It’s been quite some time since I’ve done an interview on this blog and yet its the part I enjoyed the most. Finally I found the perfect person to re-start this portion at thekaloka.com.
The current fashion scene is no longer ruled just by models and designers. With the rise of personalities such as Rachel Zoe and Kate Young , the profession “stylist” has become the “it-job” and is now what most girls would want to be when they grow up. The designer can make a dress the model wears but its the stylist that puts an outfit all together, thus putting the exclamation point to the over-all impact of a celebrity’s appearance.
Today’s interview is just befitting because you will meet this lovely lady who just do what she loves to do and true to her passion of being a stylist – Kelly Alexandra.
Who are you? What do you do? Where do you live?
My name is Kelly Alexandra, I am a celebrity stylist and personal image consultant who specialises in both womenswear and menswear, based primarily in London but with a client base stretching throughout the UK and Europe. I hold a degree in Fashion Design and have been styling full time for the last three years.
Kelly’s typical style when it comes to dressing up male clientele.
What do you love most about your job?
When you love what you do, you will never have work a day in your life…this phrase is true to my passion. I live, breathe, sleep and chat fashion and I am in a position where I am excited and motivated every single day of my working life. Every day is different, which maintains my enthusiasm – every brief, every client, every location. And then of course the clothes are different every season which provides you with a whole new palette to work from. There is no restriction…I am able to communicate my vision and have the freedom to experiment on every project I inherit. There is nothing better than making someone feel good about themselves, and this is the goal I set myself with every client I take on.
Clement Marfo & the Front Line – ‘Champion’ video promotion shots styled by Kelly.
Another shot of Clement Marfo & the Front Line – ‘Champion’ video promotion that Kelly styled.
Combination of Music Artists & Fashion is great project for me, my two loves.
Can you share some memorable Fashion Week experience?
Her memorable Fashion Week collage
My first major fashion week experience was handed to me by The Daily Express newspaper. I was interning there with the fashion department during show season and with the editors unable to attend every single show, I was handed the spare invites, giving me the opportunity to sit front row for the very first time and experience London Fashion Week to its fullest. I embraced every single aspect of it and I learnt an awful lot!! Knowledge is power and you should aim to collect as much information on the industry as you can – study the fashion pack, attend the events…there are people out there who are dying to share their expertise and craft with you. During that Fashion Week I sat front row next to Suzie Menkes (Fashion Editor for the International Herald Tribune), had tea and biscuits with the wonderful Colin McDowell (legendary fashion Writer) discussing the genius that is Christopher Bailey (Chief Creative Officer of Burberry) and introduced myself to Anna Del Russo (Editor-at-large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan). It is an arena to network as you never know who you could be sat next too.
What advice can you give to women about building their wardrobe?Must-haves? Must-not?
The best advice I can give to women when building a new wardrobe is to make sure you invest most money in to your staple pieces in muted or basic tones. I’m an absolute sucker for well cut tailored items and I believe these hold the key to any successful outfit combinations. Look for pieces that have the ability to transform a day look to an evening look with the simple injection of accessories – a cropped cigarette pant, a well cut blazer, a black lace pencil dress, a sharply cut trench coat…you get the idea. Create a palette that can be added too through colour, print and texture. I am not one for following trends so try and steer away from the so-called ‘it’ items of the season as within a couple of months they will have fallen out of favour with the fashion media. Look to longevity and quality.
Well tailored muted staples for building successful wardrobe
What’s your favorite outfit or item at the moment?
Kelly in her favourite outfit
My favourite outfit at the moment is one I pulled completely from the British High Street. I’m very minimalist with my personal style and more often than not opt for a muted colour palette. However I do aim to inject a subtle print in to most looks. The look consists of a pastel water paint-effect tie dye woven pant, a sheer grey cropped loose fitting vest and my favourite cream ponte boyfriend blazer, all from Topshop. My main focus when it comes to dressing myself is comfort (I’m usually running around like a crazed maniac) and this is a typical day look for me. Items that allow movement, allowing me to breathe. I love a good sneaker for the same reasons…my bony feet can suffer from tight fitted shoes rubbing over a full working day so I look to Jordans to provide me with some cushioning on my feet. I’m simplistic when it comes to my accessories – I love my rose gold Michael Kors watch and on a non-working day a nice pair of oversized hoop earrings as well as skinny gold stacked rings. However, practicality comes into this selection as it’s hard to work with things hanging from your wrists.
What are some of your favourite brands?
My favourite brands hmmmm now theres a question. As I mentioned, I love well tailored collections, minimalism and sophistication so my first obsession fell at the hands of Chloe. This is a brand I always look too to pull a super chic outfit combination together, I adore the muted colour palettes they adopt and subtle features they inject to maintain femininity. For structured staples I adore Balmain, and for the more experimental on-off pieces I look to Balenciaga and Prada. Chloe is my pick when it comes to accessories and then I am torn between Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood and Miu Miu for footwear selection. It’s funny you should ask me this question today as I have just unearthed a new love for the brand Tibi – the prints and knitwear this season are to die for.
What are your hobbies?
I love love love sport! It consumes a big part of my life, having been brought up as a die-hard Manchester United fan by my father. Weekends with my family always revolve around the match and allows us all to come together between our busy schedules. I’m a big fan of the gym too, yoga, pilates, zumba…all of these activities contribute to clearing my mind and re-focusing. Music is the second love of my life, I am in-capable of getting through the day without popping on my ipod. During my design days I used it as the tool to block out the world and focus…it makes me happy when I’m sad, comforts me when I’m troubled, keeps me upbeat when I’m exhausted…it’s always there for me! I’m a big book buff too, you can never be too educated and I use every free opportunity to stimulise my mind. I love learning and I love to be transformed to another world outside the stress and troubles of the modern world.
Can you describe yourself in 3 words or more!
Three words to describe myself…’A.Closed.Book’
I am a very private person and although extremely sociable it would be a difficult for anyone to ever find out every thing they wanted to know about me. I’m focused, motivated, business-savy and a true professional but with friends I’m as hyperactive as humanly possible…I love to smile and live life to the fullest.
Any message to girls who want to be a stylist/ fashion consultant?
My advice to anyone attempting to pursue a path in fashion is to simply gain as much experience as you can, as early on in life as you can. Internships, assisting, lectures, events are priceless and a great addition to your CV/Resume. These internships should be used to their fullest – challenge yourself to learn something new every day, question every aspect of the job, learn from all aspects of the industry process, network and build contacts…you can never education yourself enough! Don’t expect to have an idea and then jump straight in to a position in this industry. My design tutor (Marcus Wilmont of Aminaka & Wilmont) once told me that I should look to carry out unpaid internships for at least 3years after graduating before even being considered for a job role. It takes sacrifice (sleep and food mostly) motivation and passion, and if you’re dedicated enough you can make a success of anything!
Shoots she assisted on during Internship at Daily Express
To get more insights on styling, please checkout Kelly’s blog www.kelly-alexandra.com.