Irish lovely Angela Scanlon is a name to watch. The fashion stylist and writer has already worked for mags such as Tatler and Grazia and has her TV patter perfected.
With a new fashion book, The Secret Stylist, set to come out early next year, Twin caught up with her to find out what makes her tick…
How did you get started in fashion?
I went backwards by studying business for four years. At the time I was feeling very entrepreneurial and I wanted to open a boutique and design my own range. Then I got a taste of life on the shop floor, I worked in a supposedly busy Dublin store and thought I would die of boredom so the boutique dream sort of evaporated.
I needed to change tack so volunteered to assist a stylist who’s still to this day a great mate of mine. She taught me a million things and somehow doors just started to open for me and that’s continued! I did my fair share of cleaning muck off shoes…and quickly realised that fashion is not as glamourous as it sounds, but I think that made me love it even more.
Writing seemed like a natural extension of styling-just a different way to communicate. I’ve kept a blog for years and had the first ever fashion blog to be taken on by a national newspaper in Ireland, The Independent. It gave me lots of opportunities and, I guess, made me look like I knew what I was doing! Sometimes, someone just has to take a chance on you and you have to step up…
Did you study fashion?
Not in the traditional sense, no. But I was always aware of fashion and into it, buying magazines, ‘styling’ friends, keeping a fashion blog-I’ve been in training forever! I always feel that with styling in particular, you learn on the job. You can’t get a proper understanding from reading a book or taking notes. Even the actual process needs to be learned. Where to start, where to finish. When to yield and when you should stick to your guns.
Without getting all ‘Oprah’ on it, it’s about finding people who share your vision and then communicating that. It’s much more organic and opportunistic, you can’t do it with your head stuck in a book. You have to be ‘in’ it and ready to take the opportunities that are presented.
From the Independent, I went on to do TV which led to a column in Tatler and more styling work, then Grazia Daily came along and I’ve been writing for them, I now have a page in U Magazine and most recently I’ve joined a list of my fashion heros to write for the Huffington Post, Joanna Lumley’s in there so that in itself is deadly! It doesn’t just happen but in a way each job leads to another.
What have you been working on most recently?
I’ve just finished the first draft of my book which has been gruelling but brilliant. It’ll be out next year and I think it’s something fresh and bold, it’s a new take on a fashion book. I wanted to do something that myself and my mates would actually want, none of this ‘pear shaped’ stuff, it’s a celebration of fashion and aims to encourage and empower chicks to wear what the want. While I adore fashion, I think personal style needs to be approached with a sense of humour… nurtured but never restricted. It’s self expression at it’s purest and the rules need to be trashed.
And…just a few quick-fire qus, so we can get to know you better…
Doc Martens or Converse?
Cons although I have ponyskin Dalmation print Doc’s that I’m pretty fond of.
Make-up free or slap?
Clean face, fluffy brows.
Pastel or Neon?
Ryan McGinley or Tim Walker?
McGinley every time although Tim Walker is a fantasy God, just a little clean for me.
Cocktail dress or le smoking?
Courtney Love or PJ Harvey?
PJ Harvey for her smile.
Guitars or beats?
Guitars. I love nothing more than a sing song in an old pub after hours.
Leather or denim?
Ponies or bikes?
Ponies. I had a pony called The Steel Duke who I adored. I haven’t ridden in years but the feeling of freedom when you’re let loose in a field is the best!
Whiskey or Champagne?
Whiskey.. and ginger.
FROW or pub?
One before the other.
Country ramble or city walk?
Country ramble in the rain.
Jane Birkin or Charlotte Gainsbourg?
Charlotte Gainsbourg. Slightly less perfect and even more attractive for it.