A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do a photoshoot for Prima magazine (the August edition coming out early July). The idea behind the photoshoot was to have a 30-something, 40-something and 50-something lady showing how to wear bright summer clothing from the high street.
Being a personal stylist I leapt at the chance to be the one having the makeover for a change and took the train down to London fizzing with excitement about the whole day ahead. Arriving at the very glamorous photographer’s studio near Shoreditch I had a before photo taken of me without any makeup on or my hair done. I then met the fashion stylist and her assistant to try on some outfits ready for the photoshoot. They had an incredible array of clothing, shoes and handbags..all in bright colours. I was in heaven…!
I was asked to try on a white shirt with wide leg red trousers and a chunky beaded necklace, then a cobalt blue and canary yellow dress from Preen Studio at Debenhams with matching blue sandals and finally a candy pink trouser suit with a red camisole and red sandals and pink tassel earrings. Once the outfits were chosen I had my hair and makeup done. Then it was on with the outfits and time to get into position to have the photos taken… each outfit was photographed for around 10 minutes whilst I posed and pouted? until the photographer was happy with the final shots. Finally, 4 hours later time for lunch and then my train home!
Overall a really enjoyable day.. great to meet all the people involved in a photoshoot..from the journalist to the photographer to the stylist and makeup artist. Also, great to have a free day out in London (all expenses were paid including a driver from Liverpool Street to and from the shoot) and fabulous to have some photos of me all done up in a variety of outfits. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Prima August edition. Surprisingly, the day gave me lots of food for thought which I hadn’t really anticipated.
Difference between fashion and personal stylist
Having worked as a personal stylist for the last few years I now feel relatively experienced .. but having come from a non fashion/journalist background.. (a modern languages degree and a graduate career with a containerised shipping line aren’t a natural precursor to working as a personal stylist) it was great to meet the stylists who have had a more conventional styling career namely starting out at the London School of Fashion. It was also really interesting to see the very clear differences between fashion and personal styling. Fashion styling is very much about the clothing..what makes the clothing look best to sell lots of it… be it in a magazine, on a blog or online etc. Whereas a personal stylist is more about the woman.. what clothing will make the client look best… obviously the two disciplines have the clothing in common but one is about fashion and trends and the other is about making a woman look and feel her best. On balance, I am glad I am working as a personal stylist as the ability to make a woman look and feel amazing for the life she leads is the joy of the doing the job – whereas a photo in a magazine is all smoke and mirrors and very definitely not the real world.
Good to move out of your style comfort zone
The second thing that occurred to me as I mulled over the day was how much I had enjoyed wearing clothes I would never normally consider. As colour analysis is a core part of my job and what I live and die by, I would never wear bright white, cobalt blue, canary yellow or candy pink as my colouring needs much more muted and earthy tones. However, whilst knowing this it was still great to see myself in these different colours and to see myself in a photo wearing them. Possibly I am in thrall to my colours and never think to break the rules..surely sometimes it’s great to step out of my style comfort zone and shake things up a bit. Also, I never wear dangly earrings and so whilst they are majorly on trend at the moment I didn’t even consider buying and wearing any. However, seeing myself in them with my short hair I totally loved them and am actively seeking out a pair to wear when I go out. I loved the slim legged trouser suit with hip length jacket which is also having a fashion moment right now and similarly had dismissed as not being my usual style.. I would buy one right now if I could find one in my colours..
To conclude, it’s great to know what suits you, what your natural style and lifestyle is and to stick to that but it’s also good every once in a while to shake things up and step outside your clothing comfort zone…either by buying or trying something on that you wouldn’t normally pick or by working with a personal stylist to let you know what styles and colours best suit you.
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