XXIV. NICOLE FREEMAN
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“ I don't want to portray what I see from day to day, but things I wish to see. ”
ElysiumEditorial: What were your beginnings in the industry & when were you convinced to pursue a career as a stylist?
NicoleFreeman: I realised styling was my dream job at 22 years old. A friend recommended I look into it. Finding a job which I really loved was very important to me. It's a really difficult industry to get into and stick with, but nothing that's worth having comes easy
EE: A sterling sense of style is typically an innate quality, is styling a trade only viable to this naturally fashionable crowd?
NF: I think the stylists who really amaze me are probably born with it. It's not a proven theory of course, but many great artists start some sort of obsession in their field at a very young age. I would never say styling is off limits to anyone though. I believe you can be anything so long as you work hard and enjoy what you do
EE: Speaking of style, how would you dissect your own wardrobe and how you choose to present yourself on a daily basis?
NF: Currently my look seems to be a little Peggy from ‘Married with Children’ crossed with Eddie and Patsy from ‘Absolutely Fabulous.’ Over the last 7 years one constant set has remained in my wardrobe & they are a black tailored jacket, a white shirt and straight leg denim and leather trouser. Classic pieces which are easy to mix and match with my flavour of the month
EE: Do you feel your own appearance consciously or subconsciously affects the aesthetic you create?
NF: I actually feel sometimes it works the other way. I'm always thinking of themes that would be great to shoot then I subconsciously start dressing that way myself, albeit a watered down version
EE: Do you approach your work with a stringent idea or with a free spirited notion of what might occur?
NF: I've found having a clearly defined idea before a shoot works best for me. I personally enjoy fashion stories which have a clear narrative. Sometimes I'll pull 30-40 looks for an editorial, which I feel fit or loosely fit the theme or look I'm working towards. On the day, when you have that many looks to draw on, you can really start to play around with what you've got and be spontaneous and reactive to the direction a shoot takes
EE: The only constant feature of the industry is the yearning for change, how does this disposable quality of fashion effect what you do?
NF: I like the way that fashion is constantly evolving. Without this gradual change we'd all be wearing the same thing, it's the constant change that allows people to express their individuality. When I see something that I love which I've never seen before it really inspires me and makes me really push myself and my work
EE: An artistic vision is fundamentally a subjective entity, is it difficult to deliberate and potentially dilute an idea on the advice of an equally passionate creative?
NF: It’s never really been an issue. I've been incredibly lucky to have worked with really amazing like minded artists who respect me and my views and I theirs. A lot of the time it's the photographers I've worked with that get me on board because they like what I do and trust me. Before the shoot we'll discuss the look together or occasionally they'll come to me with a theme they want to shoot and I get the opportunity to discuss my thoughts on the garment side of things. Then on the day if the photographer really isn't sure about a certain look I've put together we can always find an alternative, which we're both happy with
EE: When creating your work, is it important for you to create an accurate picture of reality, or an enhanced reality?
NF: I don't want to portray what I see from day to day, but things I wish to see
EE: Visionary: A title bestowed upon very few creative’s, who do you feel is currently creating a vision of the future?
NF: Although there are very few people you can call visionaries, I believe you can find most of them work or have worked for Vogue Italia. Beyond the ridiculous amount of advertisements, Vogue Italia has the most inspirational fashion editorials I've ever seen. Contributing artists for example Sølve Sundsbø, Emma Summerton, Miles Aldridge, Steven Meisel & Paolo Roversi continue to push my imagination. At their level, every image is a piece of art. It's inspirational and the reason I wanted to be a part of the industry
EE: If you were to begin your autobiography, what would the title be and how might the blurb read?
NF: Writing an autobiography is such a foreign concept, it's difficult to imagine what I’d write. Though I hope my autobiography will contain fond memories of working for Vogue Nippon and Vogue Italia with the above mentioned photographers. Maybe its title would be something like 'Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll.... Is Something Other People Do'
EE: Elysium (E): A place or state of perfect happiness - When are you at your happiest?
NF: I'm at my happiest when I've just finished a really enjoyable shoot and I'm dining with my partner or hanging out with my buddies, it's quite a euphoric feeling