An extremely talented creative, we spoke with fashion stylist and content creator Sarah Jane (otherwise know as ESJAY) to find out more about her top styling tips and how she chooses to live a more sustainable lifestyle whilst working in the fashion industry. Follow Sarah on Instagram @e.s.j.a.y
Hey Sarah, tell us a bit about yourself.
My birth name is Sarah Jane but most of you may know me by my Instagram name @e.s.j.a.y (an articulated version of my initials). I am an all-round creative who currently specialises in fashion photoshoot styling, production and content creation for brands' social media and websites.
How did you fall into this career journey and your current line of work as a content creator and stylist?
I grew up in country NSW dressed in my Mum's handmade creations, sewing my own projects, crafting jewellery, homemade cards and perfumes to sell out the front of our house and everything in between.
In high school I was in love with every element of creating, from textiles and art to dance and I found my passions early on. After high school, I went on to begin my career in Sydney after studying Fashion Design at Whitehouse Institute of Design. It was here I later fell in love with the production side of photoshoots and being a part of the story and vision that translates clothes from garments to the experience and inspiration that clothes give us as individuals in our daily lives.
How does your personal style reflect your personality?
My style is an evolution of what inspires me, both from natural elements and man-made. I love playing with texture, tone and structure, drawing inspiration from the beach's golden sands and cascading waves to the perfectly imperfect rocks on the shoreline. This translates to my femme naturally raw side. I also love playing into my masculinity, drawing inspiration from modern structures of the city's tones and forms. My personality is much the same, a mix of hard strong features contrasted with a carefree raw spirit.
Talk us through your creative process when you are either styling your own outfit or styling for a shoot.
For my own outfit I start with purpose and feeling. I draw from what part of me I want to lean into for that day. Do I need to be strong and bold in my decision making or can I flow with life and be free? If I need a day of inspirational thinking I take a more creative approach to my wardrobe, playing with textures and layers. My wardrobe inspires my day and sets a purpose.
When styling a shoot I look at the message the client wants to convey to their audience and brand identity. I look deep into the feeling they hope to provoke in order to inspire the customer to add the pieces to their collection. e.g. Do they want to feel like they are on holiday abroad, living a life of dreams or do they want power and purpose at work? From there I source props and accessories to compliment these feelings and mood board the overall vision that needs to be translated. I love sourcing from op shops to add elements into shoots and find this one of my favourite parts of my job.
What are your top 3 styling tips?
- Don't worry about staying up to date with the latest fashion trends and rather lean into what inspires you and your purpose.
- Find shapes and tones that compliment your complexion, shape or personality.
- Source from vintage or op shops; some of the best made items come from the past and even better, come with a story.
Fashion is always on rotation so this is a great way to be more sustainable when adding pieces to your collection. You can find authentic pieces from the original era that may be currently inspiring fashion.
How do you practice sustainability in your everyday life?
I actively try to be as sustainable as one can be as directly involved in the fashion industry as I am. I only purchase it if it will add value to my wardrobe and I know both the fabric and composition will mean I will have it for years to come or will be used ongoing for photoshoot styling.
I have put a major focus on staying true to things that inspire me rather than following trends. If it is a trending item I ask myself, do I like it because it's trending or am I drawn to it because it feels me and will I continue to wear this past the trends expiration date?
I shop second-hand and give any clothes/products that no longer serve me a second life to friends and family who love them and will get good use or sell them on through markets and online platforms.
In life, I try to reduce my meat consumption to what my body needs and not prepare in excess to avoid food wastage. I actively try my best to purchase products that will not harm the natural environment e.g sunscreens etc.
I am by no means perfect in my contribution to sustainability. Over the last few years I have put a large focus on identifying the points in my life that are most negatively contributing to the environment and began educating myself on where I can alter my practice to better serve the environment.
Sarah Jane shines in our Birthday Gown in Sun Ombré.