We wanted to show more about their work and we found Amanda Tan, a fashion stylist who has been at it for several years. Her portfolio consists of brands like Zalora, CLEO and other independent magazines like CAKE MAG, Liike Magazine and Dreamingless Magazine. Her personality shines through in the feature and you can tell that she really enjoys her work.
- Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
- Amanda (A): I’m a Fashion Stylist based in SG. I style, coordinate and direct shoots. Been in this line for about 7 years now; started as an intern in Harpers Bazaar, went on to being a few stylists’ assistant, and now here I am, on my own!
- What exactly does a Fashion Stylist do pre, post and during the shoot? Can you bring us through the whole process?
- A: Ogod this is gonna be quite an essay so brace yourself! For magazine editorials, I will come up with a moodboard (concept + hair, makeup and lighting references etc), cast models, get in touch with a photographer, hair and makeup artists, recce for locations if it’s an outdoor shoot, email brands – tell them the theme of my shoot, ask for looks available and then pick them up or get them sent to me.
For commercial styling jobs, I’ll do up a styling deck and later propose it to the client, and then moving forward it’s pretty much the same as an editorial shoot.
- A: Before the start of a shoot, I’d need to prep the clothes, and lay out all the shoes and accessories. I like working closely with the photographer and hair + makeup artists. It’s always great to have a team you can trust and have the same vision as you. I like to style spontaneously and not stick to a full look (unless necessary) as I tend to feel and be more creative when there’s all that positive energy going around. The team would bounce ideas off each other during the shoot. Once the shoot is done, the photog and I will go through the images together and pick our favourites. I’ll then wait for him/her to send over the retouched hi-res images. And yes I’d also need to pack up the clothes, accessories (everything!), and return them to the respective brands the next day – this is the unglamorous and tedious part of my job.
- Can you tell us 3 of your favourite styles/shoots you’ve done?
- A: Current top 3 favs are:
- A spread I did for Zalora titled Pastel Parade. Fun fact: The TV used in the shoot is mine and because it had been a white elephant at home, it didn’t turn on on that fateful day. The idea was to connect it to the photog’s camera so it’ll show the model’s face but alas. Anyways, I love the dreamy, effortless feel of the entire shoot.
- A: 2. The beauty spread: Coups de Pinceau for Dreamingless Magazine – The whole paint idea was something I wanted to do for the longest time, and for it to be executed so well, I’m really proud of myself and the team. We all went back with paint on our clothing. Mine just won’t come off, hence even more memorable.
- A: 3. A spread for Zalora too, titled Game On. I like my styling there (sorry, no shame) – clashing of prints and layering. It’s so vibrant and exciting!
- Some prefer indoor shoots while others prefer outdoor, each with its own pros and cons. Which do you prefer? And why?
- A: To be honest, I like them both equally – it really depends on the concept. Everything is more straightforward for studio shoots – steamers, racks… they’re all just there. And you can also do different kinds of hairstyles as it won’t be affected by the humidity in SG since it’s indoors. Logistics play a huge part for outdoor shoots. Not forgetting, the weather too. And because SG is so small, it can be a challenge to find new locations to shoot at – somewhere that’s not been ‘done before’.
- Can you tell us about some of the memorable experiences you had on the job?
- A: We went to a desert in Malacca once to shoot for a Zalora campaign and everyone almost died because of the heat. We ran outta water and it was a freaking 40 degree celsius. Also, walking/running on the sand drains the hell out of your energy. We wrapped the shoot in like 4hrs when it was supposed to be a full day shoot (8hrs). We got all the pictures we needed in the end anyways, so all’s good.
- For someone who is interested in becoming a fashion stylist, what advice do you have?
- A: Be prepared to work very hard. It isn’t glamorous. You gotta be tough – physically and mentally. It’s totally alright to start from the bottom, to assist and do all the nitty gritty stuff, because that’s when you learn the most, which in turn will help you a lot in future when you’re out on your own.
- A takeaway message for readers?
- A: Never get complacent in whatever you do. Always be humble and nice to others, to the photog’s or the producers’ assistants for example, because like you, yourself, one day, these people might/will be someone important in the industry – and they’ll remember your kindness. In short, karma is a very real thing.
Read on for more about Amanda!
28 | Taurus
Creative Approach // Never stop being inspired even by the littlest things in life
Fact // I don’t take myself too seriously
Message // Hardwork defo pays off. Don’t forget to have fun along the way too!
FUSSY // Mm. The front of the clothes must all be facing left when on the racks 😀