The Stylist – Your Eyes and Ears of the Fashion Industry – Part 2

Photo DR. Fashion Stylist Melanie Ward

The Stylist – Your Eyes and Ears of the Fashion Industry – Part 2

You might know them as a Stylist, Fashion Stylist, Photo Stylist, Fashion Editor, Fashion Coordinator or Accessory Stylist etc… But one thing I have garnered from frequenting the forums, is how little attention is paid to them by “Fashion Photographers” (i’ll explain the later), models trying to put their books together and that part of the industry that think they know the industry.

Now one of the things many of you may not have known, is that many stylists started off their lives wanting to become Fashion Designers and spent quite a bit of their time studying at some of the best schools for Fashion Design in the World. Now just think about that for a moment. No, REALLY think about that for several moments. Think of the implications. If you cannot at this juncture in time, you will understand the importance of this sometime in your life time.  Better sooner than later, I hope.  I won’t fill in the blanks, but allow you to do so.

A Stylist does a lot more than just go to the Press Attache’s offices to choose the clothing, accessories etc… For up and coming shoots. They also make their living as Fashion Consultants for major designers and design houses. They will be asked to put together mood boards for companies looking to define their look in the public domain. They are called upon to determine and define beauty and fashion trends in society as a whole. They are often called upon as well to plant seeds into the social fabric via special events, concerts, fashion shows and seminars. They are asked by major magazines to contribute their expertise and add to the richness of the content of those magazines. They are also journalists, that often realize their goal as Editor in Chief via what they penned for others. They are Art Directors and Copywriters.

A Fashion stylist has to have a broad stroked understanding of the Industry and know their Chanel from Fendi in a blink of an eye.  They also have to know who did what in which and when and with whom. If they don’t, they aren’t. It is as rude as that.

However, in most cases, when I have observed discussions of the Forums that claim to be privy to this info, rarely does the notion of a stylist, nor the importance of one ever surface. Without the right stylist for the intended goal, you might as well go fishing. At least you’ll be able to feed yourself and perhaps capture a few nice snap shots. These “photographers” professing to shoot fashion, can’t really be fashion photographers!  If they were, they would realize that what they are cataloging is suppose to be just that, photographers shooting and interpreting”WHAT IS IN FASHION!” Not some model in a pair of generic jeans, halter top or none at all and a pair of Nikes.

Without the Fashion Stylist, your efforts will not aid in realizing your goal, other than in retrospect.

More on this in my next installment… I’m too frustrated to continue right now… Oh the () is being used here as a question mark.

Part 16

About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…
  • Frank

    I wish someone would tell that to MY marketing dept. I am a retoucher and they seem to think that fashion photography is 90% retouching. It’s like they’ve never even heard of a stylist!!!!

  • http://harkiran.in Harkiran

    Oh, please continue!!! your politics of fashion series are my novocaine to the soul…its painful to load your page every other day hoping you’ve written another installment…just a bit…aaarrrggghhhhh. sheer frustration. with this. one. :(

  • Calvin

    Please, go on. :)

  • http://www.cygnusstudios.com Steve

    Your insights into the fashion side of photography are the best available and should be a must read for anyone who considers photography as a profession. So many of your points apply to commercial, product, food, and catalog work also.

    Online forums are full of “internet” photographers. They can only survive in the virtual world. It amazes me that most of the top posters have no understanding of what it takes to survive out here in the real world.

    The concept of a team is foreign to most of them. I would be shocked if more than a small percentage understood how to lay out their book, let alone who and when to show it.

    Please don’t let the “internet” photographers stress you to the point where you no longer bother to attempt to educate. There are plenty of us who play on a much smaller stage that look forward to putting your insights into our bag of tricks.

    • http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com Benjamin Kanarek

      I’m glad that you took the time to share your insights here with us. Greatly appreciated Steve.

      Thanks Again…

      Ben

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