Photos by @laurentrend
Australian Lauren Trend is the founder of Self-Practice, a community and research platform that explores the intersection of well being and design. The multidisciplinary hub offers on and offline tips, tools, and references to better know yourself.
How would you describe your style?
Neutral, consistent, long-lasting, repetitive and often influenced by texture.
Who is currently inspiring you? Sartorially, culturally, or otherwise?
My biggest sartorial inspiration is and perhaps will always be, relaxed but remaining suited businessmen in the 80s: tight T-shirts under oversized suit jackets, pleated trousers and hints of obnoxious gold jewellery.
Culturally, the writings of Audre Lorde and Susan Sontag, always. I'm also never not browsing 1st Dibs.
Can you tell us about your company Self Practice and what led you to create this platform?
Self Practice is both a community and research platform exploring the intersect of wellbeing and design.
It began as an honest attempt to acknowledge (at long last!) every part of myself: creative, emotional, intellectual and physical. It was initially just a humble blog that I truly thought only close friends would read out of polite obligation, but it fast became a widely sought out platform and an ongoing discussion for people from all corners of the globe to part take in.
I firmly believe the most important relationship we have in our lives is that with ourselves. Self Practice promotes fostering that relationship above all else. Research, references and the very personal practices of others are shared on our platform to both inspire and remind us all, that no two definitions of wellbeing are the same.
In addition to our editorial origins - we now offer tools, in the form of a Workbook and Online Workshops, that encourage self-reflection and inspired action.
Guilty or not guilty pleasure?
Binge watching Transparent. I've been meaning to watch it for so long and have finally got around to it. As a queer family ourselves, it's nice to see yourself - mess, glory, adversity and excellence - reflected on the screen.
What is your favorite shoe from Emme Parsons and how would you style it?
My favourite style is the Glider. I love its no fuss functionality and would style it with a pant or skirt hem cropped right above the ankle.
You have been actively engaged in helping support those affected by the Australian bushfires - how has this crisis changed you personally?
I suppose I'm still processing all of it, so it's hard to know exactly how - but I feel different in the way that I am, as each day unfolds. In good ways, and ways that of course involve leaning into sadness and grief.
It's hard to not be changed by such catastrophic circumstances and the closeness of tragedy. With our own families being displaced and close friends volunteering and fighting fires on the front lines, using my platform as a microphone for a call to action felt like the only option in the midst of so much madness.
Our community has been incredible in the manifold ways they've been getting into action. It's been a beacon of hope, seeing the human spirit and generosity shine through all the pain.
I think now more than ever I'm so aware of the great responsibility that comes with having a platform. What use is it, really, if we can't leverage it to spread awareness and mobilise activism? Being a filter of information is how I've always seen and appreciated Self Practice.
I truly believe that what the world needs now is people willing to take responsibility and act mindfully.
Today, Audre Lorde's words ring truer than ever: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
What would you suggest others do to get involved in the relief effort?
Continue to donate directly to organisations, foundations and communities in need. Whilst I completely understand that to donate financially can often feel impersonal - please know that money remains the most needed resource for those affected by the fire crisis. Some links below for those who aren't sure where to start.
Lots of references remain saved on the @self.practice Instagram under AUS FIRES story highlights, for those looking for further information.