The fashion industry can be quite daunting for anyone looking to enter, but with the right skills, attitude, flair for design and style anyone can succeed in it. We spoke with some famous stylists of Instagram and asked them what advice they had for anyone considering getting involved with styling and how to best to style your own look.
Cathy O’Connor: Stylist and broadcaster
“Fashion wasn’t my thing, television was. I was producing television and it was through that, that I got into fashion. I had already been a fashion editor in U magazine for about a year and a half.
“I don’t think style is necessarily identified by country because so much of fashion is trend based that I don’t think it’s necessarily about Irish or English style. I think the trends very often can dictate because you are working with an available product, so whatever is in the shop and there are certain kinds of key interpretations of that.
“It’s such a broad industry and I think people can often think ‘oh well I’d like to work in the fashion business’ and I think you should always recognise your strengths and weaknesses as it’s a really broad industry. It’s about whatever aspect of it that you might like. You’re working on a lot of excel sheets, it’s not quite what it is. It’s about what works for you in terms of your skill set and in terms of your personality and seeing where in the industry you can fit in best.
“In styling it’s really great to get together with a core team, like a makeup artist, photographer, teams of people who work together and produce really good work. It’s about doing it and not talking about it. If you want to be a stylist you need to get out there and style some sh*t. There’s huge learning in it.
“As long as you’re there thinking ‘oh this is going to look great on the model’, then you see it on the model and it’s not as nice as you thought it would be, there’s always great learning in everything and the more you do the more you learn, It’s about doing so you learn about yourself and enhance your strengths.
“Styling actually has nothing to do with the person who is styling, I think that what (happens) very often is that… what you turn out is mini me’s. At the very core of things, style is about expressing the individual; it’s all about that so there’s no point in turning out mini-me’s.
‘’In order to style someone else you have to step back and listen to them and listen to how they want to express themselves. When you’re styling someone else, they never really know so it’s about listening and experimenting to an extent, but with an expert eye, because it’s about bringing out the best in someone else. Ideally what you want is for someone to look and feel so natural and confident.
“I suppose for me, personal styling is about the marriage of things that say something about who you are along with clothes that really work for your body shape. So more than anything it is about individuality, it is not about copying trends and there’s a real difference between fashion and style.”
Natalie Svikle: A personal stylist based in Dublin:
“The number one advice I would give to anyone who is looking at the fashion industry as a potential career is explore the industry, just simply because there is so many different niches within the industry. The fashion industry is a huge industry so there is personal styling, personal shopping, fashion design, fashion styling, visual merchandising, there is buying, there are so many different aspects within the industry, there are so many avenues you can take.
“My personal style is very much purpose driven, it really depends on where the day is taking me and what I am doing. I try to make sure my wardrobe suits my lifestyle.
“Whatever size, whatever shape, whatever budget it is they have, the number one thing I always say to my clients is that fit is the key to looking well. If something doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t matter how good of a quality it is, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, if it doesn’t sit right it’s not going to do much justice to your overall look.
“For one, make sure the sleeve is at the right length, the length of the trousers is the right length. So if it takes a trip to the alterations place or trip to the dressmaker just to make something fit that much better, by all means do invest that bit more so that it fits your proportions and silhouette perfectly.”
Image Credit: Eden Beauty Group