We caught up with Emma Read, stylist, writer and producer from Sydney, Australia. She gave us an insight into Australian fashion and how it is all evolving.
You are a writer, a stylist, a producer. Can you explain each of these….
Funnily enough each creative segment of my business informs the next. I studied Journalism so have written in some capacity all of my career – right now it’s predominately fashion-based content I put together, from designer profiles to trend forecasting features and so on. Styling-wise I work with a number of publications, celebrities and designers on editorials, advertising campaigns, event styling and personal appearances. Production is basically me co-ordinating everything in order for the above to come together – so sourcing locations for shoots, booking creative teams, casting… all the backbone tasks to delivering a successful shoot.
So how did you get into fashion? What was your big break?
Initially I wanted to be a music writer – to be honest I had no concept of what styling was upon leaving school (given it was quite some time ago now, so not as publicized of a job as it is these days). I took an assisting job at RUSSH Magazine, predominately working with our then Market Editor Kym Ellery (the incredibly talented designer behind designer label ELLERY) who took me under her wing. It was quite lo-fi at the time given it’s completely independently published, but eventuated as the best training ground – we quite literally worked across every facet of the magazine. I loved it.
What was your last job, who was it for?
I just shot a beauty story for L’Officiel Australia.
Which other magazines are you working with?
Predominately L’Officiel, and a number of custom titles.
Are you represented by an agency?
I have been in the past, but at the moment I take care of my own bookings – which has its pros and cons, but I love it.
Where do you live?
And what is the Australian fashion scene like honestly?
It’s quite tight knit – definitely not as competitive as what you would find elsewhere I think. It’s becoming a lot more progressive in terms of design – obviously we’re known for resort and swimwear, but there’s some incredible talent coming through from Australia now being recognized on a much larger international scale. This goes for creatives too – given we’re so far away from other fashion capitals most of my peers are bouncing around between Sydney, Europe and New York working these days.
What is your opinion on fashion today when it comes to styling? It’s becoming pretty difficult to be free and original don’t you think?
I’m lucky at this point in my career as I’m discovering more creative freedom now being freelance than I ever have, but most definitely that point rings true – advertisers play more of a part in an editorial capacity than ever before. Being comfortable with change and the fluidity that comes with styling in itself is integral – trying to micromanage for me drains all the fun and inspiration out of a shoot.
How has Pinterest changed the game of things? Its everywhere in this industry now. We are all using it for moodboards. That’s another thing, moodboards…
In terms of referencing, yes – editorials are splashed everywhere online now, which can at times really distill a trend or an idea a lot faster than what used to take place. It forces you to really be unique in your approach in order to not be repetitious… In saying that, I do love Pinterest. I love being thrown an image that sparks an idea – I find it really speeds along my thought process.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere! Books, music, the street – traveling is my favorite (yet most indulgent) inspiration trigger.
Do you travel a lot?
I try to – I’m planning another trip back to Europe this year to Italy, Spain and Paris… Then ideally moving to Paris soon enough!
You are hopefully moving to Paris? Why Paris?
It’s magic! I just love the city and ideally would love to split my time between Sydney and Paris work-wise… Who could say no to Paris?
You can follow Emma on @emmaread.