Christelle Scifo is one of those people who is enviably at ease in front of the camera. On set, she smiles, laughs and subtly adjusts her pose with the elegance of a professional ballet dancer – which is exactly what she once was.
“I spent so much time on stage in my earlier years,” she says, by way of explanation. “And I’ve worked behind the scenes so much on shoots, I guess I’ve learned from observing others.”
Today, Christelle is the ultimate millennial multi-hyphenate – a creative consultant and floral stylist whose days are spent working on photo shoots or bringing events to life.
However, her distinctive personal style – cool, romantic, sexy – owes much to her background as a dancer as well as her French heritage. Little wonder she’s become fashion influencer of sorts, with 25,000 followers on Instagram, and now as likely to be found in front of the camera as behind it.
Christelle grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches with an Australian mother and a French father, who was a chef (“I crawled around under the tables at some of the oldest [restaurant] institutions in Australia when I was little”) and says she’s always been drawn to French culture. “I have felt most connected to my French side my whole life.”
In her 20s, she danced for a ballet company in Paris, where she honed her love of fashion and developed a passion for sourcing vintage clothes. “As a dancer your eye is trained from a young age on appearance, lines and beauty. I was forever in costumes and make-up, and that has shaped my eye and aesthetic today. Fashion is self-expression. It’s personal, it’s emotional, it’s art, as it is beauty.”
After an injury prompted a career change, Christelle moved home to Australia, where she worked for Sydney florist Saskia Havekes at Grandiflora, before setting up her own creative consultancy Fleurette.
For Christelle – who speaks with the kind of hard-to-place transatlantic drawl that comes from living between Australia, Paris and Bali – a typical workday might involve being up at the crack of dawn to visit the flower market before working on set or dressing a long lunch or dinner. As a result, her work wardrobe needs to be versatile. “I love a boxy blazer, a bit masculine, a bit oversized, that’s then really cinched in at the waist. It works for my shape anyway.”
“It’s about finding a silhouette that’s practical for my work, where I feel sexy and beautiful and strong, so I can go into these settings running my own business as a young woman.”
Christelle wears Chanel top, buy in store; vintage leather pants, similar here.
As a props stylist, she loves collecting vintage pieces, and estimates that three-quarters of her clothing is vintage. Lace slip dresses, leather pants and diamante jewellery are among her wardrobe staples – and she owns an extensive vintage handbag collection.
In term of modern brands, she loves Toteme, Jacquemus, Paris Georgia and Ganni. The ultimate fashion house will always be Chanel, though. “To me it’s the epitome of fashion and luxury. With my father being a Frenchman, that was instilled in me. He used to buy my mother Chanel when I was a child.”
Christelle feels grateful to have crafted a career that combines so many of her passions. “Fleurette is essentially an extension of myself. I live and breathe my business every single day. It combines everything I love in life and I slowly but surely worked a way to bring all of it together to create my own chosen career.”
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Photographer: Simon Upton
Stylist: Jana Pokorny
Hair and make-up: Joel Philips
Photographer’s assistant: Lewis Stevenson
Stylist’s assistant: Lucy Woods