Becoming a Fashion Stylist -Top Tips When Starting as an Assistant

Welcome to my third edition of Becoming a Fashion Stylist.  I took a little break from writing this feature over the holidays but now I am back in full force to share with you what I have learnt on my journey to becoming a Stylist.

Last time I spoke about how to bag yourself a fabulous internship as a Styling Assistant, so this time I thought I would share my top tips for how to totally rock it when you start.  Working in Fashion Styling is a totally amazing job however it can often be fast paced and stressful.  Your new boss will understand you are there to learn and you wont be expected to know all the tricks of the trade immediately.  However there are some things you can do from the go to make sure you start off shining.

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Tip One – Keep Quiet.

You are there to Assistant and though you may have just finished fashion school and be full of ideas, keep quiet on set and keep your opinions to yourself.  Unless your Head Stylist asks you for your opinion on something, keep you head down and get on with what you were asked to do.

Tip Two – Stay off your Phone.

Unless you are following something up your Head Stylist asked you to do, keep off your phone.  That means no Whats App, Phone Calls or Instagram while you are on set.  Its super important you are really focused on what is going on around you and always being on your phone gives the appearance of a bad attitude.

Tip Three – Always Be Professional.

You are super lucky to be working in a really cool environment, on an amazing location or in a state of the art studio.  Its high energy, there will be lots of people and lots going on at any one moment.  Its not like an office environment and can feel a lot less formal, however that doesn’t mean its ok to relax.  Even if the people around you are chatting and joking around as soon as its go-time everyone is focused and on point.  As an Assistant its important you are always prepared and ready to go.  Its ok to enjoy the day but always be professional and focused.

Tip Four – Be Respectful of the Hierarchy.

Working as an Assistant gives you have the opportunity to get experience at important shoots.  That means you might get to work alongside famous photographers, models or important clients.  As cool as that is, always remember they are more important than you and may not be interested in chatting or getting to know you.  You might think its a good opportunity to ‘network’ but always remember they are your bosses clients and its not cool to try and work your way up through them.  Of course if they speak to you that’s nice, but be polite, professional and respectful of the hierarchy.

Tip Five – Be on Time.

As the Assistant its super important you are there when your Head Stylist arrives so you can help her carry the clothes, unpack and set up.  Being late is never ok.  For extra bonus points arrive five to ten minuets early to make sure you are already there before your boss.

Tip Six – Be Prepared.

Once you start shooting its going to be a busy day and sometimes anything can happen.  It’s really important to be prepared and as the Assistant you have to organize all the things your Head Stylist doesn’t have time to think about.  Be prepared for all situations that may arise by having everything with you.  Phone chargers, water, snacks, your Styling Kit, and clips are all things you can bring with you to make sure you are prepared for every situation.

Tip Seven – Don’t Wait to be Told What to Do.

Its all hands on deck from the moment you arrive on set, so don’t stand around waiting to be told what to do.  Ask your Head Stylist what she needs help with and if she is busy speaking to the photographer or client get on with unpacking the suitcases, organizing the accessories and steaming the clothes.

Tip Eight – Don’t Try to Hide Your Mistakes.

You just started out so you are bound to make mistakes somewhere along the line.  I definitely did! Your Head Stylist will understand this, because everyone has to learn.  The important thing is how you deal with your mistakes.  Don’t try to cover them up or hide what you did.  Your Head Stylist will find out and she wont appreciate being kept in the dark.  Its much better to own up as soon as you realize your mistake and work together with your Head Stylist to fix everything quickly then move on.

And finally, enjoy it! You will be working in an amazing and inspirational environment.  Make the most of it and enjoy the experience!

Have any questions about starting out in Fashion Styling? I would love to hear in the comments below…

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2 thoughts on “Becoming a Fashion Stylist -Top Tips When Starting as an Assistant

  1. Pingback: Becoming a Fashion Stylist – What to Bring With You to a Shoot… – Allegra Ghiloni

  2. Pingback: Becoming a Fashion Stylist – How to Land a Styling Assistant Internship… – Allegra Ghiloni

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