Spend 5: Emma Read


An Instagram feed that makes you wish you were a fly on the wall... because the campaigns she works on are THAT good. Discover Emma Read, the stylist behind numerous campaigns you would have seen floating around. With bangs for days and fiery red locks that would make Harry Josh (celebrity hair stylist to the stars for those of you at home) himself beg to put his name to, TWAIN simply had to spend 5 with Emma.

Name: Emma Read

Occupation: Stylist, Writer, Creative Consultant

My creativity comes from… keeping my eyes open.

Fashion to me is… a small part of the big picture, but a necessary one!

On breaking into the styling world… it’s never an overnight process, but it definitely teaches you to be present. You’re never as good if you skip a step I think, or try to rush the system – I’ve learnt so many indispensable tips along the way I’d hate to think of what I would have missed should I not have been somewhat patient with where I was headed. Assisting is very underrated these days!

Career highlight… Working with all the epic Fashion Directors I’ve had the pleasure to pick the brains of stands out – Mark Vassallo, Dave Bonney, Nicole Bonython-Hines… and being part of the launch team of ELLE Australia was huge for me – I’ve loved the title for years, so that meant  a lot. These days, freelancing and running projects on my own is kind of a constant highlight too – being a business woman has gone from being somewhat of a laughable idea to a reality.

Favourite shoot… one of my favourite shoots styling-wise is a story I shot for Grazia while it was still around in Australia, with Julia Nobis – she’s magic. Priscillas Model Management had their 25th anniversary recently and I styled a project with them with about 25 or so models in celebration of this milestone – crazy, so many fabulous faces!

Best part of my job… Coming up with an idea and realising it – following something through successfully with a team never gets old.

What people don’t know… as many a stylist has sung before me – it’s definitely about 10% glamour, 90% hard work.  But god damn is it fun not being behind a desk all day.

Those early morning starts… never really get easier unfortunately – I just require more caffeine as the years go on!

Style tips… experiment. It takes a little while to hit your stride, so don’t be afraid to play around – I’ve had some questionable choices in my time but who cares? All in good fun.

Every woman needs… a great leather jacket.

Wardrobe staples… white tees, white jeans, all white errything. But more in a ‘50s rock’n’roll kind of sensibility. I’m getting visions of Liz Hurley reading back on that.

My wish list consists of… currently, a new black Orlebar Brown bikini, a Dion Lee black backless knit, anything new from Isabel Marant and a black Givenchy heel. Are we sensing a theme here?

Favourite wardrobe piece… A Miu Miu patchwork leather jacket. Wearing that to the grave.

My daily uniform… usually involves a sneaker, denim and a basic. I like to keep it streamlined. If I’m not running around prepping I’m dressing at my other end of my wardrobe spectrum, which is a bit trippy-hippy 70’s. Whatever goes with my huge head of hair really – an accessory within itself.

Biggest fashion faux pas… overthinking it. I always like to look a little undone… as much as I appreciate glamour it just doesn’t suit me – I have more tomboyish tendencies so I come across a bit inauthentic all done up.

My style muse is… Anita Pallenburg, always. The brainchild behind my favourite era of Keith – she’s genius.

For inspiration I… read. Dig around the endless source of the internet, see films, see exhibitions, see bands… let it roll. Trying not to look for it in my experience is the fail-safe option.

I couldn’t live without… my phone, unfortunately – as much as I want to boot it in the ocean at times!

Worst habit… my erratic sleeping habits, thanks to Instagram. I’m probably reading this on my phone right now. GO TO BED.

I need to… take care of myself a little more sometimes. It’s easy to get swept up in work when you’re running your own race… I took about 6 weeks off last year to travel through Europe and it was bliss. Take a holiday whenever and wherever you can. It’s important.

I wish I had more time for… exercising. I have great biceps from all the garment bag hauling, but that’s as far as my fitness prowess goes.

Beauty addictions… How long do I have you? I could keep you here for days – I’m a real product nerd… So: anything Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford Bronzer, Freezyderm 50+ Velvet Face Cream. My hairdresser, Paloma Rose Garcia + my colourist Michael Kelly (I’m a natural redhead but he jazzes it up with blonde). Evo Whip It Good Styling Mousse is a recent discovery from one of my hair gurus, Lauren McCowan (also, genius) – the best salty waves with no swim required. Byredo’s Rose Of No Man’s Land perfume, all sexy Turkish rose and ambers – and Tom Ford’s Santal Blush, my forever scent. Buly 1803 from Paris, Embryollise, Caudalie Beauty Elixir… See? Hope you’re still awake!

Before bed… Emma, take your own advice: more reading, less Instagram-viewing. Meditate.

Favourite app… Gliche. It’s heaven for photo editing.

Must read… The First Bad Man by Miranda July.

Must see… Any David Lynch or Tarantino, and the Rolling Stones live at least once in your lifetime.

2016 is the year for… owning it, and spending more time on a jet plane!

Life motto: less talking, more doing.

Discover more of Emma’s work here.