Sunday, 13 October 2013

Contextual Studies: Katy Lassen lecture

This lecture from stylist Katie Lassen was by far the most inspirational and interesting talk we have had in my opinion as she gave us a really good insight into her world and her path to where she is now. She started by discussing a stylist's role and their power in a career such as that of a musician, using Lana Del Rey as an example. Raising an interesting point in that fashion stories are at the core advertisements for the brands, it adds another angle to whether fashion can be art. It was interesting that editorials which stylists are involved in are rarely paid for but rather the team will financially back it in order to gain portfolio work which in turn books them commercial, paid work. Katie Lassen also discussed the role of others in the career of a stylist such as that of agents. She discussed their role in looking after the production of shoots and the promotion of your work in order for a cut. It was also interesting to hear that you will be regarded higher if you are signed to a creative agency as it provides some kind of validation to your work in a crowded market. The biggest British agencies are apparently CLM, streeters, Art & Commerce, MAP and DAV and we also found out about the difference of Milan agencies in relation to London. It seems there is a far more conservative and old school aesthetic to Milan and so most agencies reflect this however 2DM Management, the agency Katy Lassen is signed to, has an edgier, more fashion forward feel. In terms of others in your career, it was stressed the importance of creating a team around you of hairdressers/photographers/ makeup artists etc which enables you to be booked as a group that can recreate a certain aesthetic. The importance of experience was also stressed as this is the way into the fashion industry as either an intern, fashion assistant or shadowing people in the profession you are interested in. Although it is often unpaid, there really is no alternative as there will always be others willing to work for nothing. She also revealed that in terms of Conde Nast, a magazine publisher, once you have one placement it is much easier to find others within the magazines housed there. However, there is no point taking on an internship unless you are ready to work incredibly hard and prove your capabilities to the people working around you. I liked that the lecturer gave us a list of people to look up if we were interested in styling and fashion-these are:
  • Katie Grand
  • Grace Coddington
  • Melanie Ward
  • Edward Enninful
  • Nicola Formichetti
  • Katy England
  • David Bradshaw
Katy Lassen is currently freelance and discussed the benefits of this as opposed to being hired somewhere specific. She stated that although you have less security, you are able to be your own boss and have a varying aesthetic as it ranges from indie titles to big commercial jobs. Lassen also stressed the importance of an having an online presence either a website, blog, twitter account or others in order to promote yourself. Her last tips from the lecture were to:
  • constantly collect a visual library that includes more than that of fashion imagery
  • educate yourself
  • network with others
  • be determined but nice to the people you work with
  • develop your own point of view and unique aesthetic

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