Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling is a grounding course that builds visual and communicative skills in fashion media styling and allows students to work alongside photographers, designers, curators and journalists within the creative environment.
Students work creatively and collaboratively throughout their time at LCF, essential skills for a successful career in the fashion industry. LCF News has been speaking to alumni to see how those skills have been transferable to a work context.
Marian Nachmia graduated in 2014, and built her experience through fashion styling, fashion editorial and studio assistant positions. She has worked at The Edit Magazine, part of the Yoox Net a Porter Group since April 2015.
She gave up some of her time to talk to us about why she wanted to study Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling, being the first student ever in the course to reach a distinction mark, and how she broke into the competitive field of fashion styling.
What made you want to study Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling?
I did a great deal of research before I apply for my course and I found that GDFMS was the only course, within a high valued college such as LCF , with a specific direction on styling. I loved the idea that the course included theory on fashion and I wanted to have an overall education in my field . GDFMS combined exactly those two areas. Although styling seems like a very practical course I had to write many essays during the year I was studying, do a lot of research and read many fashion theory books which helped me to create a holistic approach to this profession.
Did you always want to study at London College of Fashion?
Absolutely! I wanted to study in a prestigious college with strong personalities as tutors and this is exactly what LCF offered me. It was my first and only choice. The best choice I’ve ever made. The level is high and this is exactly what I wanted.
Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling is quite a specific course, did you always want to be a fashion stylist?
It is a specific course indeed! I knew I had a flare for styling and that I was very creative. I love all forms of media ( advertising, magazines, tv) so when I saw the course I said: this is it!
In the country I come from, fashion is not a field where you can make a living from and although I always loved fashion, It never crossed my mind that I could do this job for real. I used to watch fashion shows of the new collections on fashion TV and collect Vogue issues visualising that I was on set shooting these editorials but only when I came across this course was when I started to think about it more seriously. After I had my first interview with the course leader Diana Donaldson, I felt so magnetised by her strength and personality that I wanted to be in that course even more. I had to be in her class and have her as my mentor. She’s absolutely extraordinary and I knew it was the right thing for me.
You were the first ever student to receive a Distinction in the history of the course. How did that make you feel?
It felt such an accomplishment! Wonderful ! That was my target. I wanted to excel and I worked so hard to get there. It was a year that I gave it my all but it paid off and that made me feel proud and accomplished. Most of all though it made me feel so grateful to my tutor and mentor Diana, who taught me everything and was my leader in that journey. I’m dedicating this Distinction to her. With the best leader you get the best results. It’s that simple.
As a fashion stylist, what does a normal day at work entail?
A normal day is always a busy one! I start by going to the office at 9:30, looking at emails and checking if all the samples I have borrowed for the shoot have gone back to their destination safely. Then I start prepping for my next shoot by looking at the collections and deciding which looks go with the story we want to shoot. Communicating with the PRs is a day to day duty for calling in samples and negotiating looks. When the looks arrive I check if they are exactly as I though they would, then prep the rails so everything is neat and clear. If the shoot is the next day, that means packing in cases and getting up at 5-6 am to go to the location. Unpack, steam and shoot. Then return to the office, unpack (again!) and return the samples. As a stylist you will have to do research on your model, location and references. It’s a creative but multitasking job and you need to be up for anything! From shooting in a windy mountain to a boat, you have to be always prepared!
What’s been your favourite job or publication to work for as a fashion stylist?
There are a couple of world reknowned magazines with so much history and legendary imagery. So many talented photographers , designers and dreamy locations. I always dreamed I was a part of these shoots. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Porter, all these are magazines I would aspire to work in the future although I have worked for shoots being published in Vogue Paris, W, Porter, LOVE which makes my dream partly accomplished!
Fashion styling is quite a competitive field, how do you go about making a name for yourself and separating yourself from other stylists?
It’s is truly a competitive field. I always say that being nice to people, working hard and going an extra mile for your co-workers always pays off. When you do great from all aspects in a job, people will suggest you for the next one. It’s having this mentality of always trying for the best that will take you far. What make me different from others is that I am very flexible as a stylist, I’m extremely professional, I have a creative direction instinct which the photographers and clients love, I never stop working for the best result but most of all, I love what I do, I connect with people and I’m always positive. This can-do attitude works magic!
You’ve worked for Hello!Russia and Beauty and Health Russia, is the industry/market different to the UK’s?
Yes and No . There are different ways that you would style a story in China, in the US or Russia. This would definitely be very distinctive in a big fashion magazine that creates trends such as Vogue or Harper’s . But for more commercial magazines I would say the market is not very different. In terms of the industry it’s as hard to break in as in the UK. You need connections and a good reputation.
What were you favourite things about studying Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling, would you encourage students to do it?
Definitely! The course will teach them everything they need to know about the industry, while the projects will open their mind from how to create a fashion film to producing your own shoots and sourcing samples it is the best starting point if you want to be a stylist. Diana Donaldson is such an inspiring tutor with so much experience and knowledge of the field. I loved everything about this course. From the industry visits to the individual projects, everything is designed to take you a step further. With Diana as a leader it’s a win all the way. If you want to be a stylist this is the course for you.