BBC article: "Becoming a Stylist"
BBC article I ran across today... Might be interesting for some.
Becoming a stylist
If you thought being a stylist was all glamour, photo shoots and celebrity hobnobbing, read on. If you're going to make it in this cut-throat industry what you'll need is dedication and a love of hard work.
In this article
A stylist is the person who creates a look for either an individual or a model with clothing and accessories to make a statement. Traditionally a stylist would work on a commercial, catwalk or magazine shoot but these days with image being key in so many worlds they often work for individual clients creating their own unique style.
Dedicated follower of fashion. To succeed you need to have a real interest in fashion, trends and a keen eye for style. Experts argue you either have this or you don't although a course can sharpen some natural skills. Fashion degrees are not as essential as experience and contacts and most stylists say they "fell" into the job, which is not very helpful when it comes to specific advice.
Back to school. Find your local fashion college and ask if they do short specialised stylist courses. Most of the London fashion colleges do and it's becoming more widespread.
Shop around. Gain experience by working in a small boutique - smaller outlets give you real hands on experience of cultivating style.
Helping hands. Call your local department store and see if they are having any fashion shows. Get some work experience helping out the stylists they use. They don't just work in London.
Aim high. Call local photographers or local newspapers, send them your CV and offer your services as a runner on the next fashion shoot they may be doing.
There are three main areas for styling opportunities in fashion - although they're not rigid categories and many stylists these days have to be multi-talented.
Primarily working for magazines, newspapers, or advertising agencies on commercials. The job of the stylist is to work to a set brief, selecting clothes for photo or video shoots. A large part of the job is planning.
Stylists provide the creative aspect of the shoot, but also source the clothes and accessories needed, liaising with press offices, getting all the clothes, shoes and accessories to the studio or location and deciding on which looks for which model. When on a shoot the stylist must dress the models on set, pinning, clipping where necessary and take charge of portraying the look the brief requires.
This involves more personal client work and many stylists have full time jobs styling their celebrity clients which can include television presenters, actors, singers - and also bands.
The role of the celebrity stylist involves attending catwalk shows and selecting clothes for each season, attending photo shoots and advising on the most appropriate look for anything from individual photographs to appearances on TV chat shows.
Some celebrities, especially the big name Hollywood stars, like to have their stylist on call; others only need advice intermittently.
Sometimes called an image consultant, this type of styling involves working one-to-one with clients. Sometimes these are celebrities, but many clients these days who employ a personal stylist are high fliers in the world of business who know that their image needs an overhaul.
This aspect of styling involves working intimately with a client who must trust the stylist helping them to create their own personal style. This type of styling job is based on empowering the client to develop their own look rather than dressing them in the stylist's preferred style.
Styling may sound very glamorous, but it's not all it seems. Most stylists work freelance and depend on agents or their own contacts to get jobs in an area where competition is fierce.
The demands of being at the disposal of high-profile celebrities make it hard to plan any social life or holidays. When working with celebs you have to work around their commitments.
When you're on a shoot the hours are very long and you're needed every second. You also need to scour every fashion magazine - not just the UK ones but European and USA editions too.
Fashion is constantly evolving and you must be up-to-date with every emerging trend. Finally, you need to look great every second of the day to gain people's trust in a world where image is everything!
Ooh i've been doing some product styling for the magazine i work for, and it's such tough work. The sourcing is a bitch and you have to have everything on the same day but most places won't let you borrow stuff for more than a day or two since they won't let their samples/stock from store go for long periods of time. And then you have to pick everything up and return everything on the same day. It's a nightmare!
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