In Focus: Fashion Styling

Posted on March 20, 2010 in Alternative Careers

Sahiba Singh:

Are you a fresh fashion graduate just waiting to get your first internship? Or a regular graduate waiting to get a break in the fashion industry? If yes, then you should give styling a serious thought. Working as a stylist keeps you updated with the fashion world and gives you the freedom to create unique looks.

A Fashion Stylist has to coordinate the entire wardrobe for a fashion show or programme to promote the sales of the products. It involves coordinating the dress, accessories; make up, hairstyle, even the colour of the nail polish of the model, according to the theme and the overall look of the show. Sometimes a stylist is even involved in fabric selection. He/ she has to be well versed in the trends and happenings in the industry and also have a keen sense of current fashion trends.

Every fashion student knows that Versace, McQueen, Cavalli , Rachel Zoe and Tim Gunn are big names in the fashion industry. But Zoe and Gunn are not designers, they are stylists!! They have been responsible for creating memorable looks at the red carpet. At the international stage, the stylist belongs to the core group working with the designers. With the Indian fashion becoming more organized, the stylists have started getting their due recognition and respect.

For many, working as a stylist can be a grooming phase for becoming fashion designers. Aki Narula started working as a stylist in bollywood movies. After working on several projects he graduated to become a famous designer. He has showcased his collections at the Lakme India fashion week and recently created a line of sportswear for Puma. But the biggest success story belongs to Manish Malhotra. He started styling stars from the year 1995. He has given stars makeovers by styling them from head to toe, helping them achieve stardom. His stature as a designer has being growing ever since.

There is no storage of good stylist in the industry. Though many move on to become full-time designers but there are some who mastered their skills and created a client base; Anaita Shroff Adajania, Vikram Phadnis , Pompy Hans to name a few. “The stylist’s work has expanded from just movies to the actor’s daily life. They have to attend numerous events and now that the media has become a fashion police, the stars have to look their best all the time. And not just actors, page 3 personalities have also started having their own stylists,” shares Rashmi Khanna, who works at a leading magazine.

In the recent years many established designers have started creating styles for the big banner movies. The hottest designer of the season is Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He has been creating splendid looks for the leading ladies. And he is the man behind once-fashion-victim-now-diva, Vidya Balan.

In today’s multiplex-driven looking-like-Hollywood, a costume stylist is no longer just your dresswala. These days, they are booked before actors are. Ask Karan Johar who went on with Manish Malhotra’s clothes in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna even if it meant an extra large dent in the production budget. Much before Johar got the combination dates of his blockbuster cast, the filmmaker and his favourite couturier traipsed around New York to lend authenticity to the dressing. “Karan and I bought stuff from brands like Etro, Diesel and Prada from New York. The Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy group also sponsored us, so we got bags from Christian Dior and LV. While the scenes were being shot, I was constantly hunting for one outfit or another,” says Malhotra.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and covers alternative career options.