From 3-5 July I attended a styling workshop hosted at FEDISA presented by the fashion editor of Fairlady Magazine,Cara-Lee Ruditzky, to help those interested in fashion get their sneak peek into the styling world. This 3-day intensive welcomed us with goodie bags filled with all kind of lovely things including gift vouchers from Cotton On, Undeez Online and Bootlegger Coffee Company. We also got goodies from Typo, Zang, makeup from Rubi and a few FEDISA things!
The first part of the morning was spent in the auditorium listening to Cara-Lee speak about her life as a stylist, how she got into it, interning and freelancing and eventually how she ended up working at Fairlady. You may be wondering why a photographer would attend this course? Well, I actually style many of my own photoshoots and thought doing this would help give me an extra creative edge. I believe its always helpful to know every aspect of what goes on at a photoshoot, so that you can always jump in if something goes pear-shaped. On the first day I learned a lot more than I thought I would – especially when speaking one-on-one with Cara-Lee about her experience freelancing, as this is what I have recently decided to do for the time being.
After a short tea break she spoke about the different kind of styling jobs one can get, from TV to adverts and editorials and celebrity styling. A lot of questions were thrown her way by students and one that resonated with me was how does one avoid having a style that everyone can just recognize and know who did it? And, in short, the answer was would you really want no one to recognize your work? This is something I struggled with during my studies as I couldn’t seem to find a personal style, but eventually I comfortably developed one without even knowing it.
We also received a styling kit in a little denim Bernina bag with all the stylist necessities – elastic bands, masking tape, double-sided tape, clamps and pins, which we would be using the next day.
After lunch we had a booking agent from One League Creative Management, Nina Krouse, speak to us about what they look for when putting a stylist on their books and found this particularly relatable as a photographer. She gave everyone quite a reality check with how harsh the industry is, but its what we all need to hear and be reminded of.
After that we headed downstairs and were greeted by rails of Cotton On clothing, shoes and accessories. We were told to style 3 different looks for a photoshoot happening the next day. I stayed for about an hour looking through all the items and left with a few ideas in mind. However I was kept awake by my thoughts until about midnight trying to put looks together. I also emailed Cara-Lee to ask if I could photograph my 3 styled looks in addition to the photographed photographing them the next day. We shall see if there’s time..
I was pretty much the first person at the FEDISA campus on Saturday, and wandered around getting a few shots of the clothing that I didn’t photograph the previous day since I didn’t bring my camera. We started the day with preparing shoes for shoots so that they don’t get damaged by taping them up underneath (since they have to be returned) and then steaming some of the outfits. There were four models in total and we weren’t able to choose which ones we wanted for which look so fingers crossed I landed with the three I wanted. At this point I still had no idea what to do for my third look and whether or not the one model would be comfortable in the outfit I chose. This is where my head was at at the time:
Grey blazer (Cotton On)
Grey wide brim fedora (Cotton On)
Black skinny jeans (Cotton On)
Jeffrey Campbell shoes (Stylists own)
Plaid throw (Cotton On)
Plaid shirt (Cotton On)
Plaid scarf (Cotton On)
Navy boyfriend jeans (Cotton On)
Black boots (Cotton On)
Black skinny jeans (Cotton On)
Black tank top (Cotton On)
Bracelets (Cotton On)
Jeffrey Campbell x Black Milk shoes (Stylists Own)
With Laeeqa from Head2Toe on makeup and only one model being done up at a time, this put us extremely behind schedule, not great for me since I wanted to do my own photos. The photographer, Gavin van den Berg, came downstairs whilst the second model was being done telling us we’re running out of time and I cringed inside. Luckily Aliki, also from Head2Toe, came to the rescue as a second hair and makeup artist.
The shooting began at about 11am and I planned to go last so that after Gavin had photographed my looks, I could photograph them myself afterwards. So the wait began. We waited and we waited. I knew the models and photographer had to leave at 4:30pm and by the time it was 4pm I knew there were still about 4 people who still had to have two looks each shot, so I spoke to one of the FEDISA lecturers, who was also doing the course and was planning on going last too, and asked if I can call one of my friends in to model and photograph mine and hers myself since we’d be photographer and model-less soon. I called a friend who had modelled for me before, Little Harlequin, and pleaded for her help. She happily said she’ll be there as soon as possible and just after 4:30 she arrived! (Bia, you are a LIFESAVER).
Models styled by @sikimsuseni
At this point the models and photographer had packed up and left as well as all the students. It was just myself, a classmate and Cara-Lee left. I’m actually incredibly glad I got to photograph my looks myself, and especially glad I got to shoot with Little Harlequin, as she is the most amazing model and an absolute pleasure to work with. I started with my first look, then photographed Nicole’s look, then my second look, her second look, etc. I shot insanely quickly as I knew everyone wanted to leave at this point and was exhausted. I’m so thrilled with the outcome of the images though!
Model & MU: @the_little_harlequin, Photography & Styling: @megandaviesphotography
We started off our Sunday by giving Cara-Lee some feedback on what we thought of yesterday’s shoot day and she spoke a little bit about being a personal stylist and everything it involves. After a short break she handed out certificates to all of us, which is great because I don’t even have a certificate from where I studied for 2 years, so having something so official is exciting! There was also a mini raffle, where Cara-Lee had everyone’s names written down and in a bag and whomever name she pulled would be able to come to a Fairlady photoshoot and spend the day with her on set. GUESS WHO GOT CHOSEN!? I can’t wait!
After that we had another break whilst waiting for our guest speaker, Tracy-Lee Rosslind, so myself and a few other students went up signal hill and had ice cream and soaked up the sun for about half an hour. When Tracy-Lee came she brought with two designers from UF – Designed4Gentlemen and spoke to us about the hardcore world of celebrity and set styling – and was open about how brutal the scene really is. Tracy-Lee loves to support South African designers and says she only styles from local designers and was wearing the most beautiful outfit from one of FEDISA’s graduates! She was such a fun and bubbly person and I hope to work with her some day!
Honestly, this course was so much fun and so insightful and I highly recommend that when there is another one hosted that you all sign up for it! You learn so much about the fashion world and meet phenomenal people.
Above photo from @fedisacapetown
#stylist101 photoshoots were shot at the #ormsxfedisa studio.