then I met Andrew.....
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Andrew Farquhar, my Andrew, a cabinetmaker, who owned and managed a large workshop in Sydney with 25 tradesmen, cabinet makers, french polishers, carvers and upholsterers making & restoring traditional furniture.

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Well, my life just changed the minute we met...
and that is a story for another day.....

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We were engaged in four weeks, we married a year later
and two years later whilst I was eight months pregnant with Thomas, Vogue Living magazine called me to see if I would like the position of Decorating Editor.
Remember, this was the job that I had wished for when I was young....
Well, after arriving at the Vogue office only weeks before giving birth to my first child, my fate was decided for me, Coty.... you just can't do this job with a new baby.


It is so strange how things work out,
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We then moved to the country,
to the Southern Highlands of NSW (over seventeen years ago)

Our business Farquhar's is now 30 years old and still keeping Andrew very busy.
I have been involved in many wonderful events & businesses locally over that time and still run up to Sydney for large jobs.
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My two children are nearly finished school and I must be honest, I can't wait til the day they do. There are so many wonderful things to see and do around the world and they're just like Andrew and me, they need to go and get out there and create.
Now, from my little cottage in Bowral I now blog my work, my life and my ideas
and share my thoughts with you.
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I am older, a little wiser and not as frantic as I was in my earlier life.
My teenagers keep me grounded and through many years of ups and downs I have definitely mellowed. I live in jeans and boots most days but I still love the wonderful world of glamour, fashion and magazines.
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I am constantly surrounded by wonderful stories throughout the seasons that I need to capture via my photography. I meet creative people everywhere I go and I am always so inspired. Now, through this amazing new medium, my blog and the beautiful blogging family that I am very honoured to be a part of, I hope to share all this with you.
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Welcome to my two blogs Styling by Coty Farquhar and Styling Gardens'

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A place I hope you will find inspiration & a glory box for all the things I love