Megan Morton’s been a busy lady of late. She’s got a second book in the works and she’s opening a prop room and design school.
She’s one of Australia’s best known female stylists, but she doesn’t exactly go in for self promotion, hoping instead that her work speaks for itself. “I have been head down, working hard for over ten years now,” she says. “I am someone who responds to results, not so much hype.”
All that may have to change now though, with the launch of her new venture, The School. Megan says she’s built her dream studio and props room in Rosebery, where she’ll be hosting styling lessons and workshops for adults and children alike. “It’ll be very different to being a trade-only service stylist. It’s my way of being able to give all the lessons I have learned over the years to anyone who is interested in styling, craft and beyond.
“We are also offering kids classes because, as a mother to three lovely little people, I have found this lacking in the creative education department.” She envisages mothers having some time out at the cafe next door or browsing the furniture in nearby Koskela while the children are taught “incredible things”.
“I’d like all the classes, whether it be craft, styling or a kids make-and-create, to hold a candle to everyone’s inner creative and show people the joy of making things when your hands and heart work together. This is really what it is about my job that I like most. It’s a practical application working with an emotional intuition.”
She’s just styled the catalogue for the new Freedom winter collection. “What I love about the Freedom offer is it lets you play stylist with some grounded pieces as well as purely decorative. The way it’s been designed and styled means you can make your own edit, working back with pieces you might already own. Clever! A home is not a shop! The catalogue is for inspiration, to trigger an idea, not for duplicating.” Her favourites are the Nature’s Imprint prints. “Totally wonderful! Hang four super snugly together on a mantle and hey presto! Instant greatness.”
Megan, who says “I love styling. All days, every day. Even holidays,” had great success with her first book Home Love. The second is coming along nicely. “Home Love has such a charming following. I love writing books. I have ideas monthly about new ones. I love the printed word.”
She’s also working on plenty of residential projects and styling inspired shoots for clients. “Our studio makes all of this possible now with a big design room, studio and props house all built in.” Being next door to Sydney’s hot new must-eat place Kitchen by Mike is helping too!
Megan doesn’t believe working stylists can have the luxury of a set style. “Of course you can have personal preferences (mine involve French Art Deco, a bit of Scandi tat and Belgian grey with a lashing of sunshine yellow) but you are hired not necessarily for your own tastes or style (that is a given), you are hired for your interpretation of the brief. Some days I work with perspex and super modern materials, the very next I am knee deep in vintage ribbon and organza rolls. I put my own preferences aside and give solutions for the image to be the most direct/soft/sexy/decadent/crafted/artisinal/modern or whatever it needs to be. This is why my portfolio covers a lot of ground. The shots might have a loose handwriting, but they are all working to create different emotional charges or deliver a variety of results.”
She loves the work of those people who cover many disciplines. “To me, the bigger the thing you work on the better you can be on the smaller things. And vice versa. Some days I take a whole day to style a perfect egg, but it’s the same nouse I use to deliver a production for 500 people.”
For Megan, home is where husband Giles and the kids are. “My family are totally awesome anyway. Going to work is like being in awesome-world, but coming home is even more so.”
Photo: Jason Busch