Anna Piaggi, editor of the Italian edition of Vogue magazine, once described the stylists as the photographer's deaf-translator. So another question is who bears the big responsibility.
Professional stylists create unique images using hairstyles, makeup, clothes. Let's talk about the truly iconic representatives of this "offscreen" profession, what principles they profess in their work and how they achieved their success.
Polly Mellen. This woman stylist is called by many as the very first professional in this business. And her work turned out to be really significant - she collaborated with Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton. It was Mellen who was able to do everything to make the pictures of these gurus so sensationally disturbing. Mellen has worked as a fashion editor for such iconic American magazines as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In total, her career as a stylist stretched over 60 years. It all started with the provincial magazine Mademoiselle, where Polly worked as an assistant. Then, thanks to a school friend, they met Diana Vreeland, who at that time was the editor of the American Harper's Bazaar. Mellen recalls that Vreeland's friendliness even discouraged her. Over time, this lady with connections introduced the novice stylist to Avedon and Newton. Interestingly, in the 1950s, no one even thought to mention the name of the stylists in the shootings for magazines. But the styles of photographers - the aggressive sensuality of Newton and the cold asceticism-futurism of Avedon were invented and developed by Mellen. She herself said that she loves to be one step ahead of everyone. Regular stylists try to please, but this is how they lose their magic. Mellen, on the other hand, sought to challenge, moving away from indifference and mediocrity. This is how a joint work with Newton "The story of Ohhh ..." appeared, which caused both irritation and resonance.
And in the late 1980s, Mellen was able to introduce the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Grace Mirabella, to the then unknown Anna Wintour. And a month later there was a castling in the editorial office. And the stylist was remembered for her only hairstyle - a short bob. With a new leader, Wintour, Polly had less and less work to do. It began to seem to the famous stylist that magazines were getting bored, instead of them people began to leaf through catalogs of expensive clothes. Mellen found an outlet in the support of novice designers; Isaac Mizrahi and Helmut Lang fondly remember her, noting her inspiration and ability to adapt to new conditions. Maybe that's why Mellen has ruled the style for so long. She's about eighty, and Polly doesn't care if she is considered a legend or not. She just lived and worked on what she was really interested in, and even today she follows fashion and style.
Katie Grand. Few can match this stylist in fruitfulness and scope. In less than forty years of her career, Grand was able to participate in the creation of three magazines at once: POP, Dazed & Confused and LOVE. At the same time, Katie managed to serve the shows and advertising campaigns of such famous brands as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Miu Miu, Bottega Veneta, Proenza Schouler and Luella. But there was also shooting for the American edition of Harper's Bazaar, Interview, Arena Homme +, The Face and Russian Vogue. It seems that Grand is trying to make up for everything that she missed in her youth. Alcohol addiction took her best years, now the woman is in a hurry to live, allowing herself only three days off a year. Grand is known for disregarding advice and rebuke, she just does what she believes in. This is also noticeable in her filming - they seem to be sloppy and unkempt, glued together as if in a gateway. And the stylist herself categorically does not wear makeup, walks disheveled, does not try to straighten her teeth or correct her accent. But in Katie's opinion, she knows what other people should like. The stylist is literally crazy about shoes and bags - they are present in every frame of her.
And this profession Grand chose by chance. When she was lying at home with a bad cold, her father bought her several Vogue issues as a remedy for boredom. The girl immediately wanted to be just as cool. She wrote a letter to the English editorial office, where she was advised to go to St. Martins. But there Katie studied for only a year. Not only were she simply not given items, so at one of the parties she met Rankin and Hack, with whom she decided to publish the magazine Dazed & Confused. The first issues of the publication generally had to be stapled by hand, and six months later, the Grand took up photographs. Then everything started spinning - the shooting replaced one another, the show followed the show. There was simply no time to rest. The stylist takes his demand for granted. After all, she really knows fashion, its history well, can evaluate the changes that occur with clothes. But many stylists do not know this. The correct education for a person of this profession, according to the Grand, is reading the necessary magazines, going shopping. But not everyone can understand what is given to her.
Karin Roitfeld. Today, the famous stylist runs French Vogue. In her opinion, this option differs from the American one in its sexuality and passion. And Karin's opinion can be trusted, because for a long time she collaborated with an overseas publication. But today she likes to make her own magazine, where you can show a cigarette or low-cut tights on the cover. Freedom of creativity allows you to feel truly comfortable. In the mid-90s, Roitfeld was noted for showing and advertising campaigns for Gucci. Then the brand was run by Tom Ford and the name of the company became synonymous with the word "sex", the collections were so sensual. As the designer recalled, for some models he simply copied the clothes of his stylist. And the brand's advertising shots depicted models ready to pounce on each other with passion.
A valuable experience in creating invocation poses for models was gained. Today Roitfeld is acting in a similar vein. On any of her shots, there is either naked breasts, or legs apart, or indecently protruding underwear. The stylist realizes that she is far from a professional in fashion, and that she has little understanding of the history of design. But clothes for Karin are not the main thing. It is important for her what the heroine of the shooting thinks about, she should arouse the desire to be in this place. That is why small surprises are so important - a carelessly unbuttoned button, a lowered shoulder strap. It's good that the coquettish-hungry Reutfeld in the French publishing house is balanced by the fashion director Emmanuel Alt. If Karin strives to undress, then her assistant thinks about how to dress correctly in matching compositions.
Grace Coddington. And on the other side of the ocean from the previous hero in Vogue, Grace Coddington has been reigning for more than twenty years. She believes that the worst pictures are those in which you cannot see the clothes in all details. That is why he is fundamentally against various piles, layering and complex sets. Coddington creates style with the utmost care, fearing mistakes. In her shootings, there are few accessories and jewelry, she often rhymes with a jacket with a skirt of the same color, and a sparkling satin dress implies patent leather shoes. That is why Coddington's works look austere. Her style may have been influenced by her previous work with Calvin Clein, where she stylized shows and advertising campaigns.
As a teenager, Coddington won a Vogue modeling contest. But she could not even think that she would ever have to work in such a cult place. But as a girl, she was waiting for every issue in the store next to her house. Anna Wintour believes that Grace in the command crown is the largest diamond. According to Wintour, no one else has and will not have such a subtle understanding of what will happen to fashion tomorrow and even the day after tomorrow. And she became part of the American Vogue Coddington team in the late 1980s. She immediately forgot all the tricks that British Vogue taught her. Grace realized that she had to play by her own rules, which no magazine had yet introduced. For example, she decided to bring children and animals to the shooting. And the stylist even devoted an entire illustrated album to her own work with such beloved cats. Having started working with Ann Leibovitz, Grace began to attract celebrities to the filming. This move allowed American Vogue to rise one step above other affiliates. Often Coddington chose models similar to herself and stylized her own style of dress. Grace was used to not being wasted on trifles. And although the choice of clothes is an important part of the work for a stylist, it is also necessary to highlight the inner world of the model, to make her burn from the inside. And in this regard, it is no longer so important what jacket will be worn at the same time. As a result, each of the photographers who worked with Coddington praise her understanding of the integrity of the image. She considers fashion exclusively from modern realities. And Grace herself says that only perfect shooting can satisfy her, which she has not yet succeeded in.
Lucinda Chambers. This stylist manages fashion in English Vogue, controlling both the photo materials and layouts. Lucinda succeeds very well. She works well with accessories, managing to collide bright and distinctive jewelry with highlights on one page. The stylist basically likes to decorate and it seems to her all the same whether it will be people or a New Year tree. Earlier than everyone else, Chambers began to get involved in bulky jewelry, devoting entire sessions to massive rings or layered bracelets. She begins to build her images with something random - it can be buttons on a dress or part of a necklace. Then the style of clothing is determined from here. The head of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman cannot get enough of a creative employee. After all, Lucinda on a colossal scale presents any set, making a real fairy tale with the help of things. It is important that the stylist feels the color perfectly. Chambers knows how to present surprises - seemingly incongruous things she makes not argue with each other. In her style of stylization there is no bazaar or scream, for Chambers, simplicity is above all. However, colleagues say that such simplicity can be seen only in the images of fever.
Karl Templer. This stylist works with French and Italian Vogue, W Magazine, Arena Homme +, and at Interview he even worked as a creative director for some time. Shooting Karl is characterized by drama and breakdown, masculinity is observed even in working with women's clothing. Aggressiveness is clearly felt in the pictures, they motivate to fight. Karl himself says that he strives to create images that reveal their character even with the smallest details. It is important to open up the inner core here. The stylist is not carried away by redundancy; the main thing for him is the realism of what he sees around. For a stylist, it is better to let there be fewer details, but better. He always chooses self-sufficient things, even if they are not highlights. Indeed, for Karl, the context and the socio-cultural layer in which this or that piece of clothing or footwear ended up is much more interesting. The stylist is constantly striving for authenticity, sometimes exaggerating a thing to the level of a symbol. He himself is quite well versed in pop culture and versed in visualization. And the childhood spent on the street does not allow overestimating the importance of details.
Camilla Nickerson. Today, the famous stylist is the senior editor of fashion at W Magazine. And before that, for 13 years, the woman worked in the American version of Vogue. She alternated shooting in this magazine with advertising campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez and other not-so-large brands. Camilla Nickerson's photographic work is always full of hints and implicit quotations. The stylist turns traditional images inside out, reinterprets the role of historical figures and experiments with might and main with images of modern heroes. This forces Camille to approach her work extremely fundamentally. Already two weeks before the start of shooting, she begins to look for images that inspire her. Of these, she assembles the associative array she already needs.
And the stylist arrives at the site with a shoe box filled with dozens of photographs. Indeed, with their help, Nickerson can quite easily explain to the makeup artist, photographer and her assistants what result she wants to get. She doesn't even want to know how her competitors work, concentrating on her own perception of work. Camilla always tries to make the shooting as topical and problematic as possible. She takes something from the outside world, and then tries to tell about it through clothes. And as a result, the most beautiful thing in her work turns out - something that she could not even imagine is suddenly embodied in the final photographs.
Venetia Scott. This stylist started his work in English Vogue, but then Venetia suddenly moved to the Italian edition. In parallel, she continued to collaborate with i-D, Another Magazine and W Magazine. Scott's style is lazy and casual, mixing budget brands and key catwalk models long before other magazines adopted the practice. She is only glad that what she invented can be copied and created even with a small budget - Scott never built her shootings around expensive things. An excellent stylist works with vintage clothing, it is thanks to her that such a fashion appeared. In the photographs of Venetia, there are many things from the flea market and just thrift stores, they clarify the main thing. It was Scott who, before anyone else, came up with the idea of dressing fragile models in huge men's things - a plaid shirt tied in a knot at the waist is one of her favorite tricks. Another direction is constant fantasies about a girls' private school. The stylist constantly plays with the elements of this form. Her shoots include white socks, embroidered coats of arms and pleated skirts.
And this stylist emphasizes that he does not create an image, but conveys the mood of his characters. Clothes are just a tip for those who are eager to learn more. Therefore, key details wander from frame to frame - either a hairpin for a hair, then a straw hat, or a worn leather jacket. In the late 90s, Scott liked Scott's sloppy look and made the stylist a creative consultant for Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. So Venetia became responsible for both shows and advertising campaigns for Jurgen Teller. The stylist has been working with this photographer for 18 years. It is thanks to this spiritual closeness that such distinctive works have been achieved. According to Venetia, in the modern rhythm it is impossible without trust, but everything is done so quickly that the team simply does not have time to work together. As a result, everything is done in a hurry, and the photos are empty.
Nicola Formichetti. This stylist manages to do everything - he worked as the creative director of Dazed & Confused, then led fashion at Japanese Vogue Hommes, and then also worked as a senior fashion editor at Another Man. But the stylist is not yet 35 years old! He has worked on shows and advertising campaigns for Prada, Costume National, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen. Nikola collected his respectful portfolio in just 11 years. But in the late 1990s, in a London department store, he was simply selling clothes for novice designers. But luck smiled at the talent - he was offered to assist on the set for Dazed & Confused. Formichetti realized that he must not miss this chance. Half Japanese, half Italian blended East and West. His images are rich and pretentious, editorials are filled with grotesque and exaggeration.
The young stylist confidently declares that he is not afraid of anything, but simply wants to give everyone joy.Looking at the kit that he assembles for filming, it is very believable. It's a kind of Hawaiian mixture, and the stage costumes of Lady Gaga, whose stylist Nicola is, generally balance on the verge of good and evil. By the way, Formichetti himself is very pleased with the collaboration with the pop diva. In his opinion, Lady Gaga is a real fashion queen who is not afraid of any experiments. Before her, Formichetti consulted other stars - Kirsten Dunst and Scarlett Johansson. However, it was the collaboration with Lady Gaga that made them both fashionable world-famous celebrities. The stylist does not hesitate to experiment with her - her expressive circus outfits make Formichetti truly happy.
Panos Yapanis. The stylist from Cyprus has long gone beyond his homeland - he has collaborated with the American Harper's Bazaar, V Magazine, American, Italian and Japanese editions of Vogue, Another Man, Interview, Another Magazine, Arena Homme + and POP. In each of his shootings, Yapanis adhered to a dark manner of rhyming things. In his editorials, black leather jackets are paired with high lace-up boots, flaky nails, rivets, black feathers and disassembled knitwear. The Cypriot has been working on advertising campaigns and shows for Rick Owens, Givenchy and Gareth Pugh for the past few years. True, all this cemetery theme suits him more than his models.
The stylist is said to literally live by his work. She is everything to him. And no one else has such a clear and recognizable handwriting. The style is torn and nervous, even with blots everywhere. The Cypriot loves tight silhouettes, dull colors and deliberate shabby wear, as if the clothes had been in the wind for several days. For his work, he prefers clothes from Givenchy, Comme Des Garcons, Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester. And what else the stylist lives with is impossible to find out - Yapanis is very secretive. He asks the curious to leave him alone, to give an opportunity in creativity to move away from the rigid framework of the industry.