Meet the Muse: Molly Johnstone

4 Minute Read
Meet the Muse: Molly Johnstone

From a retail era to pursuing a tailored fashion design course, stylist Molly Johnstone has always been enchanted by tangible executions of style. Fashion is the constant in her career trajectory, stemming from early childhood memories of her well-dressed grandmother and inspiration from European influences.

But Molly’s success lies in more than just a knack for building a good ensemble and having innate ability. There’s an old adage that says don’t meet your idols, but the opposite couldn’t be more true for this local styling connoisseur after learning the ropes from trailblazing women who’ve come before her.

My advice would be to say yes to every single invitation or event and show your personality.

According to Molly, proactivity and profile-building are some of the most crucial skills to have in a competitive and oversaturated space. That, and out-there accessorisation. Here, Molly tells Harrolds some of her biggest takeaways on how to ‘make it’ in the industry and enlightens us on how her outfit-building process works.

For those unfamiliar, please give us a bit of background on your career and day-to-day work life.

My love for styling began working in the fitting rooms of various retail stores, which led me to studying a bachelor of design at Whitehouse Institute of Design. Once I had completed this degree, I moved over to the UK to work in fashion business as I wanted to gain more knowledge in the back end of fashion and to really push myself.

When I came back to Australia, I interned with Henne and styled Nadia Bartel for her content. Then, I signed with an agent and gained some more clients over time. I realised the importance of sharing as much as possible on social media and used this as my portfolio. Last year I started working in the music industry and styling artists, dancers and band members —  which I’m still doing currently and I absolutely love it.

I realised the importance of sharing as much as possible on social media and used this as my portfolio.

My day-to-day work life on an admin/non shoot day will begin with meetings with clients, style boarding looks and sending them off for approval, emailing brands back and forth to secure looks, tracking and collecting pieces. Packing/unpacking suitcases for photoshoots or work trips. No one day is ever structured the same and I truly love this about my job.

On a photoshoot or show day I will start off with a coffee, head to the location, unpack the car of suitcases and clothing racks. Steam and go over the order of looks with my client, take lots of behind the scenes content as I love looking back at this at the end of the day. Shoot shoot shoot, make sure my client is happy with the outcome. Pack up, head home and unpack the following day to move on to the next job.

In a competitive industry, how exactly have you built a buzzing profile? 

I think in a time where we are so heavily influenced by other people’s social media profiles and “keeping up” with what everyone else is doing, I want to remain an individual and not take everything too seriously. This means remembering to have fun and being authentic in doing and wearing what I like, rather than what I think everyone else will like. I never want to play it safe. My advice would be to say yes to every single invitation or event and show your personality. Instagram is free advertising and marketing of your personal brand. As a stylist, I knew I needed to post more than just my work and showcase myself too.

Who took a chance on you that you’ll forever be grateful for? How was this a turning point in your career trajectory?

Lana Wilkinson, my absolute idol. When I was studying at Whitehouse, I did a presentation on her career which inspired me immensely. When I got the opportunity to work with her and for her brand Lana Wilkinson shoes, it was a dream come true and a full-circle moment for me. It allowed me to broaden my network, add to my portfolio and gain even more knowledge from my biggest role model.

How would you define your style in a sentence?

Always evolving — bold, colourful and fun, with European influence.

How about your hypothetical ‘winter night out’ look from Harrolds?

I am absolutely obsessed with this gradient jacket and skirt set from Saks Potts. It’s fun and adds colour to a cold evening instead of playing it safe with an all-black or grey leather jacket option. I’m also loving the layering of skirts over trousers, so I’ve styled the skirt over these grey Homme Girls pants for warmth. This palette together is just gorgeous.

Next up, a Coperni gold Mini Swipe Bag, for some metallic glamour. I styled these Y/Project clear Melissa Court Mules because they’re playful, comfortable, and remind me of wearing Cinderella slippers as a little girl. It adds texture and edge to the outfit which I like. To finish off the look, I’ve styled these Magda Butrym crystal flower earrings that tie in with the mules and add just another fun element.

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