Great Assignments so far!!

We are in full swing now with school and all I can dream about is wishing I was at fashion week in NYC, not that I don’t love my lovely students, in fact this semester has been off to a great start!

I’m a beyond impressed with some of the assignments that have been turned in so far.  Either my students are getting smarter or maybe I’m just getting better at explaining things :)!

I was really happy with the stylist research assignment.  Nice to see many of you research established stylists such as:

  • Judy Blame
  • Marie- Amelie Sauve
  • Katie Grand
  • Edward Enninful
  • Leith Clark
  • Melanie Ward
  • Nicola Formichetti

The “made for TV” stylists are great but the names above are some of the true visionaries in our field, who don’t get the often-deserved, recognition.

The moodboard assignment was due last week with links to your Pinterest board (or Polyvore set).  Some of these blew me away.  You really took this assignment and ran with it!

For those not in my class – students are required to choose an icon from a list I provided and come up with a fashion story/concept that they will present to a fashion editor at Vogue (we are pretending here!).  They have to include looks for clothing/accessories, model choices, hair and makeup ideas, and locations.

A brief write-up should accompany the links to their moodboards.

Here’s a link to a board I liked with a great story behind it:

For my Vogue fashion story, I chose Leandra Medine as my fashion icon. Her style is very quirky, often times tomboyish, and straddling the line of fashion victim. She’s a bit of a comedian and reminds me of Gilda Radner. Since Leandra  was my icon, I included shoes from her collaboration with Superga, as well as jewelry from her brother’s line Khai Khai Jewelry in my looks.

The concept I chose Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”. In the story the little mermaid has the largest blue eyes that can speak for her, since she cannot with her voice. I was instantly reminded of Keane paintings. She is also supposed to be extremely graceful since every step is though she treads on knives.

My ideal models for this shoot would be Masha Tyelna, Marta Dyks, Joseph Quigley, & Lynn Amelie Rage. Masha would be the little mermaid, she looks like a Keane painting come to life. Marta would be the sea witch. I would like Joseph to be the prince and Lynn, his one true love. I think the other models would photograph well with Masha.

The first shot is under the sea, at an aquarium, and Marta is giving Masha the potion so she can have legs. It is a blue moment, pun intended. I give them pants so you cannot see their legs and Masha’s pants remind me of a fish tail. Marta has a sleek, dark look overall with makeup and hair. Masha has a fresh face look that is continued through the first three shots . For all the shots Masha has long, imperfectly wavy, red hair. It is beautiful yet damaged, like the little mermaid.

The second shot is on a beach the next morning. I want it to be bright, happy, yet soothing. I chose this outfit because it’s still mermaid like, the dress is a color changing neoprene. Masha has legs now and we can see them. 

The third shot is inside the castle, when people are celebrating the the prince’s find on the beach, the mermaid. The lighting is bright still. She is not a princess but still a beautiful girl with a mesmerizing grace and everyone is enchanted by her, even the prince. She is the golden peasant.

The fourth shot is the darker one. The mood for this shoot is hopelessness and sadness. There is a large emotional burden, she can return to the sea if she kills the prince, otherwise she turns into seafoam at sunrise. The shot is at a glamping campground by the ocean, similar to what is described in the book. There is a red lantern hanging in the tent casting an ominous red light glow over everything. Masha’s makeup has gone dark. Her clothes express her feelings, confusion. Each piece of jewelry represents the things going through her head. For the prince, no makeup with a sleek but tousled hair style. For his love, natural makeup and messy longish hair. 

Great job Nicole!


Assignment #3 is due today, that is bringing in your stylist kit for me to look at and grade.

I also need to take the picture of those who were absent last week.  I will take your photo in whatever you are wearing to class today.  Your group project is to re-style your outfit into two fashion-forward looks!  Good luck!


Welcome to another school year!

Tonight is the first day of the styling class – FASH 54A.  I am so happy to have so many of you signed up for it!  I’m always a bit overwhelmed when I look at my enrollment numbers.  The class is capped at 59 students, and I currently have 52 enrolled.  If you plan on joining please sign up quickly.

I’ve been busy preparing for this semester and rewriting a few of the lectures.  I’ve mentioned before, I’m using a new textbook for some of the lesson plans:  Stylewise by Shannon Burns.

I’m handing out the class syllabus, class calendar, your first assignment, and the student survey.  If you missed tonight’s class you can pick the hand-outs up next week, or email me at my school address for me to send it to you digitally.

Tonight’s lectures will be:

  • Class Orientation
  • What is Fashion Styling
  • The History of Styling

There are two big styling projects you will complete this semester.  The projects are designed for you to put into practice everything you learn.  These two projects are in lieu of a mid-term exam and final exam.  If you do not complete the final project you cannot pass this class.

I so look forward to having a great semester.  My fashion classes are always so fun to teach!

[Student’s Styling Projects] The Audrey Hepburn Collection for H&M

I will be posting the long-awaited pictures of student’s final styling assignments.  Students were divided into teams of 2-4, and had to choose to create a fashion editorial or advertisement campaign.  First up is Christie H.  I was so charmed by her project.  She decided to do a combination of  an advertisement and fashion editorial.  Christie asked if she could work by herself as she is an aspiring film producer and really wanted to challenge herself in producing this project alone.  She did not disappoint!

Title:  The Audrey Collection for H&M

Concept:  To create an ad campaign for a faux H&M Audrey Hepburn-inspired line. The point is to capture the model in iconic Audrey Hepburn film outfits made up of clothing from the faux H&M Audrey Hepburn collection {Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, and Funny Face}.


Final Images: 





Christie didn’t just want to work by herself for the photography shots, she actually wanted to produce a mini video too!  Her video is absolutely charming and goes along great with the whole campaign, click here!

Crew Credits:  

  • Christie Hernandez – Executive Producer/Stylist
  • Leif Ekelund – Associate Producer/Director of Photography
  • Coralia Leiva – MUA/Hairstylist
  • Laconia Butler – Model

Wardrobe Credits:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s:  Dress – H&M / Shoes – Carlos Santana / Gloves – Costume Party / Necklace – Forever 21 / Broach (place on necklace) – Claire’s / Earrings – Kate Spade / Sunglasses – Forever 21 / Mini Tiara – Costume Party

Sabrina:  Dress – Vintage  / Sleeveless Coat – H&M / Shoes – Julian Hough for Sole Society / Earrings – Nordstrom / Head wrap – Swedish Scarf / Gloves – Vintage

Funny Face:  Dress – H&M / Shoes – Carlos Santana / Gloves – Vintage / Hat – Claire’s


Great job Christie!


Styling Fail

I don’t like giving F’s as grades, but I have.  Just so you know this is not what I meant when I said use a photo as inspiration.  I couldn’t stop laughing when I came across this:

(image via Pinterest – Epic Fail!)

Your Manifesto

(image via Pinterest)

This is some company’s mission statement, I’m sure, but it can be applied to us as individuals!  Problems will arise, we will at times feel overwhelmed, and trying to please everyone will get us nowhere.  Remember every problem can be solved, less can be an option even in fashion, and don’t try to be the Creative Director, Stylist and MUA all in one day – learn to say no, better to do one thing great than everything mediocre.


(*MUA: Make-Up Artist)


Be inspired

The styling in this photo is so pretty.  Why?  Because you recognize the icon they are referencing (Frida Khalo, just in case someone doesn’t know!) without it being a caricature.

(image via Pinterest)

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

When my students tell me they are not creative enough to do this type of work I say nonsense!  Creativity is like a muscle – you gotta use it for it to get stronger!

There’s no shame in copying what you’ve seen other’s do.  I don’t mean stealing someone’s idea verbatim, but using what you see as inspiration for your own work.  Everyone does it, that’s what moodboards, and inspiration boards are for.  Pinterest anyone?

Here are few images I’ve collected.  They act like a visual bookmark for my own ideas.

If you are a newbie to this industry this is a great way to practice.  Take an image and try to duplicate it as best you can.  I play this game in my styling class, by showing students off-figure photos, and asking them to explain how the display was created.



(all images via Pinterest)

Get your supplies here

Students often asked where can they get supplies needed for class, or in general when putting together their styling kits?  That’s why I put together a simple one stop shop through  I’ve gathered everything you would need to get started for styling, or doing displays, in one shopping site.

Click on the navigation tab above – TFT Shop!

(image via the fashion teacher tumblr)

Colorful umbrella display

I love this photo every time I see it!  It’s such a mundane and ordinary object – an umbrella – yet when paired with others, it makes an artful display:

(image via Pinterest)



[FASH 54a] Behind the scenes of styling

The most challenging part of teaching fashion styling is giving students a real world look into what the job entails.  The result of a lot of hard work is very glamorous, which can give a skewed view of the manual labor involved.  The reality shows, showing stylists running around in platform wedges with Birkin bags hanging off their arms, don’t help the cause either. When I come across articles or posts that give a look behind the scenes I like to share them with my students.  Here are a couple of posts worth reading that give a real world look into fashion styling.

Fashionista wrote an article on dressing celebrities for the Cannes Film Festival.  They focused on one designer, Elie Saab, and what it takes to get the actresses dressed, that have been chosen to wear their gowns.  Yes, I did say chosen, as I once mentioned in class, certain brands may not want to see certain celebrities in their clothes.

(image via Fashionista – The Elie Saab suite at Cannes)

The Glamourai gives you a peek behind the scenes at one of her fashion shoots.  She understands how important it is for future stylists to understand it is hard work.  She’s styling a lookbook for Rachel Roy.  The tips she gives are on point!

(image via The Glamourai – Kelly helping model with shoes)

Here’s a quick video I show my students from Rod Novoa, to illustrate just how many people can actually be on set on some photo shoots!! Some times it does take a village!

(image via Dripbook – Rod Novoa’s portfolio)

Lastly, Fashionista posted another article from Rihanna’s former stylist, Lysa Cooper, as they say, she kept it real – read it!

(image via Grazia Daily)