Continuing our Women To Dream About series, we caught up with this legit styling kween Jana Bartolo. Your eyes have definitely been blessed with her styling work across Channel 9, Oyster Magazine, Yen Magazine or on shoots for Stylerunner and Frankie Magazine to name just a few. When she’s not styling Samantha Jade, Amy Shark or Vera Blue, she can be found kicking it with her equally cool partner in crime Jason.
One of the many reasons we love Jana is because she is completely fearless when it comes to fashion. She is an artist, and her art form is styling. Jana expresses herself (and enables other women to express themselves) through how they dress in a way that is effortlessly cool and irreverent, yet somehow timeless.
We chatted to Jana to ask her a bit more about her journey and what inspires her….
Hey Jana! Being such an inspiring lady yourself, we'd love to hear more about who you find inspiring?
In the fashion world it would be Grace Coddington, Vivienne Westwood and Betsey Johnson - they are daring brave women who took risks with fashion and contributed remarkably to the modern fashion world.
Vivienne Westwood's journey from a primary school teacher, to the founder of British punk fashion, to political activist and Dame of England is hugely inspiring. She birthed that cool English punk aesthetic when the rest of fashion was still wearing hippy style. One of her famous quotes is "Art should never be sociological; it has got to be timeless. It’s got to be your vision and how you can represent the world you see" which resonates for me because I am always so stead-fast in my vision and ensuring that my message comes through the fashion that I style.
The styling jobs that you do, and the people you work with are really opportunities available only at the top of the styling game in Australia. What qualities do you believe have helped you to achieve what you have so far?
I think it would definitely be my education that gives me a solid foundation, but always continuing to learn and expose myself to fresh, cool new ideas and designers. Another element that is hugely important for me has been about perseverance. Backing yourself and being strong even when your idea may be different, and not being afraid to take risks just like my inspirations (Grace, Vivienne etc). Being able to remain grounded and humble is super important and surrounding yourself with people that are positive can help with that too.
What are some of the challenges that you find in your styling career?
There are always challenges in styling! Trying to create mountains with small budgets or not having the resources you may need. Additionally, a challenge for everyone is being time-poor. All of these are really just reasons to push the creativity, search for innovative new ideas and solutions and of course keep calm! In the end when it all works out it's very rewarding.
What do you love the most about where you are in life right now?
What’s not to love - (some extra hours to get a decent sleep would be nice haha ), but in all honesty that I can work full time in a position that I truly love and I get to be expressive, and meet artists that can carry through my ideas as well as stay immersed in the world of fashion.
Q: Favourite G-rated thing to do in bed (apart from sleep)?
A: If I could do one thing all day it seriously would be sleeping LOL! For my birthday Jason purchased me a projector so when I have any spare R&R time I’d say my favourite thing to do would be watching Netflix projected onto the ceiling.
Q: Favourite song to go to sleep to?
A: I’m a very light sleeper so I can’t do music to sleep to unless it's extremely chilled and an obscure track I know none of the lyrics too. The only time I’d catch myself listening to music to sleep to would be inflight.
Q: Weirdest thing you’ve ever used as a pillow?
A: haha I’m unfortunately not that exciting, maybe sand at the beach or a front lawn when I’ve had a couple too many cocktails? [editor's note - that sounds pretty exciting to us]
Q: The one thing you can’t sleep without?
A: Blanket, yep even if its 45 degrees and the aircon is on full blast.