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The Role of a Fashion Stylist: Behind the Scenes of Creating Iconic Looks - Pearl Academy

By Payal Mohanty, Associate Professor and Department Lead, Fashion Styling & Image Design

Have you ever wondered why your favourite celebrity always looks perfect? From airport looks to casual outings, we always look up to celebrities/influencers for style inspiration. Well, the magicians behind these impeccable appearances are the teams of stylists who work tirelessly to achieve the iconic looks we all love! Fashion stylists work behind the scenes with designers, photographers, celebrities, models, and creative teams to select and assemble ensembles that convey a specific aesthetic, message, or narrative. From conceiving cutting-edge concepts to forging collaborations, fashion stylists do it all.

A fashion stylist is responsible for producing iconic looks and establishing the visual identity of individuals, brands, and media enterprises. They bear the responsibility of curating iconic looks and shaping the visual identity of individuals, brands, and media enterprises. Stylists follow creative briefs, conducting thorough research and curating distinct imagery and visually compelling displays. It is a fast-paced, high-pressure role that is best suited for someone who enjoys staying busy, solving issues, collaborating with others, and expressing their creativity. Here are some of the responsibilities of a stylist:

Wardrobe Selection: In the realm of fashion styling, the role extends beyond the mere translation of a brief into visual form; it encompasses the meticulous curation of a creative wardrobe. This involves artfully selecting garments, accessories, and props from a meticulously managed inventory, ensuring each piece harmonises seamlessly to bring forth the desired aesthetic vision. They usually possess a good knowledge of colour palettes, shapes, textures, and materials to produce a coherent and visually appealing ensemble.

Styling Execution: On set or during photo shoots, fashion stylists actively participate in executing the desired looks. They dress and style the individuals, paying attention to every detail, including hair, cosmetics, and accessories. They ensure that the clothes are displayed in the best possible way, considering lighting, angles, and camera perspectives. This process is a symphony of collaborative efforts, as fashion stylists seamlessly intertwine with photographers, models, and hair and makeup artists to bring forth a harmonious and visually captivating outcome.

Collaboration and Communication: Fashion stylists work closely with the creative team, which includes photographers, art directors, makeup artists, and hairstylists. They ensure that everyone is on the same page with the overarching goal and communicate effectively to bring the concept to life.

Branding and Image Development: Fashion stylists significantly contribute to the image and branding of individuals, brands, and media projects. They contribute to a distinct and recognisable visual identity by curating appearances that reflect the intended image. Stylists collaborate with clients to understand their style or brand values and apply them to fashion choices.

Editorial and Celebrity Styling: Fashion stylists often work on editorial shoots or with celebrities on red carpets, press events, and music videos. They ensure that the individual’s style and personality are enhanced while still meeting the project criteria. They work with designers or borrow items from fashion houses to create unique ensembles.

Attention to Detail: Fashion stylists are meticulous about every aspect of styling, including accessories, shoes, jewellery, and even undergarments. They consider the minor nuances that contribute to the overall appearance. Furthermore, they must be versatile and quick-thinking, as last-minute alterations or unexpected circumstances may arise during the styling process.

Here are some additional responsibilities of a fashion stylist that are very critical to achieving the desired outcome:

  • Casting the right model as per the client’s brief
  • Creating mood boards
  • Working on both product and lifestyle shots
  • Overall creative direction (alongside the photographer and the HMU artist)
  • Assisting on set during shoots, including steaming, pinning, and fitting clothes, or products
  • Strictly adhering to styling guidelines
  • Communicating workflow and discussing any issues with the senior stylist/ creative director.
  • Confidently merchandising products; sourcing clothes, products, and accessories for use in shoots
  • Developing a strong, up-to-date knowledge of designers, brands, and trends
  • Ensuring sets, mannequins, styling props, and shoot areas are well-maintained and tidy
  • Working closely with the editor/ graphic designer for postproduction

Rarely seen in the foreground, fashion stylists use their creative wands to create cohesive looks and translate concepts into visually impactful outfits. Fashion stylists play a crucial role in turning a creative vision into a stunning visual reality. We’re not just about work; we’re about play too! Styling isn’t just a job; it’s an adventure, and we believe in having a blast while doing it. Ever wondered what it’s like to style random people? It is a mission to sprinkle a bit of fabulousness everywhere you go.

Are you ready to be a part of a community where dreams are styled, and every day is a celebration of fashion and fun? If you are, Pearl Academy offers Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs along with 11-month professional courses in Fashion Styling to help you learn and harness your creative instincts to achieve the desired outcome. The comprehensive programs provide valuable insights into the world of fashion styling, trend analysis, and creative direction, equipping you with the knowledge and expertise to excel in your career.

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