Tuesday, July 22, 2008

become a stylist

Becoming a stylist demands a broad interest in fashion and a real eye for style. If you have what it takes, training can help you understand more about the body, colour, clothing and fashion trends – and how to bring everything together. To succeed, you'll need to be extremely passionate, hardworking and enthusiastic, with a warm personality and tactful manner that enables you to provide constructive criticism without giving offence. Being a stylist can be glamorous and exciting, as you work with fascinating people and regularly travel abroad. But it’s also hard, involving long hours and carrying heavy bags, so it’s not for the fainthearted! You don't need a degree or diploma but it provides a good grounding and gives you a much better understanding of clothing and the industry. There are many fashion degrees and Higher National Diplomas currently available in the UK but I would recommend doing a course that combines design and business is a good option – the design to help you understand the fundamental make-up of clothing and the business element helps you to understand promotion and how to run a business. To start your search, try UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) at Try to also get as much work experience as possible. Contact magazines and offer your services as an intern in the fashion department or assist a freelance stylist – try The Fashion Monitor (£45) for contact numbers. You could also try work experience at a PR office to understand fashion from another perspective and even in a boutique or clothing shop to help your understanding of shapes and colours. It is also important to keep a watchful eye on the fashion world – stay up to date with catwalk shows, magazines and maintain a general interest in clothing, fashion and design. Inspiration for styles, colour and shape can come from many different sources outside of fashion – e.g. the arts, culture, nature, the movies and architecture – keep your eyes peeled. The most important attributes for someone wanting to go into styling is enthusiasm, determination and a strong desire to work with clothing, fashion and people. It’s very competitive so you need to really want it! Zoe has worked on the BBC's What Not To Wear and has styled celebrities such as Robbie Williams, Cat Deeley, Sara Cox and Ant & Dec as well as doing shoots for magazines and advertisers. She hosts an ‘Introduction to Personal Styling’ event that teaches all the basic skills of styling to people interested in improving their own image and those wanting a career in styling.

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