Sheetz

Here’s a new Sheetz commercial where I did the wardrobe styling.  I was requested by the agency to duplicate two looks taken from an old Free People lookbook.  This seemed simple at first glance.  All I needed to do was to go into the 5 Free People locations across the city and look for these items, but of course, nothing is ever that easy.  I quickly learned that the images were taken from a previous season and only a couple of the pieces were available in store.  I also knew that you never want to be married to one look and not present other options in case the looks didn’t come alive on the talent as the agency originally hoped.  This could be due to fit issues or the fact that sometimes, even trained actors, can’t make an outfit look convincing as if something they’d actually wear.

In the end the scavenger hunt was a success.  I found a number of items that were near replicas of the original Free People tears in a number of sizes, and other options in case the client changed their minds once the saw it in person.  This project is just another great example of making sure you shop for more than what was originally asked of you.

Thank you MK Films for having me on board!

Beats by Dre

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This was a super fun shoot with the uber talented Chicago photographer, Marcus Smith for Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.  We shot Australian rugby superstar, Matt Giteau at a gym near Notre Dame.  I knew going into prepping this project that this was going to be shot in black and white, therefore it was all about texture and sheen.  Shopping for athletic wear is often a challenge because everything is covered with logos, and even though in this digital age it’s an easy fix in Photoshop, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by finding items with minimal logos.  The surprising best place to find such sportswear is Kohl’s and Target.  You can hit the obvious choices like Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting goods, but most things will contain some kind logo on them.  Fit is also a key element in sourcing athletic wear when you’re trying to capture motion.  In styling print you always have the crutch of pinning wherever the camera doesn’t see to get the perfect fit, but when trying to capture movement, you want the apparel to fit properly so that the movement of the fabric during the stills looks realistic, not pulled.  This means that you need to bracket sizes and buy multiples of each option.

This was part of a series Marcus did for Beats by Dre.  You can see more of this series on his website, here.

Selfies at the Field Museum

Anyone else a big fan of Arrested Development?  How about that Lucille Bluth?
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.23.58 AMShe was my classy/worldly older woman inspiration for styling one of the actors for this project I did for the Field Museum with the super talented photographer, Taylor Castle last spring.Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.36.49 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.37.06 AM

Here are a couple of other fun shots from the campaign.

Disclaimer: No selfie sticks were present.  These selfies took a crew of around twenty people.

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My new work uniform

It’s tricky getting dressed as a wardrobe/prop stylist.  You want to look like you’re put together because, well, that’s your job, but I also need to run around like a maniac all day while climbing up things, getting down on my knees, taking on and off my shoes, hauling Ikea bags full of wardrobe, jumping in and out of cube trucks.  You name it; I’m half stylist, half construction worker, half mule, half kid wrangler.  I also need to be able to stand for 12 hours and bend over while not showing my bits.

The next challenge I’ve run into as a wardrobe stylist is that I fear having decision fatigue.  Since there is zero consistency to my job, each day presents new set questions as to how I’m going to tackle something.  All day, every day, I’m making decisions for the better of the project and now, especially since having my daughter, I fear exhausting my creativity and common sense.  (I knew I needed to find a short-cut when my husband asked what I wanted for dinner, and I responded, “I just want you to put food in front of my face.”  My brain was fried.)  If I can find one less thing in a day to decide, the better.  I present to you, the JUMPSUIT.

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JUMPSUIT is an ungendered, multi-use monogarment for everyday wear. It will be disseminated in two forms: as a pre-made garment for purchase, and as an open-source pattern, available to download free of charge. The Rational Dress Society, LLC., is currently developing a comprehensive new sizing system that can accommodate up to 48 different body types using gender-neutral terminology. Profits from JUMPSUIT will go into a fund to purchase a full page ad in American Vogue. The publication of the ad will mark the end of JUMPSUIT.   –  The Rational Dress Society

Not only is the JUMPSUIT functional, it fits like a dream.  It’s beautifully made in Chicago, comes in durable fabrics, and is machine washable.  Yes, it’s perfect.  I have adopted this beauty in both the white and black as my new work uniform.

Read more about JUMPSUIT‘s mission and order your own JUMPSUIT here.

 

 

Poor Blog is sitting in the back seat

I hate an excuse post, but I feel like I must come clean on why this poor blog has taken the back seat.  I think about you all the time, honestly I do, but the photo industry in Chicago has been completely bonkers busy for months and months, and I also have a 13 month old amazing human being to watch after who obviously comes before trying to market myself in any way, which has made it nearly impossible to come here to report all of the fun things that I’ve been working on.  There have been so many great projects like Land of Nod, Sprint, Beats for Apple, State Farm, Mercedes, Nike, Advocate, Walgreens, Kraft, Virgin Hotels, etc., that I need to dig up and write the post that these jobs deserve.  I also have some personal fashion discoveries that I want to share (the world’s most perfect jumpsuit).  Soon, my friends…  Until then, happy fall.

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Less is more

I know that I’m not alone here in the styling community by saying, “I HATE STUFF.”  An interesting side effect of being a stylist and always having to shop all day, everyday and accumulating things, then returning them, then finding a home for the remaining things is that you start to not want anything.  Being surrounded by things becomes exhausting.  I was recently reading an article in The Atlantic about the season finale of Mad Men (so good!), and it made me think of the interesting side effect in working in advertising can do to you.

The guy who got his stuff by making other people want stuff got rid of his stuff. And ended up in a place that claims to hate stuff.  – Megan Garber for The Atlantic

Weird, right?  Who knew that being consumed by trying to find the best way to present something in order for people to desire it would make you personally not desire anything!  I’ve definitely followed Draper’s suit in wanting less in my home and in my closet, and more in my experiences.

This then made me think of the interesting article that has been floating around the internet about a creative woman who didn’t want to have to make more creative choices than her daily life already presented her and decided to pare down her closet by wearing essentially the same thing everyday.  You see this a lot with executives, Steve Jobbs comes to mind, who come up with a “uniform” in order to make their life more simple so that they can be more creative.  I love that idea, think about it daily when I’m getting dressed, but haven’t been able to commit to a look.  Perhaps this should be my goal for the new year.

I don’t look at being anti-things as a negative because over consumption is never a good thing.  I just find it interesting that the person in charge of all the shopping for shoots to hopefully successfully make the consumer consume, feels they need less in their lives.  Bottom line, I say shopaholics rejoice; follow your dreams to become a stylist and your credit cards will thank you for lifting the weight off their balance.

 

ULTA

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I had loads of fun prop styling for San Francisco photographer, Sasha Gulish for ULTA.  My inner tomboy was pushed aside to find all the beautifully bright girly props in Chicagoland.  Seeing how our demographic was trendy gals in their mid 20’s, I only shopped at stores that cater to that crowd; Target, Home Goods, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, CB2, etc.  I ended up seeing these images months after the shoot while picking up makeup at ULTA and chuckled to myself because I was wearing all black, which made me feel proud of my ability to become a chameleon to whatever the client requests.  Styling is a bit like acting; to be successful at producing the client’s vision, you must play the part of who they are selling to by shopping in that mindset.  It has little to do with your personal taste, it’s rather your ability to successfully and tastefully fulfill a role.  The world doesn’t need to know that I hate pink.  They instead see that the ULTA shopper is someone who is on trend, happy, and enjoys beautiful things.

Re/Max

Re:MaxI’d like to start this post with a disclaimer: I DID NOT MAKE THIS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING HOUSE OF CARDS, but I’m sure glad I got to meet the guy that did.  This is a good example of the difference between a prop “master” and a prop “stylist.”  A prop “master” is someone who builds props for productions.  I often get requests to build props that aren’t readily available, but it’s never anything to this complexity.  If I were to build something of this magnitude, I’d be pretty confidant that you could fill an 8 hour audio book of me cursing.  Rich Schiller was the genius behind this task.  You know when you’ve come across a true “master” who brushes his shoulders with this stuff when destroying his masterpiece after the shoot affected him like killing a fly.

I, as the “stylist” was responsible for providing all the clothing and furniture/decor items you see in the shot, as well as all the rugs, lamp, pillow, chotchkies, and rack of clothing and shoes that didn’t make the cut.  Then on the day of the shoot, I finesse everything for the art director and photographer so that everyone walks away happy.

A HUGE thank you to Saverio Truglia for having me on board this fun project!

Creative Credits

Client: Re/Max, Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago, Art Director: Flavio Pina, Art Producer: Mariana Perin, Photographer: Saverio Truglia, Props: Rich Schiller, Retouching: Stick Digital, CGI: Paradigm Color, Producer: Monica Zaffarano, Styling: Courtney Rust, Hair and Make up: Gina Ussel, Location: Levinson Locations