The stylist-turned-professional luxury shopper shares her Holiday Haul.
Shopping for others is quite literally Gabriel Waller's bread and butter. The personal shopper works with a roster of high-profile clientele—Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Chiara Ferragni, and Hailey Bieber among them—to hunt down some of the most unique and hard-to-find items on the luxury market. So, in a way, pinpointing a few holiday gifts is just another day at the office for the Sydney native.
However, while Waller may be able to navigate the holiday shopping scene with experience, this season is also a big first for her, too. Waller just relocated to Los Angeles a few weeks ago and in preparation for her first Christmas away from home—and her first vacation in three years— the stylist-turned-shopper shared with us how she's marking the occasion. Think lots of time spent outdoors, long-distance calls to loved ones, and—for anyone who's stumped by gift-giving—suggestions for plenty of luxe accessories anyone would be thrilled to unwrap.
Three words to describe your 2021 holiday season state of mind:
"Relax, unwind, and enjoy."
What is your most meaningful holiday tradition? Why is it special and how do you continue to keep it alive year after year?
"I'm very close with my family so every year we have always spent that Christmas period together. This year will be the first one that's a little different as I, unfortunately, am not going to be there. Even though I am in a different country, I'll be connecting with my family in the lead-up to and, of course, on the day."
What has 2021 taught you about gratitude? And how do you practice gratitude during the holiday season?
"I am a big believer in practicing gratitude daily. It's something I do every morning when I wake up just to align me for the day. But toward the end of the year and going into the holiday season, I feel an immense amount of gratitude looking back at the year, what we have achieved, and that I've been fortunate to be able to do what I do every day.
"The past few months have been hectic for me trying to leave Australia, and then being allowed to leave, so I feel so immensely grateful to be in Los Angeles and start the next journey of my life here. In practicing gratitude during the holiday season, I'm so grateful toward my friends and family and tell them that as much as possible."
What have you learned as a personal shopper that's taught you about gift giving? Any advice we can take away for how to be better gifters?
"With gift-giving in general—friends, family, acquaintances—you will have some idea of who that person is going into that. In my world, in the personal shopping and luxury space, we ask if there are certain brands that they wear and love. Does she love clothing, handbags, or accessories? What's her go-to category that she tends to purchase the most amount of? With that advice, then it'll be honing in on that individual because everyone's so unique and different—you want it to be their favorite brand or category or designer, whichever it may be."
What are some of the hottest—and probably hardest to find—gifts this holiday season?
"Accessories, in general, are the number one best category for gifting. It's safe but it's also fun because a lot of brands are coming out with so many unique bits and pieces.
"Limited-edition pieces are an amazing gift to give because we know it's quite rare. And I think in gift-giving in general, and in my realm, my clients love to have pieces that are in very small amounts or they've only been released in certain regions."
What does holiday and celebratory style mean for you? And what kind of looks are you planning this year?
"Growing up in Australia, we are on opposite sides of the seasons—it's like the best time of the year. There are so many social activities so I would say, in general, the holiday season is where I tend to dress up. And being in Australia, it's those summer outfits and party dresses. I always go back to Amina Muaddi for heels—she is my go-to for evening wear.
"This year will be a little different because I am in Los Angeles. I'm excited to get to celebrate Christmas and the holidays laid up and getting more creative with my style because I can layer up with jackets, which isn't what I'd usually do."
Your idea of a perfect holiday celebration:
"Typically in Sydney, we have the beautiful Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbor in general, so a lot of times, especially throughout December, all I can think about is boats and boat parties. People go out for the day. It's incredible. On Christmas day we celebrate with a barbeque, we have seafood, we're outside, we go to the beach or lounge by the pool for the day. There's lots of food. It's my favorite time of year.
"In a dream case scenario, I'll head to Palm Springs or Santa Barbara this year. My dream holiday situation would be lounging by the pool during the day with cocktails and friends. And then in the evening, dressing up and going for a really nice dinner. Just spending time outdoors and spending time in the sun."
Your holiday 2021 theme music:
"We have this thing back home called the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. It's usually played in January but they play a snippet of it on Christmas Day so that's something that comes to mind for me. It's the top 100 songs in Australia, from Australian artists, for the year, so that's a tradition that we do on the day; we listen to the countdown. I'm personally obsessed with a guy named The Kid Laroi. He's an Australian artist, I would be excited to see him on there."
Gab's Holiday Haul:
Photos: Libby Dodd