Emma Cotterill is the mixologist of style who put together an intoxicating array of looks for the Face of Friendie 2020 shoot, a cocktail menu from fresh morning sports luxe to high octane party looks.
Growing up in the UK Emma embodies the Britchic attitude of London cool. She styles adding a dash of the punk sensibility of rebelling against the norm, and questioning everything. She’s a real rag trade insider having trained and worked with fashion in houses for garments, accessories and footwear. Emma loves the influence of music on fashion and fashion on music.
“I am a music person, I like to have music whatever I am doing. I hear certain tunes and they remind me of times in my life. I love hearing new music. When I moved from London I sold my lathes but I shipped my vinyl. I used to DJ in London and I couldn’t leave it.”, says Emma.
Leaving school, Emma knew that fashion was her future and began the traditionally slow education route to a fashion career, but fate and determination supercharged her story.
“I was invited to go to a show at Paris Fashion Week. I was meant to go for one week but I stayed for two. I got kicked out of college because I had missed too many classes but the project that I created about the shows got me straight into my fashion foundation course.”.
Next Emma joined the prestigious Cordwainers at London College of Fashion in East London and studied shoe design and making before creating ranges for major UK shoe labels. Fate struck again and Emma’s styling career took off.
“My friend was a makeup artist and she put me forward for my first styling job. I assisted an editor on a shoot for New York’s Interview Magazine (founded by Andy Warhol). It turned out that the shoot was Bryan Ferry! It was an incredible experience. We had racks and racks of fashion.”.
Emma worked as a stylist in London before moving to Sydney where she grew her career until today, when Emma is represented by Reload, Sydney’s leading creative talent agency.
Emma’s fashion advice is to always mix it up, and she makes no exception for leisurewear.
“So many people in leisurewear look like clones. Choose a smart take on athleisure with a sports luxe look. Have your basics like leggings but go for a really bright print or a different colour and wear them with a beautiful shirt. Camilla and Marc (C&M) are doing a sports range and using lots of fluoro, breaking away from the dark blue and black clone wear. Or mix a simple sweatshirt with a real statement like a sequin skirt. Bike shorts and crop tops are going to be huge next season with amazing fabrics, leopard print, sequins and chunky wool boucle. The Upside has stretch fabric with a gold or silver weave in it. You can be comfortable but still glamorous.”.
Non traditional fabrics become staples in Emma’s sports wardrobe. She says, “A lot of athleisure items are not very good for the environment. Silk is something that is really lightweight and easy to carry around anywhere. It’s natural so it’s breathable and sustainable. I love wearing a plain white silk shirt with leggings for a little bit of shine.”.
Great fashion, like great music, moves through your life with you, from day to night and through many situations.
“Who says officewear should be boring? Check out brands like Lux Deluxe that have done a take on office gear with a real lux feel and amazing fabrics. My favourite look from the Friendie shoot Raluca is leaning backwards in a denim jumpsuit. It’s the kind of outfit that can take you anywhere and that for me is freedom. It allows movement, I would wear those kind of flares to dance in. Mix it up! You can wear really beautiful girly things like a really beautiful lace blouse with something harder like light blue denim jeans.”.
Predicting looks for the post-iso Australian summer season, Emma sees people displaying the craft skills they learnt or remembered while they were at home. She’ll be decked out in reworked ‘70s dresses with amazing fabrics that she found in her attic during lockdown!
“It will be colour and beading and detail and people will be a lot more crafty because they will have been experimenting. Whatever you wear will express your new found confidence. People have been painting rainbows and wearing them!”