I have written and rewrote this article at least 4-5 times, including that I ended up live tweeting from Peppers Waymouth Adelaide Hotel (in Australia the requirement is to isolate when positive with COVID), so the government kindly whisked me away and put me on the ninth floor, even though I hate heights, thank you.(I’m not being sarcastic, it was good of them to look after me). I also took a sabbatical (2020 to 2021) due to the creative juices feeling a bit dry and not flowing like they used to. The result was a renewal of where we are going to go, which was my goal. New day, new ideas, right? I started to go over my calendar of what we all have to accomplish for 2022, I wasn’t feeling it. So, I took some time and revisited some greats of fashion and hit up some designer museums.
I think it’s time to go deeper and build some foundations. Sometimes stress can cause people to spin their wheels and creativity can take a hit. The past couple of years have been challenging and nobody has been immune. I have always found that going back to basics and rebuilding can bring amazing results, that is the point here. For stylists, makeup artists or any creative professional (or if you are a hobbyist and just enjoy fashion), knowing the basics is the foundation and also a confidence builder in your professional skill set.
Finding inspiration for a fashion concept can be challenging. This year I want to take us back to some basics to build a sophisticated look. Spending time on the internet and looking at fast fashion or even some classic looks, fashion and styling can become stale and repetitive quickly, it happens to everyone. When we take the time to go back to some basics, I believe that fashion will shine and help the stylist get the results they desire.
Step 1 Body Shape
Defining the body shape will take some guess work for styling, knowing the image you want to put together is made easier when the body shape is identified, this principle works for either a male or female shape. This article takes some of the guesswork out for styling different body shapes and how to pick which body shape for women.
Step 2 Fashion Style
There are over 12 different fashion styles from classic to vintage, old glamour Hollywood and even the romantic look. Putting together a look book and a section on the style you wish to concentrate on would save a lot of time. Once the desired look is known it makes it easier to know what fabric, garments and accessories to use.
A quick internet search would provide enough to cover some basic fashion styles.
These articles will also inspire and help with ideas. Having look books that update annually are also helpful to put an outfit together;
Step 3 The Occasion
Step 3 would be the occasion, which in the case is evening. Combining steps 1, 2 & 3 will see a highly stylized look forming. These steps are worth researching and putting look books together for clients because these steps are part of a stylist/MUA tool kit.
For this article the focus is on evening wear but the good news is these principles can be applied for most occasions. The occasion in this scenario is evening or a special night out or the need to look glamorous.
Step 4 Fabric
In early March I was in a medical-hotel being treated for COVID, my only device was my phone so I decided to do some live tweeting, as life and deadlines still keep coming. As this is a long-form and in-depth look at stylist ideas, I am leaving my tweet embedded above as a reference to those ideas. The image galleries, also featured above, are a representation of different textures or fabrics that could bring some inspiration while styling an evening look.
I will add, for those who are not professional stylists and enjoy fashion for personal reasons, having a special section of your wardrobe dedicated to special (for example, a charity event or wedding) or evening events, is an invaluable idea. Having a collection of evening earrings, bracelets, or clutch/evening bags brings a little bit of joy to your outing, and having something that screams “you”, is a special touch.
Step 5 Colors
Color brings the look to life. The colors I like for evening this year is the dramatization of some neutrals mixed with gold or silver.
The pop of color I like this year is dusty pink.
The neutrals I like are black, slate, light grey, silver and white. Add some gold or silver, either as metals or in the fabric of the outfits will pop for the special occasions look. The type of fabric will also add drama.
Color is the drama that can go from old fashioned to contemporary. The first 3 steps are set, a persons height and body shape is the foundation you have and the occasion or clients tastes is also set and our of your control. But color can bring it all to life. Which is why I thought the pink and textures with the added glamour of sparkles or even metals like gold or silver hits the glamorous spot.
But with red it is moving into the mid-century and the retro color scheme. It is classic but it is old. By giving a color like red a twist, such as using it as a splash of color, it keeps the look fresh. An example of what I mean by a splash of color, would be maybe red shoes, a bag, a bit of red in the fabric of the clothing or even a scarf.
Hair, Makeup, Grooming and Accessories
The finishing touches are the hair, makeup, grooming, and accessories. Due to supply issues this year, sticking with the basics for makeup was the best. We did touch on a bit of men’s grooming with the no beard article. Accessories would also come under the umbrella of the client’s style and the occasion.