Fashion styling, an avenue in fashion made for the thick skinned. Perseverance is the USC (Unique Selling Characteristic) that accompanies drive, inevitably leaving us the observer with the passion of that individual smothered in an array of texture, tone and pattern on that size 6 model. Fashion styling simply rocks.
I delve a bit deeper, to find the journey of an individual that landed them at there Oxford street destination.
Cassie St Patrick - Personal Shopper/Stylist at Topshop Oxford Circus in the hotseat.
G.I.A: Why did you become a Personal Shopper?
Cassie: Firstly I finished my degree as a fashion journalist at Surrey Institute of Art and Design and was a bit confused as to where to begin, I decided to go into styling straight away. I worked for Polydor Records, working with big bands such as Take That and that kind'ah thing. I really enjoyed that but I missed the writing side of things. A job finally came up at the Telegraph Online - super well payed but I decided to move on and work as a trend researcher for WGSN. I did that for 3 years and really enjoyed it, met a lot of people and got a lot of contacts. It was a tough one because I was happy but I missed styling too much, so I went with my heart. Styling is an absolutely amazing job, but unfortunately if you work for a magazine or a record label the pay isn't always amazing (peanuts). So I came to Topshop. The pay is really good, and it's interactive, I love working with people and the clients make it really enjoyable.
G.I.A: How hard did you find it getting into the industry?
Cassie: Extremely hard. When I was working at Polydor I had to literally work 4 jobs just to cover myself. It was hard, I mean hard! (At this point Giles the Topman Personal Styling manager walks in, with a questioning look on his face. Cassie laughs, and the introductions follow)
Erm, sorry about that (laughs). But yeah it was really hard, I still know of people that were on my course that are still waiting for their big break. So it's extremely hard, you have to be unbelievably determined, have incredibly thick skin and be really talented.
G.I.A: What advice would you give someone trying to break into the fashion industry?
Cassie: Erm, internships. Seriously, do as many as you can possibly do. Even now the internships that I did when I was doing my degree have still come in handy, in terms of contacts. So it's work as long and as hard as you can, it is for free most of the time but it is worth it. Oh yeah and do a blog (laughs) get blogging because it shows what your all about to your future employer.
G.I.A: Did you have a blog?
Cassie: I didn't actually! For my final project at Uni i did a dissertation but also set up my own website that targeted people ranging for 16-24. It was like a way into fashion, I was really into web design such as Dreamweaver and stuff like that so I just kept that up really.
G.I.A: What are the key trends for this season?
Cassie: For this season, it's all been really about a prim and proper trend. Which is, quite preppy very girly it feeds into the colour story really well. So there's a lot of little cute summer dresses with summer shorts, put together with matching jackets. Very Luella but more so Spring/Summer '09 , but its been brought back in. That's probably for the 16-24 market. Colour blocking has been absolutely insane this season. It's a difficult story for clients to get because it's more about buying loads of different pieces and blending them into one look. It's an expensive trend , but its one that's across all markets and seems to be very successful. Oh yeah and obviously in Topshop and in most collections you're gonna see this Rock chic, Boho look. Its continued for most of the summer and has now turned into this kind of gypsy rocker for this season. So it's definitely festival gear with a definite Boho edge.
G.I.A: Well Cassie you have been absolutely amazing, thank you so very much for your time.
Cassie: Yeah sure, send me the name of your blog I wanna check it out.