Stylist Heidi Ondrusek has a charming vintage poise and unique eye for endearing details.
Photography / Tara Bartolini
The girl herself is simply picturesque. A former model, Heidi Ondrusek consistently presents a natural grace and ladylike quality that makes me want to stand up straighter and spend more time on my hair. Her work, however, spans many mediums and aesthetics; along with fashion styling she has also worked in wardrobe and props for film. She’s OTM’s go-to stylist for covers because of her amazing way of combining styles and quirky elements seamlessly with master enthusiasm. Her work has also been featured in BULLETT Magazine, Plaid Magazine, Veux Magazine, BONBON Webzine, and Photographer & Muse.
Natalie Kaine: What led you to styling and where do you want to go with it?
Heidi Ondrusek: I’ve always been in love with clothing and it probably stems from my relationship with vintage. I’ve been collecting vintage since high school, when I would go to thrift stores on my lunch break and most of my friends and family were confused and really didn’t understand why I would want to wear old clothes. But it was only later on that I realized it was more than that. Styling just came really natural and I knew right away that it was something I had to pursue. I’ve had such wonderful opportunities to work on so many different projects and at this point there really isn’t one direction in which I would like to go in. I find myself interested in all aspects of styling whether it be film, fashion, commercial even props and set design. I am interested in all things creative and I think one day I would like to find a niche but at this point I think it’s nice to absorb myself in the whole industry and just see where it goes!
NK: What is it about clothes that appeals to you? Where do you get your inspiration?
HO: For me personally, it’s not necessarily always about the newest runway trends or what’s in style at the moment, but what appeals to me most is more of the rawness of clothing; textiles, the feeling of clothing, telling a story, making things your own, showing your personality. I like to think a lot of how clothing and fashion has changed throughout the years, how it’s grown and where it’s heading. I get inspired by walking down the street; people watching is one of my favourite things (seeing what people are wearing and how they’ve put their outfits together, why they chose what they did), art, nature, researching fashion history, music, blogs, magazines and travelling.
NK: How does working at Berman & Co. influence your own style sense and your styling work?
HO: Berman & Co is a huge influence. The collection of vintage and historical clothing is amazing and I learn something new every day. I feel so incredibly grateful to be able to get a hands-on experience with all of the clothing that is there in their collection and be able to use items for any projects I am working on. Berman & Co has definitely influenced my style and when I work on projects I like to mix in some vintage with contemporary and although most people find it difficult if they are looking through an editorial and there is something they are really interested in that is vintage because you can’t just go out and get it. I like to think that when I use vintage it’s more for the aesthetic and as an inspiration that can mirror a current trend that you would be able to see somewhere else. I like to think more of styling as an art form and if there are certain items or pieces that are fantastic but are vintage I would rather use them then designer or store bought because I think they have more of a meaning and certain character that you can’t always find now a days.
NK: What’s your opinion of the street style and fashion scene in Toronto?
HO: I think Toronto has a great fashion scene. The city has a lot of character and it’s nice to see people express it. I find people to be really creative and they definitely are not afraid to take risks and have fun with their wardrobe.
NK: If you weren’t involved in fashion what would you be doing?
HO: Definitely something creative. Maybe visual merchandising, illustration or prop styling. Something visual for sure.