Born and bred in Christchurch, Amy moved to Melbourne in 2009 where her love of fashion accelerated. For the past two years she has worked as a freelance stylist and creative director covering many aspects of the industry, encompassing editorial, commercial, runway shows and fashion parades. Her work has featured in a number of publications, including Fashion Journal, Elléments Magazine, Kaltblut Magazine and Minc Magazine.
How long have you been a stylist and is it a career path you always intended?
I began styling about 3 years ago when I owned a small online store that I coordinated photoshoots for. I’ve been freelancing for about 2 years now.
How would you describe your style aesthetic?
I always gravitate towards classic style with an edge for my key pieces, and then incorporate patterns and colour into my wardrobe with on-trend pieces. My go to look for this winter is leather pants, a button up blouse, either my leopard or fuchsia coat and heeled boots.
What's your philosophy on lingerie? Is it something you have always invested in, or do you invest more in your outerwear?
I have always been a simple and classic kind of girl, and often buy pieces that I can show a little of through a mesh top or at the side of a tank, like a bralette, embellished bikini top or bandeau.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you've had as a stylist?
I recently worked with model Brooke Hogan, which was a huge highlight for me as she is one of the biggest Aussie models on the scene at the moment. I was also able to be Creative Director on this shoot, which was really exciting. I’m stoked with the result.
Do you work mostly with Australian designers? Who are your favourites?
I try to incorporate as many Australian designers into my styling as possible because I think they are some of the best in the world, and I also like to support local talent. KissKill are my go to for lingerie and edgy outerwear. I also love working with Búl, Micky In The Van and Mossman. I would love to work with Zimmermann and Ellery one day!
To be honest everyone I have worked with has been stellar, I can’t pick a favourite!
What makes a great stylist? What can they bring to a fashion shoot that you think is most important?
I’m not sure that I am a great stylist yet! I still have a lot to learn. But I always go by a couple of key ingredients that don’t actually involve the styling as such. I think it’s so important to present yourself well in any situation as you never know who you will meet on any given day. Be yourself, be real, and work hard.
Do you find the industry cut-throat and competitive, or the opposite?
It is very competitive but most of the people I have worked with or alongside have been really wonderful and helpful which I think is a Melbourne trait.
Styling KISSKILL into your shoot; was this natural? Or a new way of putting your outfits together?
This was my first collaboration being front and centre so I was extremely nervous, but I wanted to put together outfits that are natural to me – exactly what I would wear to an event or on a night out.
What was your favourite piece to wear?
It’s funny you should ask that because when I was choosing the garments to shoot I immediately loved the leopard print bra which by chance is called ‘Amy’. I love this piece because it gives that little bit of edginess with the print and you can’t go wrong with crisscross satin straps. It’s the perfect outerwear piece.
Other favourite lingerie labels?
For special pieces For Love and Lemons and for everyday Elle MacPherson.
You are off to the UK what are you hoping to gain as far as career progression?
It’s one of the biggest fashion hubs in the world, so I hope to learn from some of the key players in the industry. The UK and European markets are so different to Australia, so I think international experience will be extremely important for my future in styling.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to be a stylist?
Understanding from the beginning that the industry isn’t just glamour and glitz, and that it takes a lot of hard work. I gave up a lot of my social life and worked for free for many months to build up my portfolio. But what I would say is never give up. It sounds cheesy but the biggest aide to failure is you.
STYLED BY AMY J www.styledbyamyj.com
Stylist: Amy Johnston @styledbyamyj
Photographer: Gani Photography @ganiphotography
Makeup Artist: Carla Dyson @carladysonmua
Hair Stylist: Phoenix Ly @phoenixly.hairstylist