Fashion editor Justine Lepage meets up with Cork-based stylist and art director Sarah Corcoran for a chat about her muses, fashion tips and what it’s like to style rising stars of the Irish music scene.
Oversized jewellery, animal prints, and romantic decadence are some staples of the universe Sarah Corcoran has been creating over the years as a fashion and video creative. When asked about her journey to her current personal style and way of thinking about fashion, she mentions her love of colour, texture and fun pieces. While in the past she might have tried to “say a lot with one outfit and overdone”, she now feels she is able to sum up her fashion statements in a more refined way, and isn’t afraid to repeat outfits. She thinks of fashion as a way to express one’s different aspects of themselves and their mood on any given day. The mood on the day of our interview was a pastel, calm ethereal vibe. I ask her if she has any tips on building a wardrobe that reflects one’s personality.
“I would say, just don’t overthink it. The way I like to do it would be to go for things that you are naturally drawn to, and just kind of ignore trends. A balance between going back to things that you feel comfortable in, things that you feel represent you. But then also, not being afraid to experiment either, because there might be something else that feels like you, that you haven’t tried yet. And just be open. I think a really good way as well is, if you have one accessory, or something that you really love, wear it with everything. Because then, it kind of always feels like you. I started doing it recently, and I feel like it ties all my outfits together.” Her go-to accessory is an oversized cross necklace from Bauhaus, her friend’s shop.
One of Sarah’s favourite things is collaborating with singers and bands on creating a visual identity or a music video. She has worked with plenty of class names of the Irish scene, including Kynsy, Rejjie Snow, or Naked Animals. “Usually, the artists will have an idea of how they want to represent themselves. So I’m just working with that and helping them to manifest that visually, to get across the image of themselves that they have in their mind. And when you’re making a music video for someone, you have your own aesthetic as well. Seeing where your aesthetics overlap is a good start. I find it nice to just listen and start with the feeling of the song. Maybe colours come to mind, or a mood. And then the concept will come more clearly after that. The emotion you want to get across is the most important part, really.”
We jump to chatting about muses and inspirations. “I am definitely drawn to strong feminine personas and archetypes, I’m very inspired by myths and the tarot. I also really like the “dark feminine” and the “femme fatale” thing, when someone is expressing the almost repressed aspects of femininity. I love portraying empowered figures and surreal worlds.”
Directing is a new venture for Sarah, with her debut last year for the music video of M.Sea’s “Strangest Magic”. “I feel like starting something new is a bit scary, putting yourself out there in a different way. You have more freedom to create the entire world rather than just one part of it, like you do with styling. It’s challenging as well, I feel like it’s very good for self reflection, because it’s showing me how I work and the themes that maybe reemerge for me, or even the way I work with other people and communicate.”
As of future plans, Sarah would like to continue doing more video stuff and collaborate with more music artists and for fashion brands that really inspire her. “At some point, if the budget is there, I’d like to do crazy sets and make the worlds I’m creating look a bit more immersive, that would be really fun. I’d like to manifest the worlds I have inside my head.”