The mighty fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld once said “Trendy is the last stage before tacky”. But who decides what’s trendy and what’s not? Who do you think gives the final green light before a look makes it to the Red Carpets/Runways/Magazines/Photoshoots? If you circle these questions in the fashion industry, the name that you will come across most likely is that of a ‘STYLIST’. Surprised? Well, don’t be! With the turn of the century, the fashion industry has witnessed quite a few twists and twirls, and with it so has style.
From being a behind-the-scenes job that concentrated on assembling clothes and accessories to being a profession that required working hand-in-hand with the designer and spearheading new fashion narratives, the spectrum of Fashion Styling has truly evolved. And with every passing day, Styling as a career option has been steadily climbing the ladder to become one of the most sought-after professions across the industry. Thinking why? Mostly because the future fashion landscape seems to be crowded with opportunities. With digital collections, rise of social media influence, inclination towards sustainability and a more inclusive and ethical consumer mindset, stylists today have more room to experiment and create. And riding this wave, charting one success story after another and inspiring the next generation of stylists are international stylists like – Rachel Zoe, Kate Young, Brandon Maxwell or even style icons closer to home like Anaita Shroff Adajania, Tanya Ghavri or our very own Pearl alumna Aastha Shrama.
Talking about Pearl, it will be sheer injustice, if we not talk about our recent Fashion Styling graduates, who are already making a mark for themselves. Take for example Medhavi Kalra, who for her final year project came up with the terrific idea of a platform called ‘Identify’ to celebrate self-expression and connect people back to their roots. Exploring the rich culture and heritage of the South Asian community, she curated a distinctive look by fusing together the cultural elements of the community with their street style. Chitrakshii Tomar, another of our recent graduate has been working with concepts like ‘Unwomanly’ that completely shatters the patriarchal weave of our society and raises important questions around gender and body. These instances effectively articulates the vision of our future style dynamites, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo, is mindful of their action-reaction, believes in the power of individualistic expression and is definitely forward-facing.
Our UG and PG Fashion Styling and Image Design course has been curated meticulously with top experts to develop this disruptive vision in our students. This one-of-a-kind program amalgamates fashion styling, image design and visual communication, aiding our future style makers to maximize on the potential of social media and image building. Through this course, students get to learn the finer nuances of personal styling, clientele aspirations, social engagements and application of all these to varied professional spaces. With access to some of the biggest industry platforms, international exposure and industry veterans as mentors, they get the chance to develop their creative potential and showcase their talent on marquee platforms. Apart from this, students are also encouraged to gain a better understanding of different domains like art and aesthetics, communication culture, society and politics, so that they can stay ahead of the curve and deliver results that are well-aligned with any given brand. The study of the 3 C’s – character, costume and context in our program is seminal and helps in the understanding of the style DNA of a brand/individual – facilitating our students to chart out a successful career for themselves.
As digital takes over, with more and more celebrities/brands trying to break the clutter, the future will be about building a strong image – one that is ethical, distinctive, authentic and extraordinary. And who better than Stylists enabling and empowering this transformation. So if you think you have the power to drive future style narratives, see you at Pearl!