A few words of wisdom from Ireland’s leading fashion stylist
Majoring in photographic styling and fashion journalism for The Irish Independent you could argue that Angela’s influence on fashion in Ireland is huge. She’s already impressed the likes of Kanye West, Paul Costello, Bob Geldof, Nicola Roberts, Jasmine Guinness and Roisin Murphy... say no more!
Here’s what happened when we recently caught up with Angela and asked her a few questions about her successful career to date.
When and how did you first get into styling?
Fashion was always what I wanted to do but growing up the idea of working as a stylist was quite alien to me. I spent time working in New York and met a successful stylist who opened my eyes to the possibilities! I began styling shoots with a photographer friend of mine and my first ever shoot was taken by The Irish Times. Having my work in print was amazing. I began assisting Aisling Farinella, who’s one of the best stylists in Ireland and has a huge range of editorial and commercial clients. Every job I assisted her on seemed to be perfectly timed and my own would follow soon after. What I learned from her has been invaluable.
How would you define a great stylist over an average one?
I think people naturally look at a stylist’s personal sense of style as a gauge of how good they would be in a work sense. This doesn’t always translate. The best stylists have an eye for the whole shot-clothes are only part of that entire image. Also, working freelance requires a lot of organisation and commitment. You have to be ready and willing to do very long hours and to sometimes chase work. The creativity and escapist part of the job are only small facets-stylists who succeed are shrewd business people too.
What’s your favourite clothes shop in Ireland and why?
I’m a big vintage shopper so I couldn’t pick one-A Store is Born, Jenny Vander, Circus and Harlequin (all in Dublin) always get hit when I shop. Since I was a kid I’ve loved old clothes-I stole handbags, scarves and tops from my Mum; t-shirts and jeans from boyfriends. I love clothes that have been worn, something that tells a story. E-Bay is definitely my favourite online store.
What’s your favourite fashion brand and why?
I’m loving Balmain for the past few seasons-incredible stuff. I’d happily have any piece (or all) from the previous two collections! I also love Stella Mc Cartney-simple, sleek tailoring that always feels classic but fresh.
Favourite item in your wardrobe at the moment?
Denim cut-offs. I recently butchered a pair of old Levis I had years ago and have been living in them since-so comfy and a perfect way to add a bit of Summer to my Winter-heavy wardrobe.
How do you keep up to date with the latest trends?
It’s impossible not too. Being at fashion weeks means you see clothes months in advance so the only difficult part is trying to remember what’s current season and what’s next! I read Style.com, Dazed Digital, Cyna Trend Land and multiple other blogs and publications regularly.
There are too many. I spent a long time travelling in South East Asia and fell in love with Thailand. I also lived and worked in New York for 6 months and would go back in the morning. The buzz and energy in the city is cliché but it’d very rare. London is enjoying its moment in the sun so any excuse to take a trip there is always welcome!
If you could style one celebrity who would it be and why?
Roisin Murphy. I absolutely adore her and met at London Fashion Week last season. She’s a sweetheart and so down to earth so for me her clothes don’t seem to match that anymore! I’d love to get her into a worn old T-shirt, a pair of jeans and Docs; scruff up her hair and have a pint with her. That would be living the dream!
Any advice you’d like to give someone looking to start out as a celebrity stylist in Ireland?
Practice, practice, practice. Assist a stylist and see how things happen from beginning to end. Often the practical things that make for seamless work are the ones that are overlooked. Team up with a photographer who’s starting out too and work on test shoots, it’s vital that you build your portfolio and get comfortable with working as part of a team. Basically, be prepared to work hard and always be adaptable. No two days are the same but the level of work you produce always has to be top notch.
What’s the future got in store for Angela?
Well, I’m working on a few really cool projects at the moment that will involve travelling to London initially and possibly New York in the future. TV is something that I’m definitely interested in pursuing further. Who knows? I’ve never had a plan before and I’m pretty happy with how things are going so I’m just going with the flow and enjoying the ride!