Behind the Scenes with a Fashion Stylist

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Stylist annabel kerman

shares what it is like to be a fashion stylist both here in Singapore and in her native UK

Annabel Kerman is a special kind of fashion stylist. Yes, she is a fashion journalist with 20 years of styling experience under her (fashionable) belt and a background styling UK celebrities for TV and red carpet, but what really sets her apart is her incredible ability to make you feel both at ease around clothes and fashion, and good about what you wear. This is quite a skill. Her enthusiasm for fashion is infectious and time with her makes you immediately want to throw open your wardrobe and have some fun with clothes. I have had the great pleasure of working with Annabel for The Assembly Hall and I recently sat down with her to peek behind the life of a fashion stylist and ask what it is all about.

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What is your business in Singapore and how does it differ from the work you were doing in London?
In London I worked with models and celebrities, where I was employed to do the thinking when it came to a client’s style.  The personal styling side of my job in Singapore is essentially helping real people become their own stylists.   Giving them knowledge and tools to create multiple looks for themselves and to start considering how they can put clothes together to say something about themselves. I love personal styling as you see it empowering people in just a few hours.

What do you do when you style a client? 
I always start with a wardrobe edit to assess what people own so that I can start fine tuning a look, through their favourite pieces, or pieces that sing in some way. It’s amazing to see how a style emerges from a previously directionless wardrobe, and we always create way more looks that people imagine. Then we consider where the gaps might be in their wardrobe and what kind of outfits they need to fit with their current lifestyle before considering new buys.

Is there a difference between a personal stylist and a personal shopper?
There is a huge difference! You don’t even need to shop to find a style that works for you and to learn how to be creative with your wardrobe. I have a relatively small wardrobe but constantly assess and evolve how I wear pieces. We need to shop much more conscientiously these days, with the awareness of the fashion industry’s effect on the environment. Finding your style means you will actually shop less and more cleverly, with fewer impulse buys.

You guide your clients to ‘find their style’ but what does this mean to you? 
‘Finding your style’ means learning what you want to say with your look, and how to achieve it.  My job is to help people do this step by step from creating a capsule wardrobe and discovering how to combine what  you own in interesting ways to how to shop carefully to enhance what you have.  Once you have this nailed you’ve really found your style

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Why is a personal styling session useful?
The personal edits are brilliant for helping someone get to grips with their style and their wardrobe.  I go into the specifics of how to define your style and dress yourself creatively and pass on methods that I use myself that anyone can easily incorporate into their own life.

What styling advice would you give other women?
The main purpose of clothes is to make you feel good.  If you feel brilliant in something it’s always right.  If you don’t feel great then it’s wrong for you.  Getting dressed should be enjoyable and if you aren’t achieving this then I will help work out why.

What is the most common question you get when styling an individual?
People always ask where to shop in Singapore, even though we live in a city of wall to wall malls. I have created a little black book of my shopping secrets that I share with my clients, including sustainably minded local companies and vintage stores that people may have not heard of.   

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To book Annabel for a wardrobe edit you can head to her website

FASHIONkate Gallagher