Nigel Stanislaus: The worlds of fashion and beauty have always been linked and the biggest trends are launched on the runways during Fashion Week. Bree McDonald knows this better than most, as marie claire’s Fashion and News Editor. She is known as much for her work as she is for her iconic style. So Bree, have you always been a fashion girl?
Bree McDonald: I grew up watching my Nan, who was always dressed really beautifully. She never wanted anyone to have chipped nail polish and she had this room in the house that was the spare room. She commissioned my granddad to build special shelves around the perimeter just so she could hang her shoes up and display her shoes.
Get out. How did you end up at marie claire?
I grew up in Queensland and there wasn’t a clear sort of direction of how I might actually get that done. I spoke to the careers counselor and sort of said, you know, I want to work in a magazine, I read them all the time and I love them. She was like, ‘okay that’s nice but I don’t know how to help you, why don’t you go to art school.’ And so I did. I did a year, packed up, went overseas, explored and came back and thought, ‘you know what, I actually still do want to do what I thought I did’ and moved to Sydney pretty much straight away.
Tell me, once you landed your dream job surely going to those big overseas shows, it’s pretty up there as well, but what’s the goss? What’s your favourite?
One of the most recent shows is Gucci because I flew in, I touched down, I went straight to the hotel, got changed and off I went. All of a sudden I was in this dimly lit, amazing room and watched A$AP Rocky and Tom Hiddleston and Salma Hayek sort of roll into the front row and I was sitting there thinking…
Shut the front door! Tom Hiddleston?
He was the only one dressed up to the nines. He was in a suit and everyone else was kind of rocking their casual Gucci gear.
What do you wear to a fashion show?
It’s pretty hard to be honest. But at the end of the day what I have figured out is you have to be comfortable. So if you haven’t worn it before, wearing it to Fashion Week shouldn’t be its debut.
In an industry where everybody wears black, you’re obviously known for your colour. How would you describe your style?
I guess the one thing I’ve learnt is never say never in fashion. I also thinks it’s really liberating if you just abide by the things that speak to you. Like if you see a dress that is not in “your colour” but you love it anyway, then wear it. Be happy wearing that colour that you’ve never worn before instead of thinking that you can’t.
What would I find in your wardrobe?
A little bit of everything. Some things I’ve had for 10 to 15 years that I still genuinely love.
Do you own any basics or are they all just loud statement pieces?
I definitely do have basics. With my white hair and I’m usually wearing my glasses, and it’s loud print and it’s colour and that sort of thing, that I do especially need basics to kind of equalise my outfit. Mostly I use maroons and khakis and navy as my blacks.
Do beauty trends influence your work at all?
I think so. I personally don’t wear necessarily a lot of make-up, this is a full look for me.
This is level 10 for you?
This is level 10 for me.
This is like level mezzanine for me.
Knowing that you can adapt the make-up around even the most simple look can completely transform a model, can completely tell a different story in an editorial shoot. Make-up really is, it’s the glue that binds.
Get Bree's look with the below products:
L-R: Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious mascara in Blackest Black, $21.95; Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colour, $17.95; Maybelline Master Strobing Stick, $15.95.