PHOTOGRAPHY : LUCY CARR-ELLISON | INTERVIEW : DOMINIC JONES
Celestine Cooney is Fashion Director of Twin Magazine, an inspiration in both style and approach. After growing up in the Irish countryside riding horses and fishing, she gained a degree in Film. Quickly realising she far preferred magazines and publishing, Celestine became Fashion Editor of two different magazines in Dublin. She then moved to London, worked for Nicola Formichetti at Dazed and Confused, and eventually went solo. Here she tell us more about her role as a Freelance Stylist and Fashion Director of the twice annual Fashion Book ‘Twin’ for this month’s JOB ENVY…
What is your earliest memory of fashion influencing you? Diana Ross singing ‘Chain Reaction’, standing on what looks like a metal plate with showers of welding sparks flying out of the side and she is in the middle of all of this wearing a red sequin fishtail gown…..I was 6 years old and it just blew my head off.
How did you end up a stylist living in london? I was asked to style a shoot for a magazine here in Dublin when I was younger, bacause of how I dressed. I actually didnt know what a stylist was, I had a degree in film and had no intentions of going into fashion. That first shoot ended up as their cover and I later became their Fashion Editor. Everything kinda just snowballed from there. I dropped off my porfolio to Dazed one time when I was visiting friends in London with no appointment, no label, no nothing and it ended up with Nicola Formichetti, who asked me to come and work for him. So I moved to London and worked with Nicola at Dazed for a couple of years before going out on my own.
Who are the people that have had the biggest professional influence on your career? I think it’s fair to say I have Nicola to thank for giving me such an opportunity, I don’t know what he saw in me that day that made him give me that job. He was great to work for and I learned a lot from him, we laughed when shit hit the fan instead of freaking out.
What are the best and worst things about the profession? I really love what I do, there are loads of great things about it, travelling and getting to meet and hang out with amazing people, working with some of my best friends in amazing locations…etc. It’s always challenging and every day is different, I get bored very easily so it’s a blessing that no two days are the same. If anything, as a job, it’s a real adventure.
The worst, well it can be tough at times, it’s a tough industry on many levels. You know it’s competitive and you have to grow a thick skin to survive it. There’s always gunna be things that piss you off about your job but you just have roll with it, roll over it and out the other side. One thing I loathe is lifting things, I don’t even carry a bag anymore I just have one with a long strap that goes across my body, because I spend so much time dragging bags up flights of stairs, through airports, in and out of taxis etc….it bores me to death.
What are your most exciting moments in your career to date? Being a part of Twin and being on our 6th Issue. Once I started working in Fashion, I always wanted to be a Fashion Director and this has been such a massive learning curve and so much fun. It’s been amazing to be a part of something I really believe in and to work with such a brilliant talented bunch of people. It’s a little family that I’m very grateful to be a part of.
Do you have any advice to a young stylist starting out? I don’t think people realise how hard it is to be a stylist. So make sure you really want to do it first otherwise it will snap you like a twig. I always think of my training for this, as a bit like boot camp… it’s tough and you have to be resiliant and hard working to succeed at it. Mostly it’s about being true to who you are, your vision and what you love to create. I think that’s what being a stylist is all about, that and working your ass off.