IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS ALWAYS UP TO DATE WITH THE
LATEST IN FASHION AND IS PASSIONATE ABOUT IT, THEN
BECOMING A FASHION STYLIST MAY JUST BE YOUR CALLING, FINDS
Clothes do more than just cover and reflect the wearer’s personality and style. Not only do they
make good first impressions but also succeed in boosting one’s self-confidence. It takes art and
fashion sense to put together the right outfit for the right occasion. A fashion stylist does just that
and more. Today, when glamour is the buzzword and everybody wants to do their best to look
and feel good, the role of a fashion stylist is veering towards the indispensable.
There are no specific degrees or professional qualifications that one can opt for, to become a
fashion stylist. However, training in fashion and business will give aspiring stylists an edge in
the competitive job market. The real qualifications one must possess are bags of enthusiasm and
an innate understanding of fashion, color and style. “When you’re looking at becoming a fashion
stylist, it’s essential that you have an in-depth knowledge of not only fashion, but also an
understanding of all the latest trends and what’s hot and happening in the industry. A fashion
stylist should be able to visualize the overall look of a person including shoes, accessories, hair,
makeup and the attitude with which one should carry the whole ensemble,” says Priyanjali
Lahiri, a leading Bollywood fashion stylist.
Costume and fashion stylist Eka Lakhani is of the opinion that a good fashion stylist should be a
fashion forecaster and should be ready to sweat it out. “A designer only designs the clothes but a
stylist is brought in to create a look. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Since there isn’t any
educational qualification as such to become a stylist, internships with fashion magazines or
leading photographers who hire stylists for styling models for photo shoots, can act a solid
platform. Although these internships are mostly of the unpaid kind, they act as a good base to
create a strong portfolio for oneself,” she adds.
If you want to become a fashion stylist you obviously have to be up on all the latest fashion
trends. This can be accomplished by reading all the fashion magazines you can get your hands on
and by attending fashion shows. Fashion stylists need more than just great taste; they need to be
clothing innovators. When putting together a look, they must consider a number of factors, such
as the color and fit. Knowing what clothes will flatter what body type is also important. A stylist
should know how to make use of conventional clothing in an unconventional way.
“Thinking out of the box and being up to date with current international trends in styles is a
must-have skill. It’s not only about what’s in but also about how to implement it to hide flaws
and enhance strengths. The ability to communicate and getting the brief right is an integral part
of the job profile as one does not want to end up being associated with a fashion faux pas. A
stylist should have a knack of influencing without overpowering,” adds Lahiri.
From working with celebrity clients to styling models for photo shoots, there are many different
arenas in which fashion stylists can use their talents. A stylist can find ample work in the
production of music videos, advertisements, TV shows and movies. They may also work with
designers or public relations experts. “With the glamour industry booming, a stylist finds
employment in more than one area of their interest. One can shuffle between films, ads and
photo shoots, besides catering to personal clientele, if any. There are many different job roles for
a fashion stylist. For instance, there are stylists who work as image consultants. Then there are
stylists who work predominantly in feature films and ad films as well,” avers Lakhani.
Remuneration can vary from very little to huge amounts depending upon how ambitious one is
and the number of years of experience he/she boasts of. Since a lot of learning happens on-the
job which might not pay well initially, one can start by assisting an already established fashion
stylist and earn around Rs 5000-6000 a day. This again varies according to the clients and
projects one has worked on. “I completed three unpaid internships and then landed myself a full-
time job as an assistant to one of the leading stylists. After the initial jitters, one can expect to
make more money, provided the portfolio indicates creative work and an association with the
right people in the industry,” avers Priya Kashyap, an aspiring fashion stylist.
A career in fashion styling can provide exciting opportunities to bring style to a variety of
interesting people. Moreover, how many get the chance to shop for a living! Even though it is
ever-changing, fashion never goes “out of fashion” and there will always be a demand for people
who have it in them to make others look good.