Welcome to our How to Shop Like series, where we spotlight personalities within the fashion industry and take a deeper look at their personal relationships with fashion and how they shop—think all the best insider tips and tricks. This week we’re chatting with designer and founder of Holiday the Label Emma Mulholland.
In a sort of if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie situation, the act of naming a brand “Holiday the Label” pretty much guarantees the sartorial portrayal of a joyful summer energy. Disappointed we were not as we combed through pages of tropical-print-clad easy separates rendered in island-ready hues. The notion makes sense, as founder Emma Mulholland resides in Sydney, Australia, where sunshine is nearly as common as oxygen.
“Holiday is all about trying to keep that vacation feeling rolling back into your everyday wardrobe,” explains Mulholland. The same can be said for her own wardrobe, filled not only with pieces from her collections, but bright handbags and classic accessories, too. We caught up with the Aussie designer, whose collections have been worn by everyone from Gigi Hadid to Hailey Bieber to Barbie Ferreira, to uncover how she curates her own closet and her go-to shopping habits.
Shop Emma’s Current Picks for Summer:
What is it about fashion that initially drew you in?
“I worked out that clothes and style [were] something that made you stand out. I was quite shy (and still am), so this was a way I could express myself without having to do or say too much. Growing up in a small coastal town a long time before Instagram, this often resulted in some very questionable sartorial choices, but I always loved creating and customizing clothing from a very young age. My favorite part-time job I had was working in a vintage/consignment store where my love for clothing really grew—discovering pieces from Moschino, Fiorucci, Versace, and more.”
Why did you decide to launch your own line?
“I couldn’t find the clothing I wanted available. I always loved streetwear, but there weren’t that many choices for female customers—a lot of the time the prints were great but the fit was bad, or vice versa. I wanted the pieces to be super flattering and feminine without being too girly. After running a label that was trying to keep up with the unrealistic fashion calendar and seasons, I wanted to slow it back down to something I could manage.”
Fashion versus style—what’s the difference to you?
“I think style is about knowing who you are and what you like, but fashion is trend-focused and not as timeless. I know some people with the most incredible style that don’t necessarily buy into trends or fashion.”
Do you have a uniform?
“I love to wear quite fun, printed bottoms like pants or skirts paired with simple, plain baby tees and denim. Then I like to mix it up with accessories. I used to pretty strictly wear sneakers, but have definitely moved on to sandals, boots, and even the occasional heel—this would be a shock to my 16-year-old tomboy self.”
Favorite thing to splurge on?
“Because I make my own clothes, I often mainly wear them, but I love to buy accessories, bags, and shoes. I’m in the process of opening a store, so furniture has become my biggest splurge. We have been working with fellow Aussie designers Daniel and Emma on custom furniture for the space, and I also own quite a few pieces of theirs for my studio. I also love HAY and have an obsession with their George Sowden collaboration which I’m slowly collecting more and more pieces from.”
Photo: Courtesy of Emma Mulholland
“A puffy red nylon Prada bag I got from the RealReal on a trip to NYC.”
Where do you begin when getting dressed? Shoes first? A reference image?
“Pants or skirt first, then base the rest of the outfit around this choice. I love a statement pant paired with a clashing or tonal sandal. My favorite sandals at the moment are About Arianne and Marni.”
What are your summer style staples?
“Our pajama sets are perfect because you can wear them separately or as a full look. They are super comfy and suit a range of summer activities from playing tennis to an afternoon cocktail.”
Which stores do you frequent? Do you prefer to shop online or IRL?
“I’m obsessed with the RealReal and Vestiaire Collective. I think it’s so rewarding finding something secondhand, as there are so many amazing clothes out there. I love Araks for underwear and Baserange for basics. I love shopping in stores but often sadly find myself shopping online [more] due to location and time restraints.”
Fashion bucket list: What are three items you would love to own one day (regardless of price)?
Photo: Courtesy of Emma Mulholland
Vintage or new?
The mark of a great outfit?
“Anything you feel confident in. I feel like the way something fits you is so important; if something is ill-fitting, you can spend the day adjusting and feeling bad about the outfit. I often get things tailored or do adjustments myself; I feel like people are apprehensive to do this, as they think it’s overly expensive or too much effort. If you find a local tailor, it’s often very affordable. If it fits you perfectly, you are going to want to wear it more and feel great in it.”
Other than your own, favorite fashion brands or designers of the moment:e
“I’m always in love with the Prada and Miu Miu collections. Stüssy is always great, and I also love Brain Dead. Two of my good friends have started some very nice sustainable labels, Rutt AU and Threadgate.”
What are the top five most worn items in your wardrobe?
Favorite people to follow on Instagram?