When most people think of styling, they believe “Oh, you just pick out outfits that look cute, got it.”
That is very, very wrong.
This past year I have had the opportunity to style my own line for the Pink Strydes 4th Annual Fashion Show in South Florida, which benefits women battling breast cancer. I partnered up with a couture gown company called La Casa Hermosa and styled my very own line called “Vogue”, which was inspired by classic Hollywood icons. This experience taught me so much about all of the work that goes into styling, and how important every detail is! Here are the top 6 tips that I have for all of you aspiring stylists and designers too!
- Finding a Store/Designer: When it comes to finding a store or designer, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider. For one thing, what kind of style are they? Will you have a lot of options, or are they primarily one style or theme? Will they provide jewelry and shoes as well? Can their products be easily damaged? Will your models look their best in these products? All of these factors play an important role. In my case, I was one of many stylists and designers in the show, meaning my models also walked for other segments. In fact, one of my models walked for every designer! If the clothing is extremely delicate, you will need to make sure you have multiple assistants to ensure none of the products get damaged, or else you or your models will have to pay a heavy fee. Another thing to consider is whether or not they are a showroom. La Casa Hermosa was a show room, meaning there is typically only one size in the store for each dress. This severely limits your options, and in some cases will make it extremely difficult to make your theme work with the models you have selected.
Theme- As I mentioned before, you typically will have a primary theme for your show. This is one of the most important parts of the show, as it affects every single other part of your segment! Preparing a strong theme is vital: you definitely want to stand out to the crowd, but not in the bad way! For me, I chose “Vogue” because I absolutely love classic Hollywood, and it was easy for me to find dresses in the sizes that matched my vision. I kept to the color scheme of red, gold, black, and white, and had three cocktail dresses and six long gowns. I tried to incorporate pearls and glitter when possible, while also having a very flattering, yet classy fit. All of the dresses were very fitted, but they still looked sophisticated, keeping along with the theme.
Music- In dance, the rhythm of the music is usually the same as the rhythm of the dancers’ motions. However, models typically set their own pace, and the music is a very background factor for them. This is not to say that you can pick whatever music you feel like, though. It is important that the music goes along with your theme and feel, yet also has a solid and non distracting beat. My favorite movie is The Devil Wears Prada, which led me to pick the song “Vogue” by Madonna, which is featured in the film. It started out with a very slow, sleek feel, and progressed into a steady beat, which made it easy for the models to walk to. The lyrics also lent themselves to the models improvising a little, adding little flairs and sass to their walk.
Order- This step is EXTREMELY important!! There are so many ways to order your models and their outfits, and if you don’t order it correctly (or even worse, not at all), the audience may get bored and your segment could be easily forgotten. Since I had a combination of short and long dresses, I had to make sure I spread each out. There was also a variety of colors and patterns, which again, needed to be spread out. I had 2 dresses that featured a pearl neckline and were long, so I started and ended my segment with them to have a sense of unity. I then split up the short dresses with the long ones by putting a short dress in-between every 2-3 long gowns. After the initial order was established, I split up the colors so that no two colors were directly next to each other. This process took a lot of experimenting before it was perfect, but it is worth the time to make sure your audience is always engaged.
The Walk- Now, once you’ve established all of these little details, you may like to think you are all done and can sit back now. Wrong. There are so many possibilities when it comes to how your models walk! You can choose a standard walk, choreography, a fun walk, or a combination. It all depends of course on preference and what you feel matches your brand the best. You also don’t want it to be too distracting and end up potentially overpowering the clothes themselves.
Day Of Prep- Lastly, the day of preparation. Be prepared for hours of prep time; it’s inevitable, but necessary for making your show look its best. From steaming, working with the jewelry vendor (if they have one), final firings, and rehearsals, there is a lot to get done. Always make sure you bring plenty of safety pins and a good steamer. These will be lifesavers for you. I actually had 2 dresses snap right before the show! Without those few safety pins, we would have had a very different show on our hands.
All in all, fashion shows are the perfect way to gain exposure and also get yourself accustomed to high pace environments and stressful time frames. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world, and each new show I learn something new. I hope you all were able to take away some useful tips from this experience, and I can’t wait to be seeing your work on the runway!