Becoming a Fashion Stylist
...continued from PART ONE
So what are the skills and requirements needed to become a Fashion Stylist? Is a passion for fashion and shopping enough? Not even close. The occupation entails an excellent sense of style, and a great knowledge of fashion, history and pop culture. You also need to incorporate skills in sales, time management, marketing, and business. An understanding of fabrics and garment construction is an absolute bonus.
Having a background in fashion design or fashion marketing can be a great help since you'll have a better understanding of how clothing fits to a body, and how different cuts and construction affect body shapes and sizes. You'll learn how fabrics will drape differently, and most importantly you'll understand terminology and slang when discussing specific items you need for your jobs. Think words like yoke, darts, and kitten heels vs. wedges or mules. Marketing students will have a better comprehension of the client's marketing strategies, and can use this to their advantage.
You need to always work it! Think car salesman or a retail associate working on commission. It is one big sales presentation when you are on set. Can you sell the items you selected to your clients? Are you able to convince them that what you picked out is exactly what they are looking for and need? And if they don't like something, can you persuade them to go with another choice? Think back to your retail sales days - were you good at making sales to customers and have them return asking specifically for you to help them again? It's very similar to that when working on set with clients.
Every era has a signature style and certain ones will repeat in fashion, influencing present day trends and looks. People often refer to certain periods, styles and celebrities when describing fashion and you need to understand what they are referring to. When a client requests items from a certain decade's style, you need to know what the look is, and vice versa. For example, if they say the '20s you should know they are referring to the 'it' girl styles of flappers and all that jazz.
Historical knowledge is especially important when working on projects that require authenticity. When working on a movie or a play, understanding the difference between English Victorian styles and French Victorian styles can be very significant.
Pop culture awareness
Jennifer Lopez in Versace
How often do you describe a certain style by referring to a celebrity? When I say Madonna back in the '80s, you have a specific image. Or how about JLo at the Grammys? We all picture her plunging green dress that was barely there. Modern day society is so visual and attached to pop culture events - it has a huge impact on the Fashion Stylist's job.
Everything influences fashion. You need to have knowledge of movies, events, arts, news, music and what the latest items are in magazines. That way you'll know what "Audrey Hepburn" style is or what "Elizabethan period" means.
In fact, a great stylist would know the scandalous dress worn by JLo was designed by Versace.
Bonus point: Who wore that dress in the Versace print campaign?
Continue to Part THREE