Marika Ames’ Stylist Tips And Secrets
Marika Ames assisted her first style shoot aged sixteen. From there, she started a fashion blog with a friend, and by eighteen she was flying solo: styling models and celebrities on a freelance basis. She didn’t go to uni to learn about fashion – she just went out and did it, using her experience assisting shoots as her intro to the industry instead. Now, she’s passing on the baton. Here are Marika Ames’ tips for making your mark and getting a head start as a stylist.
“As an assistant, you have to listen to everything, even if it's not meant for you – because, when your team’s looking back at the images discussing reshooting with different shoes, you will need to be there, one step ahead with those sneakers ready. Once you have that knowledge as a stylist and you hear the client saying, ‘I’m not sure I like this one,’ you can be ready to say, ‘Well, I have an alternative.’”
“Mistakes are horrible, but they’re actually the key to success, which is why assisting is so important. As you grow with the person you're assisting, you’ll get given more and more responsibility – and with that comes more mistakes. I definitely think it’s better to ‘fail’ when starting out under someone, as it will prevent you from repeating those same mistakes when you're working as a stylist independently. Just think of assisting as training.”
Trust Your Gut
“There's no time for thought when you’re on set. It's all about trusting your gut and acting on it. It’s something that happens to me every shoot: I’ll get an idea that hits me and then I’ll have this feeling either saying, ‘Go for it, that’s amazing’ or ‘No, that’s not going to work.’ All I can say is trust those instincts – because, if you do, that’s when you’re most likely to create your best work.”
“Being a stylist is a very stressful job, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. That adrenaline rush is addictive and it will feed into your work and the energy you create. It’s good to be scared – it will keep you on your toes and keep the mind active, giving you a sharper eye for detail, meaning fewer things are likely to go wrong. The only thing you should be truly fearful of is complacency.”
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