Elisha is a Brisbane based fashion stylist and interior designer whose work is well respected in these parts. She writes a mean blog too.
I was curious to find out how she got her start in fashion and what her work consists of. If you are wondering exactly what a stylist does then this interview is for you.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Elisha Casagrande and I am a Brisbane based Fashion Stylist and Image Consultant. I prefer to use the term ‘Fashion Stylist’ loosely as I try not to restrict my work to styling fashion alone. I also work as an Interior Designer therefore have a huge interest in all things creative whether it be fashion, interiors, arts, food styling etc.
How did you get your start in fashion?
It is a long-winded, roller-coaster ride of a story to explain how I got to where I am today.
I began working in retail from the ripe age of 15 where in just a few months saw myself climb the ladder from employee to 2IC/ Visual Merchandiser. After a few years, I decided to take a break from fashion and try my hand at interior design – an industry that is again, incredibly creative and an industry that I find similar to fashion in many ways.
Working as an interior designer didn’t cut it for me, it wasn’t enough. I was longing for something more and each day the inkling to work in fashion again, was increasing. I decided to let off some fashion crazed steam by creating my own fashion blog. Here I could talk like crazy about everything and anything fashion related that I was inspired by or currently wearing or lusting over. This was the beginning of something huge …
Starting my own fashion blog opened the doors to many opportunities. As the number of readers grew, I had fashion labels and designers approaching me asking me to blog about their newest collections and sending me product to style and upload to my blog. This is where my love of styling was formed. I had been given the opportunity to create my own concepts in anyway possible and this gave me a huge buzz.
I found myself contacting labels/ designers/ boutiques asking about their next season collections and how I could help promote their product which in turn, helped me build an incredible black book of fashion contacts which I continue to utilise to this day in my work as a freelance stylist. From here and as the saying goes, one thing led to another …
Why did you choose fashion?
I have a much greater love for fashion. I find working as a stylist and image consultant incredibly rewarding. There is nothing more rewarding for me then giving somebody else the ability to look and feel their absolute best 100% of the time. That feeling of happiness and confidence can not be challenged.
Is the fashion industry what you expected it to be?
I dove head first into the fashion industry expecting it to be cut throat. True to its word, the styling industry has proved to be a dog eats dog world however in saying this, I have been surprised by the number of people I’ve met that simply want to help others succeed and those that simply have a desire to want to create a society of ‘creatives’. I have the mentality that this industry is undoubtedly competitive however each person is individual and embraces an individual style that no one person can imitate. Work arises given your particular taste in fashion and this my friend will produce enough work for everybody. There is someone out there for everybody.
What does your job consist of?
Fashion Stylists have recently taken on the role as fashion designer, photographer, hair and make-up artist, art director just to name a few. My job consists of MANY different roles. Each project is completely different and requires versatility. A good stylist can (if need be) exceed in each of the above roles.
Describe a typical week
A typical week for me of late involves attending meetings, creating mood boards, sourcing appropriate garments and accessories to fulfil a brief, attending fashion events, creating castings for particular projects and if I’m lucky… a fitting before the shoot.
The majority of my week however is dedicated to research. I spend a HUGE amount of time each day researching new labels, new boutiques, trends, new worldwide editorials and new worldwide blogs. Knowledge is KEY.
Roughly how many hours do you work per week?
Each week is very different. Some days I’ll spend 12 hours on location shooting and some days I’ll spend 3 hours. From the minute I wake up, to the minute I go to bed, I’m working. My brain is always in overdrive and is constantly thinking up new ideas and concepts.
What are the key skills you need for your role?
I’d say the most important skills as a stylist are your ability to network, your ability to approach and talk to people and most definately your ability to be organised. Each day I’ll write a list that stems across 2 A4 pages.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
There are 2 things I enjoy most about being a stylist.
No. 1 is seeing the final post production results and the response from others regarding a shoot that you have worked so hard to create.
No. 2 is the feeling I get knowing I have taken the right steps to ensure that a client leaves me feeling confident and happy within themselves. I’m not happy unless a client leaves feeling as though they could conquer the world.
What do you find challenging?
Image Consulting is not challenging, there is a solution out there for each and every person no matter what their insecurities. Editorials are the most challenging. Given that I live in Brisbane, it’s sometimes a challenge to find EXACTLY the right garments for a shoot to portray your concept successfully – this is when I’ll take on the role as Fashion Designer. Deadlines are also right up there or should I say, the lack of a deadline.
What do you do in your time off?
Some would argue that I do not know how to relax. My mind is constantly racing. Relaxing for me involves scouting local boutiques and stores on my own in search of new and quirky finds. I’m sure most people however would argue that this is in fact, relaxing.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in fashion?
Quality over quantity. Someone once told me that having one high quality image says far more than 50 average quality images. Choose your work wisely.
Finish this sentence: Fashion is…
… my creative outlet. It is a way to showcase my talents and bring inspiration and life to those around me.