Styling is a huge part of launching a brand and getting the right kind of exposure. Stylists are creatives who complete the jigsaw puzzles of garments, inspiration, trends and creativity. In today’s interview, we meet NYC stylist Caroline to discuss what it means to style and what it takes to make it work!
How did you become a stylist?
Honestly, it wasn’t my plan to become a stylist. I wanted to be an anesthesiologist. I was always just naturally drawn to fashion and was very good at pairing items. My friend connected me with a magazine where I was thrown into a shoot and from there I taught myself everything I know. I never assisted anyone I just taught myself.
What is it like being a stylist?
Being a stylist can be a lot of fun, hard work, and rewarding all in one. It’s full of new challenges, new people, art, ideas and styles.
How do you find people to work with?
Being a stylist in NYC means plenty of work and lots of competition. I have been a stylist for a while now so I have been able to build a chain of contacts and we all refer each other to new artists. I also use social media to find designers as well as using it as a way to be found by them. The great thing about this industry is once you start building a name for yourself work will also find you.
What is a typical day like for you?
There isn’t a normal daily routine for me. Everyday is a new adventure. Somedays I am at the studio for shoots or on a location shoot. Other days I am meeting with different designers for pulling or at the office going over previous shoots for credits and confirming retouching on any mistakes that may need extra attention.
How far in advance do you plan out for a shoot?
Planning times depends on the requested shoot date as well as how much time I need to put into planning. I get some requests last minute and some a month or so in advance. I always try to start contemplating looks when I first find out about a shoot whether it’s months in advance or a week away. Doing this helps me to collect inspiration from everyday life, colors and personalities. I look at the model and the concept before finalizing looks.
What type of shoot do you prefer?
I enjoy location shoots for editorials. It takes a great team all-round to pull off an attractive high fashion shoot using location and a photographer with a good eye for the perfect background and lighting. The model may be in freezing or hot weather but they always make it look perfect. MUA creates the best hues and shades during whatever weather and lighting we may encounter and the hairstylist can make perfect hair in the windiest of days.
My point is that location shoots require a good team to work together no matter what obstacles we encounter. I haven’t come across a location shoot yet that there hasn’t been some sort of obstacle but we overcome it with smiling faces which makes the final work that much more rewarding.
What tools/resources do you use to plan for a shoot?
I always use the internet to keep up with the latest styles. I use everyday life as a resource to see different people and their styles. Then I have my list book that I take what I have seen and what I know my concept will be and then I add a dramatic sometimes weird and different spin on each look. I try to really understand the concept of each shoot. Once I feel I have a good grasp on my final looks I go to designers in my designer contact list (many from Nineteenth Amendment!) whose work I feel best fits the concept.
Where do you typically pull from for shoots?
I overall try to pull from independent designers.
Do you prefer to work with independent fashion brands?
Absolutely! They have unique looks that you don’t see everyday. I find the best creativity comes from independent designers which brings a fresh new diverse look to each shoot.
What is the best part of pulling from Nineteenth Amendment’s rotating designer closet?
What I love about pulling from Nineteenth Amendment is it’s always a pleasant experience. The Nineteenth Amendment team is very friendly and they make the experience quick and easy which is important in a stylists world. I also love that they have a wide variety looks from independent designers each with a unique look which helps to add diversity to each shoot. All the styles Nineteenth Amendment has from their designers are very well made and you can tell designers put time into each piece. Pulling from Nineteenth Amendment means you get high quality wardrobe items from different designers all in one place.
What’s the most challenging part of being a stylist?
You have to really grasp a concept sometimes in a very short period of time. A stylist can really make or break a shoot so making sure you really understand the concept and researching the team to make sure you connect with their creative styles as well to truly make the shoot flow and work out artistically perfect.
Who is your dream client?
There are so many different people out there and magazines I would absolutely love to work with. Although, I would be honored to work for Lady Gaga she is full of amazing build she isn’t afraid to take chances I feel like I could learn a lot from her and really challenge myself to be even more creative.
What’s your style motto?
Wear what makes you feel beautiful, dress to be tastefully different, magical and just overall happy.
What trend do you hope never goes out of style?
Hmm, see I could contradict myself here but as I do follow trends for photoshoots to create my own spin I also believe in being tastefully different. Even if a trend goes out of style with the masses if I love the way it looks I use it and add a more up to date spin. (I can never give up good fashion even if the world decided to, I just pair it to look up to date).
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is in each of us. It’s how we express who we are, it makes us feel good about ourselves. When we wear our unique pieces it helps to tell a story of who we are on the inside. Even though there are rules in the industry I personally believe there are no right or wrongs in fashion because it’s a matter of opinion and expression. I always say strive to be tastefully different and add a spin on today’s trends.
“Pulling from Nineteenth Amendment means you get high quality wardrobe items from different designers all in one place. “
What excites you most about Nineteenth Amendment?
With constant new looks and designers there is never a dull moment when looking at NineteenthAmendment.com. The designers they have create amazing pieces that you really never think of so its extremely exciting to always see new, beautiful unique pieces that are well made.
Want more from Caroline? Check out her instagram @carolinemarie5047
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Images featured in this article feature:
White Pants by Bohn Jsell Collections.
Photographer/Retoucher : Rutvik Katuri @rutvikkaturi
Wardrobe Stylist : Caroline Marie @carolinemarie5047
Makeup/Hair : Kasey Adam Spickard @thefacebykace
Model : Zuzan Adam @zuzana.ad with @EMG_Models