Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interview with Brooklyn stylist Julie Williams

Just to be clear, you styled the models in the pictures...right? 
Yes, I styled the clothing, accessories, and often times the scenery and props. 

Is fashion styling your day job or do you have another job as well? 
It is supposed to be a day job, however times are slow so I do odd office 9-5 jobs more than half the time to make rent/bills. It's a bummer but it's pretty typical.


How did you get involved in styling? 
I had been assisting (personal and administrative) high profile executives and a couple of celebs for almost 8 years and finally just freaked over the lack of creativity involved in my day to day. My boss at the time and I clashed in a major way and hating my then job was the final push I needed to just do some thing, anything creative and fun. I save a bunch of money and started meeting stylists to get advice from. I had no idea what I was doing, all I knew was I loved putting visuals together and producing gorgeous images. Eventually I learned about all the logistics, like fitting and prepping garments or pulling from showrooms, etc. 

When did you start? 
August 07, not so long ago. 

Was it your dream or did you just fall into it? 
See #3 for part of the answer, but it's not exactly my dream job to be honest. It's extremely taxing, physically exhausting to an almost unbearable degree at times, and there's a lot of difficult challenges that come with the job in general such as dealing with rough characters, or waiting 90 days or more to get paid from jobs. 

Did you have to overcome any obstacles? 
Many, and still am. The financial part is difficult. Jobs pay quite low when you're starting out and some times it can last that way for years til it finally starts to click. I am making less than half what I made at my 9-5, though the freedom and creative aspects are nice. It's hard to get paid very little (or not paid at all) and work so hard on a project. It makes it challenging to figure out how to get by and still do what you enjoy without killing yourself on a night job. NYC is an expensive place to live, but is also the best place to be a stylist in terms of the talent, designers and general access to a million inspirational and amazing things. 

Did you go to school or are you just naturally talented? =) 
I did go to school, but for theater (haha) and communication/media. This was 7 years ago and obviously is unrelated to my current choice of employment. 

Can you explain the environment at a photo shoot?  
They're all different. Some times when it's for a big editorial, ad or catalog job it will be in a gorgeous studio with many people, and tons of yummy catering. Everyone is busy playing their part to make the results fantastic. Some times it will be a small operation and we'll work in my apartment and shoot out on the street and take a break with some deli sandwiches. It varies each time. 



Do you usually work with people you know or do you just stumble upon projects… Essentially, how do you find work? 
It's becoming difficult with the woes of the economy. Some times people find me through sites like dripbook. Some times people I assist will pass on jobs to me that they don't want or can't do. And from there you build relationships if the first time clicks and they call you back. 

Do you have a favorite designer? If not, who do you enjoy the most? 
It's hard to chose just one. And because of my financial situation I can't really shop but some times I get stuff for free. I have to be creative with my personal style and I wear a ton of vintage, and often times will find sick things at forever 21 that look really high end. (shhh!) If I could afford to shop though, I love matthew williamson, sonia rykiel, and Rachel Comey. 

If you could work with anyone, who would it be and why? 
If I could work with anyone, it'd be all my friends - every day - because they're all wildly talented and inspiring to me. Otherwise, I'd love to dress some music icons like Grace Jones or Bowie! 

I really enjoyed "Riding Dirty" and "Get Some Colors On." What were they used for? 
Riding Dirty was shot for a spanish magazine called Clone. It came out over the summer. Get Some Colors on should appear in Dujour Magazine soon. 

What advice would you give to those who aspire to work as stylists? 
Be passionate!!!! It's the main thing that will keep you going. Also - find odd jobs or a night job at first, you'll need it. :)

I see that you live in Brooklyn, which I fell in love with this summer and hope to move to after graduation. Do you like living there? 
I love Brooklyn! I'm a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island and have been living in the city and BK for the last 10 years. It's the only place to be for me right now. I'd love to experience other cities perhaps in the future, but NY has me consistently hooked. There's an almost overwhelming amount of inspiration, music, art, style and energy in Brooklyn, I feel thankful every day to be here.

-Leah<3

1 comment:

gilda said...

nice work! i particularly like the last look. i used to have the most fun styling the models when i was still in school in tokyo. wish i still had that chance now!