God almighty have I got a lot of clutter.
I’ve spent the last few weeks folding up clothes and stacking up books, and then moving said clothes and books into another neatly arranged segment somewhere else in the room. Four bin bags later, laden with clothes for charity and plenty of recycling, I still find it hard to see how deep my floor actually goes.
I thought I would take a break from the mess and find some peace of mind by editing some photography. Where’s that photo I took three months ago on that unmarked roll of film? The one titled something like “00018293”? Ah yes, it’s in the folder titled “To Be Sorted”, alongside 497 other items. As it seems, I have my condemned myself to a physical and digital mess that even the Matrix wouldn’t save me from.
There is one blessing in disguise, and that is the fact I have unveiled hundreds of photos and stories I’ve never released. There’s really no excuse for posting as slow as I do other than laziness (and unlit creativity), but now that I’ve began to re-arrange and recycle this intergalatic abomination, I am proud to prepare and present dozens more peculiar, banal and wistful anecdotes.
Photographed behind the scenes at Julius AW16 in Paris, where Harris Elliott was styling and directing the Japanese brand’s lookbook and campaign. The final campaign images were shot by Mark Mattock, though these mash-ups have been shot and constructed by myself.
Today I will delve into the world of styling. Styling is one of the bread and butter jobs within the fashion industry, and is usually associated with those who dress with clothing. In reality, there’s other branches including hair styling or even food styling. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll be addressing (GET IT?) the general stylists, that you can find in every other person who walks through East London and also has an Instagram account.
What do stylists do? Their main job is to make the talent look good. By ‘the talent’, it could be a celebrity who’s about to go on stage or into an interview, it could be the model who wears the designs of a new brand’s collection, or it could be the model within a fictional world revolving around a damsel-in-distress. While I believe putting together a good outfit or look is somewhat subjective, a good stylist knows how to create a look that is appropriate for its surroundings and occasion. They might have picked you the best fitting tuxedo that money can buy, but wearing that to be on the panel of 8 Out of 10 Cats might be a little over the top. The model might have looked really good in a (faux) fur coat the last time you saw them, but if you’re shooting on palm tree laden beach on the sunshine, he better be a caveman.
There isn’t much more to it than that. There’s no advanced techniques that Marcus Wareing would be giving out 10 out of 10s for. I believe it is about having a good eye, knowledge of what it is available, and understanding of both the talent and the surroundings. What separates a bad stylist and a good stylist, is that good stylists are capable of more than just “styling themselves” when they wake up in the morning. A good stylist in the fashion world can complement a director or photographer’s vision. They can make the fiction just a little more believable. They can arrange and devise a collection of looks to best visualise the designer’s ideal person. A good stylist can make it seem as if there is no styling at all.
The reason why I am talking about styling, is because I suppose it’s one of the more common jobs that people seem to dub themselves as.
What do you do?
I’m a stylist.
Cool. Anything in particular?
Just myself at the moment. Don’t I look great? If you want to see more, you should follow me on Instagram. @StylistBob. #Stylist.
Jeez it pisses me off. It pisses me off as much as the world of blogging. Sadly, the two often go hand-in-hand as well, because it’s common knowledge that if you can blog you can style as well. Dontcha know?
I’ve dubbed the photoset ‘Pruning’ because the Julius AW16 seemed to be all about fine details and safety pins in seemingly random areas. Coats were being turned upside down, shorts turned into t-shirts, knitwear being stuffed with other bits of clothing to form various shapes. The process was mad, bizarre. It made no sense. As I was both assisting and photographing Harris while he was working, I also had to record and make mental note of the individual mechanics that pieced together each look. Was it good? Hell yeah, it was brilliant. It WAS mad, but the collection was called “Beast”. It HAD to be mad, it HAD to be somewhat skin-crawling. If you walked into Margaret Howell and said you wanted to wear the trousers as a scarf and the jacket as a skirt, you’d be sacked on the spot. For Julius – for Beast – you had to channel Doctor Moreau. It had to be wild, and it worked. I would like to think that this, was a example of good styling.
For the photos I have mixed them with various natural forms. The previous set I created dubbed ‘Obstruction’ was industrial focused, and this is the opposite. I’ll upload ‘Obstruction’ soon!
fake plastic tree.