Sally-Ann Mullin has a ball in her job dressing screen characters. She shares with Viva the things that make her tick.

Some might say Sally-Ann Mullin has a dream job. As costume buyer for various TV and film productions, she spends her days sourcing and shopping for garments, viewing fashion ranges and borrowing clothing samples from local designers for screen. "Being a buyer is like being on a treasure hunt every day," Mullin explains. Her role also sees her liaise with the costume designer on a set to help bring their vision and interpretation of the script to life.

"Basically we read the scripts and decide how we see the characters and what their feel or look should be. The buyer will source anything from fabric, clothes, shoes and jewels and present it to the costume designer who will then use these items to create the characters' look."

Having worked in costume for more than 10 years, and in buying for five, Mullin's list of credits include Go Girls, Outrageous Fortune, Nothing Trivial and the new season of The Almighty Johnsons, which screens on TV3 on Wednesdays. Right now, she's working on Jane Campion's production of The Top of The Lake.

1. Frederic Malle Editions De Parfums "Carnal Flower"


I first bought this online at Frederic Malle, going by the French description translated to English alone. A risk, yes, but worth it. Thick, creamy, green, natural and completely enveloping. And it lasts forever. I adore it and have never came across anything similar since. Created by perfumer Dominique Ropion and inspired by actress Candice Bergen, the fragrance, which took two years to create, contains the highest amount of natural tuberose absolute in any fragrance.

2. Crystal and the Chain Gang glass bird

Quite likely my most treasured item, this Crystal and the Chain Gang hand-cast glass bird was given to us for a wedding gift (I squealed when I opened the present). I love the way it catches the light and changes colour depending where the sun is at the time. I am saving all my pennies for one of their bespoke chandeliers. (Buy online at

3. Stand-up paddle board

It's actually on long-term loan from my father-in-law who has a charter boat and stand-up paddleboarding school in Northland. It's still one of my favourite things, and when the conditions are right I love getting out on the water for a paddle. Currently wondering if we can teach our mini schnauzer to ride on the front.

4. Meadowlark silver studs

I think I may have had a pair from nearly every collection Meadowlark has released, and once I get a new pair I basically just wear them constantly until the next range comes along - they are well priced, pretty and comfortable.

5. My collection of new and vintage fashion reference books

A constant work tool, I refer back to them again and again and love nothing more than sitting with a stack of my favourites on the table and looking through them and getting inspired.

6. Karen Walker "American Girl" blue coat

Not exactly coat weather yet, but this lovely boucle short coat with a peplum almost makes the thought of winter seem alluring.

7. Nice Blocks

I have developed a serious Nice Block addiction this summer and as they are crafted from locally sourced organic and spray free fruit, organic fair-trade cocoa, bananas and raw sugar and are vegan friendly I think that's okay. My favourites are strawberry with a dash of lemon and the choc-coconut. Now I just have to convince the Muriwai Top Shop to stock them.

8. White's aerial photograph of Muriwai Beach

I'm not sure of the era it was taken in, but it was certainly a time when Muriwai was pretty untouched with only a fraction of the houses it has today.

9. Tokyo Milk Shea Butter hand cream - In Dark by Margot Elena

Amber resin, oak bark, blood orange and patchouli fragrance this divinely packaged rich hand cream was kindly gifted to me by The Almighty Johnsons costume designer Katrina Hodge. I slather it on night and morning and my hands thank me for it. Available at World Beauty.

10. Wooden drawing mannequin from the French Art Shop

Given to me by my husband as a gift when I was learning to draw. This guy moves around daily - anything from swimming, dancing, headstands and yoga poses. When I get home I always smile to see where my husband has moved him to. It's something simple and silly and I love it.