The World of Styling With Elshane
Stylist Elshane is no one-trick pony. From styling red carpet events to running her own personal style blog, she is the definition of a triple (or quadruple? Or quintuple?) threat. She also recognizes the importance of building your brand and why having a strong personal style can give you a leg up on the competition in the digital age. If you've ever wondered what it takes to become a stylist, you've come to the right place! Elshane will be speaking about her career and experiences at our April Session at The Grove (get your tickets HERE). Right now, she’s sharing some of her favorite things about being a stylist:
SS: You work on all sorts of styling projects, from red carpet looks to music videos to ad campaigns. How do you approach styling differently for these varied projects? The difference between a stylist and someone who likes to put clothing together, is that a stylist needs to understand the needs of the client and put him/herself in their shoes. A stylist needs to appreciate many forms of beauty and not be defined by one style. I love how my work is so diverse— sometimes I’m on the set of a glam music video, and sometimes I’m on the set of a McDonald’s commercial.
For the McDonald’s commercial, you need to think, what would this character, who’s moving her busted coffee table from her old apartment to her new apartment, with the help of her three friends, be wearing while all four of them pull up at a drive-through McDonald’s window? Well, it better be sweaty…and comfy…and dirty…and mis-matched. Right?
SS: How does your previous experience in public relations help you now as a stylist? Coming from a Public Relations background, I feel I have a leg up in the styling world. PR is essentially the “other side” of the styling business— one job wouldn’t exist without the other. Stylists need PR teams to facilitate clothing sample requests for their clients. PR teams need stylists to get their clothing placed on a celebrity or shot in a magazine! Having experience from both ends helps me to understand and manage client expectations.
SS: What’s your favorite type of styling project (red carpet, television show, editorial, etc.) and why? Lately I’ve been on a commercial kick. There’s something so real and challenging about dressing the “average” person. Purposely distressing clothing, adding real life touches, creating fictional characters; it’s a completely different side of the styling world that not many people think about as a career choice. Oh, and personal shopping is too fun for words. A shopping spree on someone else’s credit card? It’s like Pretty Woman, but you just don’t get to keep the clothes! ;)
SS: Whether working with a celebrity on her red carpet look or with a big company on a commercial, I’m sure there are a lot of different voices and opinions. How do you collaborate with others while staying true to your creative vision? This is very difficult to answer. I say it takes years of experience to understand how to manage expectations from clients. Sometimes its a battle worth fighting, sometimes you need to just nod and smile. There’s a lot of nodding and smiling…
SS: You also run a personal style blog. Why is it important for you to share your own individual style, and how do you make time for personal projects within your busy schedule? In this ever-evolving world of social media, content creators, and instant gratification, I find that, time after time, my blog is consistently what is landing me the styling gig over other stylists. I think my blog shows that I’m relevant and always keeping up. Besides, I’ve had the blog for almost seven years now… it has a lot of history! And to answer when I have time to maintain it…. just like how I’m sitting here answering this interview at 11:17pm on a Sunday night, it’s a graveyard shift kinda gig.
SS: What advice would you give for someone who is trying to break into the world of styling? Internships = obviously. Also, never stop smiling. I don’t hire assistants or interns who don’t smile through the pain. Styling is not always chic. It’s heavy lifting, researching, schlepping, nodding and smiling, and making it "werk" anyway you can. And without smiles, what’s the point?
Ready to learn more from Elshane? Get your tickets to our April Session HERE.