“A good stylist is like a painter – you make a total mess in the studio pulling out the colours and textures you want in the picture. So in your head you’ve got a blank canvas and you’re filling it how you see fit.” quotes the 26-year old Scottish born, but London based Sophie McElligott.
After having had her own fashion label she changed direction and did a master in Early Modern English literature and is now dividing her time between being a stylist, creating fashion, drawing, writing and being a deputy editor at style-passport.com. We are pleased to ask Sophie a bit about her life – and you know that I sometimes ask myself what aim I am going towards with my work and life and I loved Sophie´s answer to that question…
3 words that describe you perfectly…
conscientious, hectic, messy
You went to art school in Italy and did life drawing and then studied fashion at St. Martins, right? How was it to work/ study in those two different art fields?
I loved being in Italy – at the time I didn’t fully appreciate all the renaissance art – I preferred work from much later periods but maybe that’s because I grew up in a historic town – I just longed to move to an urban space buzzing with new ideas and new faces. When I moved to London I just couldn’t get enough. I did my foundation at St Martins and my BA at Middlesex working under amazing tutors; Richard Sorger, Ben and Ed (Meadham Kirchhoff) and Marios Schwab. I loved those days. Anyway a few years later I moved back in time and did an MA in renaissance literature so maybe studying in Italy was just an overture for things to come. Basically it’s all joined up – you can work in a million different fields and at some point they all join up – no need to rush it because it’s normally natural. As for the life drawing, I still do it occasionally. I’ve always liked watching people. It’s even better when they’re naked.
What is a good fashion stylist/designer in your eyes?
I’m not sure there’s a straightforward answer to that. Good designers are people locked up in basements, working night and day to create something beautiful. They’re normally mad and not particularly very good at socialising. It’s a genius thing. Stylists on the other hand hate basements and normally love going out. They are lazy versions ;) No – in all seriousness a good stylist is like a painter – you make a total mess in the studio pulling out the colours and textures you want in the picture. So in your head you’ve got a blank canvas and you’re filling it how you see fit.
What´s your aim with your work and your life in general?
I think there used to be an aim or a point but I’ve realised it’s all work in progress. There’s not going to be a day when I sit at the top of some castle I’ve built. As long as I’m busy, working with lots of people and engaged in something creative I’ll be quite content.
I read that your parents didn´t like you to watch TV so you were drawing instead. Would you do the same with your own kids? ;)
Kids! hah. My sister has just had a baby – think it’ll be a while before I start cracking out babies. Well I think it’s good to be strict – it forces your children to rebel which is healthy. There are lots of children who watch shitloads of TV and they’re still drawing, speaking and reading. However I still don’t own a TV. ;)
5 things you cannot live without?
Paper (and a pen)
The most inspiring thing someone ever told you?
I’m not sure. I think I find good behaviour more inspiring than good words.
Photography by Nicholas Kay