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My Start as a Stylist!

photo by Greg Crowder

photo by Greg Crowder – one of my first headshots from LA

My styling career really began unbeknownst to me. I moved to Los Angeles in 2003 at 19 years old to become an actress. I had moderate success. I studied for 3 years at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse, had many small television and film roles and stared in a popular comedic web series. My obsession began with costuming—always being somewhat of a visual person when I began to create a character I always became specifically fixated on what this person might be wearing. Going to auditions I would spend almost as much time finding the perfect outfit as I would creating the character and learning the dialogue. And the day of a fitting before filming was one of my most favorite. I remember specifically one fitting in the wardrobe department at Sony Pictures Studios where my character was going to the Oscars; the costume mistress brought in 8 or 9 choices of gowns to try on. I wanted every day to be like that.

As an actress I would do a lot of photo shoots to work on characters and constantly update my headshots. Plus my look was constantly changing—I had long hair, short hair, blonde hair, blue hair. Ok, not blue hair, although that would be funny. I would bring my obsession with costuming along with me and with this I learned what looked good on camera and what didn’t work. Specifically how color, texture and shape played into the photograph. It wasn’t long before friends where asking me to style them for their own shoots, events and auditions.

After 7 years I left Los Angeles in 2009 for Seattle. Although I will always consider LA to be the place

Styling one of my first test photoshoots in Seattle

Styling one of my first test photoshoots in Seattle

I “found myself” (I always call LA home when anyone asks), I was feeling stagnant in my career and went back to be closer to my family and regroup my life. I took a permanent position at Nordstrom in Seattle at first thinking that I might work my way up the retail ladder. Selling is something I am good at naturally but I still had the desire to be in an environment where I created something every day. Even acting to me was too much waiting around. I wanted a job where I was constantly forced to use my creativity.  I don’t quite remember whether someone told me I should be a stylist or it just came to me on my own premonition but somehow I began contacting photographers around the Seattle area and collaborating with them on styling shoots for new models. I worked a ton right off the bat. My style and commitment was well received and within 6 months I was regularly getting paid, at least a little, for styling.

But I just didn’t want to set my sights on a few paying gigs a month. I wanted the real deal. I wanted the whole picture. I wanted New York City.

So, here I am.



About Dani Morales

Wardrobe Stylist - Dani Morales is a wardrobe stylist who has recently relocated to New York City. Originally from Seattle where she worked at Nordstrom, her styling career began while living in Los Angeles. She has experience styling for bands, dance groups, red-carpet events, editorial shoots, television and film, as well as high fashion and individual personal styling. Now in NYC and studying at FIT Dani is starting all over yet again in a new city. She is off to conquer the competitive world of fashion in its capitol.