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24-03-2007
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BetteT's Avatar
 
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Good point, ilaughed .... it's extremely stressful most of the time. Styling is not the cake walk nor the glamour job that most people think it is. It akes a long time to even get to the point where we make any money at all.

Most of our time is spent on boring or hard tasks like marketing ourselves to let everyone know that we are even there, making connections by networking, finding sources for wardrobe, doing paperwork (invoices, taxes, receipts, etc.) and wondering where the next gig will come from.

The "day in the life" anecdotes that we posted here are the fun part of the job. We work probably 7 or more days to get one day on set ... unless we've become super sucessful and then we hire people to do all the
non-creative business stuff and all the physical grunt work.

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25-03-2007
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^^In the beginning is it really difficult to find sources for clothes?


And it's ilaughead, by the way. It's really shortened from Ian Laughead, my name, but I think everyone thinks it says "I laughed". (Sorry for being anal, but I'm waiting for a name change to make that more clear, so I have increased awareness of misspelling!)

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25-03-2007
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Sorry ... I dropped the A ... and you are right, it's very easy to miss that.

It's not too hard to "find" sources ... but to actually borrow the wardrobe is the problem. You have to have something to offer, in exchange for the use ... such as having the photographer provide prints and who will allow them to actually use them for certain types of advertising, or credits in a magazine, etc. For real commercial work (paying clients who are doing advertising work of some sort) ... there's usually a budget to buy clothes, so the stylist will have to work within that or negotiate what he/she needs.

Here's more information on pulling wardrobe for editorials and tests ... in the Careers and Education forum in the "How to be a Fashion Stylist" thread. There's probably a lot more information scattered about in that thread ... I advise any newbie or aspiring stylists to read the entire thread.

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22-08-2008
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i think this thread needs a bump! anyone got anymore stories?..

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18-07-2012
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What a wonderful thread! I am years late reading it but I love it!! I am in the planning stages of my first editorial, so I needed a little more information.

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12-09-2012
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I love the stories!!!

I have a few ... one of the most memorable is when I was just starting.

I started styling because I got "scouted" by this guy who was the stylist for the top fashion mag in my country. He invited me to a photoshoot one day and the next one I was his assistant. I owe it all to him.

So he got a job abroad styling a catalog abroad so he took a quick leave and he left me in charge of everything for like the half week he was away.

The editrix from the magazine took this as an opportunity because I was able to churn shoots real fast so she had me do EVERYTHING and more for the magazine I worked for and at the end she was so happy she told me I could do a cover.

The cover was with this super famous latinamerican rockstar from colombia, and she has this kinda hippie vibe so I got inspired by Bollywood and thought of her on a shoot laying on top of a bunch of toys (she just had a baby) wearing a sari.

The day was about to come when I was told we couldt shoot in a studio and we had to do something quick at the hotel she was staying. I rushed there to see what we could do and found this lovely japanese restaurant which turned out perfect.

Day of the shoot comes, my boss is back in town. Advised him that I got offered the cover and I wanted this to be my shoot. He agrees begrudgingly.

Then, the woman we are shooting arrives to the suite for hair and make up and she is the nicest woman ever. Everyone is a bit starstruck and no one speaks to her so I introduce myself and everyone from the team and ask if we can start. She smiles and says yes, get the hair and make up done and then talk to her about the concept.

She looks at the dress and jewelry and loves it. She particularly liked a golden pendant for her hair which I regret not gifting to her bc I NEVER look at price tags when borrowing things for shoots from stores and it was a cheapo golden piece of jewelry.

Shoot was a bit of struggle bc my boss was giving different directions to the "star" and at the end the photog even agrees with me and asks if we could just give it a shot my way to him. Shoot's done and we get some quality pics. I was soooo happy.

The pics are great, the experience was great and I learned how the fashion world REALLY is.

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16-09-2012
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I'm much more small time than most of you guys, so its super fun to read all your stories!!

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22-09-2012
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I've styled a few shootings too. Not many, so they were all kind of adventures.

The first time, my friend who's a photographer (and with whom I usually shoot) asked me if next time he did a shooting I would style it so I said yes. He told be about the shooting around noon on saturday and it would take place monday. It was right in the middle of fashion week, I didn't have the time to ask any showrooms for clothes and the PRs probably wouldn't have had time, so I had to dig up clothes I had at home, and make a few pieces here and there. And then came the shooting, first time I ever had such a task (I mean apparently a lot of people start as assistants or have some kind of knowledge of what is expect: I didn't ) I was so nervous, my friend wouldn't give me feedback on the outfits, and my mind went blank at the beginning, so I kind of felt like the model would feel that and think i wasn't professional (and had no clue of what I was doing) . But little by little I got the hang of it, and got creative And the model was really nice so we ended up having a good time. The next day my friend went over the pictures and was impressed by what I managed to pull out of the hat and our editorial got picked up right away for the next month's issue.

The second and third ones were more complicated. I went to the showrooms for the first time, so I kind of discovered how all of that worked, but I didn't know how much I was allowed to pull out, until the day of the shooting I was sending emails to all the showrooms trying to get more clothes and running around paris getting them (and juggling with school at the same time). The thing is I had a precise idea of what I wanted, and in the end I didn't manage to get any of it, the PRs being too busy with fashion week again. So I had to get through with what I could pull. And the day before the shooting I learned we were doing an other one the day right after. It was mayhem. I only had the few clothes for the one shooting and had to rework them in a totally different style. The shootings went well and the team was really awesome. But I definitely could have done better in different circumstances . Luckily both editorials were picked up too. :p
(what's awesome though is looking up the editorials on internet and realizing they were posted on many blogs. ' or getting emails on my portfolio from people who are liked what I styled the up side to the hard work I did)

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Last edited by Andrea.RL; 22-09-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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22-09-2012
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I have found that most of the time,, you still can't pull what you want. It's typical ....

I've had publicists tell me to look on line and give them a list of what I wanted in advance and they would get it ready for me ... a great idea, I thought. But then, when I got there, the samples weren't in so they pulled other random stuff for me ... often nothing that would work in the story we are trying to do. Or one time, they sent an intern to my shoot to get back a dress that some celebrity wanted. It seems that they prioritize who gets what ... and for a shoot for a small magazine ... well, that stylist gets last choice.

Then, often the garment you pulled just doesn't fit or doesn't look good on the model, so you change it up. Or the photographer says he doesn't like it or the art director vetos it. You must always pull more than you need, because you must have a lot of choices available, just in case.

So, what usually happens is that you must think on your feet, create wtih whatever you can actually get, and be very, very flexible.

But yeah ... you still take great pride if it comes out looking good and everyone likes it. In fact ... we should pat ourselves on the back if we had a struggle to get there ... because we overcame the obstacles.

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Last edited by BetteT; 22-09-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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29-09-2012
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I was wondering: how does a fashion stylist start? Where can they find (expensive) clothes in the beginning when they don't have good connections etc yet? I think the beginning must be really difficult.

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29-09-2012
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This thread is just to post anecdotes ... it's not a "how to" thread.

There are 2 threads (first and second, we close threads after they reach 1000 posts) about how to become a fashion stylist and there is tons of infomation in these threads. If you are serious about becoming a stylist, it's pretty much allready posted through out thses threads. They are here:
All About Becoming a Fashion / Wardrobe Stylist
All About Becoming a Fashion / Wardrobe Stylist #2

There are several other threads of interest to aspiring stylists ... like shooting for your portfolio, finding an agent to rep you, etc. Just use the search function to search this forum (Careers, et al) keyword "stylist".

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