How To Be A Better Stylist
“I have to keep this dress as I get SO many comments when I wear it.”
This is what I'm often told by clients during our wardrobe sessions , especially when they are finding it difficult to let go of particular garments.
My response is always - "were you getting the compliment or was the dress?"
You see, colour truly is in the eye of the beholder and we generally make colour choices according to our own subjective tastes. We can like the colour of the dress our friend is wearing yet notsee that the luscious warm tomato red is overpowering her and making more of a statement of itself than the beauty of its wearer. This is often the case of celebrities making their red carpet debut’s. Good news for the designer but not so much for the celebrity.
The same can be said for fashion buyers, stylists and boutique owners who unknowingly choose the majority of their fabrics, colours and styles according to their own subjective likes and dislikes.
As a former actress and commercial model I have been styled countless times, includingmy wedding day, by well meaning stylists and make-up artists who did not really understand the true dynamic of personal colour analysis. From the bright acid yellow cardigan to the gaudy mismatched accessories, I felt very uncomfortable and not convinced by their compliments or approval. If I'm honest, many stylists are just really gifted in making everyone dress like them. As a stylist we must try to inhabit our clients, understand their needs, insecurities, natural and inner beauty and dress it accordingly. This is where the wonderful world of colour styling and fashion psychology help us with that endeavor.
There are 4 distinct colour palettes with more or less 250,000 shades within each one and like a musical chord they work perfectly with each other. The aim is to create a visual harmony with the colours, fabrics, style and personality of our client.
Personally, I love warm colours and strong solid fabrics, partly why I live in my jeans. I dress mostly for comfort yet like to exude my strong artistic flair and hate looking like everyone else. This is why I still love the individuality of the chic city boutique. My friend, however, has the completely opposite colour palette and suits vibrant, cool colours. She loves drama and structure when it comes to her designs and you wont catch her in anything floaty or fluid. Her personality is much the same and this is perfectly in tune with how the colours and styles work within her palette. Strong, contrasting and bold colours to match the flamboyancy and drama of this vibrant 30something entrepreneur. Foe a store owner, this is where your client database is key and by asking the right questions you can actually boost your sales per purchase and appeal to a broader market.
I am increasingly frustrated by many high street designers who clearly chose colourways that appeal to them. Just recently I was in a concession of a popular department store and while the styles were something that I would wear - the colours were clearly those that suit its very famous founder. Lots of bright gawdy colours and a tonne of black. With many British women suiting the Autumnal and Spring colour range it is just as important to carry colour lines which embrace all four colour groups. (FYI Black is very dense in appearance and will make you look heavier if it is not in your personal colour palette (More on that later)
Understanding how colours work together will make you a better stylist, a better sales person, a better fashion buyer and a better designer. Don't be afraid to buck the trends.
The power of colour is understated and misunderstood n our fashion industry and it is time to reclaim it ladies! Not just for ourselves but for the women we serve in the work we love to do.