Styling Workshop at COLLARTS

I accidentally became a stylist at Myer head office about 13 or 14 years ago. I guess you either are, or you ain’t.

When I saw masses of work colleagues decking the halls in similar outfits, I started to be more creative with my style output, which opened up a Pandora’s box of ideas and frills.

Sometimes it’s not easy to convey what it is that makes a good stylist, but when I was asked to speak to the Fashion Marketing students on it, I narrowed down what it all means to me in two main points; 1. Styling is a world of your own creation. When you are looking at images of fashion or lifestyle, they have been manipulated or assembled in ways that new students can’t yet comprehend. Check the perspective of what you have created. 2. If you can’t find what you’re looking for,  figure out how to make it yourself.

Before running the session, I suggested to the course leader that we start with a style challenge of our own, to try and capture the imagination of the students, and get their ideas rolling.

The style challenges thrown to me were Revert to Type (words printed or used in repetitive fashion), Dissected Florals and Camo Mix.

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I started with an analogue mood board to consider the briefs and the shapes.

Revert to Type

By using different props, I showed students how to create a scene from nothing, by building layers of detail and depth with repetition of certain elements, like hazard tape or a single colour or texture.

Camo Mix/Dissected Floral

I am actually obsessed with power pattern clashing, and found these simple environments met the briefs, and even crossed over. Doing deliberate surprise colour splashes can make images come alive. I wanted to show the students how to create a scene or storyline with an idea, props and practical aspects, like purposely showing them uncropped images to show that I made these set ups at home, and cropped later.

Through The Looking Glass at Melbourne Fashion Week

For their projection installation at Melbourne Fashion Week, the students shared their creative concepts and I gave ideas and tips of how and where to start. Giving them open access to my personal swag of props and personal wardrobe, as well as the creations of two local Melbourne designers, gave them the option to elevate to their hearts content, and turn crazy ideas into some kind of highly styled reality. You can view their finished work during Melbourne Fashion Week, which runs from 31 August – 7 September. For more details, click here.

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