Whistles women: Syliva Farago
When Sylvia Farago – a Canadian native, first landed in London she spent her days working as a nanny and her nights photographing bands. Fast forward 16 years and she is now an in-demand fashion producer with an illustrious roster of clients. In-between there has been a stint at Burberry and prior to that, seven years as Dazed and Confused’s photographic director, where she first met the likes of Ryan McGinley and Nick Knight, photographers she still works with today. Her work sees her arranging shoots for labels all over the globe: time zones are irrelevant as Farago is constantly on call.
When she moved into her home in leafy north London a few months ago, she created the perfect antidote to the pace of her schedule. Neatly proportioned, the Victorian cottage is filled with antiques scoured from fairs, car boots and eBay and lined with her incredible collection of photography, history, and comic books. We visited Farago (and her adorable beagle Henry) to find out what she does for down time.
I picked up that you are a history nut. If you could go back to any point in time when and where?
I love history but I would never want to go back for more then an hour to a different decade. As much as I love reading about Europe between the 15-18th centuries, I am sure it was a really hard place to live unless you were crazy rich. I would have to do a quick "Bill and Ted" style trip to the past! If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be in the royal court of Louis 14th of France.
What is your go-to outfit?
Black shirt and jeans, boring but comfortable! And when I'm at home I wear my Whistles cashmere tracksuit around the house.
What would be yours and Henry’s perfect Sunday?
A perfect Sunday would include a long walk in Hackney Marshes or out to Epping Forest, picking up cinnamon buns and coffee at my local bakery Violets along the way.
Clearly you are bookish: if you had three desert island books, what would they be?
Narcissus and Goldmun by Hermann Hesse; American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis; Punk by Stephen Colegrave and Chris Sullivan.
How do you find things for your home? Do you do a lot of ebaying?
I love eBay and I've always been very into weird objects. Last year I went through a break up and instead of going out and buying clothes, or drinking, I went on eBay! I just searched 'unusual' and bought things on a regular basis to make me smile, just something small and strange for my future home.
How long have you lived in London? Is there anything you still miss about Canada?
I moved here 16 years ago…sounds like such a long time when I say it. What I miss about Canada is the nature and slow pace of life. But I try to get out into the English countryside as much as I can.
Have you got a favourite band t-shirt, whose on it and where did you get it?
Hmmm…there are so many. I would say my Metallica Ride the Lighting is the favourite. I didn't get it at the concert though; it was in 1986 so I was too young to have gone! I actually got it at a garage sale in Canada when I was a teenager. I've had it for over 20 years and wear it at least once a week. I'm surprised it's still intact!
Fashion production must get hectic, how do you wind down at home?
I like to cook at home; I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. You can get lost in making something amazing.
How long have you been in your house and do you know anything about the history of it?
I've only been at my place for a few months. It's an amazing cottage, and it was built 164 years ago for a couple families who worked on the local railway lines. Originally there was no kitchen or bathroom - every room had a fireplace to keep the families warm. There is a really amazing energy and atmosphere in the house, and I'm sure it has been well loved by everyone who has lived here.
You must have met a lot of big fashion names; do you ever get star-struck?
I don't really get star struck, but I was at a friends wedding in Tuscany recently and Katharine Hamnett was there. She did an amazing leap from the edge of the pool onto an inflatable shark, with much glee - it was really impressive! She had amazing energy.