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Women Making History: Anita Patrickson

Stylist Anita Patrickson was raised in South Africa and went to school in London before planting herself in Los Angeles with a job as an assistant at Allure magazine, where she styled cover looks for Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Katherine Heigl. Anita now works as a freelance stylist for TV, film, magazines, and fashion campaigns for brands like Target, Agent Provocateur, Nike, and BCBGeneration. With all of this going on she still manages to bring her styling directly to you on OpenSky. She talked to us about working with celebrities on the red carpet and her top 3 style tips in our interview!

What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?

Gosh, so many amazing women out there! Can I choose 2? Vivienne Westwood and Wangari Maathai really inspire me on so many levels, they are so unique and courageous. As an African girl, both of these women’s work (especially) in Kenya is very close my to my heart. Vivienne Westwood for her wild imagination and individuality. She is a creative genius as well as a smart business woman and humanitarian. Wangari Maathai was just the most incredible human being, political activist and environmentalist.

How did you get your start as a stylist?

I worked as an assistant at Allure magazine and became hooked.

What’s your favorite look that you’ve created?

As far as red carpet goes, I LOVE the two gowns Emma Watson wore for her last two Harry Potter premieres, Oscar De Le Renta in London and Bottega Veneta in NYC. They were so completely different, I love how brave Emma is in that way. It was the end of a chapter.

Who do you want to work with?

In my fantasy I’d love to work with Coco Chanel to create a look for Francoise Hardy, but in real life I’d happily settle to shoot a cover for Vanity Fair with Annie Leibowitz, she is still one of my favorite photographers, her pictures are always so elegant.

What part of styling is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?

The most challenging is to keep it new and fresh whilst staying true to your style and voice. The part I dislike is that you can work for a week to round up the most fantastic array of clothing for a shoot and have racks upon racks of amazing pieces and you have to narrow it down to 8 looks.

Top 3 style tips to share with our readers:

1) Never try and squeeze into anything that is too small! It’s uncomfortable and we don’t want to see it!
2) Take a long, honest look in the mirror, figure out your assets and which parts you might want to disguise and work out from there what shapes and clothing pieces work on your body to flatter you most.
3) Add a pop of color to any outfit with a bright clutch or cocktail ring.

Any advice for ladies who are just starting out as stylists in the fashion industry?

Persevere! Its takes a minute and can sometimes seem hopeless but when you least expect it, something amazing comes up that can change everything in an instant.

Check out Anita on her website.

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