As the Holidays approach everyone seems to get into this jovial spirit of politeness and giving. Sometimes people and organizations even go as far as to throw functions to commemorate this festive mood. In the spirit of “giving” I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to style a female; which I had never really done before or at least not to this extent. She had asked me if I could assist her in picking an outfit (and shoes and accessories and eventually the hair style and hairpin) for her school of medicine’s “Winter Ball”. I humbly accepted and almost retracted my helping hand once I realized that she had the potential to be “difficult” client. My friend is very modest and almost reserved with regard to her sense of style. Not that this was at all a bad thing but her ability to be overly picky was. Reserve and picky in taste can be a lethal combination for any stylist attempting to formulate an interesting outfit. However, she turned out to be a real doll once I was able to loosen her up and get her to trust my judgment and creative direction.
Usually when styling someone I try to get a feel for their style and stay within that lane. Seemingly enough, many people like to “play it safe” and stick to a style that they feel they can pull off. I believe that confidence is the key factor in carrying any outfit as oppose to the other way around. I ultimately try to do something with the construction of the outfit that pushes the client a bit out of their comfort zone. While attempting to quell their anxiety with the reassurance that I wouldn’t have them look like anything but “good”. This is all in an attempt to hopefully promote them to potentially take more fashion risks (within their standards) in the future.
When beginning my stylistic process with any client I always ask about the:
1. Event to get a feel for the dress code,
2. colors they are interested in wearing and lastly,
3. Do they have any options or prototypes picked out?
For me, at times, it can help when the client has an idea of what they’re envisioning so that I can determine what kind of direction they want to go in. She however didn’t really have much options or her mind set on anything. So we began from scratch, which is not a problem, but can be difficult especially if the client knows everything they don’t want or dislike but can’t decide on what they do like. In turn this creates a blockage that can be difficult to surpass. I had known about the event months in advance but we really didn’t aggressively look until the week of the event; I work better under pressure. We perused the internet for gowns and dresses on Google and eventually EBay which you wouldn’t imagine how difficult it can be. While on EBay we eventually came across a seller with its own website: http://www.edressme.com/. Once on the site I came across a red strapless satin number that my friend really enjoyed and so we used it as a marker to compare all the other dresses that we came across. She didn’t find any other that she liked and luckily for us the site had a store in NYC located on 325 West 38th street. We were fortunate to have found a store since we were short on time for deliveries and then having to potentially deal with any last minute alterations. So we then planned to meet up the following day (2 days prior to the event) to go see about the actual look and sizing of the dress. Next, I continued web browsing in order to piece together everything else that would be needed from stores within the vicinity of Edressme so as to decrease the amount travel and optimize our time. I began to look for shoe stores within 34th St. /Herald Square and came across: Aldo, Steven Madden and Nine West. I selected a pair of shoes from each store, jotted down the style name and called it a night.
The following day: Upon arriving to Edressme the staff was very friendly, welcoming, answered all our questions and were overall accommodating. My friend requested the dress we had seen on their site which she then tried on. The dress fit her a bit tight at the top being as she is busty but she stated that it was not tight enough where she could not wear it; so she purchase it (Satin Strapless Evening Dress by Atria; $260).
Afterwards we went to Aldo to view one of the shoes that I had previously found online at http://www.aldoshoes.com/. The open toe high heels I found were made from an interesting material cross of satin, silk and mesh with a rhinestone rectangular center piece (“Cassondra”; $70.00). We had to travel no further for shoes, once she was able to get over the heel being too high because she is already pretty tall. While in Aldo we found a silver Crocodile type clutch, which matched the heels perfectly, that was on sale for $23.80 from $30.00.
Overall it was an incredible opportunity and even more impressive what we were able to formulate in such a short amount of time. In the end she felt comfortable with everything that was purchased and she did not feel as though there was anything from the purchase that she could not see herself wearing, which is the ultimate stylistic goal. She was very appreciative for my taking the time out to assist her. After the Ball, she went on to say that she received plenty of compliments from men and women alike. She also went on to mention that after hearing about the stylistic journey and seeing the final product, her sister would like me to possibly assist her in styling her wedding later this year. Never been done before although I'm up for the challenge, and even if it doesn’t occur, still a flattering gesture nonetheless..
Photos of the Ball: