Monday, March 21, 2011

Styling - Part 3: My First Job

My first job came into fruition with a stylist named Lara Lupish - of whom I still work with to this day. I still vividly remember the phone call; I was walking around Bondi Junction in Target or Kmart of all places, with my mum, heart pounding, getting a run down of the brief, including dates and times. I would be working on WHO Magazine's annual Most Beautiful People issue with Dannii Minogue featuring on the cover - nothing like a little bit of pressure for my first job.

This would later be followed by another phone call of confirmation, and some slightly trepidatious questions from Lara - the conversation went something like this:

Lara: "Have you done anything like this before?"
Me:   "No, no really, but I'm sure I'll be fine."
Lara: "Are you OK with celebrities? I've worked with some people who get starstruck and it's very off-putting for the celebrity. Will you be OK with this?"
Me:   "Yeah I'm not overly into celebrities anyway."
Lara: "Ok, well I'm trusting you with this."
Me:   "I'm sure I'll be fine."

Now, clearly I wasn't totally sure that I'd be fine, as I'd never done anything like it before and had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me. But that's pretty much how you make it any new situation - fake it till you make it.

So I was given a list of places to go to pick up garments that Lara had previously selected - this is ironically called 'pick-ups' - and to also select (or what is called to 'pull') new garments - this process of pulling new garments is called sourcing. Also, depending on the kind of shoot you are doing, you will do pick-ups/sourcing from either PR agencies or retailers - in this instance it was both. And this process was where I began to learn another utterly momentous lesson about styling and life - to make decisions quickly (for as long as you continue making decisions, you are always moving forward) and; to trust my instincts. To this day, even if all else fails, I will always trust my own instincts and follow them.

After driving around all day from PR agency to retailer, picking up and pulling various garments, it was finally the day of the shoot. We were shooting in a studio down at Walsh Bay, and I met Lara for the first time. She seemed friendly, but there wasn't time for chit-chat or social niceties - it was go time!

After we unpacked the garment rack from Lara's car, we loaded about 50+ garments onto it - all grouped and wrapped up in differently branded plastic garment bags and bound together by rubber bands. This process of unpacking the car had begun, and can often be very time consuming and physically demanding. It was then back and forth from the car to the studio, handling the various and multiple bags of shoes, jewellery, belts, the steamer, and Lara's styling kit.

After this was complete and everything had safely made it up to the studio, the process of unpacking everything from it's bag, box etc. began. Every stylist has a particular way of doing this, and Lara informed me of how she likes this to happen. First, all the garments bags were unwrapped, folded up, and placed to the side. Lara then began to place all the garments into some sort of order that was unbeknownst to me. I continued with the shoes, making sure to line them up in a neat and organised manner, having the most expensive shoes sitting at the front, with one shoe taken out and sitting atop its' box. This was mimicked with the jewellery - everything is kept with its' packaging.

After the Editor, Lara and Dannii went through the substantial rack of clothes and tried a few things on, they edited the selection of garments down to a handful. And to my delight, one of the dresses I had pulled made it through to the final cut! Not bad for my first job ever! It was then my job to steam the garments, tape the bottom of the shoes with masking tape as to not damage them in any way, and stand close to Lara when on set with her kit handy.

After the fun of the shoot was over, began the massive undertaking of packing everything up again exactly as it was unpacked, as Lara wanted me to return some of the garments that day. I sorted, checked everything off its' invoice, re-bagged, re-boxed and loaded my car up once again to take everything back.

It was then over. My first official styling job was done. One of the garments I had pulled was chosen and Lara was happy with my performance. It was a good day.

This was the dress I pulled.

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