Thursday, June 30, 2011

Styling Book Review: Secrets of a Fashion Stylist

I've just discovered - and read - this great little E-book, "Secrets of a Fashion Stylist, How to Break into the Business and Learn from My Mistakes." Of course I contacted the author/stylist Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt right away to talk book marketing.

She says she wrote the book because she wished she'd been able to read one just like it when she was starting out, instead of having to figure it out all on her own - by trial and error. It's currently an E-book but may soon be available in print.

New York City-based, she works with a combination of commercial photo shoots, personal styling, celebrity clients, and editorial work, like most fashion stylists do.

The book is fun to read and would be invaluable if you are planning to work in the NYC market, just as Alexandra would be a fun fashion friend to hang out with - it seems to me, she's friendly, wry, and wise. If you're working in Milwaukee or Houston, the information would still be helpful.

Of course, being the fanatic editor that I am, I immediately wanted to change a few things. ("Put down that pencil, Susan!") The formatting is a little hard to read and the font a bit large. But otherwise there were only a few changes I'd make to help get this important information across. We're hoping to offer it for sale on Photo Styling Workshops quite soon. Meanwhile you can find it on Alexandra's site,

This is the first in a series of styling book reviews.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Blog,

Dear Blog, I'm sorry! Sorry I left you for so long - a full month with no posts! Let me try to explain.

I've been busy. Just when I wanted to not be busy. *The Ironies of Styling, chapter 11, "Photo Styling," 2006 edition. Having worked pretty much full time since last August, teaching styling, teaching sewing, working at the San Diego Opera costume shop, running Photo Styling Workshops, I was looking forward to mid-May when the work stopped.

I have an agreement with my publisher to revise and update my book by August 31 and I couldn't be more excited. Well, I am more excited about my first grandchild who is due at the beginning of August. I've wanted to update this book for years, ever since it was first published, when I went through it and did one more edit. Now the industry has changed already and there is new information I want to share, about social networking, digital technology, new kit lists, more about prop styling, and fashion styling for music videos. Can't wait to begin!

But the first day of my new life I got a call from a photographer friend who was in a jam. He had two huge projects going on and his staff stylist had to take a medical leave. I saved the day, and the week, and the next week, and another week after that. At the same time I was able to bring in two of my students for an internship in wall styling - that was good. So then I was styling and teaching at the same time and thinking about the book I longed to be home writing.

It was all right, I kept telling myself. I am getting fresh material after a long spell of doing few styling jobs and lots of teaching. A new perspective on the industry. I had another styling job this week (after just a couple "last" days of the wall styling job).

This was wardrobe styling for a retail business I work for about once a year and it took place after hours when the store was closed. I haven't been up much past 10:00 in ages so I was a little worried. But it was lots of fun and the crew were all tired together.

Especially fun was remembering how much I love wardrobe shopping. I love the process of dashing from store to store looking for just the right garment and accessory, the thrill of putting hundreds of dollars on my own credit card, and the relief of crediting most of it back after the shoot.

So now I am home writing... in my blog. And working on the baby shower, and I still have some returns to make from the last shoot. And invoice for expenses. And then I'll begin... next week. Sign up for email notices at upper right if you'd like to follow the story.