You seem to be active reasonably quick after graduation. Can you
please tell us a bit about the idea behind Sorbet?
Sorbet magazine came from an idea my best friend and I had last year. We wanted to create a magazine which acted as a platform for graduates or new talent from a variety of fashion disciplines, which would then showcase their work to industry professionals. The fashion industry is notoriously hard to break into, so we wanted to create a publication which could help individuals gain the recognition they deserve. It did not take long for us to see that this was something that a lot of people wanted to be involved in and so we began to construct the magazine with the contributors we had selected. We made sure that all those who were not featured in the magazine were represented through our blog, in order to promote them and the high level of work they had produced.
The magazine was a way for us both to showcase our own photography and styling, as well as teaching us the process and business side of running and creating a new magazine, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
When did you realise styling is in your blood? And how has that shaped
the way you see fashion photography?
I have always had an interest in customising and making things, which is why I studied art and photography throughout school. As I got older and developed a greater interest in fashion I realised that I could transfer this love of creating to garments and outfits. A few years ago I wasn’t even aware, as ignorant as it sounds, that you could be a professional fashion stylist, so chose to focus purely on my photography.
I think that my ideas and perceptions of a brief have been helped by having a vivid imagination. If I envisage something then I will always do whatever I can to create it. Styling has definitely shaped the way in which I view fashion photography, as I think that they go hand in hand together, and in order to create a strong, captivating image, then it is vital to have styled it in an interesting and unusual way.
How do you come up with the concept for each shoot?
It depends really on what the shoot is for, if it is someone’s collection, then I would look at the concept behind the collection and create a story from that. If it is for a client, then I will find out the usage of the images and create an appropriate story which showcases my style of work but also captures the essence of the brand/company.
I will then begin to think of locations and go on a hunt, or if it is a studio shoot, then I would plan a lighting set up which would best compliment the story. If there are not clothes already chosen for the shoot, then I will look for new designers and graduates who I think would suit the story and work with them, I do go to high street shops and charity shops, but am very interested in promoting and working with new talent in order to bring something refreshing to a shoot, through clothes that no one has used or seen before.
Finding the right model can make a huge difference to the success of a shoot so I will often spend a lot of time selecting a model who I feel will work the best with the overall concept.
Advice for people wanting to become a stylist in london?
I am currently one of these people wanting to become a stylist having just graduated myself, so the advice I would offer is to make use of any contacts you already have, be prepared to work hard and often for free and be open to learn and look outside of london for your first few jobs, as I know myself that becoming a successful stylist won’t happen over night and will take a lot of hard work and determination.
How would you describe your approach to clients?
I am honest, approachable and loyal. If I am selected for a job then I will work my hardest to do everything I can to make it the best for them. It is important to build relationships with your clients, this may make the difference between you being chosen again by them, so I always try to make a good impression from the very beginning. The clients I have been fortunate enough to work with already have been extremely kind and welcoming and have offered me a great experience, in return I have created the images that they require. You can always find a positive out of a job even if it does not go as well as you may have hoped.
What can we expect to see on your mood board for Vivien Westwood?
Lots of colour, interesting locations and an eccentric mixture of models.
Visit Sarah Darley for collaboration.