1) What first sparked your interest in fashion and what lead you to move into the styling sector?
I was always a creative child so I knew I would eventually work in the arts, but at first I wasn't too sure what it was I wanted to do. From a really early age I started getting into fashion, so when I began looking into what I could do at uni, I always went back to the idea of fashion design. After looking into it and really pushing for it, I quite quickly noticed it wasn't for me and dropped out of my course after six months. Luckily I had started a styling pathway at uni as well as working alongside a brand that introduced me to a stylist who was in need of an assistant. This was what opened my eyes to other opportunities within fashion that I wasn't really aware of before, mainly because those roles weren't talked about like they are today.
Very quickly I realised styling was a lot more in-line with me and my personality so I really went for it. Once I was starting to build my own portfolio of work and collaborate with friends and other creatives, I went back to uni to finish off a fashion marketing and textiles design course and was able to let go off the whole fashion design thing. With styling being such a versatile job where you meet so many different people, it allowed me to really start enjoying what I was doing. To know your connecting the dots on a shoot is very rewarding, I can tell and sell a story and you have input into lots of peoples careers.
2) Who or what was the biggest inspiration behind your personal style evolution?
From as far back as I remember my Grandmother has just been a very swaggy person. I used to look forward to going to hers for the whole weekend and playing dress-up with all these really cool and special different things that you just wouldn't see on a normal person or in a normal wardrobe. It all seemed very theatrical and I think that’s what really brought on my ability of being able to dress in a way that I guess isn't ‘everyday’. To this day she still dresses sick so of course she remains my main inspiration.
3) How important is preparation for a styling role before a major shoot?
The success of a shoot always depends on the prep, without it there’s only so much you can do. Most of your time is engulfed in the prep to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. There is always trouble-shooting but that’s what prep is for, to avoid that having to happen. To know everyone is on the same page visually is also key in avoiding any misunderstandings. Every type of project is different whether it's a brand campaign, editorial shoot, press shoot or a personal appearance job, so knowing exactly what the clients wants is maybe the most important thing in being able to prep correctly. As well as consistent communication so everyone knows the details from locations to timescales, roles and creative direction.
4) What can we expect to see from you once lockdown is over?
It’s hard to say at the moment because being on set is obviously very important and with what’s going on, it's impossible to say if budgets will be the same again or when people will be able to shoot again. Before lockdown we had launched and sold out a styling masterclass which has since been cancelled because it was a group event, so I'm hoping to transition that into an online class and I guess continue to transfer my skills to other people.
I’m all about being positive, but honestly none of us really know what’s going to happen so I'm just happy I have my health.
5) What is a typical day like in the life of an established stylist?
Well before lockdown it was really busy which meant I didn't have a lot of time for myself. I would probably have two or three jobs a week, which is quite a lot when it comes to styling with all the prep and different aspects of the shoot at hand. But then it's not just the prep, it's also wrapping it up. There’s an admin side to it as well as the creative side which you wouldn't normally think about and it's very time consuming, but something you have to do to finish the job.
I wouldn't ever say styling is repetitive because it's not, it’s lots of jobs in one. I'm doing something different each day and working with a new client each week. Luckily I have a team who can take on various roles within different projects, giving me time outside of the office to have meetings and go to shoots.
Everyday is different, but fun.
6) What has lockdown allowed you to focus on or finish off?
Making my own video content was something I wanted to do before lockdown but never got round to because I was in this mentality that I didn’t have the time for it, so I would outsource. Obviously since lockdown I’ve had the time and I’ve been doing it myself which I'm enjoying and alongside that I'm learning a new skill which is cool.
It's a hard time to not consider health so I'm on this new self-care routine which is also a positive, but aside from that it’s just been the perfect time to think of a few new ways to make new content for my own platforms, but in a very relaxed way. I'm not feeling much urgency at the moment.