I wanted to talk about styling, because after a few years in the industry it became clear that styling is a vastly misunderstood art.
If you look at a fashion editorial and the models are wearing full looks from a single designer, be under no illusions, that’s not styling. To an extent hair and make-up play a part but the impact of this in menswear is negligible. Designers create clothes as part of a collection, these clothes naturally complement each other, so I don’t consider full looks like this to be any great feat of styling. Another criticism I hear frequently is that sometimes stylists hardly use any clothes. Consumers get annoyed with editorials that feature images just focussing on a models face, or where the clothes are barely visible. Now this IS styling. Often these images will be the ones you remember. These images convey mood, give the editorial context or hint at narrative. The stylist can in many ways be like a film director. If they’re involved enough to select models, art direct and photograph then they are not just like a director but rather an auteur.
The other key aspect to consider is of course reinvention. It’s a stylist’s job to continually and endlessly reinvent the same core items of menswear making them look new, fresh and desirable, and that’s not an easy job.
For SS15, ASOS have enlisted young Russian designer Gosha Rubchinsky, not for his design skills but instead as photographer and creative partner alongside Max Pearmain. Together the pair cast models, scouted locations and art directed the entire shoot. The result is a perfect example of reinvention, styling and auteurism. Check out the lookbook below.