If you take a lot of pictures of people, you’ll notice how their clothes may completely change the mood of a shoot. However, it may be difficult to determine exactly what is off-putting about the image. Bring in your ace in the hole: a professional wardrobe organiser. A wardrobe stylist (sometimes known as a fashion stylist or just a stylist) specialises in garments.
A lot of them went to school for fashion design, so they know all about fabrics and cuts and how they should sit on the body. Wardrobe stylists may take any item in a client’s wardrobe and make it work for the story they want to tell. It is the stylist’s responsibility to be aware of the latest trends and styles, as well as to understand how clothes should be worn in different social contexts and by different individuals. They have a wardrobe selection that works for each shooting scenario.
A Wardrobe Stylist’s Duties
There are numerous other names for wardrobe stylists, such as fashion editor, costume designer, and stylist. No matter what name you call them, costume or fashion designers are not the same as image consultants. A stylist selects each article of clothing and accessory included in an editorial or marketing campaign with great care. Image consultants engage with individuals (such as business professionals) to organise and develop their wardrobes, while designers work for a fashion brand to conceptualise and create unique clothing pieces and accessories.
As members of the greater creative team, wardrobe stylists play a crucial role. They must work in tandem with the director, stylist, makeup artist, hair stylist, client, and photographer. They’ll collaborate on a final look for the project, and then put it into action.
A stylist’s day (and job) is never the same. Therefore, they must be ready for everything. Adjustments in sizing, coordination with other members of the style team, quick changes, and cleaning up inadvertent spills and stains are all examples of tasks that may arise on set.
How to Find the Perfect Wardrobe Stylist for Your Production
The process of identifying and hiring a stylist can seem overwhelming to a beginner photographer. Even more so now that it seems like every social media star and their designer dog has an opinion on what’s in style. Both personal recommendations and professional directories can help you locate a competent stylist. Looking over the styling credits on the Instagram postings of other photographers or in magazines is another option, albeit a time-consuming one. You can then go further to locate that stylist’s online portfolio. Location, portfolio quality and style, and previous clients should all be taken into account.
Selecting a Stylist
Choosing a final stylist after thorough evaluation is the more important step here. After narrowing down your options via word-of-mouth or a reputable database, you may need to consider factors like price and accessibility to make your final decision. A stylish identified through any other means, however, will require a more thorough evaluation to determine whether or not they are a good fit for the project:
- Check out their previous work on their website and decide if their aesthetic would work for your project from there.
- Check their Instagram for examples of their most recent work to be sure they are still producing quality work and are aware of industry developments.
- Find proof that they have a strong sense of style and wear it regularly.
- Find hairdressers who are dependable, well-organized, and on-time professionals by checking references and speaking with their past clients.
Finding a stylist who has established connections with designers and companies is also essential, particularly for a shoot in which the client does not supply the outfit. This is because they have to go to a lot of different individuals and places to get the things they need. If they have solid business connections with sought-after designers and companies, they may be able to acquire higher-quality goods at more affordable pricing. If they don’t, they’ll have to buy or rent the equipment themselves, which could drive up the price of your shoot.
The Expense of Using Personal Clothes Designers
You might be wondering how much it will set you back to hire a fashion stylist at this point. When it comes to compensating a wardrobe stylist, you have a few choices. There are primarily three types of stylists:
- Hourly rate, or the agreed-upon sum to be paid for each hour of service rendered on a project.
- Daily rate – an agreed-upon sum for each working day, whether that be in planning or completion.
- Project rate – a one-time payment for the duration of the project (also known as a buy-out) or for being available for a set amount of time (a retainer).
In general, commercial initiatives pay the most, whereas editorial assignments pay the least. The stylist’s fee (hourly, daily, or project) will be determined by factors such as the stylist’s experience, education, and the geographic proximity of the job site. Make sure the budget leaves room for the clothes stylist to stock the set with all the essentials. This sum is in addition to the stylist’s payment and is meant to compensate for unforeseen costs (such as when a client is unable to return a purchased item because of damage or loss).
Pre-Production Tips for Hiring a Stylist
You and your wardrobe stylist will have extensive pre-production contact to discuss and shape the project’s aesthetic direction. The better the stylist is briefed on the project, the better the end outcome will be.
Your stylist will need to create many unique yet complementary outfits for each model or actor in the session. Your stylist is responsible for locating any goods required. The designers can help by lending you their pieces for free in exchange for some publicity for their work. They might even shop at brick-and-mortar establishments and then return the merchandise. In either case, the stylist must collect all of the items and return them in pristine condition (or pay for their replacement). They will also be instrumental in determining what materials and services you will need the talent to supply.
You might see the clothes stylist bringing in a slew of bags and boxes if you get to the set early enough. The stylist’s call time is typically one of the earliest on-site. Before the talent arrives, they need to unpack, steam, and hang the garments. It’s important to steam, but it can take a lot of time. Tweaks may be required after the performer has been outfitted. Taking out the lint and pinning in specific places, for instance. The stylist will then watch and be prepared to make any necessary tweaks or accessory swaps while the talent and photographer do their parts.
The stylist is responsible for maintaining order and efficiency on set at all times. They’ll help the photographer, the customer, and the model get along swimmingly, which is crucial to the success of the project. The stylist’s job includes re-packing all wardrobe items on stage after the production is over. This is typically more challenging than it appears at first. They are responsible for returning fragile objects to their rightful owners (a store, agent, or designer) without damaging them.
The stylist coordinates the cleaning and return of the parts to the vendors following the manufacture. This entails taking care of shipping and any necessary repairs or replacements. Any valuables (such as jewelry or couture) must also be adequately insured.
Without a stylist, the rest of your staff will be working harder than they need to. The rest of the group probably isn’t as knowledgeable about clothes and style as you are. This means that minor issues are overlooked during principal photography but become glaring during post-production. It is the responsibility of a stylist to pay attention to such nuances and make appropriate adjustments. The rest of the crew will appreciate how much time and effort a skilled stylist may save them. Hiring a professional stylist will help you save time and energy.
A competent stylist will also watch over the shoot to make sure everything goes according to plan and the idea is realized. You may concentrate on making the visuals while they worry about conveying and improving upon the project’s vision. Hiring a skilled stylist is like buying stock in your production’s future and the satisfaction of your customer.