Meg Pirie, a stylist from Auckland, New Zealand has organised time out to share her tips and tricks to a fab wardrobe and how to be a stylist.
W.S.B: Hi Meg, lovely to chat with you! First off, what a great website, do you think that’s one of the keys to success as a stylist?
Meg: Morning. It’s lovely to chat with you too.
Thanks, I love my website. I think there are a number of key things you need when you have your own business. A website is really important so that potential clients can look you up easily and you have a strong visibility in the marketplace.
W.S.B: I see you have a quirky illustration on your front page, what sparked the idea to have a picture of you and your Frenchie – Stella, on the website?
Meg: My good friend Clare Grove is an incredibly talented illustrator and so it was an easy choice to commission her for the illustrations. I wanted something quite ‘real’ on the homepage and Stella my Frenchie ends up everywhere with us – I’m often running in heels and she’ll be running alongside!
W.S.B: It’s clear that a great amount of work has gone into the development of the website. How did you find the process?
Meg: I spent part of my career working for Communication and Ad agencies, so I have a good handle on it from a process point of view. As long as you have all your content mapped out thoughtfully it’s pretty straightforward.
W.S.B: When did you first decide to become a stylist, and what was one of the first steps you made?
Meg: I grew up in an artistic house and we travelled a lot when I was younger. I’ve always been really inspired by fashion, particularly the grad shows at Central Saint Martins. I spent most of my childhood drawing and creating wearable-art pieces as I always thought I’d work as a designer. I made the decision to become a stylist when I realised I loved working with so many different designers and pieces to create a certain look.
W.S.B: Was there anyone who inspired you?
Meg: The crunch came to go out on my own when my sister got really sick. She inspired me to do what I love and to empower all those other women around me who want to dress for themselves.
Grace Coddington has also always been a massive inspiration and I love watching street-style, especially in Auckland.
W.S.B: What are your five wardrobe must-haves for any fashion addict?
Meg: This is a hard one as I always think it’s dependent on an individual’s particular lifestyle.
Here are my personal top 5 and some tips for buying them:
Probably one of the most important pieces you’ll own. Think carefully about the proportion and fit. It has the ability to dress up jeans when teamed with a simple white tee and will look chic over your favourite dress. Slung effortlessly over your shoulders = pure perfection.
This staple can be tucked into trousers, skirts or layered under a darker knit. If you hate ironing – a silk shirt may not be for you. Make sure you’re happy with the fabric and care label before you invest in this item.
Whether you prefer jeans or a classic cigarette pant, it doesn’t matter – just make sure they fit you well. If you’re quite tall or petite opt for specialist ‘petite’ or ‘tall’ styles – these are now readily available. Wearing a slightly darker colour can help slim the silhouette.
This is the item I would invest the most in. It has the tendency to get used and abused daily. Opting for a designer piece here if you can afford it is worth it. Choose classic shapes and try and buy something timeless.
Vogue first brought the little black dress (LBD) to our attention in 1926 when they published one of Chanel’s designs. Since then it’s become a staple. Team it with your trench and loafers for work or sling your heels and blazer over it for drinks. Layering it with a crew neck knit is also a good option for daytime.
W.S.B: Are there any mottos you live by?
“Never let it be said that to dream is a waste of one’s time, for dreams are our realities in waiting. In dreams, we plant the seeds of our future.”
W.S.B: Do you have any favourite fashion houses?
Meg: I have too many – that’s the problem!
My inspiration changes all the time, but currently I am spending a lot of time researching luxury, ethically-made fashion.
Personally, I love and wear Stella McCartney, Rag and Bone, J.W Anderson and Equipment Femme. I also particularly love collabs.
W.S.B: Any of those you’d have or love to work with?
Meg: I am lucky enough to work with them all daily through boutiques. Quite a few years ago I worked for Andrea Moore, an amazing NZ designer and later Gucci.
I’d love to work with Stella McCartney one day as I love her philosophy.
W.S.B: You talk about your ‘unique process’ on your website, who’s been your favourite wardrobe to rework?
Meg: I’d say my favourite wardrobe was the first one I ever did when I launched my business. That client has stayed and become a very loyal client and each season I carefully curate the trends and add must-haves to her wardrobe.
W.S.B: What’s the next 5-year plan for your business?
Meg: I’ve just had a beautiful baby girl called India so I’m all about making her proud of her mamma. My 5-year plan is to start taking on more commercial clients, so I have a nice mix of styling for women’s personal wardrobes and to inspire their next purchase through commercial work.
W.S.B: Do you have advice for any wannabe stylists?
Meg: My advice is to get retail experience and as much of it as you can. You’ll inevitably meet so many different women of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. This will be invaluable as you’ll learn to ask the right questions and start getting an eye for what works for what body shapes. The other piece of advice is to visualise what you want every day and keep working hard towards it (the working hard part never stops!).
W.S.B: Thank you for letting us interview you! Good luck with your business.
Meg: Thanks so much for interviewing me! Xox