Morgan Pilcher, Stylist and Senior Fashion Editor of PORTER Magazine, has paired some of her own recent styled looks with her top picks from Sotheby's Fine Jewels Online auction, which is open for bidding until 28 March. Click above to explore her choices.
Sotheby's spoke with Morgan ahead of the sales to discuss her career, her inspiration and her own personal style.
When you were just 19 you moved from Sydney to New York – what was it about
fashion that drove you to make such a big move and pursue your dream job?
I grew up around fashion as my mother was in the industry. I was quite a tom boy when I was younger and never imagined I would follow in her footsteps. I went on a holiday to New York to visit my brother who was living there, and I just never left. I fell madly in love with the city and the fact that any and everything felt possible there. It was very serendipitous timing as I soon met a stylist who was working for Teen Vogue and she was looking for an assistant. The first shoot I got to go on was in Rajasthan, India. I had never imaged traveling like that for work and to be honest I was hooked from that trip on.
What are you looking for when you’re putting together a shoot for Porter? Where do you get your inspiration from?
I always try and make my shoots timeless and to stay true to my aesthetic. My inspiration comes in many different forms mainly my travelling and love of photography and art books. I usually start my creative process by looking through the extensive archive of references that I have on my computer. It could be one image that grabs me and starts the development of a story. Instagram is also a great source for archive images and discovering new brands and artists.
How do you curate your Instagram feed?
I usually post my shoots as they come out. My personal posts convey a mood I am feeling or something that may be unusual but allows me to create an image that is unique. I am most inspired when I am traveling so find I post a lot then.
How has your own personal style changed since you started your career?
When I lived in New York City I was much more adventurous with my style. I think the city rubbed off on me in that way. I find now as I get older and with the pace of my job, I like to buy timeless, investment pieces that I will have for life. I mostly wear black during the winter and switch to something more of a feminine look during summer.
Coco Chanel said you should always take one thing off – what is your approach to accessorising?
I agree with Coco completely. I usually get dressed and put on jewelry and to be honest end up taking half of it off right before I walk out the door. I think it’s all about being comfortable in what you wear. I do, however, love the idea of having one signature piece that you can wear with everything.
When you’re styling a look, at what point do you think about the jewelry?
My starting point for a story is coming up with a mood and concept through reference images, art and the location. I then pick the fashion trend that will work alongside the concept. I then pick accessories that I feel will complement the fashion. There are times when the focus of the story is jewelry so it works in reverse. The jewelry is the ‘hero’ in the shot and the fashion trend, location and art direction are focused on the jewelry.
You’ve picked some real statement pieces – do you need to be brave to wear bold jewelry like this?
Not brave but confident. I feel confidence is the key to looking good. You have to wear it as though you mean it.
How would you suggest styling classic jewels in a fresh, surprising way?
Since there are no rules in fashion today the best approach is to mix it up! Wear your diamonds and pearls with a classic white shirt and jeans for a modern look. Something unexpected.
Do you have favourite jewelry pieces that you wear every day or do you like to
change things up?
Yes, I have a favorite pair of gold hoops and a vintage gold bangle. At night I like to wear a statement earring to dress up my usual classic black look.
What does every woman need in her jewelry box?
Classic gold or silver hoops are always a good investment. Getting the right size hoop is the key. When hoops are not appropriate, classic diamond or pearl studs are always a good investment.