For the longest time, people have told me, “You should be a fashion stylist.” I accept the compliment, but not the advice, because I’ve always known there is more to being a stylist than putting together a cute outfit. Looks at it this way, just because a person can sew, doesn’t mean she can be a designer. And just because a spunky fashion blogger can dress well, doesn’t mean she can be a stylist. I leave that to my good friend Christie Moeller, Las Vegas Fashion Stylist.
I initially met Moeller on Twitter, and then we met in person when I wrote the feature article “Does Fashion Exist in Las Vegas?” for Vegas Seven. Moeller was one of my personally-selected experts featured in the piece. Since then, we have kept in touch and become great friends.
A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to shadow Moeller as she styled and helped to manage an editorial shoot at Sugar Factory for Vegas Player Magazine, where she is the Fashion Director. As I stated before, I am already well-aware of the talents and skills necessary to be a fashion stylist, but what I also learned while watching Moeller work is that a fashion stylist needs stamina, the ability to look beyond her own tastes and opinions, and the ability to work well with other personalities. Moeller’s shoot that day lasted 14 hours. I was able to hang out for about one. So much for my stamina!
“Being a fashion stylist is a great career, but it isn’t as glamourous as everyone thinks,” confirms Moeller. “You work many hours that you do not get paid for, and you’ll receive very little pats on the back.” She also says there’s no calling in sick and that planning vacations and holidays is very difficult. For Moeller, being a fashion stylist is not only a job, it’s a lifestyle. “But there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a project you put blood, sweat and tears into on a glorious shiny page in an oversize magazine,” she exclaims.
According to Moeller, being ethical is another important quality. “I think the ethical factor is the demise of many would-be stylists,” she states. “You never return clothing to a store that has been worn (unless there was an agreement beforehand) and you never lie about you experience. Nothing makes a client or another stylist more upset than a liar who sells herself as something she is not.”
Other traits a stylist must embody: the ability to build solid relationships with designers and PR firms, in order to get clothing for photo shoots, and meticulous organizational skills. “It really is hard work, not just shopping and lunching,” describes Moeller.
Since high school, Moeller has been involved in styling, working on the costumes for every school theatrical production. She then continued this passion in college, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Film, TV. After college, Moeller moved to Los Angeles, working as a wardrobe assistant. But it was when she met a successful fashion stylist who inspired and guided her that Moeller decided fashion was her future. She could have decided to stay in L.A., but she enjoys calling Vegas home. “Las Vegas has been good to me,” says Moeller. “Sometimes it’s difficult because many of the clients here just don’t understand fashion, but they are coming around. Vegas is getting more fashionable everyday, especially with all the great shopping.”
Moeller claims that being a fashion director is what she does best, and as her career moves forward, she intends on focusing more on magazines and national ad campaigns, and less on personal styling, “Except my celebrity clients,” Moeller clarifies. Her advice to aspiring stylists is to decide exactly what kind of stylist they would like to be: fashion, personal, celebrity, designer, film and television costumer, buyer, fashion editor or director. “Figure it out then find someone who does what you want to do and intern or shadow them,” Moeller advises, “You will learn so much from actually watching another stylist.” I know I sure did.
See below for some of the cute fashion pieces Moeller used in her fashion photo shoot. And look for the summer issue of Vegas Player Magazine to see the photos from that shoot. For more information on Moeller, visit her website at www.icanstyleu.com and read her blog at www.icanstyleu.com/blog.