Donna McCulloch is better known to her followers as stylist SulkyDoll who shares her daily fashion choices, London events and styling updates on Instagram. Life is glossy on the outside with stints at Fashion Week, press days and parties, but don’t mistake that for an easy life. Donna is a hard working stylist; building enticing wardrobes for clients, dressing red carpet events, writing for Riddle Magazine, attending back to back events for her job, and she does it all with a smile on her face! Donna also recently hit the styling jackpot by flying to the Oscar’s to style the cast and crew of the Silent Child film for the red carpet…which actually won the Oscar…so that pretty makes her award-winning right?! Let’s find out how she got there!
NAKEDPRGIRL: Where are you from originally? How did you come to be in London and what do you like about the city?
Donna McCulloch aka SulkyDoll: I’m originally from the Wirral in the North West and came to London to study
NakedPRGirl: How did you get your job as a stylist? What did you study?
Donna SulkyDoll: I studied at London School of Styling and once I qualified I just worked VERY hard, often unpaid and slowly but surely the work came in.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What was your big break?
Donna SulkyDoll: Bare Minerals was my biggest campaign but lots of people along the way have been good to me, DONNA IDA was a dream to work with, plus Jaeger and Riddle offering me the Fashion Editor post were all key moments but the Oscars was the biggest gig of my career.
NakedPRGirl: You recently styled the Oscar winning Silent Child film and travelled to LA to style the attendees at the ceremony – what was that like?
Donna SulkyDoll: It was the experience of a lifetime – I’ll never forget it – I was so proud to be a teeny part of what was such an incredible project and I’ll continue to work with the team on their next project.
NakedPRGirl: Where did the name come from and who did your logo/branding?
Donna SulkyDoll: It was my nickname as a child and I spoke to a friend in branding and she said the name had to be memorable and mean something to me so SulkyDoll was born.
NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP?
Donna SulkyDoll: Good question. That I can style any man or woman of any age, shape or size.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What’s your personal style? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?
Donna SulkyDoll: Edgy glam, I’m very influenced by the 70s as a child of that decade but I like to mix it up. I haven’t taken any advice re: marketing myself – maybe I should? But it’s been clear from the outset that on social media people are more interested in what I wear than my work…
NAKEDPRGIRL: How can styling build an image and how does that impact on our work and personal life?
Donna SulkyDoll: You are judged on the way you look the minute you enter a room so make it a good one. I think about looks for clients all the time…
NAKEDPRGIRL: What helps you to be creative? Is it magazines, books, art, a favourite cafe?
Donna SulkyDoll: I’m a big fan of print journalism and still get a thrill when I get my magazines through the door. I like to do mood boards old school style with cutting up images and putting them together.
NakedPRGirl: Do you have a favourite shoot that stands out?
Donna SulkyDoll: Bare minerals, I felt like I’d finally made it.
NakedPRGirl: I’ve been on shoots where small things have gone wrong and big things have gone wrong, how do you deal with that?
Donna SulkyDoll: Me too! To an extent it’s all part of the creative process and these things are often organic so sometimes you end up with something better, but it’s frustrating if it doesn’t go as well as you’ve put your heart and soul into it.
NakedPRGirl: How do you use social media as a stylist? Do you have a strategy?
Donna SulkyDoll: Er no! I just post daily if I have the content and engage with my followers! If someone has bothered to comment (in a nice way) I will always respond.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What is your favourite social channel?
Donna SulkyDoll: Insta!
NAKEDPRGIRL: What photography tips would you have for others?
Donna SulkyDoll: Portrait on my iPhone has changed my life!!!
NAKEDPRGIRL: How important is networking for you? Do you have a gang you love working with and socialising with?
Donna SulkyDoll: It is important but the whole going to 55 press days a week is tedious and if you have an actual job, not even possible but I try to prioritise the brands I work with as much as possible. I do have a lovely bunch of Insta buds that I hang out with who champion me and tell me when I’m being daft but that whole “girl gang” thing can feel very mean girls and “you can’t sit with us” and isn’t very inclusive so I try to hang out with genuine folk who are my actual mates. My main crew are a mix of stylists, bloggers, mua & models Pascale Banks aka Style Mum Emma Carr @thefashioncraver @_s.a.s.h_ –@ashlingrose – @bohemianevergreen – @mercer7 – @mamastillgotit – @sjfroommakeup – @helenwilsonbeevers
NAKEDPRGIRL: In your career what changes have you seen between print and digital media?
Donna SulkyDoll: Sadly, print is dying but I still love it. Riddle magazine is online and it’s easier to get the content out quickly but I do love an actual magazine.
NAKEDPRGIRL: You must have a jam packed diary for Fashion Week for both men and women – what changes have you seen over the years? Which shows do you most look forward to and what’s your failsafe fashion tips for the week?
Donna SulkyDoll: I still love it but It’s much more of a circus than it used to be and it’s got harder to get tickets from PRs to shows, as unless you have a good relationship with them -they focus on Instagram following (regardless of if it’s real and organic or not) & this is disheartening when those with zero fashion credentials get access to shows you want to write about.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What advice would you give to others just starting out in the industry?
Donna SulkyDoll: Work hard, be nice and pay it forward.
NakedPRGirl: What’s next?
Donna SulkyDoll: I’m working closely with the Silent Child team and I’ve got an actor client who needs a restyle so I’ll keep you posted…