Saturday, August 21, 2010

the styling question

I've been left pondering over an interesting question after going through the Fashion Spot thread for stylist Jane How. How is one of my favourite stylists; her editorials always tell a story and I'm a sucker for interesting props and settings (think Yorkshire cafes, wood clad rooms filled with Budweiser boxes or the judging eyes of a crowd of old ladies.) They're the kind of editorials that leave you wanting to be the girl, who has been tranformed beyond just a model and into a fully developed character.

I do find myself wondering if it's fair to attribute the overall look of the shoot to the stylist when it's not just the styling but also the scenery and props and overall vision that all work together to create a great editorial. And of course this isn't even touching on the photography. This is something I've wondered in the past and it's popped back into my brain after reading through some of the comments on the Fashion Spot thread. Just considering this opens a whole new can of worms as really it depends what you expect from a fashion editorial and from styling. Should the clothes speak entirely for themselves; are props and interesting settings all smoke and mirrors or should an editorial be viewed as a story and an art form with as many different layers and references to give the clothes a sense of history and reference points? I certainly lean towards the latter which explains my love for How. It's an interesting train of thought all the same,  and makes me want to sit and observe a shoot just to understand the whole process a little better.


layersandswathes said...

Jane How is my absolute all-time favourite stylist too!! I recently did a big piece about her on my blog because I find that all the credit often goes to the photographer and everyone swoons relentlessly over the models but never the stylist.

I guess the important thing to remember is that shoots are one big collaboration between everyone on board, even down to the interns who often complete extensive library research for whomever they are working under. That's why I often don't understand the strange hierarchy that shoots undertake. It's a team and you wont have a fashion photographer without a stylist and vice-versa...

Tamara said...

Love the collage, great pics; they really look like they're telling a story.