What is a Fashion Stylist’s Role During a Fashion Shoot?

When you look at photos of models in glossy magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan or Elle, you see a result of work of the entire team: photographer, model, make-up artist, hairstylist and fashion stylist. Every one of them must be present at the shooting, as he or she is responsible for a specific task.

Photographer takes pictures, sets up lighting; model postures; make-up artist applies make-up, hairstylist arranges model’s hair. And what does fashion stylist do?
Today our teachers from Italian E-Learning Fashion School will tell you more about the fashion stylist profession.

What’s the stylist’s role here?

Fashion stylist job is to be responsible for a number of tasks:

First task is to find clothing and accessories and change model’s outfits during the photo shoot. This is one of the simplest and most technical fashion stylist job.

If stylist’s role was limited to this, any shooting for Elle or Vogue would be very easy to make – just take beautiful clothes from famous designers, put them on a beautiful slim model, and a fashion shoot is ready. Photographer, make-up or even a model herself could’ve bring clothes, come up with outfit ideas and put the on a model. However, it’s not that simple after all.

Please compare two types of pictures:

On photos of the first type you see a regular shooting, where no fashion stylist job is necessary, because assembling such outfits is a task bearable by anyone with some taste and skill for combining clothing items.

On photos of the second type you can see an example of a photo shoot, which is impossible to do without a fashion stylist job.

What is the difference between these pictures?

All photos have neutral grey-scale background and show a woman wearing different clothes. However the first type of photos are pictures of women in beautiful but pretty casual clothes. Photos of the second type are images closer to art and creativity.

  • First pictures show us women as they dress at the everyday basis.
  • Second type of pictures establishes fashion tendencies, creates a new style, makes one want to try something new and inspires for creativity.

It’s like if we would compare let’s say a vase shot with a regular camera and painted by an artist. Impressions and emotions from these images are totally different.

In this sense a fashion-stylist is not just someone who assembles a proper clothing outfit for a model to wear during a photo shoot, but an artist, who shall find an interpretation of a fashion tendency, tell a particular story using the clothing and images on a photo.

Clothes selected for a model by a stylist are not flashy luxury, not a simple advertisement of things to buy in a boutique of the particular designer, not a show-off for a beautiful model. It’s a tool for communication, which purpose is to create and translate a particular vision of life, particular ideal and image of a woman or a man, new styles that will be replicated by others in the future.

Another issue is how a fashion stylist can create a new style and inspire others to follow it via photographs?

In order to do so, fashion stylist completes a creative research of a history of fashion, trend surveys and style icons; creates creative boards and only picks clothing at the final stage of any photo shoot. There are specific techniques and methods for such creative research.

And most importantly, a fashion stylist job is not just picking clothing suitable for a particular model or a particular shooting site (this job can do any Image Consultant). At first, clothing and style are selected, which must be depicted on the photo, and all the rest, including shooting site, model, model postures, make-up and hairstyle, are chosen later.