Fashion Stylist

Need some career inspiration? Three insiders spill all on working in fashwan, dahling…

YOUR ROUTE IN Katie Greengrass*, 32, is a freelance stylist from London
‘There’s no fast-track route to becoming a stylist. I studied English at Leeds Uni, where I wrote a fashion page for the student paper. That’s when I first became interested in styling. We’d organise fashion shows and I learnt what colours and shapes go together. I was even nominated for the NUS Student Stylist Of The Year award. It was sponsored by the Daily Mirror, who offered me some work experience on their fashion desk during my uni holidays. After uni, I interned for three years at various magazines. The pay was either very low, or I’d work for free, so it was just as well I was living with my parents at the time. My internships usually involved sorting out the fashion cupboard, which is where they keep the clothes used in photo shoots. It was my job to send everything back to the fashion PR agencies who’d lent the magazines clothes for shoots. I also wrote different publications and stylists to find out about paid jobs and opportunities. Eventually, I got hired as a paid fashion intern at The Daily Telegraph – and that’s when my career really took off. I got to style celebs such as Alesha Dixon, and made loads of contacts. Now I work freelance. When people are hiring you, they look at your experience, rather than what you studied. I’d advise you to get as much work experience as you can, like I did.’

A DAY IN THE LIFE Isobel Drummond**, 31, is a freelance stylist from London
‘I have three versions of a “typical” day: prepping, shooting and returning clothes. On a prepping day – when I’m preparing for a photo shoot – I borrow clothes from PR companies and check out the shops, so I can buy any extra items I may need. It usually takes all day and I’ll come home with suitcases full of clothes and shoes. On the day of the shoot I’ll be up super early. Occasionally, a shoot will take place outdoors, but mostly it’s done in a photography studio. I usually have to fight for space to work in and sometimes end up dressing celebs in any space corner I can find. It’s also my job to liaise with the make – up artist and photographer about the look we’re going for. Out of the 20 outfit options I bring along, only a couple of them will actually get used. We usually finish at 5pm and I’ll have to take all the clothes home. The next day I do the returns, which means sending the outfits back to the PRs. It’s hard work, but that’s what makes it so rewarding.’

WHAT THE JOB AD WON’T TELL YOU Sara, 27, is a celeb stylist from Weybridge
‘If you want to be a stylist, I’d advise heading to the gym right now. For an all-day shoot, I often have to lug around heavy cases full of clothes. I waste a fortune of physiotherapy to sort out my aching muscles. You can’t be shy as you’re dressing and undressing people all day. Lingerie shoots are the worst, as you have to make sure there are no stray pubes visible. You have to arrange the underwear, which isn’t very nice – particularly if a female celeb has their period that day. I have to be on constant “camel – toe watch” too. There’s one incident I’ll never forget. A hot A-list celebrity got an erection in the middle of a shoot. Unfortunately I’d put him in a really tight suit, so there was no way he could hide it – I didn’t know where to look! Honestly, anything can happen in this job.’

STARTING SALARY: Around £15,000 for your first paid job. If you’re assisting on a shoot, expect to earn around £50 – £100 per day
AVERAGE SALARY BY 30: £25,000 – £40,000
WHAT’S THE MOST I COULD EARN? Stylists working on music videos and films can earn £50,000 a year
KEY QUALITIES: A creative eye, good organisational skills, and an ability to put people at ease
(Please Note: The information is from the More Magazine article ‘So you want to be a Fashion Stylist’ in Issue 1st April 2013, I did not write this!)

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