What is a Fashion Stylist?
A fashion stylist is a professional employed by either a
retailer or a clothing design company to show you how all of
their current designs go together.
The Big Question: What’s Hot This Season?
Fashion designers create a new range of clothing several times
a year, in spring, summer, autumn and winter. And each range,
whether it’s featured in International Fashion Week in Paris or
the department stores, will have a theme of some kind. This
season’s look may be sporty, or floral, or it may feature a
particular pattern or print.
A fashion stylist’s role is to show you the range of florals or
prints that work together to create a current look. When a
fashion designer creates a range, they have a specific idea in
mind, so the trousers, shirts and dresses will all work
together. The suit will go with the shirt, and both will go
with the handbag. Or the dress will go with the jacket, the
shirt will go with the pants, the shirt will go with the skirt,
and so on.
How You’re Seduced Into Buying New Clothes
When fashion designers release a new range, supposedly to help
us all look fabulous, the subtle message is that what we wore
last year doesn’t work any more, because this year’s theme is
so much better. Now the current range is designed by a person,
or team of people, who are actually working from a storyboard.
If this season’s theme is romantic, then all the garments in
the range must fall into this category. If the current concept
is the great outdoors, then all the pieces will reflect that
theme. A change of theme each season is essential in order to
make last year’s theme look passé.
When you look in a store window at the range of new clothes,
everything looks wonderful. Every item in the window is
designed to show off and promote the clothes. The mannequin is
simply an inanimate object - the clothing is what counts. The
belts go with the tops, and with the dresses - everything is
coordinated and catches the eye. And hopefully your wallet.
The Role of a Fashion Stylist
As well as working with individual shoppers, the fashion
stylist also coordinates the pieces in the range for fashion
parades or fashion showings. Within the store, the fashion
stylist makes sure that each of the garments is displayed to
maximum effect, both in the store window and on you. They’ll
show you what accessories go beautifully with the garment
you’re considering. And if big handbags are ‘in’ this season,
they’ll find you a huge handbag that sets off the outfit. Their
job is to show you what pieces go together to create the
perfect look, at least according to this season’s theme.
Of course, there’ll be a new theme in two months’ time, but the
stylist’s job is to show you what’s available right now, and
how good it can look when it’s all working together. They
present each garment in a way that makes you believe it really
looks fabulous - and it does, because they have a flair for
putting pieces together. Whether the clothes actually suit you
is another story.
How An Image Consultant Works
By contrast, an image consultant starts with the person. She
will look at your body, your coloring, your hair, and your
lifestyle, and then choose the clothes that fit with who you
are. Instead of the clothes looking fantastic, the image
consultant makes you look fantastic. The clothing is utilized
with that end in mind - it’s not about the current look.
Both professionals play an important role in the fashion
industry, but they work from different perspectives. An image
consultant will often tell you not to buy something, whereas a
fashion stylist is hired to sell as much product as possible
within a given time period. An image consultant may work with
you for years, helping you build a truly functional wardrobe,
while a fashion stylist is only focused on this season’s range.
Clever shoppers can learn to how to use both.
© Rita Noon. All Rights Reserved.
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