Monica Morales – Freelance Fashion Stylist / Creative Director / Producer
A little bit about Mon:
Monica Morales is a Sydney based Fashion Creative who over the past 8 years has worked as a designer, stylist and trend forecaster. With a Fashion Business qualification from FBI Fashion College in Sydney, Monica first worked as a designer for couture lingerie label Pleasure State before moving into freelance fashion contributing and styling, collaborating with Australian fashion houses such as Suboo, Alex Perry and Manning Cartell.
Her clients have included MTV Australia, WGSN, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia and Who Magazine. She has worked with some of Australia’s best-known stylists, including David Bonney, Tamilia Pulvaris, Anna Hewitt, Michelle Jank and Amanda Newman and styled celebrities such as Whitney Port, Ruby Rose, Jessica Marais and Sophie Monk.
Monica has collaborated with Suboo on a number of recent campaign shoots – always a pleasure to work with and brings her effortlessly cool, vibrant feel to every shoot.
I have always been obsessed with fashion, my mum says from when I was three that I was always picking out wild outfits. It has always been something I have been so passionate about from such a young age so it was very natural pursuing it as a career. I started doing internships at a fashion house in Perth during school holidays when I was 15 to17 as well as working in retail. Even though it involved a lot of steaming and coffee runs I loved being around the clothes and loved the process of it all, that it cemented it was what I wanted to do with my career. So once I graduated school and did 3 years of fashion studies at tafe I moved to Sydney and got a job as an assistant designer.
Where do you draw your fashion inspiration?
All walks of life! Like everything. Obviously certain brands inspire and I get so excited for fashion month to see what new idea’s and trends are coming through but also I love real life people from all walks of life who just do them. People that are original and don’t think about trends, whether it be someone I see on the streets, or it’s someone from some old vintage photo album. I love looking at the past in fashion and modernising ideas. Different cultures also massively inspire me, whether it be Rio in the 1960s, the Tsars Russia in the 1800s, 90’s Hip-hop Culture, 80’s New York ball culture, Nordic/Vikings histories, indigenous Guatemalan communities…. I think the underlining thing that inspires me is colour and originality.
Top 3 style muses.
Wow, I have so many, 3 is hard!
- Denis Rodman, he was just so original and ahead of his game, and he just let his freak flag fly 24/7.
- Solange Knowles, so just so cool, effortless and tries everything yet makes it feel so uniquely her.
- I know she’s fictional but Fran Fine from the Nanny. Like seriously as a little girl, watching the nanny and seeing this big haired colourful women rock vintage Escada, Versace, Christian Lacroix….I couldn’t stop watching. Also big notable mention to Grandma Yeta, those sequin jumpsuits where everything!
Working with different people all the time. I love working with different models, photographers, HMU artists, because each one of them interprets your vision in a different way and that’s so inspiring to be around.
And the most challenging part?
Trying to balance multiple briefs at the same time, can be exhausting creatively. Also, the admin work, invoicing, receipts etc. Not fun for a creative like me, but necessary.
What have been your professional and personal highlights to date?
All the work I do for Man Repeller is a huge highlight. It just represents my vision so much, with no constraints, which is something I don’t often get to do in this capacity. Its colourful, fun, inclusive, but also very fashion-y and I get to work with a lot of my favourite international brands for each shoot. Flying out to NYC to shoot their Holiday season editorial all over Manhattan last year was definitely a career highlight.
What has been the most important lesson you have learnt as a stylist?
You’ve got to learn to not take anything personally and be adaptable to a clients needs. Still have a strong voice and vision of who you want to be as a stylist and what message you are sending, but learn to pick your battles if you want to work as both a commercial and editorial stylist.
Favourite piece in your wardrobe at the moment.
Right now… my sweats! Haha, no seriously, I have so many gems in there, its hard to pick. Maybe my Saks Potts orange fur jacket which is way too hot to wear in Australia, even in winter…but it's so beautiful. I also have a vintage Pucci printed organza trench, which I picked up vintage shopping in London back in 2013 which I will never part with even though I've never worn it myself.
Where can we view more of your work?
My instagram. I post a lot of cool stuff on my stories from my sourcing days, shooting days, what inspires me etc. Probably the best place to check out my work.
And lastly, what’s your favourite piece from Suboo’s latest collection, Supernova?
Love all the metallic knit pieces. The skirt will be a summer go-to 100%!