What is a Stylist?
A stylist is a consultant who chooses clothes for celebrities, musicians, and public
figures for their public appearances. When it comes to the touring music industry, a stylist contributes to the live show in a visual sense, making sure that the musician’s/brand’s aesthetic has a strong stage presence.
Just like a photographer on a tour, a stylist is both a crew member and an artist. They not only do their job but put a certain amount of their creativity and self-expression in their role.
Skills Required to be a Stylist
It all comes down to working as a team. What is expected from a stylist is to understand the artist’s purpose, how they want to be perceived, and what inspires them. It is also important to make sure that the dancers and the band (if any) are taken care of and harmonized clothing-wise.
There are so many levels of what a stylist can do, and it depends on the client. However, the most important thing a stylist needs to make sure is that how their client feels on the inside is expressed on the outside. It is undeniable for the digital era we live in that the emotions are stimulated, and narratives are controlled by clothing. For this reason, an established style defines the artist, and visual branding in marketing for musicians is crucial. The stylist helps artists to use fashion as a medium to tell their stories.
Sometimes a stylist gets hired for a show and sometimes for the whole thing. When the artist needs multiple looks and when the press is involved, the stylist needs to create a whole wardrobe for them where they get to have all the looks including shows, day-to-day, press events, and red carpets.
Daily Tasks of a Stylist on Tour
A tour day for a stylist starts with waking up early and getting the wardrobe cases off of the trucks to place them in the dressing rooms or the staging room. Immediately after, the laundry is taken care of and the clothes that need to be mended are fixed. The job definition here might sound a lot like what a production coordinator or a band assistant does, but when a stylist is on the tour, they take care of managing these things. For big shows that require more crew members to get the job done, the stylist can have a team to manage to ensure everything is “show ready”.
Working with Other Crew Members
Depending on what is needed for the day, the stylist can ask the production to make sure they have a local tailor on the side to fix anything that needs to be fixed. Also, being in a creative team, the stylist works with set designers and choreographers to make sure they are on the same page; and that the clothes will work within the stage design and choreography. Additionally, collaborating with photographers and lighting designers to make the visual part of the show possible is what is expected from the stylist.
- Wardrobe malfunction is the worst thing that can happen on a tour. Make sure to avoid that.
- Get ready to do A LOT OF laundry.
- If something -like a leather jacket- can’t be cleaned every night, use the cheapest vodka that you can find. Spray the pits and the back and you are bacteria-free.