I met Jamie Louise late last year when she styled me into a Gucci and a DKNY dress. She’s a Melbourne girl living in Brisbane and she’s tireless in her work. Here’s what she had to say about her career so far.
- Occupation: Fashion/ Event Stylist
- Company: Wardrobe Confidential
- Website: Wardrobe Confidential
- Facebook: Wardrobe Confidential
- Place of residence: Brisbane/Melbourne, Australia
Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne, my other true love. I now live in Brisbane with my fiancee and our 4 year old labradoodle, Roxy. I love travel and adventure and discovering new things. I am a really strong advocate for the causes I believe in and am always ready to petition and get my placard out for what I believe in.
I have an amazing support network of family and friends and love sharing food and wine and good times…
How did you get your start in fashion?
I was introduced to the world of fashion at a very young age, my mother made belts in the 80′s for large Australian retailers. I can recall dancing around in my mothers shoes (7 sizes too big for me) whilst she would be doing an all-nighter to get her order finished on time!
My uncle Colin is the person who actually gave me my start in the fashion business. Colin has been in the fashion industry for the past 35 years. He has done everything from design to retail and I was so lucky to have him as my mentor in the crazy land of fashion!
I have a fairly corporate background so when Colin and I joined forces in 2009 we started Jamie Collins, a fashion agency that focused on representing local and international labels within the Australian market.
After relocating to Brisbane in 2010 I decided to turn my hand to fashion styling as a way of still being connected to the fashion world whilst I develop an online e-commerce site. My site should be ready to launch in early 2012. So stay tuned!
Why did you choose fashion?
I’m an artist and I feel that I am really lucky to work in a creative industry that allows me the freedom to express that creativity. The beauty of my job is that its always different, always new and forever changing! Isn’t that great?
After coming from a corporate and regimented background where consistency is key it feels really nice to just be and do what feels good! Oh and the people! I meet the most amazing and talented people! From other artists such as designers to models and all sorts in between.
Is the fashion industry what you expected it to be?
No. It’s not all champagne and catwalks, it’s hard work and long hours and sometimes very little reward. When I started my agency I thought it would be really glamorous, but the shine wore off fast and the challenges began! Now that I understand the industry a little better I can accept its flaws…
What does your job consist of?
I work in many different fields of styling; any given day can be different which is something I totally love!
I can be doing a personal styling job, a music video, an event, a photo shoot or a workshop. It’s really a ‘create-your-own-adventure’.
Describe your week
It’s always changing! I am freelance so it’s all about being self motivated and interacting with people who will pass on my information. At the moment I am working with a close friend of mine to develop a series of workshops so it’s keeping us very busy!
Roughly how many hours do you work per week?
Depending on what I have on! It really is so different week to week. But I try to spend at least 3 hours a day working on creating contacts and studying latest fashions.
What are the key skills you need for your role?
- Self motivated
- Independent thinker
- Ability to work in a team
- Ability to work alone
- Take criticism
- Encourage feedback
- Be a networker
- Good listening skills
- Good communication skills
- Love fashion
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The people, hands down. There is just this synergy you feel when you are constantly surrounded by other creatives that I just cant explain – it’s like the feeling that anything is possible.
What do you find challenging?
Knowing when to say “no”. Its my biggest obstacle. I love the creative process so much that its really difficult to turn down projects, but I find I am learning.
What do you do in your time off?
I love Bikram Yoga, Jazz, food and wine and spending time in good company.
What’s the highlight of your career so far?
Every new experience is a highlight! I really can’t say enough about the people I work with, their talents and experience is a wonder to be around. I don’t believe you ever stop learning so I just want to continue being included in creative process.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in fashion?
You never know it all… No job is too small and leave your ego at the door.
Finish this sentence: Fashion is…
The truest form of self expression… An art that everyone practices.