BOSS BABE: ELLIOT GARNAUT
Elliot Garnaut is one of Australia's most in-demand stylists. His client list is a roladex of fashion royalty including Phoebe Tonkin, Shanina Shaik, Rosalia Russian, Elyse Knowles and Nadia Fairfax. #GarnautGirls has become his eponymous moniker for his clients and has seen him develop a cult style following.
Garnaut is in the business of making 'moments' which has seen him secure ambassador contracts with Chadstone Shopping Centre, Victorian Racing and Vida Glow to name a few.
Known for his charm, killer wit and unabashed fashion commentary, Garnaut is exactly who he appears to be on social media, in real life. He is a breath of fresh air and once you become a #GarnautGirl, you know you've made it in the fashion world.
You started out as a fashion buyer and then worked as a fashion publicist/ talent manager, how and when did you make the transition to Celebrity Stylist?
My career is certainly as erratic as some of my fashion choices lemme tell you! Each of those roles, the beginning of my career if you will, were based in Hong Kong and Sydney respectively. I moved home to Melbourne in 2016 to work for the family business in finance whilst my Dad was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. It was whilst in this role that I approached by Rozalia Russian. We had mutual friends and had heard of each other. Her opener was “I love your style and think you’re really funny” segueing into asking me to style her. 48hrs later, we were in our first meeting for her Derby Day look for 2017. I thought to myself I’ll give it a crack, who knows where it’ll end. The rest is history!
Fashion styling is perceived as a “glamourous” job… what are 3 misconceptions about the job?
It certainly has glamorous elements which make it so exciting. I adore travel and my career has allowed this which I am terribly grateful for. Like any job, it does have it’s downsides. Styling allows one to be so creative, work with incredibly inspiring people and the ability to construct characters however this comes with a certain level of insecurity. You have to be very considerate of your client and their emotions. The process must be collaborative. Moreover, styling is onerous. Copious amounts of heavy lifting, long hours, working outdoors on wet, windy mornings, minimal breaks, the constant connect to email. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a look. Also, if you’re not a foot person styling isn’t the career for you. A LOT of feet.
What’s a fashion crisis you’ve dealt with or fashion regret?
I’ve had two clients who literally moments before leaving to attend some of the biggest red carpets have had the zipper bust in their gown. It’s honestly the feeling of ‘we’re fucked here… the dress actually will not stay up’. Both occasions I remedied with (no joke), a safety pin and plyers. The live coverage of those looks hitting the red carpets was met with SERIOUS anxiety.
PSA to all budding stylists – you need plyers in your kit!
Was there a defining moment where you realised your skillset could become a career?
I don’t necessarily think there was a defining moment. Once I’d realised that my skillset had become by career I think I was too far down the garden path. As cliché as it sounds, loving what you do truly makes you feel like you’re not working a day in your life. In the beginning I was so lost in the momentum of it all!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Manners are everything. I grew up in a household in where manners reigned supreme and so many in this industry seem to have none. A polite client, a polite set can totally change the energy of a job and transform the results. Take time to thank everyone you work with. Your time is no more valuable than anyone else’s.
What does your day-to-day look like?
Currently… nothing special. We can thank Miss Coronavirus for that. Flashback to February I’m up early and working out with my trainer. Home, shower and some pretty uninspiring toast and before I know it I’m at my office with my assistant Kate. We go through our client charts and determine the plan of attack. Meetings. Shoots. Interviews. Trend forecasts. Running looks from one side of town to the other. Talent fittings. Events. Trackside at Flemington. In centre at Chadstone, A flight to Sydney. A flight overseas. Eat, sleep, style, repeat!
The modern world is a busy one! What is your version of self-care?
I keep it simple with the self-care. I love a long, hot shower. Give my face, body and hair a really good scrub. Get out and lather myself in moisturiser and chuck on a fresh set of clean loungewear. That is self-care to me.
What three things would we always find in your beauty bag?
- Elle Effect. Recently converted and would never look back. One layer spread over face and body and sleep in it. The year-round glow makes you feel f-ing heaaalthy.
- Charlotte Tilbury concealer in Shade 3. Will fix literally any blemish on your face in seconds.
- I’m unashamedly addicted to eye drops, have been for as long as I can remember. Keeps you looking ALIVE.
If you could have any five women sitting around a dinner table with you, who would they be and why?
- My Mother. She is my rock and guiding light.
- My best friend Alex Green. She lives in Hong Kong so we rarely see each other. Every dinner with her I am grateful for.
- My late Grandmother. I never spent as much time with her in my adulthood as I said I would and I really regret it. I’d love to have a glass of wine with her and a good belly laugh.
- A dear friend Rian. She has recently transitioned and her outlook on life is wild. A moment with her is never dull.
- Paris Hilton. She is my OGGGGG. Get me on the drink with her ASAP.
What's the last song you listened to?
Alicia Keys cover of Ocean Eyes. Wowee.
Parting words of advice for being a #bossbabe in work and life?
What people say about you behind your back is none of your business. Opinions are irrelevant. Stay true to yourself and be kind to those closest to you. The rest is just white noise.