My Positive Life with Antonia O’Brien

A regular fashion correspondent on the red carpet, Antonia O’Brien was seen earlier this year reporting at the EE BAFTA Awards for E! Entertainment where she presented the live show alongside British TV favourites Caroline Flack and Dermot O’Leary for the second year running.

A huge film and cinema fan, Antonia brought her expertise and passion to Sky’s Oscar coverage, where she commented on both the celebrity styling and nominated films alongside Alex Zane.

Recently confirmed as the host of the Vodafone live lounge at September’s London Fashion Week and with the launch of her new style consultancy, Bees and Taylor, on the horizon, Positive Luxury caught up with the stylist and TV presenter to find out more about her positive life.

Antonia O'Brien

Photo Credit: My Chic City

One word that describes you?

Optimistic

In your own words, what do you do?

I am a fashion stylist and TV presenter with a weakness for fantastic footwear and travelling. 

Who is your greatest influence in your career/life?

The greatest influence on my career has been my previous boss and great friend Leanne O’Shea from when I was at my-wardrobe.com. She is one of the the most patient, intelligent and modest people I know and one of the first people I call when I get an exciting job. 

What is your favourite part of your job?

I feel really fortunate to have a multi-faceted job where I do and learn lots of different things. My favourite side of TV is the adrenalin and excitement that comes with it, for example in February at the BAFTA‘s I was live from the Royal Opera House in the snow in little more than a pair of Jimmy Choos and Issa dress, but you have to make it work and I quite love that pressure. For the styling I love what a difference a well-chosen wardrobe makes to someone’s sense of self and confidence, Emily (Giffard – Taylor, the other half of our style consultancy Bees & Taylor) and I  started our consultancy for that exact reason.  

What is the most challenging part of your job?

That I am my own boss, I am often my worst critic plus I can be terrible at procrastinating. 

Antonia O'Brien

Presenting alongside Fearne Cotton at the Orange BAFTA Awards in February 2013

What is your greatest achievement?

I am so proud and excited that Emily and I have started Bees & Taylor, I never thought I would have my very own styling consultancy where we do exactly what we love. With my TV work, the first year I got the job covering the fashion from the red carpet for E! was huge and even more exciting was working with SKY for this year’s Oscars, it has been a busy year so far and there is soon-to-be more news….

What was your Plan B?

When I was younger I really wanted to be a singer, I think it was when I sang The Fugees ‘Killing me Softly’ with my Dad, at a a wedding, when I was 9 that I realised, perhaps not. 

What is your most prized possession?

I have a beautiful piece of carved jade on a long gold chain that my Mum has ‘loaned’ (I hope ‘given’) to me, it’s exquisite and so her style. 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Dare to be more than you dare to be, advice from my great Mum when I was struggling. 

Please complete the sentence… I could not live without…

My family, I am the youngest of five children and have ten (soon to be eleven) nieces and nephews, although they all live overseas we speak every day on whatsapp, they always help me make sense of things. 

Antonia O'Brien

Antonia presenting at London Fashion week

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love to have a bottle of wine and catch up with the Queen and know what she loves and loathes, imagine the history she has lived and places she has seen! 

Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet?

I think Marks & Spencer have really raised their awareness to the environment, and educated its consumers in how to make a difference, from knowing what farmer has grown your groceries to their terrific ‘shwopping’ campaign with Joanna Lumley

Do you support a charity or cause?

I am am a proud ambassador for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, a fantastic charity which works to raise money to support breakthrough breast cancer research.  They’re the most terrific team and we have a lot of fun working on what’s next.

What’s on your Xmas wish-list?

I am hoping to travel to Vermont to see my sister Genevieve for eggnog and snow, and if I’m really dreaming I would love Joseph‘s new season shearling coat; chic and cosy. 

What is your personal luxury?

Time to myself, I love having time to do my own thing, call my family, clean the day off my face and read through stacks of magazines in bed, ahhh….

What steps do you take to make your life more positive?

I feel positive when I remember my canvas bag and support small local shops and trades, from fruit shops to picture framers. There is always room for improvement but if we all put our litter in the bin and recycled then at least we are working together, even if they are only small steps and actions. 

If you enjoyed reading Antonia’s My Positive Life then why not check out her Twitter page at @antoniaobrien

Katherine Sparshatt