Interview: Emma Trask

What's it like to wardrobe a high profile US TV series? Emma Trask is a native New Zealander who has worked in the United States for over 12 years. Her unique sense of style lead her to New York City where she began her career as a fashion stylist, working for international magazines while also styling shows for New York Fashion Week. Emma recently landed the role of costume designer for the highly anticipated all-new Melrose Place and she tells all about it…

When did you first know you wanted to become a fashion stylist?

I was living in New York and decided I wanted to start a personal shopping business. At the time I didn't even know what a fashion stylist was as it definitely wasn't the publicised and popular profession it is today. I did some image consulting courses and started to get a corporate clientelle then by chance I was introduced to a fashion stylist who had worked at Vogue. I learnt the ropes assisting her on magazine shoots and decided that this was what I wanted to be doing creatively and went out on my own.

The fashion industry is a tough one to get into, how did you get your big break?

Well, I did my time assisting to get my foot in the door and I worked hard (and for free mostly!) building my fashion portfolio in New York. If I had to narrow it down to one big break I would have to say the timing of my move to LA helped my career the most. At the time magazines were beginning to use celebrities more and more for their fashion spreads and shooting them in LA. Coming from New York my portfolio was more fashion oriented than most LA stylists so I managed to get a lot of this work.

What does a typical day for you involve?

There isn't really a typical day. Every day is different, that's why I love what I do!

Describe your personal style.


Who are your favourite designers?

Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Martine Sitbon.

Do you ever find the time to get back to New Zealand?

Yes. I try to come back twice a year to visit family.

How does NZ fashion differ from that in the US?

Well I think NZ fashion is very distinctive and I love it. I think NZ designers really do translate internationally and I would love to see more of a presence of some my favourites like Zambesi, World and NOM*d in the US.

If you could spend the day with one fashion icon living or dead, who would it be?

Alexander McQueen.

You won an award at the Hollywood Style Awards for the new Melrose Place – ‘TV’s most stylish show.’ What makes the wardrobe so hot?
The hemlines!

Who is your favourite character on the show to dress and why?
Ella – because she likes to make a statement with every outfit.

You have styled for some very high profile magazines, campaigns and people, do you ever get nervous that they won’t like what you put together?
I don't usually have time to get nervous!

What three items does every woman need in her wardrobe?

LBD – a little black dress that you can wear in a variety of ways.
Nude or black heel – because they will go with pretty much everything.
Signature handbag – one that best represents your style.

Melrose Place is on every Wednesday at 7.30PM on C4.

*Image c/- Lesa Amoore

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