How rewarding is it to be a stylist or a fashion designer?
What does it really take to be successful in fashion business?
These and a lot more were answered during Preview Style Talks last Manila Fashion Festival F/W 2015. Three sessions – How I Started in Fashion, Fashion Editorial Styling and Building A Brand were conducted by the Preview Magazine editors and aren’t I so glad to have attended all three of them, all ears and full attention. It’s like a crash course in starting a career in fashion and at the same time felt like it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that fashion enthusiasts should never miss – to hear insights, experiences and tips from some of the experts in the industry today all in one day.
How I Started in Fashion guest speakers were fashion designer Francis Libiran, celebrity make-up artist Owen Sarmiento and fashion photographer BJ Pascual. I was really looking forward in meeting BJ knowing he is today’s the most sought after fashion photographer but hearing their experiences, how they speak and all that, I didn’t really get a lot from him and I found Francis the most influential and motivational so to speak. To be a really good speaker one should have a lifetime of good and bad experiences and I can tell Francis has been there, there’s depth in his words and he knows what he was talking about. On the other hand, I find Owen as spontaneous and sharp-witted.
When asked for their advice to people who are starting out in the fashion business, BJ said not to rush it while both Owen and Francis agreed to having an own brand and to know identity first. To further improve the skill Francis mentioned to take time to observe, see the smallest detail, immense oneself in fashion thru studying and research and identify personal aesthetic and uniqueness. Owen seconded that at any anyway one can collaborate for one’s work to be seen, do it, and quoted “quality matters”.
Between skills or connections, BJ finds both are vital and cited to keep oneself out there, while Francis said that skills are important and connections will follow. On a related note, everyone agreed that social media helps and Francis warns to be careful and strategic when posting. Owen conversely views social media as an inspiration and to use with responsibility.
Furthermore, when asked if they have already been most successful at their career, Francis mused “…a creative mind is forever flowing, evolving to a much higher level, it doesn’t stop” while Owen shared his vision “…to change how Filipinas do their make-up”. Of course, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to have a selfie with the guy!
The next session was about Fashion Editorial Styling led by Preview’s Fashion Director Daryl Chang and Preview’s Creative Director Vince Uy. Daryl went straight to the point and delivered the entire creative process when doing a fashion editorial backed up with some of the memorable(and best example) photo editorials from Preview magazine projected on LED screen – which I super appreciated and Daryl was so personable, really awesome.
Not to really go too much on the details, the fashion editorial process goes by five stages: First is Planning – mood boards are set and choosing the best team is critical. Second is Sourcing, where current designer and retail, local and international trends are checked from street bazaars to malls. Third is Pull-outs, by which what will happen the entire shoot needs to be considered. Fourth is Shooting, where time management is imperative and lighting, art direction and much of the creative comes into play. Fifth is Post-production, this solidifies the cohesive story of the editorial, also blurbs, complete credits and prices are identified.
When asked how do they choose the Preview cover girl, Daryl highlighted a few key things like relevance, social media followers and engagement are taken into consideration. One of the most valuable notes from this session on the rewards of being a stylist was “monetary is secondary…be happy to create works that speak to other people”.
Lastly, and third session Building A Brand with guest speakers Rissa Mananquil of Happy Skin and Jappy Gonzalez of Univers revolved around the topics relative to the first session about identifying one’s brand and vision but this time considering the short and long term goals, your customer and interest.
Risk was mentioned a lot and something that can be done as not everything works and can be managed by choosing the right partner. Likewise, social media can be a lot help when it comes to building a brand from empowering the followers to showing the value and tips of the product, considering every post is a voice of the brand.
Preview Style Speaks by Preview Magazine, the authority on fashion and beauty here in the Philippines, took place last Manila Fashion Festival Fall/Winter 2015 on its Day 2 last March 20, 2015 at The Eye and Axon function rooms of Green Sun Hotel, Makati City, Philippines.