2014 Epiphanie Lookbook

View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie

Epiphanie is a camera bag company that makes stylish, modern bags for men and women. These bags aren't just for photographers, but simply for people that enjoy documenting their life, travels and work. I am so glad I got to bring this stylish adventurer to life in several ways for their 2014 look book.

As I shared last week, this is an important project for me because five years ago I had the chance to style another look book of theirs, but it was one of my first styling gigs. I've grown so much as a stylist, and Maile, Founder of Epiphanie, has seen that in me over the years. I cannot express what that means to me that a woman I had never met before believed in me and saw something in me earlier on when I was so full of doubt.

View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie

Maile said she wanted fresh, cool fall styles. All of her bags are leather, and she wanted to boost the level of quality in the experience of Epiphanie and yet keep it approachable. I saw an opportunity to create different personas in the outfits, but keep everything very cohesive. Ale Vidal, the cinematographer and director, had a central character being a young, creative gal that has a boy friend and a stylish group of friends. This character is really acted out in the story of the Epiphanie brand film that I shared last week (click here to watch). I started with her outfit, and built out from there including a French inspired gal, a tomboy inspired gal, an urban inspired gal and a creative, stylish guy.

View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie

I tried to incorporate several trends in this lookbook too. Buffalo check, overalls, fringed kimonos, beanies, and wide-brim hats can be found in this collection. However, since the bags are the focal point I tried to keep the palette pretty simple to let the bag stand out.

View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie
View More: http://imaginale.pass.us/epiphanie

I hope you enjoy this project! To read about the story creation and making of the film, check out Ale's blog.

Photography / Direction by Ale Vidal www.imaginaledesign.com

Video Assistant – Matt Hail www.matthail.com Styling by Alexandra Evjen www.avestyles.com Hair by Jenny Strebe www.theconfessionsofahairstylist.com Makeup by Stephanie Neiheisel www.snmakeupartist.com Assistant – Audree Lopez – www.simplyaudreekate.com Modeling by Agency AZ Styling Assistant – Alyssa Hodson

Clothing provided by Frances Vintage and Shop & Apparel

A Photographer's Perspective On Using A Stylist

Gina Meola is mentioned a lot on this blog because we work together often, and have become good friends because of it. I asked her if she would be interested in contributing something about fashion photography to the blog since she's a photographer, and instead she wanted to share how working with a fashion stylist has helped set her business apart. =) Now, can you see why I love her?! Enjoy!

--- For us, offering personal styling services to all our clients is SUCH a bonus! When a couple hires us, they believe in our values, they care about an amazing experience, and they trust us to capture them BEAUTIFULLY! Alex of AVE STYLES has helped solidify all those areas!

For most couples, engagement photos are the first time they are being professionally photographed together. It can feel unfamiliar, a little intimidating, or even awkward without the right guidance. So why not let an expert in fashion help put your clients’ minds at ease? In the end, they feel more confident in themselves and are more trusting of YOU.

These are just a few ways having a stylist “on staff” has changed Gina Meola Photography::

  • This is one more way our couples are cared for because we include this service in our collections.
  • Marcus and I spend less time preparing for photo sessions, and more time growing our business!
  • Our couples arrive stress-free to shoots because their ensembles were selected far in advance.
  • Our couples can focus on lovin’ each other instead of worrying about their outfits. This, in turn, helps us create natural, authentic photographs.
  • The overall experience AND image quality are enhanced tremendously!
  • Fully trusting Alex ensures our clients look and feel their very best!

The verdict is out, and having a personal fashion stylist makes the process much more relational, unique, and special! THANK YOU, ALEX!!

All images by Gina Meola Photography and style by AVE Styles.

The Not So Glamorous Side

Most people have the idea that being a stylist is just shopping, picking out clothes and dressing people. They think it's a glamorous job, and anyone and everyone wants to do it because you're basically getting paid to shop. TRUTH: It's actually only about 20% glamorous and the rest is physical, emotional and mental labor.

When someone seeks out a stylist for a personal shopping job they are in a moment of dissatisfaction with their wardrobe. BUT usually the culprit is much deeper - the dissatisfaction often comes from feeling like they don't fit in, feeling fat and lacking confidence. Personal styling is mostly a counseling job. You're usually meeting a person for the first time, quickly discerning their likes and dislikes all while reading in between the lines of what they want and what their insecurities are dictating. Of course, the wonderful reward is getting to encourage those people, lifting their spirits, and seeing their faces light up when we find the perfect clothes that complement their bodies and personalities. But again, that's only 20% of the job. It can be emotionally draining, and of course, physically draining as you spend hours walking from store to store.

As for styling for commercial and fashion shoots, it's first hearing the client, reading between the lines of what they want, and then story boarding everything out. From there, we sometimes have to find makeup artists, hair stylists, locations and models. A lot of the time I do all of those things. Once I have measurements, I have to go hunting for clothes, which takes a full day (8 hours) because you not only have to find what you need, but you often need to pitch the ideas to get stores to lend to you. Once you find 8 full looks at least, you have to steam and prep all of the clothing for the shoot. (Last week, I spent FIVE HOURS steaming wardrobe on my knees for a cast of 24 people).

The day of the shoot you have to have fittings, adjust the clothes with clamps and pins, and of course be there for every second of the shoot to keep an eye on the clothes, placement of the jewelry, etc. After it's all over, sometimes you have to re-tag everything, fold things, and then drive all around returning the clothes.

This whole entire process takes about 25 hours of work.

The reward is seeing the finished product in a photo and a happy client.

For me, even though the glamorous moments are only 20% of the job, they weigh far more than all of the time put in doing everything else.

I say all of this for those thinking about being a stylist, for those that know nothing about the job, and for those that work with stylists all of the time. It's a serious job and art form. I can only hope that one day it's valued more than it is now!

The Glow

This past week I've been working my TAILLL off, and I will be keeping the same pace next week. I'm thankful for the work, but I won't lie it has been extra challenging doing such a physical job while pregnant. Five hours of steaming clothes ain't for sissies! Of course, this has lead my mind to constantly think about how I'm going to juggle mommy-hood with life as a stylist. Though I have many examples in my life of fabulous, creative working moms, I actually don't know a single stylist that is a mom. In fact, when I met with a fashion mentor of mine she said it was definitely a career that would make it hard to have a family.

But if someone tells me I can't do something it just makes me want to do it all of the more. That also may make me totally stupid, but where would we be without those pioneers!? haha! And just when I thought I could be one of the few stylist mommies out there (BTW - Rachel Zoe does NOT count considering her giant entourage) a client send me a link to this amazing blog, The Glow. Of course, the first woman that shows up is famous stylist, Kate Young.

Reading through all of the creative, successful moms out there has given me such a peace about the adventure that awaits. I can't wait for it to begin!

Images via The Glow

Piperlime's Stylist Contest

I just entered a contest where aspiring stylists are called to showcase their fashion expertise using Piperlime's must-have styles for spring. Their task at hand... to play stylist to a "client" for three scenarios: a 10-year high school reunion, office-to-evening for a high-powered executive, and a best friend's wedding. Contestants will then explain how and why each look was put together.

Above, is for challenge #1 - a 10 year high school reunion. My description...

"Her days of being average are over. My client is dressed to impress by showing off her sexy figure, sophisticated style and success in this world by wearing a skirt that showcases her legs, shoes that give her height and an edge, a glamorous cocktail ring and diamond earrings to show off her status, a feminine blouse in pale pink to keep up with the trends and statement necklace that says, "Look at me."

Keep reading to see my other looks...

Items in this set:

Challenge 2: Office to date night... "My client is ready for her big meeting with the VP. She looks professional with her shirt tucked in, a nice gray jacket, flats that keep her comfortable and yet say that she's energetic, minimal jewelry and bag that her laptop can fit into.

With a quick change into her favorite jeans that make her caboose look aMAZing, my client is ready to meet up for a summer date night wearing flats to avoid any awkwardness in height, a colorful tank that shows off her amazing arms and tan, simple jewels to avoid sending any message that she's high maintenance and a feminine bag."

Challenge 3: Friend's wedding "My client is ready to cheer on her friend at an indoor | outdoor wedding in the spring. Nude heels elongate her legs, a feminine, retro style dress is eye-catching but subtle, her jewelry simple, a classic jacket to wear when it gets chilly and an evening bag that is perfect for a little camera and lip gloss."