So you wanna be a wardrobe stylist?


stylist 1So you wanna be a wardrobe stylist?

Hello out there and welcome to my blog. I am not much for a big introduction but let’s just start with I am the one who will be getting you dressed today. I will be picking out your clothing, making sure it fits, shopping for it, designing an esthetic for a set, placing the prop in your hand, for I am the wardrobe stylist. Maybe the most underappreciated, over glamorized job on Earth. No, no, sorry to say I am not like Rachel Zoe (although she is fabulous). I am the one dragging the racks down the streets of New York City, making the odd excuses for gregarious amounts of returned clothing at the Gap and usually the first to arrive and the last to leave a set.

I have been living in New York for a little over 7 months and I am just beginning my career. I assist for a few different stylists that have a wide range of expertise, some work only or mainly in editorial while others work on television ads or print advertising.  So here, in this particular blog, I will be discussing just that; what it’s like to start from the bottom and work your way up.

Today, in our 1st entry we will explore the very basics of what IS a stylist?

Often confused with an image consultant or a personal shopper, a wardrobe stylist specifically pertains to someone who selects wardrobe for published editorials, film, print, advertising campaigns, music videos, concerts or celebrity appearances. I best heard the job defined once as someone who creates a visual solution for a form of media. Be it print, film, television or any kind of ads. I dot the eyes and cross the t’s. I make sure everyone is suited from head to toe and the audience believes the story they are being told. This usually involves everything from making sure the clothes fit to getting the appropriate wedding bands. I want to make you believe what you are looking at is real, at least in the context of the media. Personally I believe a good wardrobe stylist is what truly separates a professional set from a non-professional set, and a good director or photographer should never work without one.

stylist 2After all, what a person is wearing is often the first thing we notice about something. To portray a message through an image correctly, how someone or something is dressed directly correlates to an audience before words are spoken or text is read. A wardrobe stylist is usually much more interested, especially in an editorial ad, in creating a story that speaks though wardrobe. When I am creating an idea for an editorial spread I use a visual language spelled out through pattern, texture, and color that correlates to a specific idea. And then for another job most recently where I dressed 10 actors for an ice cream commercial I did a very similar thing, with a completely different design outcome. I am not merely just placing clothes on a human.

There is no precise training to become a wardrobe stylist, although a few colleges now offer degrees. I did study fashion design without completing my degree. I don’t think I would ever personally tell someone specifically not to obtain a degree–knowing how to sew and how a garment is constructed has only helped me. Do you specifically need a degree to begin a career as a stylist? In my opinion, no. Do I wish I had one? Yes.  Anything to put you ahead of the game helps. Being a stylist at the end of the day is a talent and everyone I have spoken to says either you have “it” or you don’t.

Stay tuned for my next blog in which we will discuss what you need to get your career as a fashion stylist going!

Til next time!