XXXVI. WOO LEE
Stylist ___ W Korea.
" I truly believe in this theory. Creativity is the element that interlaces everything. "
Slightly perplexing then when somewhat out of the blue - with such a thing playing on my mind - the delightful Woo Lee sent over the following text ***with four complete hi-res editorials, might we add. The flow of the following text is uninterrupted and entirely personal to 'this' styling mind. You will find no trace of a suffocating 'questionnaire template' here, instead you can completely bask in the subjective mindful ramblings of a celebrated Fashion Editor. Including her personal view on the industry itself and an intriguing, insider dissection of her expanding portfolio and publication involvement (found below each complete editorial)...
*'Deadly Beautiful' _ Photography: Philip Riches _ Model: Nimue Smit _
The source for this editorial was the fashion collections of SS 2012. There were many white items with a uniform feel. I immediately thought of a nurse’s uniform.
In Europe's history, nuns usually covered the roll of being a nurse. Such outfits have often been appreciated by those with vast sexual imagination. It was an exciting source of inspiration for me, to merge these somewhat clashing pointers.
I then has to consider which epoch (era) she's in? Where and what happens? What original ideas can Woo Lee add to the scene?
I picked up the mood for the location and the epoch (era)from the film ‘The Fall - director Tarsem Singh’ and magnified the emotion, specifically: obsession
Rather than nudity, I used 'the collar around the neck’ as the key styling feature. I wanted to be ironic with the emotions _ obsession, violence, sexuality etc _ in a controversial way.
Then to force the styling I mixed a few synthetic pieces _ stockings and gloves in latex, plasticized dresses etc _ with authentic hospital equipment _ patients bathrobe, nurse cap: I found this cap from an old catholic nurse school that had closed 10 years ago, surgery gown etc
A stylist should ask themselves these questions: Who are you sharing your story with? Will the concept work for the magazine or the client? What kind of woman or man are you creating the look for?
*'Alternative Suit' _ Photography: Philip Riches _ Model: Anna de Rijk _
When you create a story with only the fashion styling, you must give a clear message of the fashion concept!
1. Upon deciding to realize a ‘masculine look’ you must carefully consider what type e.g. formal or casual
2. Here I went for formal, brainstorming what truly constitutes as formal e.g. a tuxedo perhaps
3. No to the tuxedo, it’s far too ‘classical,’ I was craving something different and ‘alternative’
4. How alternative and to what level, considering silhouette, material and color in a concise story
5. Implementing humor with big silhouettes, playing with unique and modern materials
6. Hair & make up further magnified the masculine mood, with dark heavy eyebrows etc
This process is called ‘structure’ and it is vital in ensuring a solid and convincing shoot. Another important process is ‘decoration,’ the creativeness, the originality, the tendency, eventually (if my job has been successful) will result in a fascinating and engaging photo-shoot
*'Extreme' _ Photography: Gianluca Fontana _ Model: Bianca Balti _
This editorial needed a strong solution! The coherence of items was very weak. There were beautiful looks, but it was too hard to find the connection between them. I had to put together and seriously consider the special key points of the styling.
I used a t-shirt (self-cut and formed) for all the pages. That was a good solution to merge these strong self-standing pieces.
I truly believe in this theory. Creativity is the element that interlaces everything.
There are many limits and many difficulties in the processes of the work of a Stylist. To repeat, we are not creating art, we are creating a very artistic photo feature. A set of images that have a common element with the magazine and the client, however the result has to convince as many people as possible.
*'Eternal Instinct' _ Photography: Gianluca Fontana _ Model: Milou van Groesen _
For a long time, I have wanted to create an editorial story with tattoos. I waited for the right time to develop this story. When I saw a still cut of Rooney Mara, I understood it was the right moment!
I didn’t want to make it too logical and easy. With a studded biker jumper, old leather pants, t shirts, piercing, aggressive hair style. I had to create a luxurious feel for the mature woman that 'W Korea' is targeted at.
But I wanted to give at least some sense and credibility to the story.
I decide to show one leather piece on each page, keeping these minimal and shown in beautiful hues. I added chain accessories and strong jackets to create a connection between the location and character.
The difficulty with this shoot was the small and dark location. For this reason I choose a model with platinum blonde hair & I tried to stick with bright and colorful pieces, at the same time orange & blue is a very relevant and strong colour combination.