Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Reviews of "Basics Fashion Design 08: Styling"

Book Review 1
b
y Brittany Esposito
“Basics Fashion Design 08: Styling,” by Jacqueline McAssey and Clare Buckley offers an effective mix of stylists’ biographies, professional images, and practical advice about how to produce a photo shoot and break into the industry. I really enjoyed reading the different stories and flipping back and forth through all the images. “Basics Fashion Design 08: Styling” is a visually stimulating book. Its design has inspired my creative work as a student and a professional in a tremendous way. This book is not only inspirational but also a tool for styling knowledge.
I learned that a stylist has a lot of responsibilities including choosing the look and clothing for a fashion image, communicating the fashion idea, trend, or theme, and being able to advertise a fashion product. This book outlines what it means to style for a catalog or advertisement (commercial styling) or a magazine (editorial styling), and what types of skills these different fields require. Styling proves that even on a limited budget, with tremendous imagination and drive it is possible to create beautiful and relevant work. This book is a comprehensive guide to the rapidly developing discipline of styling. The shoot process is broken down step-by-step to demonstrate the preparation and editing of clothing, the shoot day itself and the post-production process.
Overall, I truly enjoyed how personal and inspirational this book is. I think it’s the perfect guide to begin a styling career and I would recommend it to any student or young professional looking to get into styling.


Book Review 2
by Denise Muñoz
            The authors cover a large amount of information by summarizing each theme down to a few pages each. What I enjoyed most about the book was the array of pictures of styling in different arenas. At the end of the book, the reader is presented with interviews of different fashion bloggers. The authors also share interviews with stylists.
One of the interviews that resonated with me was the one given by Siobhan Lyons. In the interview Siobhan describes how she moved up in her career and it is evident that a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience were needed before she was able to reach her position in her profession. She describes the relationship between a designer and a stylist as having to think like them, like “becoming their second brain.” This is a recipe for a successful partnership.
Another interesting insight was the fact that styling involves so much more than pulling clothes and actual “styling.” At the end of the day a stylist is a business person and will spend many hours writing emails, estimating budgets, creating spreadsheets, calling all of the people involved in a project, and even doing odd jobs that were never imagined would fit the job description. She also points out that things rarely go as planned and as frustrating as it may be for a stylist, he or she must be able to keep on going and be creative with any situation that presents itself.
In summary, I found the book to be a pleasant read and useful for any person interested in or pursuing a fashion career. The reader must be aware that it only provides a very brief overview of the themes and subjects mentioned. If someone is looking for detailed information on the subject or “how to be” a stylist type of book, this is not the right one. I feel that it only provides an introduction into the profession. Nevertheless, it has insightful interviews, beautiful images, and good information.
Brittany Esposito and Denise Muñoz were both students in my 2012 Fashion Photo Styling class at San Diego Mesa College's Fashion Department. Thanks to both for their contributions. Susan

1 comment:

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