Stylist Fiona Fagan returned to her native Dublin in April after working in London for 21 years. She explains why dressing for yourself is the real secret to true style.


Stylist Fiona Fagan

Fashion has shaped me as a person and expanded my mind in so many ways. I was a fittings model in London for many years for designer brands, and I had the opportunit­y to travel to their factories in India, Morocco, Istanbul and China. I remember sitting on the ground outside a denim factory in Casablanca eating bread on my lunch break with the women who worked there. It was really humbling to see the effort they put into making the perfect garment for us to buy. MY STYLE IS HARD TO DEFINE SO I’M GOING TO DESCRIBE IT IN A SILLY WAY: if Anita Pallenberg, Bianca Jagger, Keith Richards, Françoise Hardy and supermodel Erin Wasson had a child! I’m heavily influenced by music – from Studio 54 to Patti Smith and The Rolling Stones, to LA in the 1970s and Paris in the 1960s. I like to look different and stand out, but not in a vulgar way. I have a very strong sense of my own style and never veer from that. TO ME, FASHION IS AS STIMULATIN­G AS MUSIC AND ART.

It makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Sourcing designer vintage clothes is a hobby of mine, and I’m happiest mooching around a vintage shop or market. The pieces I find there are the ones from my wardrobe that mean the most to me because of their history and the fact that they are still making someone happy years after they were first made. I love my Paul Smith red velvet trouser suit, the Gucci mules I found for £50 in a vintage shop in Brick Lane, and my Vivienne Westwood striped dress discovered in New York. DRESS FOR YOURSELF AND NOBODY ELSE. It’s so important to be true to who you are. You don’t need to follow trends; it’s okay to be different. Great style is only achieved when you are comfortabl­e with and confident in your own skin. I adore Françoise Hardy’s style and Jane Birkin’s. I’ve recently become interested in American writer Joan Didion, both her books and her style. She was wonderful in the Celine campaign a couple of years ago – still nailing it in her eighties. I RELY MOSTLY ON ACNE FOR BASIC LEATHERS AND LEVI’S FOR JEANS. Ganni, Joseph and Zara are also my goto brands. Younger labels I look out for include Molly Goddard, Shrimps, Osman, De La Vali, Brøgger, The Attico, Boyish Jeans (a completely sustainabl­e denim brand by the former denim designer of ethical label Reformatio­n), Redemption, Sir The Label and Posse. And British designer Eudon Choi, a friend of mine who makes outerwear like nobody else.

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