XXX. JAMES DYKES


Stylist ___ Fashionisto Exclusive. Helmet Magazine. M2 Magazine.


" If you strive to be ‘different’ in 2012, I believe the key will be to stick to your own intuition and refer to cultural references. "








*Fashionisto Exclusive _ Photography: Matthew Webb _ Models: Gadir Rajab & Mason Mulholland _



James Dykes is a seasoned stylist on the Australian fashion scene, with work published in some of the countries prime publications. We chat to the man himself about his somewhat accidental involvement in the trade and how his new found appreciation for the discipline has ignited a desire to get involved on an international basis

ElysiumEditorial: How did you initially become involved in the styling trade. Were you involved in fashion of a different context before the styling, design perhaps?

JamesDykes: I was lucky enough to fall into the trade organically. After moving to a new city and meeting a talented group of individuals, I was eventually introduced to styling as a possible career path. I studied art and design but never found my true calling, I felt instantly at home once I became involved in styling

EE: You’ve been quoted as saying that you once ‘didn’t really understand the concept’ of styling. How would you now define your role as a stylist?

JD: Growing up in the country of Australia, the concept of a stylist was quite a foreign idea. When I first started as a stylist I was quite na├»ve, I thought a stylist’s job was to merely source the clothing for an editorial or general job. I now understand that my role as a stylist is to achieve a strong narrative for a given brief. I believe the most powerful and creative stylists tell beautiful stories with their work. We should aim to take the reader on a journey through the images using relevant clothing

EE: It’s difficult to understand the fashion landscape of a country approximately 10.558 miles away from yourself. As a stylist whom regularly dissects collections, is there anything exciting occurring on the Aussie fashion scene that you feel we should know about?

JD: Australia has some fantastic local brands that can stand up to the international market. Dion Lee is a talented womenswear designer that will be on the London fashion week schedule this year, which is quite exciting. It will be nice to see the reviews on Style.com and see how the international press receives his collection. On the menswear side Melvin Tanaya and Lyna Ty, designers of the brand Song for the Mute, have been doing beautiful menswear pieces that have been winning them awards locally and internationally. I can’t wait to see where they end up in a few years time

*Helmet _ Photography: Darren McDonald _ Model: Hugh Vidler _



EE: You certainly seem to play toward the sexual stereotypes in your work, magnifying a female’s elegance and alternatively celebrating masculinity throughout your menswear portfolio _ this certainly seems to maintain a common-ground. We assume it’s important for you to appeal to a wider public?

JD: It’s interesting that you observed sexual stereotypes in my work. I don’t try to convey certain feminine or masculine 'ideal figures.' I rather ubiquitously apply what I think is beautiful and the rest just falls into place

EE: On a similar thought, can a creative actually only push the boundaries once they’ve made a name for themselves in the industry? For example is the artistic freedom that _Steven Klein _ illustrates in his work only attainable at a later point in ones career?

JD: Creative minds strive to create uniqueness and once they achieve this they are naturally known for it _ though this tends to be timely process. Stevin Klein is all about violence and Sex, Karl Templer styles powerful women, Nicola Formichetti develops the futuristic. Gaining experience lends itself to pushing the boundaries. Once you feel happy with your level of work you want to achieve more, take risks and push further

EE: Your menswear editorial for _Stil Magazine _ was an exquisite set of timeless imagery. Would you be so kind as to explain the concept and sources from which you styled this shoot?

JD: Working with the photographer Thom Kerr on any editorial is always going to be the best day of shooting. The set was called ‘Dead Man Dreaming,' the concept was based loosely around ancient Roman and Greek gods. The detailed post production work made the story come alive, creating an ambiance of a long lost world you want to know more about. This is actually one of my favorite stories I have worked on thus far

EE: There’s something incredibly appealing about a male physique placed within an equally tough environment. The baron landscapes and agitated sea shots in your _ Style Men’s Singapore editorial & Zac editorial _ were very pleasing to the eye. Do you favour location shoots over the studio setup counterpart?

JD: We are very fortunate in this country to have such incredible nature to shoot. The location in my Style Men’s Singapore story is actually an old quarry, though it almost felt like you were on the moon. A studio is a great place for a controlled environment, but I prefer location as it creates interesting story and sets a mood with ease

EE: Is it a worry that potentially dominating landscapes may eclipse the garments within the photograph?

JD: It is a possibility, but if the location and garment work in harmony magic can happen. It’s a risk worth taking

EE: Your _ Yen Beauty & Oyster Beauty _ sets are ethereal in their appeal, interesting when you consider the grit of your menswear work. Is it important to be artistically versatile in this manner, or do you eventually hope to mould a signature style?

JD: Early in my Career I tried to find a direction by exploring different genres to find one that I naturally resonate with, eventually developing a voice within my styling work. As I progress, I feel my direction is getting stronger

*M2 _ Photography: Matthew Webb _ Model: Josh @EMG & Charles @ Priscillas _



EE: You look toward work already created by photographers and stylists as an inspiration to your own. Do you worry that this may subconsciously dilute your own aesthetic, merely creating a mundane ripple effect?

JD: I enjoy looking at other stylists’ and photographers’ works to see how they interpret collections in their own way. When I am working on a brief I try to focus on my own vision and tell my own story

EE: The outfits you create are certainly attainable, are they perhaps an extension of your own style? On the subject, in an industry where visual appeal prevails, how do you choose to present yourself on a daily basis in terms of your own wardrobe?

JD: My ever changing personal style definitely influences my styling work. Personally, I tend to enjoy a certain look for a while then change completely. My silhouette began with a heavily draped androgynous aesthetic, which was apparent in my early works. At the moment I am focused on creating a clean polished aesthetic, which I am enjoying in my own wardrobe right now. If only there was a Jil Sander store in Australia

EE: On a similar note, as someone tuned into the industry, what will we be wearing in 2012?

JD: Fashion nowadays travels at the speed of light, heavily influenced by the online culture - blogging, twitter, facebook, e-commerce. You see a trend on a runway and you can probably buy an imitation at a high-street store within the same week. It’s certainly harder now to maintain a unique style, with the intense accessibility of the industry. If you strive to be ‘different’ in 2012, I believe the key will be to stick to your own intuition and refer to cultural references

EE: We understand many creative’s work because of their admiration of the industry, though do you ever find the freelance nature of your work somewhat unnerving?

JD: Being Freelance at times can be very stressful, but the diversity of the briefs and freedom to work across several titles is also exciting. That being said, I would love to hold a title within a publication I can grow creatively with, working under an editor that I respect and admire

EE: You sited _ Nicola Formichetti _ as an inspiration to your own career. A creative whirlwind of his own, whom else do you believe to be moulding the industry?

JD: Menswear wise Nicola Formichetti is leading the digital designer age. I love Robert Rabensteiner for his classically beautiful work & Luca Finotti is doing some creatively admirable film work. Finally, Sonny Groo is doing great things publication wise

EE: Published in Oyster Magazine _ offices in New York, Paris & Sydney _ Men’s Style _ Singapore, what might be next in the pipeline, perhaps branching towards the UK?

JD: Australia is a fantastic city to work in, we have great creative teams. But I feel like New York City is calling my name at the moment. I would also love to work in Singapore or Japan as I love the menswear directions from both cities

EE: Elysium (E): A place or state of perfect happiness – When are you at your happiest?

JD: When I am free to create

*Fashionisto Exclusive _ Photography: Thom Kerr _ Model: Zach Vickers _



James Dykes Online


Dion Lee /Songs For The Mute