Fashion stylist Kendall Farr, author of The Pocket Stylist and Style Evolution, has worked all over the world. Her work has appeared in American and foreign editions of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour and InStyle as well as Harper’s and Queen, Tatler and Grazia. In our interview she talked about getting started in the fashion industry and the fun she’s having on OpenSky (which she calls “the future of styling looks”). Check it out!
What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspiration
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton inherited a foreign policy quagmire. Her cool under fire for the past four years inspires me.
How did you get your start as a stylist?
As an intern and then assistant at Seventeen.
From there I went on to my first solo gig as a NY-based stylist for the Italian weekly Grazia. I chose to be a freelance editor so that I could work for any magazine that would have me! And I have worked for them all – from foreign Vogues to Redbook. I just wanted the broadest experience possible. I built a book fast and was able to get an agent to sign me up.
Do you have a favorite look?
Since fashion is about now and next I don’t dwell much on what I have styled in the past. Curating a collection on OpenSky is the future of styling looks. The weekly opportunity to share ‘favorite looks’ with my followers is really exciting as I know that they will use my ideas to create looks that are entirely theirs. That potential reach of this is lot more satisfying than pages in my portfolio.
What part of styling is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
As the prostitute said “ It’s not the work. It’s the stairs.” Styling is an incredibly physical job. Prep and shoot days can be endless. My assistants and I are always the first to arrive hauling trunks and bags and more bags and the last to leave hauling trunks and bags and more bags.
Top 3 style tips to share with our readers:
If you are not wearing the right size and shape bra –nothing you wear will flatter you. Make sure this part of your proportion is right. Look, even models and actresses need help with this (big time). I have an arsenal of bras in my prop kit because most of them arrive for shoots wearing terrible bras that don’t fit.
Go to a good store and get measured. Spend money on the best bra(s) you can afford. Cheap out on panties. I like Gilligan and O’Malley boy shorts from Target.
Dress for Our Body First:
Always but always wear the shapes and proportions that are right for your body. Then plug in what’s happening in fashion with colors, textures, pattern and accessories. I see too many great looking women – every day – wearing something slavishly that doesn’t enhance their overall silhouette. Read: skinny jeans.
Hair and heels:
If your hair is relevant: the right cut or layers for your face combined with color that looks modern and your shoes (new or vintage) have a toe, heel, and color that places them in the right now then anything you wear is elevated.
Any advice for ladies who are just starting out as stylists in the fashion industry?
If you don’t have the constitution of a cart horse- forget about this avenue for a career in fashion. And know that what is presented as ‘styling’ on Bravo may make for good television but it is not realistic. There are many kinds of projects a stylist can take on.
Most of us break in as unpaid interns. If you are lucky enough to be taken on as someone’s assistant -be very organized and aware, listen well and watch everything that goes on around you and you will learn a lot. The people that wash out of styling are the ones who believe that their talent should enable them to skip the very necessary steps of learning how to properly manage every aspect of a project.
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