This week we speak to Freelance Fashion Stylist and Creative Director, Holly MacNaghten for our iconic #ModernDayMuse series. The London based fashionista who has the enviable job of styling shoots across the globe, including our upcoming SS19 look book, spends 5 minutes with us, talking about her love for Louboutin’s, 90's fashion mistakes at Tammy Girl and why New York feels like a second home.
How would you describe your signature style?
Laid back, but polished - my day-to-day uniform is basically a constant rotation of jeans, tees or thick knit jumpers with ankle boots. In summer I’ll toughen up pretty silk sundress with biker boots and a leather jacket. Come evening though I do like to go glam - dresses, jumpsuits, silk or velvet suits and always a serious heel - I’m a complete shoe addict.
What’s your go-to outfit or look when you want to feel unstoppable?
Probably one of my many jumpsuits and a pair of Louboutin shoes.
Who’s your style icon?
It would have to be Emmanuelle Alt, editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, she’s so effortlessly cool. From the past, Jane Birkin and David Bowie.
Where do you draw style inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from travelling - exploring new places, seeing new landscapes, discovering new brands, hearing peoples adventures and stories always gets me so excited about ideas for future shoots. I also draw a lot of inspiration from art and photography - inspiration can come from almost anywhere really. I also have a huge collection of old Harpers & Vogue magazines dating back decades that I’ll sit on the floor with. I lay them out in front of me and sift through for hours when I’m coming up with new ideas. In terms of personal style, I generally get more inspiration from old icons or seeing people on the street or when travelling than I do from the internet or even magazines these days - although Instagram is great for discovering new brands and emerging designers.
What’s your favourite thing in your wardrobe and why?
A pair of red suede Christian Louboutin “Gwalior” heels with tiny tassels on the pointed toe, they look like a work of art and were a gift from someone who was once very special to me. Also my Mother’s YSL dress from the 80s that she wore as her “going away dress” at her wedding to my father - from a distance it looks like black and white stripes, but up close you see it’s hundreds of white YSL logos in vertical lines making up the stripes. It’s iconic.
What outfit have you worn that you look back on and think, ‘wow that was the worst’?
I vividly remember being taken to Tammy Girl before going to see Robbie Williams as a child and picking out what I thought was the coolest outfit in the world - white flares, white patent flatform sandals and a white tank top/jumper with a hood and peace sign on the front. I thought I looked amazing. I did not...
If you could fly somewhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?
New York. It’s my favourite city in the world, the energy is electric, the nightlife is amazing, and there’s such an amazing creative hub of talent there too that gets me so inspired. The more time I spend there the more it feels like a second home.
Who would you take with you?
My friend and business partner Laura - we’ve recently started a creative content and shoot production company together, MH London Creative, and have already dreamed of taking it to New York. Plus we’re pretty good party partners!
What’s the one item you would take with you?
A pair of black Prada sunglasses to hide the jet-lag and inevitable late nights OR my mini handheld steamer - it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought and makes you looked polished even if you’re living out of a suitcase.
Where is your ‘happy place’?
A place called Dell in the Scottish Highlands, I’ve been going for years with my family and friends and it’s absolutely breath taking. There’s no phone signal, so it’s the only place I ever truly switch off. We walk for miles, swim in the freezing lochs, cook fish caught straight from the river that day on a stone fire pit by the Loch and watch the sunset or stay up drinking whiskey by the fire into the early hours - nowhere makes me feel more content.
What’s the motto you live your life by?
Work hard, play hard. My father has said that to my brother and I for as long as I can remember.
If you weren’t a stylist, what would you be?
I’d love to be a psychologist, or - totally different, own a beach bar in Costa Rica!
What’s your favourite book and why?
It’s a toss-up between ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith - it’s a stunning memoir by Patti Smith, documenting her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe and is as inspiring (it's full of music and style references) as it is heart breaking. Or Norswegian Wood by Haruki Murakami which is a beautifully written novel set in Tokyo during the late 1960s about loss and nostalgia.
What’s your favourite song and why?
Anything by Fleetwood Mac or Bruce Springsteen - my parents would play them on the school run when I was a child and they remain my favourite artists today.
What’s your favourite restaurant in the world and why?
So hard to choose just one… La Bodega Negra (for great Mexican food and dancing afterwards) or Hakkasan (for the best and most spoiling Chinese) in London, Loosie Rouge in Brooklyn - it’s more of a bar than a restaurant (although they do good brunches and light evening food) but it’s across the road from one of my best friend’s places where I stay whenever I’m there and we seem to end up there most nights so it will always remind me of many a happy night spent dancing and drinking the night away. Klooft Street House in Cape Town - the most incredible food and cocktails in a stunning, but unpretentious setting, the first time I ate there will remain with me forever.
To see more of what Holly is up to follow her on Instagram @holly_macnaghten