AN INTERVIEW WITH MIRANDA HOLDER

AN INTERVIEW WITH MIRANDA HOLDER

I came across Miranda on Instagram, meeting new people via social media seems to be the norm for me these days (anyone else or is it just me?).  Miranda’s instagram feed gives you a mere hint as to what she does and is about.  I knew that she was a luxury fashion stylist and that she did editorial work (I was intrigued as to how this worked – looks so glam) but her talents don’t stop there.  Pre-interview I thought Miranda was a lovely, easy going, friendly person, post-interview I think she’s even more fabulous and amazing.  Miranda’s story really does go to show that the pictures you see in those little boxes don’t always tell you the whole story and what people have gone through to get to where they are now. Take a read and see for yourself how this amazing lady really is.

1: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Sure! I originally trained as an actress – always wanted to be on the stage ever since I was tiny. I first starred in a production of Peter Pan as Peter Pan aged 14 and flew. I remember on one of the first nights something went wrong and they dropped me! – but  it didn’t put me off. 

I went on to study Acting at Middlesex University and then R.A.D.A. I spent several years working as a ‘jobbing actress’ in theatre including the West End, I did voice overs and had bit parts in the odd TV programme. I even starred as Lady Macbeth in a film.  I loved it, but if I’m honest my career never really took off as I wanted it to.

When my children were very young I had a serious car accident and spent weeks in hospital and months in a wheelchair. My ankle had been totally crushed, and there were many complications including serious nerve damage and I had many operations. I spent a year completely out of it on Morphine. The Doctors told me I would never walk again, let alone run, dance or wear heels and wanted to amputate my foot. This was utterly devastating, but I’m a fighter, and did not give up. I tried every therapy under the sun and several years on I am proud to say that I have almost made a complete recovery – and most importantly I have a fabulous collection of heels that I am able to wear!

During my recovery (after coming off the morphine) I retrained as a Naturopathic Nutritionist, but when I came to the end of my course I realised that this was just not creative enough for me. I love the knowledge that I now have and help my family and friends whenever I can. I still make my children drink a green juice on most days, but I’m really glad I didn’t go into this as I just don’t think I would be fulfilled.

I have always poured over fashion magazines and had a great love for putting outfits together, but I literally fell into styling. I bought my husband some personal styling sessions as a birthday present, the stylist was fab, and had just started running a personal styling academy locally. She approached me to enrol and I thought: ‘Why not?! Could be fun!’ I loved it and came away totally buzzing. I knew I wanted to take this further and started googling all the best styling courses. I went on to study Fashion Styling at Central St Martins and then took two further courses at the London College of Style and have never looked back.

I am now Fashion & Beauty Editor of International Excellence Magazine and Streets Magazine, a freelance fashion, celebrity and personal stylist, a writer and TV presenter!

Going into this was the best decision I have ever made. I love what I do! No day is ever the same and there is so much opportunity for growth. I really know that I am in my flow and doing the right thing, as opportunities tend to come to me rather than me chasing, which is such a great feeling.  I am truly happy and truly thankful.

Oh – did I mention I am also a bit of a hippy?!! I love my Crystals, Essential Oils and am a Reiki Master. I love to offer these as a bit of an added bonus to my celebrities before Red Carpet Events and they love it!

I am also animal-mad. When my husband first met me I had 7 cats! My father actually tried to bribe me to get rid of a few to make me a more attractive prospect! We now have 2 dogs, only 3 cats and 2 guinea pigs…..but I’m working on rescuing a couple of Donkeys from Spain.

2: Can you tell us a little more about your business?

It’s all about the juggling, but I love the variety. The fashion and personal styling are two completely different worlds but I love them both. Fashion is exciting, sometimes glamorous, creative and often highly stressful with really long hours.

As well as editorial for magazines I regularly style for brands, doing lookbooks and campaigns and have recently done a lot of jewellery. I tend to work at the luxury end of the market which works as I have very expensive taste!

The personal styling side brings me a welcome dose of reality as I am working with real people which is so refreshing! I love watching my clients’ confidence grow as I help them to really make the best of themselves and get them looking and feeling fantastic.

I also style celebrities, write articles for International Excellence Magazine for which I am Fashion & Beauty Editor. I have also recently been appointed Fashion & Beauty Editor for Streets Magazine too, which I am really excited about as it’s a highly respected publication, but this role hasn’t really got going yet. As I am so busy this is probably not a bad thing!

Miranda with Sue Dray at the Oriental Fashion Show Paris 2018

3: How does Editorial styling work?

As a stylist you usually get the job through the photographer or agent, or sometimes by approaching the publication directly.

The first stage is usually to prepare a moodboard to determine the creative vision for the shoot. If I’m producing the shoot and Art Directing, which I do for IX Magazine I will also cast the model, choose the location and the hair and makeup, then it’s down to researching and sourcing the garments. Researching can take days in terms of finding what you need and sourcing is not as easy as it sounds. You usually need next seasons garments so that they will be in the shops when the shoot comes out in print, so you need to ‘pull’ clothes from PRs and directly from the designers but they won’t lend to just anyone. It is all about contacts, who you know and networking. I am constantly networking.

If I am on a big shoot I won’t sleep properly for about a week as the work can be so intense. There is an awful lot of admin involved and you have to be so organised which is definitely not glamorous.

On shoot day I don’t eat, as my adrenaline is going so much I just can’t as there’s so much to think about. Then afterwards there are all the returns to organise – thankfully I have an amazing assistant who helps me – and then I select the images with the photographer, they are retouched and voila!

4: Can you tell us how Celebrity styling works?

Sometimes you are approached by an agent or a photographer but the Celebrity work I have done has just fallen in my lap. Sometimes it’s styling for a cover shoot, sometimes they need outfits for a performance or just a pap-ready wardrobe.  My favourite is definitely red carpet. I love putting together all the little elements to make that perfect drop-dead outfit. I am a sucker for getting every little detail absolutely perfect. I am qualified in colour, so I always start there, then go to town. None of my clients ever wear red on the red carpet – I think it looks terrible. They need to stand out, not blend in!

Vanessa Williams at the Global Gift Gala

5: Who is the most memorable Celebrity you have styled and why?

Oh this is such a hard question! I have developed some really close relationships with some of my celebs. As you get to know them the wall comes down and you become their confidant, knowing all their hang ups and worries. They are just real people like you and I, but part of this huge publicity machine and life can be really rough for them as sometimes there is nowhere to hide.

I can’t say I have a favourite as they have all been so different!

I did get totally star-struck by Vanessa Williams and had to really quickly pull myself together to show her the dresses for the Global Gift Gala – she was exhausted and had just stepped off a plane but was so lovely and professional. She is Hollywood royalty and to be honest I was expecting a bit of a Diva, but she couldn’t have been more down to earth. She is a fabulous example of a mature woman with a real body who is comfortable in her own skin and knows how to pull it out of the bag when required. She looked incredible that night.

6: Are there any styling tricks of the trade that you can share with us?

On location I am never without my styling belt which contains all sorts of pins, clips, tape, string etc, so I can adjust all the clothes once they are on the model. No garment ever fits perfectly as we are all shapes and sizes. This applies to personal styling too – nothing looks cheaper than expensive but ill-fitting clothes. I have a brilliant tailor who I take all my clients to.

7: What would you say has been your most surreal styling moment?

Last year I was styling Jasmine Hyde for her film Premiere and looking for fabulous dresses. I had a phone call from a brilliant designer who wanted to dress her which was amazing – except she was based in Miami, the Premiere was in London and there was less than a week until the big day! We designed the dress together via Skype, then the designer personally flew it over from America and delivered it to my hotel at 9 am the day before! I got a call from reception saying the dress had arrived, I rushed down to see her, but she had already got back in her cab to Heathrow to fly back to Miami! It was incredible!

Miranda with Jasmine Hyde

8: Which celebrity would you most like to dress and why?

Kate Middleton! I think she does such a fab job for our country and she must be so busy juggling this with all the children as I know she doesn’t accept much help. I wish I could help her. She is an ‘Autumn’ and frequently wears the wrong colours which make her look washed out and drained. Also she is looking a bit frumpy at the moment which is a shame as she is so beautiful and has a fantastic figure. You can still stick to the Royal rules and look fantastic – I would love to get my hands on her!

9: How would you describe your style?

Ever changing! I’m a chameleon. I’m creative, experimental and constantly affected by what inspires me which changes every day. I don’t believe in pigeon holes, wear what makes you feel happy. That’s it!

10: What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?

It would have to be my Gucci platform silver & gold sparkle boots. They are very Elton John, but utterly fabulous, totally comfortable and go with everything. I get complements on them every time I wear them.

11: What would you never be caught dead wearing?

Real fur. Hate it. Just no excuse for the cruelty, there are amazing quality faux furs out there now. I am so delighted that some of the fashion houses are finally waking up and are discontinuing it. Let’s hope everyone follows suit.

12: What are your wardrobe top tips for AW18?

Pick one or two statement pieces that make you go weak at the knees, then work your wardobe around them. If you are investing, spend your money on shoes, bags and coats or jackets these will effortlessly elevate your more classic items.

Luxe and opulence will be a trend that will continue through from the Summer so get ready for more bold patterns, animal print, rich fabrics, shimmer and embellishment. It’s going to be a great season.

Military will also be huge. Top of my shopping list will be the ultimate pair of cargo trousers and a traffic-stopping military coat.

Thank you so much for reading this interview. I for one am blown away by Miranda’s determination and grit.  A personal situation that would have had most of us floored has motivated her to be the best she can be and boy is she amazing!  I hope that you are feeling as inspired as I am by this and thank you so much Miranda for sharing your journey with us. 

 

Love Chet x

 

 

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