‘Stylists’, the new book by prodigious fashion scribe Katie Baron, promises to be the essential starter book for anyone interested in the relatively recent cult of the superstylist.
The pictures are presented in a scrapbook style, seemingly torn out of magazines and pasted in, or in overlapping, slightly off-centre collage, it’s not just an homage, but also how stylists often start gathering ideas and inspiration (several of the subjects mention tearing photos out of magazines as how they first got on the road to their current career). It’s a clever conceit that neatly ties all the profiles together.
The stylists come from different facets of magazine publishing, from the obvious (Anna dello Russo and Lula editor Leith Clark) to the not so much (Francesco Souriges), the beautiful and the avant garde, the dark and the light. As an accurate cross section of stylists at work today, it’s definitely representational of European stylists. America doesn’t really get a look in.
Each profile comes with a sampling of the stylist’s work and a two page interview, talking about his or her roots, how they got into the industry and what their creative fingerprint is. Like his work, Nicola Formichetti’s personality almost bursts out of the page. Jacob K is as quietly enigmatic as his styling might suggest. Christiane Arp weaves German pride into her issues of Vogue.
If you want to learn more about the superstylist phenomenon, this really is an essential buy. Even seasoned fashionophiles will find something inspiring within these pages. Katie Shillingford’s profile had me reaching for my back copies of Dazed and Confused to remind myself of just how good she is at her job, while I was pleasantly surprised to learn about German magazine, Sepp, which is a blend of men’s fashion and football (I’ve GOT to get my hands on a copy).
‘Stylists’ is informative, beautifully laid out and a great source of inspiration. Highly recommended.
‘Stylists’ is out now and published by Laurence King.