5 March 2019
Inspiring women – Clare Ryan, stylist & journalist
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we visited stylist and journalist Clare Ryan at her gorgeous light-filed studio and spoke to her about life as a freelancer, the women who inspire her and some fail-safe styling tips for the new season.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’ve been a journalist and a stylist for over 13 years now. Over that time, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work across a number of lifestyle areas including fashion, food, architecture and design. Over the years I have branched out into many different areas – I’ve been an editor, styled houses, produced and styled fashion shoots in New York, designed restaurant interiors, styled campaigns, designed uniforms for a hotel, hosted a YouTube interior series and the list goes on.
Journalism and styling are both creative pursuits, how did you choose this career path?
I always wanted to be a fashion and interior stylist, but back then there was no Instagram or YouTube, or any way of knowing what the job really involved. I also loved to write, so I decided to study journalism so I could get my foot in the door at a publishing company and see where I ended-up. After university, I did work experience at ACP Magazines in Sydney for a few months, and that secured my desire to write and style across as many areas as I could manage.
What is the best career advice you have been given?
Change is good for you. My industry is constantly shifting and there are always new opportunities to be taken. There’s so much freedom in my industry at the moment and I love it.
What is the styling tip that never fails?
Always have a black blazer in your wardrobe. It goes with denim, dresses, jeans, skirts and never dates. It’s the one item of clothing that everyone needs to own.
As a freelancer you balance so many different roles, how do you manage your time and stay organised?
It can be very challenging. I have a diary on my iPhone, a hand-written diary, a weekly ‘Action’ planner that I throw away after it is complete, as well as an instant ‘To Do’ list for when I’m on the road.
Who are some of the women that inspire you and why?
I could easily list a number of famous/iconic women like stylist Grace Coddington, who worked at American Vogue and was the first exposure I had to a stylist’s work, but I find that I’m more inspired by the positive and determined women that I deal with day to day. Friends who are determined to go back to work after having a baby and women like my mum, who is always ready to help someone out and always encourages everyone to look out for the positives in each day, live in the now and believe that everything is constantly working out for you.
What is a typical day for you?
It changes every day, but it’s always busy! For example, I’m currently designing the interior of a restaurant, have an article due for Broadsheet and a fashion shoot next week. Today I went to the gym, then straight to site to meet with the builder, back to my studio to reply to emails and confirm interviews for my article, then off to the shops to source outfits for the fashion shoot, then I was off buying pendant lights for the restaurant, and then off to the Somerville outdoor cinemas with friends.
Do you have a philosophy or motto that you like to live by?
It will all work out. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. That doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t get upset if something doesn’t work out the way I had planned, but I just take a step back and look forward to whatever else is coming my way. It’s always exciting and unpredictable.
What should we be investing in this coming winter?
Some snakeskin print boots. I like flat boots because they are way more comfortable and have more of an urban edge to them.
What are your favourite Allure pieces and why?
Where do I begin? I love the stackable pearl rings; they are so refined and delicate and I love the simplicity of the single pearl.
I also love the yellow gold handmade hoop and pearl earrings for their modern design that is bold but still elegant. The short baroque stand with the larger 13-16mm pearls are divine! Each pearl is unique and a mini-work of art and I just love the way the strand sits on the neck.
A special thank you to Clare Ryan for allowing us into her beautiful studio and sharing her story.