XXIX. CHRISTIAN STROBLE
Stylist ___ Commons & Sense. DANSK Magazine. Vman.
" The Japanese fashion scene is sensitive to the creative mind, unafraid to push the boundaries of conventional thought. "
*Working alongside some rather recognizable industry faces - namely Andrej Pejic, Leebo Freeman & Mickey Ayoub - seasoned outfitter _ Christian Stroble _ seems to be establishing a position of 'go too' stylist. The vibrancy of his previous cover story for Ponytail single-handedly stirs our excitement for what might follow in this new year...
ElysiumEditorial: Hey Christian. So, would you be so kind as to briefly sum up your career in the industry to date, how did you find yourself in the role of fashion stylist?
ChristianStroble: I have to say that the role of a fashion Stylist found me. In my previous life I was a designer of my own label _ Eventide. To pay my bills I was the assistant to stylist Laura Ferrara. When my partner Sarah Spratt and I decided to close the doors in spring of 2008, I called my best friend and mentor Jesse Valentine. I asked his advice on what I should do. He said it is very simple you are now going to be a stylist and I will help you build your book. When you are ready I will be your agent and rep you. A week later he gave me my first editorial and the rest is history
EE: So in the initial stages of your career you both designed and assisted an established stylist. Have the creative boundaries blurred in the respect that we no longer have to exist as one or the other, or would you be of the opinion that to really succeed we must choose a path & pursue it?
CS: I think that it depends on the individual in question and that everyone has their own unique way of figuring it all out. There is no right or wrong way to navigate in the business of fashion. I’d never considered diverting from fashion design and look where I am today
*MODERN ELEGANCE _ Photography: Matthew Brookes _ Models: Clément Chabernaud & Taylor Gannon
EE: We were intrigued by the editorial header ‘Modern Elegance’ - what would constitute as modern ‘masculine’ elegance?
CS: When an image of a man looks timeless and classic whilst maintaining a modern twist
EE: High-waited pants & lifted shirt belts were a few subtle feminine details we spotted viewing your portfolio. Do you see this subtle gender blur becoming further exaggerated in the future?
CS: It is always fun to blur the lines, though I never intentionally add the feminine details they just seem to occur naturally. This is not the first time that we have seen androgyny in fashion, and will certainly not be the last. As the years progress, I hope our hearts and minds will regard gender stereotypes as a thing of the past
EE: You seem unafraid of themed editorial sets, visuals occasionally based around a model with an actual personality. Are you ever afraid that a facial expression or a novel storyline might detract from a garment or does this approach further magnify an aesthetic?
CS: Whether it is the planning stage or the actual shoot I am always hyper aware of the overall image. Of course I keep the garments in mind, but I try not to be controlled or restricted by them. I like to look at the models I am working with as a character and let that personality shine through
*TREE FOR TWO _ Photography: Charlie Engman _ Models: Victor Nylander & Taylor Gannon
EE: There is a great free-spirited sense of progressive thinking in your work for ‘Ponytail,’ we assume that your levels of creative freedom are occasionally stunted by a publications vision - is it difficult to deliberate and potentially dilute an idea on the advice of an equally passionate creative?
CS: It is always an intriguing exercise to work for magazines that have guidelines or a more commercial vision. In the end you are hired by certain clients and you have to consider there aesthetic. As Andy Warhol said: ‘Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art’
EE: ‘Fight Club’ featured in ‘Ponytail’ illustrates an interesting juxtapose, in the respect that garments so desirable almost become difficult to view within such a confrontational set. What feelings had you hoped to evoke with this editorial?
CS: To tell you the truth I had a different vision with the clothing, but had to adapt to the situation on set. In the end I was very happy with the final outcome. Thank god I know how to get grease out of any garment, especially from expensive Shearling coats
EE: In a similar vein, ‘Ponytail’ claims to be a - work of art in its own right – would you advertise your own body of work in this way?
CS: I do not think I can call my work art, let’s leave that question for when I am dead and gone
*Commons & Sense Man _ Photography: Tetsuharu Kubota _ Model: Andrej Pejic
EE: You’ve been involved in styling for Japanese publications, namely ‘Commons sense man’ & ‘HUGE.’ There is something so refreshing about said magazines, a non-conformist attitude teamed with a break-neck progressive aesthetic. As someone with an insider’s view, what would be your opinion on the Japanese fashion scene?
CS: The Japanese fashion scene is sensitive to the creative mind, unafraid to push the boundaries of conventional thought
EE: On the subject, how would visuals such as the ones shot by ‘Satoshi Saikusa’ become reality, from concept to sourcing and the eventual styling onset? Do you approach your work with a stringent idea of what you hope to achieve or with a free spirited notion of what might occur?
CS: I do like to storyboard and layout my stories before they happen. I feel you get the best results with having strong art direction. Of course there is always room for change on the day of the shoot. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to set and Satoshi followed my references and direction. Having such a seasoned team made everything seamless and magical
EE: Naturally we get the opportunity to discuss current views in the industry with the creative’s within it, amongst other things we’ve recognized a seismic shift in opinion when it comes to fashion film. Moving image has been tipped as the natural progression of editorial - do you feel it’s inevitable that in this technical age film will soon completely eclipse photographic editorial?
CS: I am a lover of the still image. I’m not sure I’d be so happy having moving images hanging on my wall. That being said I feel that there is room for both mediums to coexist
*LADIES CHOICE _ Photography: David Armstrong
EE: Your work for ‘Perfect Guide’ with Leebo Freeman was homage to the innovative creative mind of Raf Simons. Who do you feel is currently creating a vision of the future?
CS: I would have to say Haider Ackermann
EE: As someone who constantly reviews collections, we assume you have an educated opinion on what we might be wearing in the Coming season?
CS: Each season produces so many different trends and silhouettes. We have seen so much colour and minimal detailing. I have a feeling that things will go a bit darker and the detailing will advance, whilst keeping an eye on new fabric technologies that are being developed
EE: Elysium(E): A place or state of perfect happiness - when are you at your happiest?
CS: When I am in a state of emptiness in my head, and a sense of weightlessness occurs