a stylists perspective

Getting “dressed” can be tough at times…pulling together or developing a “look” often takes creativity and sometimes a fearlessness that not many have. A situation recently arose where I spent time with stylists and the assistants that often tag along with them. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten any insight into the hustle of what isn’t always a glamorous profession and was intrigued by the characters, the coordination and the final product of an expertly styled ad campaign. Thankfully Gillian Steinhardt (celebrity stylist now based in New York City) was recently introduced to me through a mutual friend, and I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with her.

A Toronto native, Gillian studied at Parsons School of Design and sort of fell into the world of styling. It was her first professional job as a stylist for a David Bowie music video being shot in her hometown that solidified her interest in the profession, and she has paved her way ever since through styling for print, television, advertising campaigns and red carpet events across the country.

An aspiring jewelry designer and world traveller, Gillian offered a glimpse into her professional world, and what inspires her.

Gillian Steinhardt, celebrity stylist.

“A day in the life of a stylist is very busy. It’s very important to keep up with as many collections as possible from hi-end to low-end. I usually spend my time meeting with designers, visiting showrooms and in various retail stores keeping my eyes peeled for pieces that I know would work for any of my clients for upcoming events or appearances.

I think styling is also very much a collaboration between the person you are dressing and the stylist. It’s all about finding looks that really suit the person you are dressing; creating a strong and unique style that they can pull off. When you see how looks start to take form on an individual, can understand the silhouettes that work best, pushing their own boundaries, and yet keeping the look connected to their own personality, the person’s own sense of style starts to take shape and from there it’s about building up those basic elements, exploring new ideas but always remaining true to the person. .

In terms of trends, I am looking at everything all the time. I think softer colors and
silhouettes are of interest to me right now. I like irregular hemlines like calf-length in front and floor-length in back.

I am always interested in red carpet dressing. I did Jennifer Nettles of the band Sugarland for the Grammy’s last year, and dressed her in a magnificent red and black cut out Victoria Beckham gown for the carpet, and Martin Grant bustier and vintage butterfly belt for her performance with Bon Jovi. I like dressing musicians for major televised events and appearances. It’s a great deal of stress but worth it when all the elements come together.”

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