I've long felt that most "Best Dressed" lists, a staple of fashion magazines, websites and blogs everywhere, are a mild fraud on consumers. The reality is that few (if any) of the starlets and public personalities who make the lists actually get there on their own steam. More often than not, they owe their "personal style" to an entire team of fashion and beauty professionals (usually led by a talented stylist) who work tirelessly behind the scenes to create the overall look(s) that captivate our attention.
Love her or hate her, Rachel Zoe has probably done more to create widespread awareness of the profession than anyone before her. Thanks to her reality show and high public profile, most consumers now understand that there is more to red carpet glamour and celebrity public appearances (and many photo ops in between) than meets the eye. But, while there is increasing interest in styling as a profession, few understand what the job actually entails and how to prepare for a career in it. Like any job, it's not all glamour.
Contemporary Fashion Stylist by Luann McLean is a very good start for anyone interested in a career as a professional stylist or anyone who happens to be interested in the process of styling itself. McLean, a professional stylist and journalist, has assembled brief profiles and interviews with a number of stylists. She questions them about qualifications, clients, career highlights and picks their brains for tips to pass on to aspiring stylists about breaking into the profession. She also explores the many areas from magazines to music videos in which the invisible hand of stylists has been applied to achieve arresting visuals.
So, next time your favourite celebrity/performer/public personality makes it onto Vogue's "Best Dressed" list, ask yourself which talented stylist and team of professionals is behind that look. Shouldn't the accolade be shared with the team? Contemporary Fashion Stylist is set to be released shortly in the U.K. and the U.S. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.
The Luxe Chronicles
N.B. In keeping with my policy of full disclosure, I received a complementary advance copy of Contemporary Fashion Stylist from Vivays Publishing Ltd.