XXXV. DANA GOLDENBERG
" A ‘look’ that commands respect, but without being obnoxious or pretentious. "
This lady is certainly very attuned to her own aesthetic preferences, dousing most of her editorial work with a clinical simplicity. Applying a quality wardrobe that consistently results in a pedigree set of photographs. With expansive experience ranging from visual communications, fashion pr, publishing and fashion editing we discuss where her career as a freelance fashion stylist begun. We also assess how this developing CV has crescendoed into the current pinnacle of Dana's portfolio, an exclusive editorial for Fashionisto (see below.)
We also look outside of her personal works and consider what the Canadian creatives have to offer this global industry, exciting uh? ...
ElysiumEditorial: You attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, were these studies design focused or were you always aware of your aptitude for styling?
DanaGoldenberg: I always had an aptitude for styling and design. After graduating from University my passion led me to FIDM, here I continued to grow creatively in all aspects of the fashion industry. Styling is something that has always been second nature and a part of my life. As an assistant with celebrity stylists, I realized my true calling in fashion was styling. This wonderful opportunity led me to another unique experience working in PR, publishing a reference book of today’s influential designers. Every one of these experiences led me to where I am today as a freelance stylist
EE: You are currently based in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and we assume a creatively adept dwelling. A complete assumption when you consider were approximately 3559 miles apart and separated by the vast Atlantic. Care to brief us with the basics, who is currently flustering the Canadian Fashionistas?
DG: I love this question! There are a ton of really talented artists. With regards to Canadian fashion designers, Arthur Mendoca’s designs are so chic and beautiful. I also personally adore what those lovely girls at Chloe Comme Parris are doing. Their pieces are made with quality, and their fresh approach to design comes along with a cool factor I have been waiting to see from a designer. Caitlin Power is another one to watch. I recently pulled a bunch of pieces from her, and had to hold back from not using every single piece in every shot. I personally also love Line Knitwear, as well as Brose. Marika Brose knows what’s up!
Carole Tanenbaum Vintage collection is a gem and Michelle Ross is someone that every major retailer should be watching out for
EE: In a domain where things are judged on their visual value, how do you tackle your personal style in relation to your daily wardrobe and the way in which you present yourself? On a similar note, are you conscious of that fact that your own style should never eclipse the artistry of your editorial work?
DG: I think when I was younger, I gravitated toward vintage finds, mainly because of my LA days, but now I’m more into a sophisticated sense of a considered togetherness. My look is always evolving but comfort is absolutely the most important thing to me. I wouldn’t say that my look mirrors my editorial work, because both are constantly evolving, and it would be impossible for me to pull off many of the looks that I style. I definitely take great joy in getting dressed every day, but I do dress for whatever that specific day will entail. I like simple and chic, on most days
EE: Right, so now we have your own basics covered - how would the man & woman you style choose to present themselves on a daily basis?
DG: Both would be looking for a clean subtlety in their outfit, free from clutter. A ‘look’ that commands respect, but without being obnoxious or pretentious. They would appreciate clean lines, great tailoring, and good quality. They would both also make a great effort with the selection of their shoes and accessories
EE: Whilst perusing the web we came across this statement in regards to a stylist’s role _ to enhance the creative direction of each project. Would you agree that your role is to merely magnify an aesthetic already decided by a designer?
DG: I do agree that it is our job to enhance but I think when given the freedom to do what I feel like doing, without restrictions, I end up giving the client or project so much more. A true collaboration is always a dream for a stylist
I don’t agree that we merely magnify an existing idea. Sometimes a garment or piece will be used as an accessory in an editorial. There is always a concept to an editorial and it is the creative team’s job to work in various ways to ultimately create a cohesive story
*'Clean State' _ Photography: Michael Kai Young _
EE: If this not the case, how would you distinguish your responsibilities as a stylist?
DG: I think my number one responsibility is to have a distinct point of view, and bring this to every single job. Some situations will require more of this, and others less, but regardless it is the most important
You always think about the client and what they need and want. The photographer’s personal agenda is irrelevant to me when I am hired by the client. It is always important to remember that I’m there to make things look amazing and beautiful. When dealing with editorial, it’s more about selecting the right team for the concept. It’s very important to remember to have your POV, but still maintain a collaborative mentality, because really, that’s the beauty of a fantastic editorial
Pulling and making sure all aspects of the look are cohesive for the overall direction of the job is also extremely important. I think about the overall look for a project, so it’s not just about being the person who pulls and returns clothing
from various sources
I am a perfectionist and I try to have fun, but be professional at all times
EE: There’s a certain sense of underplay in your work, a simplicity actually far more engaging than an editorial bursting at the seams. Is it important to embrace the old proverb of less most certainly being more?
DG: I like simple and clean, but I appreciate other ways of styling. I never intended for simplicity to be what I was known for, but I can’t say that I mind that it is
For me, less is really more. The right selections are most effective and visually appealing. There’s a classic feel instantly, which will more often than not stand the test of time. Longevity is a luxury as fashion is constantly evolving
EE: Be it a ‘casual’ stride, a ‘classic look or an ‘effortless’ wardrobe these attributes often run parallel with your stylist hand. Do you ever feel inclined to test said observations and your own creative eye by constructing something far more theatrical?
DG: Absolutely, but everyone involved really needs to be on the same page. I find this ultimately to be the biggest challenge
EE: Your recent work for _ Fashionisto Exclusive _ illustrates a subtle masculinity defined by a simple wardrobe, allowed to simmer in an endearing candid set of well-rounded visuals. Would you be so kind as to explain the process of realizing these exquisite images, from concept & sourcing to the eventual styling onset?
DG: I have worked with photographers like Joel Esposito and Michael Kai Young a few times now, and there is a trust between us, we always discuss everything prior to each shoot so we are on the same page. The pull process is pretty simple for me. I dream up a guy and give him a life story in my head, and then pull looks accordingly. I like to try organizing the looks prior to the shoot, then we just roll with it on set and see what fits and what works best
EE: There seems to be a strong coloration between the lack of colour in an editorial and your menswear portfolio. Is this monochromatic finish adopted to magnify masculinity or simply a fluke?
DG: I just prefer it. It feels stronger to me, and I love working with Joel Esposito on menswear. Joel loves black and white as well
EE: With a developing archive of fashion film, be this styling music videos or directing moving image with sole concentration on the apparel. We wondered what alterations in approach this media might demand?
DG: I suppose the way the clothing fits on moving models is something to initially take into consideration when working with moving media. Working with still styling is very different from film. The way the garments are worn need to be considered in all angles and moves as you cannot simply barge in on set to adjust a crease with a pin (for example)
EE: After your work, what is your best talent?
Elysium(E): A place or state of perfect happiness – When are you at your happiest?
DG: With my family and friends, working on set and visiting my friends in the showrooms
EE: You are currently experiencing a ‘flourishing career’ in the industry, is this progression focused in a particular direction _ do you have an ultimate goal?
DG: Just to keep styling, smiling, and moving forward
EE: To conclude, what one question had you hoped might be included in this interview, furthermore how would you answer said question?
DG: Nada, I think you guys did a pretty good job. Thank you
*'Only the Brave' _ Photography: Joel Eposito _ Model: Jeremie @ Elmer Olsen _