I’ve read loads of fashion books but I don’t think I’ve learnt as much from any of them as I have from Sasha Charnin Morrisons Secrets of Stylists An Insiders Guide to Styling the Stars. Working in fashion for over twenty years Ms. M has a lot of experience, she has worked at Harpers Bazaar, Mirabella, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, Elle and Allure and at the moment she’s the fashion director at Us Weekly. Reading her introduction to the book I gotta tell you I was Jealous (that’s right capital J and italics!). Sasha reminisces about her first taste of the fashion world, watching Vogue shoots (!) with her step mother and visiting the legendary Vogue closet (!!!). I was predisposed to hate her as a result of major jealousy, however as I read on, the book turned out to be so good my jealousy was put aside in favour of admiration.
The main message of the book is that this, being successful in fashion, is not easy, it’s not all glamour, it’s hard work and involves a lot of sacrifice. This is reiterated many times throughout the book. Yet Sashas passion for the world she’s made her own shines through.
“The one thing I find really amazing is that once they’re in it, no one speaks of getting out. They all know they were born to do this. There are days that are dreadful, but they never say they want out. There’s a desire to be around the drama, the intensity and the clothing.”
For me the highlights of the book were many. I loved her pages on Basic Training, how to educate yourself in styling, there are many great tips and hints. There are fantastic interviews with fashion industry peeps like Nicole Chavez (stylist to Rachel Bilson, Kristen Bell and Scarlett Johansson), Lori Kaplan (of Bra Tenders) and even Lady Starlight (helped to inspire Lady Gagas aesthetic) among many many more. My favourite part by far is Chapter Four Influences, Icons and Inspiration which teaches you about referencing past styles and highlights some important moments/people to take note of. This chapter still has me in rapture!
This is not really a book for someone who is looking for style advice for dressing themselves, it’s completely career orientated. It’s a great book for anyone looking to work in fashion someday, the tips are fantastic. I know one hundred percent I’ll still be reading and referring back to Secrets of Stylists this time next year. It’s realistic and extremely practical.
This book has given me new ideas, new thoughts and a new perspective. It’s made me realize that even though I don’t want to be a celeb stylist I’d love to be an editorial stylist. It also made me think about what stars I would like to work with (Amy Winehouse, RIP, tops the list, followed by Lana Del Ray). I’ve been reading and rereading this book every day since I got it (over two weeks ago) and know I’ll be reading it again tonight and tomorrow because I keep finding new names to research and new nuggets of wisdom to write down. This book was totally worth what I paid (twenty two euro), I’m so glad I bought it!