Antonia O’Brien transitions smoothly from giving style tips on TV to not only writing for online fashion blogs and leading print publications, but also hosting at the Clothes Show, reporting live from the E! Entertainment BAFTA Awards 2014 and then combining her passion for fashion and film at the Sky’s Oscars 2014. Stylist, fashion devotee and film enthusiast, Antonia may be the ultimate Fashionista. But will Antonia O’Brien spill her style secrets? We’ve caught up with her to find out.
FRUK: You have multiple professional personalities as a fashion reporter, writer, journalist, presenter, stylist, brand consultant and you’re a film enthusiast who also studied film. If you had to pick one role to pursue for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
Antonia: For me working in front of the camera as a TV presenter is the ‘rest of my life’ job; I love the challenge of live TV and on most projects, I am able to bring together all my interests from fashion to film
FRUK: You’re presenting your own stage at the Clothes Show again. What do you enjoy most about hosting at the Clothes show? What can we expect this year?
Antonia: I absolutely love presenting at the Clothes Show! This year I will be hosting the Image Catwalk alongside Jamie Laing and Joey Essex, we’ll have inspiring fashion catwalks, celebrity interviews and live music; it’s going to be fantastic!
FRUK: How did you get into fashion?
Antonia: My story starts like so many others; with work experience. I was helping on a shoot with my-wardrobe.com (an online retailer that has now ceased business) and was still at Northumbria University, figuring out what I wanted to do. On the shoot I spoke to everyone and this is where I met Louise Roe, who at the time was presenting Vogue TV; it was Louise who inspired me to try my hand at presenting. My advice would be to keep asking questions and don’t be shy to start at the very bottom; never forget that manners and a positive attitude are really important, plus everyone loves a good cup of tea!
FRUK: What advice would you give to anyone who wants a career in fashion?
Antonia: My advice would be don’t compare yourself to other people, focus on your style, your work and where you want to be because the grass is always greener; don’t be distracted.
FRUK: What is your best style tip?
Antonia: May I have two? Please? For me, being comfortable in what I am wearing (well, excluding the shoes) is key to feeling confident, which is so important to how you hold yourself. One of the first tips I learnt as a stylist is to remember proportion, if you’re wearing a fitted/skinny trouser, choose a looser shape on the top and vice versa.
FRUK: Is there any one item of clothing that any figure can pull off and if yes what is it?
Antonia: In my opinion a sharp blazer suits every figure and will immediately add a tailored edge to an outfit; it’s worth investing in the best your budget allows because it is a timeless wardrobe essential.
FRUK: How would you describe your own personal style?
Antonia: So tricky! I suppose my style is a mixture of classic shapes in diverse fabrics, prints and textures, plus a killer heel!
FRUK: What are you wearing a lot of this season?
Antonia: This season I can’t get enough of my tailored Rag & Bone jumpsuit; it works with everything from a white tee and Converse on the weekend to a silk blouse and pony skin stilettos for the evening.
FRUK: If you could raid anyone’s wardrobe, real, imaginary, historical or fictional who would you choose and why?
Antonia: I am going to have to be ultra-cliche and choose Kate Moss; imagine rummaging through her wardrobe, couture, shoes, jewellery, sunglasses collection – I would love to see her handbag collection alone; it has to be Moss.
FRUK: Which fashion item would you rescue from a fire?
Antonia: Easy; I would rescue my Camilla Elphick ‘Zip Me Up’ boots because they add a patent shine to a simple outfit (well, I have lost all my clothes!) and they have the sleekest heel.
FRUK: If you could dress in only one brand for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why?
Antonia: I would choose Stella McCartney; I love her over-sized cosy knitwear and sharp tailoring plus she does the most beautiful summer dresses and underwear, so I would be set for every style eventuality!
FRUK: Describe a day in the life of Antonia O’Brien
Antonia: My day always starts with a cup of tea, before I switch on my computer and start working through emails and chasing up projects and plans. Then I may be writing a trend story for my In Style column, working on a TV pitch or prepping for my Hoxton Radio show; every day is different which keeps me on my toes!
FRUK: What’s your favourite film?
Antonia: I fell in love with the film ‘Amelie’ at school, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s quirky romance set in a vividly bright Paris is so magical, if you haven’t seen it, you must!
FRUK: Tell us something no one knows about you
Antonia: I couldn’t possible say…
FRUK: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Antonia: I would live in Provence, France, because I have so many happy memories with family and friends there, plus I would be close enough to fly back for the Clothes Show every year!
FRUK: If you lived there, what would be your ideal holiday destination?
Antonia: I am desperate to visit Sri Lanka for its exotic beaches, culture and jungles; it’s on the bucket list.
FRUK: What’s your life motto/mission statement?
Antonia: A phrase my Mum has always used which is ‘peaks and troughs;’ – when I am riding a peak I make sure I really enjoy it and commit it to memory, to remember when I am in in trough.
FRUK: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Antonia: If all goes to plan, sitting on a sofa in front of a camera for a prime-time channel, yes, I really did say that!