I know that as a freelance fashion stylist (mainly assistant for now as I just started out), I sometimes wish I had a coach, a guide, a little fairy on my shoulder, whispering advice, calming things, basically secrets to :
- not completely get screwed by the industry,
- stop feeling completely inadequate whilst working,
- not feeling that, as I lack experience, my opinion is just not worth it.
- And of course, not to spoil everything for everybody… Yeah, it is actually a thought that passes through my head on a regular basis.
(I feel like rambling so much about this subject, I’m gonna get MacSpeech I think, and you’ll just have to deal with it!)
The fashion industry is a very unique world, and asking your old mama’s advice is sometimes useful, but often, completely pointless when it comes to specific matters (sorry mamacita!). My mum always feels I’m taken advantage of, because I’m not paid, which is so classic for the fashion business. Yeah, you work for free, kids, that’s just normal… She doesn’t get why sometimes, there is just no jobs out there. None. NO, I’m not slacking, it’s just the market, the season, the fashion week factor, etc.
So basically you’re left with two sources of information : the internet, and your fellow designers/stylists. Often, those cool kids you met at school will turn out to be blinded by the lights. It’s sounds cynical, guess what? It is. I’ve been so disappointed, so many times, by so many “good friends” about jobs, advice, etc, that I just can’t tell you to blindly ask around your group of friendsies that work in the same business as you. It doesn’t always work out, and will mostly bring heartache, and, oh lordy, so many headaches, over, most of the time, money and bad and undeserved reputation. I’ll go there in a later post. So, I always feel a bit embarrassed admitting that : “yeah, I currently have no job, yeah, my boss is on holiday in L.A, and I’m drinking cheap beers by myself at home, browsing Tumblr”. (Rumbling I told you…) So asking them for advice, for a job, for a contact, for me anyway, is a bit of a challenge.
Then you have the www’s. Type “advice fashion designer” , go on. I’ll give you a moment.
You have advice to find your body shape and the same advices, over and over again. Totally valid advice, it’s true : begin somewhere, do something. Do it more and keep a good attitude, while working like a crazy person. Actually, I could stop there and leave you with this advice. It would probably be enough for 90% of youz. But come on people, in the 10% left, there could be 0,000001% who found this blog and who will say : “Oh god, finally somebody who’s in the same mindfuck as me”. And for me, that’s enough.
A little thing about me : I’M THE WORST. No pep talk can make me feel good about myself, ever. I have the lowest self esteem, and the unfortunate privilege to work in a high glamour, high ego world. So, no. Not good. I can bury myself so low by the end of a work day, that I will actually become as worthless as I drew myself to be in that little head of mine. I’m not a bad stylist, nor a bad assistant, but let me tell you, the mind strength is unbelievable, and can make you become what you think about yourself. And basically, the goal of BFF is to make you, and I, snap out of it, during those hard-working days, that were a bit disastrous.
I’ll try to say what no one would have told you about this industry, and was left for you to discover the hard way. I hate the hard way, and I wish fewer people would let us discover it, while working with big fashion names.
I’ll try to give you the best advice that I can give you. It can be no brainers, or really specific advice. It can be applied to any area of work, but I will keep fashion in mind as it’s my, and maybe yours too, cross to bare.