Whether you like to admit it or not, putting together an email, presenting your dinner on a plate or choosing what to wear in the morning demonstrates that styling is a big part of our daily life. From the moment social media detonated, the the concept of styling was catapulted particularly in the fast paced fashion industry. More and more people are now desperate to get into styling; all you have to do is check the digital space to see the rise of mediocre bloggers fiercely throwing out their ‘looks’ to know it’s becoming the latest trend. But you have to do it right, you need the experience and you need the contacts. Being creative and being able to network – are the two mutually exclusive or can you really be an expert in both?
Fashion Director, Creative Consultant and Stylist Tamara Cincik is a creative genius who has worked on huge shows, with big name celebrities and has also contributed to Vogue, Stylist and many more magazines. I chatted to Tamara to find out more and learn how you too can make it big in the world of styling.
Q. Your website demonstrates lots of fantastic commercial work that you’ve done. From Erin O’Connor to Lily Cole, Yasmin le Bon to Eva Herzigova and my favourite, Paloma Faith. Do you ever feel under pressure to ‘get it right’ when you’re working? Some of the work that you’ve done like the M&S Per Una campaign, is there pressure to conform?
I think a commercial client shoot requires you to understand that this is their universe and just as when I worked with artists such as Martin Parr, I need to respect that world view. At the same time, they hired me for mine, meaning they each shoot will be a creative conversation. With celebrities I tend to collaborate: these are intelligent creative people and I do feel that it is best to treat them as such and bring ideas to them, to inspire, push, cajole, translate, which then we can develop.
Q. When did you realise that you were going to become a stylist? Was there anything in particular that influenced your decision?
An issue of Vogue Paris with a shoot by Max Vadukyl and Nicoletta Santoro. It was a road trip in black and white and really inspired me into wanting to be a stylist. I was in my final year at UCL reading English at the time.
Q. I remember applying for jobs in London from my parents kitchen table in Wales, determined that I was going to break into the business side of the fashion industry. Going to any other city was not an option for me. Did you have a moment where you were so adamant that you were going to become a stylist? Tell us how you broke into the industry…
I interned! And then I interned!
I worked weekends, would be the last to leave and the first there and would even come to assist on shoots straight from all night raves! I loved styling so much that I was super keen and I think that shined through. I hope so! When I put my mind to something, I am very persistent!
Q. Tamara, you’ve worked on some fantastic videos. Styling Sophie Ellis Bexter for Dulux adverts, BMW campaigns, even Charlotte Church and Bat for Lashes. Which has been your favourite video to work on and why?
I love my girls! They’re really special and super talented. Each day I am with them is a total treat. The Dulux campaign was great as we had a lovely team, Sophie looked amazing and the location house was ridiculously gorgeous – oh yes and I just remembered – we had incredible Turkish food for the catering! What I am doing next with Bat For Lashes is super exciting, watch this space!
Q. How long does it normally take you from start to finish to style one of the vids?
I have been known to turn a job around in a day. I think ideally you want time to create moodboards and have things made or altered and hold a fitting day, meaning a week/10 days, but this isn’t always viable.
Q. You’ve styled some brilliant shows. That look in the Ashley Isham SS 2010 show with the blue dress is my absolute favourite – do you have any particular shows that you’re most proud of?
My first show was for Christian Lacroix. That was an incredible honour. He and his house were ridiculously talented and we were able to create jewellery and leather ware to my designs. The last show I styled for Zeynep Tosun, was also very pretty: I had strong leather bodices made to go over the coats, which looked amazing.
Q. If you weren’t a stylist, what would you be doing?
Writing. Interior designing. Going into politics. I would oscillate between these three!
Q. I’m very envious of your writing. The interview with Mary Portas, (Queen of Shops and obviously red hair do’s) and the review for Diane Pernet’s ‘A Shaded View On Fashion’ (Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen) were both tremendous. What advice would you give people who want to write as brilliantly? Do you have a particular strategy when it comes to writing an article?
Thank you! Writing is my true love so I think it is what I am the most nervous of and when I do write it is an ad lib and then edit the results, hopefully removing the typos!
Q. Finally, you’ve already had such a wonderful career. What does the future hold for you? What are your ambitions or dreams long term?
I would like to launch a publication which has amazing images but also strong written content, covering everything from politics, to interiors, sustainable food and how to make your own remedies; and more. Too many style magazines are weak on content and too many wordy publications are visually dull. I also want to initiate a charity for food banks. It’s a disgrace that such a wealthy country has 1000,000 food bank users: I would like to do more to help.
Q. I have to ask you, what is your favourite place to shop with a £200 budget?
Mishka Vintage, 210-212 Middle Lane, N8 7LA. Lizzie the owner has an incredible eye: I have a genius original YSL Safari jacket from her, for £75 (mates rate bargain of the year!), I wear all the time. Going on a Saturday afternoon when her girlfriends come in for champagne and crisps(!), is always hilarious! Lizzie really has a consummate knowledge of vintage design and the shop is a treasure trove.