What does it mean to be a stylist? What can I study if I want to be one? What do experienced professionals say? What is the perspective of those who are just starting out? We explore Fashion Styling to find out the answers to these questions.
Creating images for a fashion brand, building the visual communication of a fashion show, proposing systems sets for brands, for the cinema or for an editorial magazine, participating in the development of costumes for a fashion film, and even choosing a specific color chart, are some of the singularities that styling encompasses, but how do we enter the world of image construction?
To try to answer this question, FAD contacted some professionals in the field like Ana Torrejón, director of L’officiel Argentina,Catalina Chavanne, designer and creator of Blue Sheep, Marcela Rubini and Josefina Laurentboth stylists, as well as students who are taking different careers and courses focused on Fashion Styling.
Vision: the work experience
Styling is one of the many possibilities offered by the fashion industry as a profession. On the way to decide what career we want to pursue, we are faced with many questions in a field that seems to be way more competitive than others. Getting closer to professionalization is a challenge that invites us to consider al styling as a real job opportunity.
Josefina Laurent, fashion and fashion show producer, defines styling as “the visual communication of a fashion trend or a designer’s collection with a previously chosen concept and aesthetic development”.
There are more and more job offers and a greater awareness of the need to occupy these spaces in a formal and professional manner.Marcela Rubini, stylist at L’officiel Argentina, explains how, years ago, there was a lack of formal and concrete studies in the field: … there were no careers related to fashion, I did a few years of graphic design, photography, color and film arts, everything that I felt could help me handle myself with more confidence and gave me pleasure …¨ Undoubtedly, all the universes she lists are those that today encompass the careers designed to train stylists.
It is important when we visualize our training to understand that each step that we take starts to be fundamental.Ana Torrejón, director of L’officiel Argentina says that in order to add a stylist to her team, she visualizes her portfolio ¨ …it can comprise professional works or collage or study center presentations¨ he profession is activated from the beginning of our studies, ¨composing visual discourses requires aptitude and methodology¨, warns the journalist and director.
Being a stylist requires being proactive, curious and available to work in a team: the proposal of an integral image in a fashion project requires being in contact with photographers, directors, designers, makeup artists, hairstylists and models. Whether in an editorial media, a brand or a production company, the stylist exposes their ideas and creations in relation to others, ¨he job is always a dialogue and the role of the media (editorial) s to enhance each professional who makes their creative contributions¨, reinforces the director of L’officiel regarding the importance of communication.
Catalina Chavanne, esigner and founder of Blue Sheep, an Argentine clothing brand, agrees with Ana Torrejón and mentions: ¨t is essential that the stylist can connect with others, with the work group, not only with the model. They must have the ability to work as a team.¨
Styling goes far beyond the assembly of system sets and color palettes. It requires a global view of fashion, our context and of course the client’s, with whom we are going to work, ¨a stylist must have the ability not only to understand the aesthetic look of the brand, but also its values, which we do not want to lose in any aspect of communication.” An image, in many cases, represents an entire company: all the work that goes behind getting to photograph just one garment” , summarizes the designer.
¨“I always wanted to study something related to fashion, I started looking for universities, schools, institutes(…) hat’s when I found Instituto Marangoni and I went to do a short workshop (Fashion Image & Styling), I really liked the institute and I had a very good experience so I decided that I wanted to study at Marangoni”.¨
It is possible to approach it intuitively, the search process towards what one wants to dedicate oneself to is personal, but without a doubt it must be permeable and determined.¨The first thing I did was to find out how many areas of fashion existed. Then, I started figuring out what I liked to do, creating outfits, taking pictures, reading, drawing, making collages or mood boards. Then what I did was to look for magazine or movie credits and find the people that inspired me or whose work I liked. After that, I looked for what they had studied, and their careers, so I discovered what I wanted to study.¨ Csays Isidora as part of her search process. Today she plans to be the creative director of a magazine while she continues her studies.
¨I always knew I liked fashion, but not on the Fashion Design side…I wasn’t really passionate about it and I was just settling for the offers available in Argentina.¨ says Mora, while she is taking her second year of the Fashion Styling & Creative Direction¨ at Istituto Marangoni.
Like her classmate, Delfina knew she was not interested in making clothes: ¨I was sure I wanted something related to fashion, but I was not interested in design. When I found Marangoni’s “Fashion Styling & Creative Direction” course, I realized that that was the area of the industry that I wanted to be a part of”.¨
rom their experience, we understand that it is partly a matter of becoming aware of the multiple accesses that fashion has : ¨(…)I started searching for careers abroad out of curiosity, because I knew that there was a wider variety of options; knowing that my ideal career existed, it was difficult to look elsewhere¨ says Mora.
Having the opportunity to develop academically in another country also provides direct access to another culture, ¨what I enjoy the most is the city…I am in Milan, where there are many events related to design in general; there is always something new to visit, whether it is an exhibition, an event, a fashion show, etc.¨ says the student.
Delfina says that her favorite experience so far has been the Milan fashion week: ¨seeing how people dress on the streets, how people from other countries arrive and how designers show their months of work on the runway…it is a very busy and exciting week.¨
Through real experiences the dream career begins to take shape and becomes tangible, especially in cities surrounded by fashion: ̈ uring the Fashion Week they gave us the chance to be a part of the backstage of the first day…it is very good to start having experiences to better train us for the professional world…̈ concludes Mora .
Wherever we decide to train, curiosity, energy and cultural activity are necessary for this type of profession.
Grace Coddington, former creative director of Vogue USA, says “from the age of thirteen, every year I spent more and more time studying Vogue”. Undoubtedly, studying what we are passionate about is the guaranteed path to success, at least personally:¨Let them train, feed their imagination, read, be attentive to what they like, to what they feel¨, proposes stylist Marcela Rubini.
When it comes to Fashion Styling, the choices are many, it’s up to us the space we give to research. FAD proposes to guide each person by showing all types of programs related to styling with timelines adapted to the desire of the protagonist: university degree courses, one-year intensive courses, and so on.
Some courses related to the themes we have been exploring are:
Now it is the time to project ourselves and take these tips as a kick start for our future, from FAD Connection we want to help you and guide you on your path of academic search and application to universities.
«There is only one thing in life and that is the continuous renewal of inspiration» Diana Vreeland