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.

 

 

The True Cost

If you love to shop, or really, if you’ve ever bought clothing for yourself (I’m guessing you have), WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY.      True Cost Movie is currently available on Netflix.

As someone who has spent over 50% of their career in stores this documentary really struck a chord.  It made me think about the woman who I saw buy 52 pairs of flip-flops at Old Navy the other day because they were on sale for $1.  FIFTY TWO PAIRS OF FLIP-FLOPS.  I’m not pointing my finger, this is just an example of how easy and cheap it is to buy massive quantities of something we may never use.  I get it, we all want more money in our pocket.  We want 3 items for the price of 1 because that’s a great deal.  We’re winning with more stuff and more money.  Unfortunately, just like everything else in this world, when it’s too good to be true, then it’s actually too good to be true.  Someone is suffering and it isn’t your credit card.

Trust me, I’m not perfect either.  I often fall victim to whatever cute/on trend/affordable whateverness I see while I’m at Zara for work and make impulse purchases that I always later regret generally after the first wash when the item falls apart.  I didn’t need it, and now it’s waste.  I donate my clothes, but now I know from this documentary that there’s a small chance that someone else ends up wearing any of it.  Instead, it ends up in a landfill next to my plastic water bottle.  I’m not on a soapbox here.  I understand the irony of the person who shops for their career and makes a good living at it, telling people who shop less and make less money to save their hard-earned cash to only buy things made locally from their crafty neighbors.  It’s the same as people who can afford to live in San Francisco telling all of us to only eat organic.  It’s a luxury to buy hand-crafted goods.  They’re expensive and for good reason.  A lot of heart and soul went into these products.  They’re expensive because they took time and a lot of skill.  But here’s the thing, so did the items that are on the sale rack at Zara and H&M.  These companies don’t have machines that print out clothing.  They’re made by real people who are extremely skilled, but will never be compensated for it.

Just like the green movement, consumers aren’t single-handedly going to change the clothing industry by boycotting these stores and only buying locally.   It’s not realistic.  This problem isn’t completely our fault.  It’s confusing to be a consumer in today’s world.  It’s too much work to know where every item we buy is coming from and at what cost.  With that said, I think we all can reevaluate what we’re really buying when we’re standing in line at the checkout.  When new clothes become cheaper than clothes at a thrift store, there’s a problem and it’s costing all of us more than we realize.

I wish there was a clear answer, but there’s not.  If I were to take a stab at it, I would say that it is pretty clear that the system is corrupt and there needs to be more regulation overseas and we need to crack down on the companies in the U.S. who are supporting these factories by ordering from them.  The government needs to crack down on this industry, and the executives of these brands needs to be held accountable.  Everyone is passing the blame saying it’s not me, I didn’t know my garments were being made in such a horrible working environment, yet that doesn’t create change.  There needs to be some accountability from everyone, including the consumer.  I don’t want the factories to go away.  These people need jobs, but they also need to be treated as humans, not slaves.  The downfall of regulation is that our clothing will become more expensive if the workers start to make more money.  But think of it this way, the clothes we put on our body are no different then the food we put in our body, we’re trading cost for our health and humanity.  If we saw our neighbor burn to death in a factory fire, we’d want change.  If we saw our farmer neighbor have a brain tumor from pesticides, we’d want change.  I want change, I want to figure out how I can help, I want to make more conscious purchases, and I want to see change happen overseas.  It’s overwhelming.  Where do I even begin?!

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.

 

#Girlboss

photoHere’s my recommendation for some pool side reading to any young entrepreneur.  Boys, don’t let the name deter you.  It’s for everyone.

Sophia Amoruso, founder of the wildly successful online shop Nasty Gal, talks to you like a friend and breaks down how she got to where she is today with tips on how to interview, how to be optimize your work experience, and how to not be afraid of failure.

The first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online wasn’t fashion—it was a stolen book. She spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and dumpster diving. By twenty-two, she had resigned herself to employment, but was still broke, directionless, and working a mediocre day job she’d taken for the health insurance.

It was there that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Eight years later, she is the founder, CEO, and creative director of Nasty Gal, a $100 million plus online fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. Sophia’s never been a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is winding as all hell and lined with naysayers.

Some quotes taken from #GIRLBOSS:

“A #GIRLBOSS is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it.”

“I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let The Man get to you. OK? Cool.  Then let’s do this.”

“Failure is your invention.”

Here’s a great review on #GIRLBOSS on NY Mag’s The Cut, HERE.

Read this book.  Amen, Sophia.  You ARE a special snowflake.

 

 

Prop Glasses

Finding good looking, prescription-less prop glasses in store is a bit of a challenge.  There’s a lot of trendy options out there, but when the art director asks for you to present eyewear options to make the hunky model look a wee bit smarter while playing a doctor, you’ll want some everyday glasses on hand.  You can order these online for cheap from Bleu Dame, or for even more options for a little more change, Zenni Optical.

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Full Time Internship Opportunity

I’m currently on the prowl for a dedicated intern for the months of May, June and July.  Job responsibilities include:

  • Researching products/wardrobe for commercial assignments.
  • Assisting me on shopping days where you will learn how to shop efficiently and skillfully for an assignment.
  • Organizing props and wardrobe in preparation for an assignment.
  • Accompanying me on shoots: Loading from studio to shoot’s location, setting up items in an organized fashion, paying close attention to the set and my wants/needs to get the job done, breakdown of set up, and loading out.
  • Wrapping a job: Organizing wardrobe and props to the correct receipts, returning items back to stores while learning how to be incredibly organizing with receipts, and paperwork/scanning of receipts for the client.

Applicants MUST possess all of the following:

  • A car.
  • Physically fit.
  • Organized.
  • Punctual.
  • Flexible schedule.
  • Service experience.
  • Great attitude.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Team player.

Fashion and/or design experience is not necessary.

Job expectations:

  • I expect you from Monday to Friday to have a wide open schedule to work along with my schedule.  Some weeks I may need you 20 hours, some weeks it may be 50 hours.  You’ll learn that being freelance doesn’t mean you pick your schedule, it rather means you have no control of your schedule.
  • You must be able to commit to all three months of the internship: May, June and July.  You will have the week of July 4th off for vacation.

Deadlines for applicants is APRIL 4th, 2014.  Please email courtney@courtneyrust.com with a cover letter of why you think you’d be a great fit for this internship and what your goals are in the future.  Please also include a resume.  The internship will start with on April 28th or May 5th depending on my schedule, and will go until Friday, August 1st.  I will be interviewing applicants through the month of April.  This is a paid internship.  Compensation will be discussed with final applicants.

I look forward to meeting you!!!

 

 

Some words to live by

I saw this on my photographer friend’s blog.

“Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don’t be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends that lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate freedom, and young enough to truly enjoy it. Finally know who you are.” – Kristen Armstong