From freelance stylist to full-time fashion editor, Sydney girl Siobhan Sheehan has edited fashion from across the glossy spectrum, giving her an appreciation for price points and an eye for outfits that appeal to the girl-next-door with celebrity aspirations. Meet Who magazine's resident trend-setter...
GWAS: Where did you passion for fashion come from? I would have to say my Mum. She has always a had a good eye for lovely prints, fabrics and styles. Living in Italy for two years also gave me a passion for style and design. I was obsessed with looking at shops on Via della Spiga in Milan and going to art and fashion exhibitions.
How has your career evolved? I studied fashion design at school, pattern making and fashion illustration at Enmore college, did work experience at Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar, and then worked as an assistant for a freelance stylist. I started putting a portfolio together, doing test shots, and then became a freelance stylist, and did so for about eight years. Just over a year ago, I was asked to be fashion editor at Who. I thought it would be interesting to work in a dynamic weekly environment.
Who have you styled for? InStyle, The Sun-Herald, Girlfriend, advertising campaigns... In terms of celebrities, Jodi Gordan, Lara Bingle, Tahyna Tozzi and Jessica Mauboy.
How does freelancing compare with a full-time fashion gig? Freelancing, you may work on your own day and night to get two jobs done, then you may have two to four weeks off! It's nice to work within a team and not wonder when your next pay cheque is coming in!
What does an average week in your job involve? Planning what trends are going into the next issues by looking at fashion websites and magazines; attending fashion events day and night; making appointments with PRs to select fashion samples to borrow for shoots; answering approximately 150 emails a day; choosing celebrity pics to feature on my pages; and styling on shoots.
Where do you get inspiration for styling? Magazines and movies. I especially love the old Hollywood glamour movies. When I travel, I love seeing what people wear in other countries, too: Thailand, Vietnam, and, of course, New York and London.
Do you have to be a writer and a stylist to be a fashion editor? No, but it does help!
The biggest misconception about working as a fashion editor? We get everything that gets sent into us for free!
What does it take to make it in the fashion magazine business? A passion for fashion, determination, organisation and patience. A degree in fashion design, and/or journalism or media would also help.
Your advice for aspiring fashion editor/stylists? I suggest you try and get an internship with a magazine. Most magazines take on interns. Or, you could try being an assistant to a freelance stylist. It will give you an insight into what we do, so you can see if it's something you really want to pursue.
Who captures your attention on the celebrity style front? Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Rachel Bilson.
Your top five fashion must-haves for autumn/winter?
1. A coat – there are some great Militant and Trench styles out in stores and online.
2. A jumper – a simple turtle neck jumper is always a great basic.
3. A boot – there are so many cool boots around, from shoe boots to knee-length boots. Ones with a detail, like fringing, studs and buckles, are a hot trend this winter.
4. A scarf – one of my favourite accessories for winter. There are an array of colours and patterns out now. They're a great way to layer up!
5. Jeans – safe, I know, but you can always dress up or down in a pair of jeans. Throw on a flat boot to shop around in, or slip on a pump heel for an evening out.
Your current favourite outfit... I have favourite items, as apposed to outfits. My favourite item at the moment is a my Doma lavender leather jacket. Love!
If you could edit your own magazine, what would it feature? It would have a mix of news articles, as well as features on a designer, model, someone not necessarily fashion or design related. A four to six page fashion spread featuring a hot trend with the model wearing both affordable and high-end labels, fashion news (new labels, ranges, shops, who wore what that looked great or outrageous), and some beauty.
Who is published each Friday, with the eight-page 'Star Style' fashion section edited by Siobhan. It retails for $4.70.
Girl With a Satchel