Beyond basic knowledge, a stylist should constantly be getting updated information about trends, new designers, and other developments in the fashion industry. Research and lots of reading is part of this job despite the hectic schedules and overly social life it entails. To improve your skills as a stylist you should access resources that provide you with visuals and ideas from the most spirited artists and thinkers. You need to indulge yourself in avant-gardeness and experimentation.
Go through the most celebrated writers touching and analyzing style. Veteran Sasha Charnin Morisson has written Secrets of Stylists: An Insider’s Guide to Styling the Stars; a book every stylist should delve into, getting real-life advice. Stylists: New Fashion Visionaries by Katie Baron is a motivational book for beginners in the field. To get familiar with the work of all acclaimed stylists till now, just pick Style.com’s Stylist: The Interpreters of Fashion by Sarah Mower and Raul Martinez with an introduction by Anna Wintour.
For more portable resources, you can try Color Me Beautiful by color consultant Carole Jackson in Kindle edition and The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look by top NY-based celebrity stylist Kendall Farr. Finally, look for more encyclopedic books such as What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society by Melissa Leventon or The Triumph of Individual Style: A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self by Carla Mason Mathis and Helen Villa Connor; a work of great educational value. Such books give you the necessary foundation upon which you are going to build your own approach to styling.
Through their insightful lens famous photographers are teaching you how to style people in a photographable way. You learn what is photogenic and eye-catching, by looking thoroughly at endless memorable shots by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and the likes, featured in magazines, exhibition catalogues, published albums or the Internet.
Top fashion editors’ choices and directions at the most respected publications will further give you the mood of the season, implying also many things about the work of high-profile stylists. Check regularly, and probably subscribe to Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, InStyle, Elle, W, but also keep an eye for edgier glossies such as Nylon, Paper, Dazed & Confused, and i-D.
Amidst this ocean of aspiring bloggers, you will find the real trendsetters and influencers. Those people – with fresh ideas and attitude – are somehow the anthropologists of style right now. You already know Style Bubble, Garance Doré, Street Peeper, Man Repeller and The Sartorialist, but you can also check Shinebythree.com, Weworewhat.com, Themarcystop.com, Koo.im, Ejk.squarespace.com, Makingmagique.com, Deluneblog.com, and endless others. They are keeping you posted with the latest in fashion including unexpected improvisations by street style super-stars. Investing a bit of your time to that, you’ll be awarded with a newly-founded way of obtaining pop culture awareness.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Lookbook.nu, Tumblr and other social media offer you the fastest route towards style-related info. Through them you can also come in direct contact with your most favorite stylists. Just follow their profiles! Also, create your own account to promote your work.
The most efficient and complete method of learning this job is by assisting other established stylists for free. As an intern or helper at a major stylist’s, you will study and practice, really embracing all the professional wisdom around you.
Degrees in fashion design, merchandising, communications, marketing, history of art and photography can be a great starting point if you are planning to specialize in styling later on. They are a helpful theoretical background. Then you can get an idea about a stylist’s career path and options through professional organizations such as the Association of Image Consultants International (AICA) and the International Fashion Stylists Association (IFSA) which keep you in track with related news, events and professional training opportunities.
Education and Courses in Styling
Although you cannot find many authorities claiming that they offer a degree in Styling in the formal sense, there are amazing courses and programs – such as the School of Style – taught by successful fashion industry professionals that will offer you knowledge, tools, plus important connections. Highly recommended course topics are related to celebrity, commercial and editorial styling as well as image-making and photo shoots.