Your chance to tell oth­ers what not to wear

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THERE’S a lot more to be­ing a stylist than play­ing dress-ups. It might be the child­hood dream of girls who grew up adorn­ing their beloved Bar­bie dolls in fun fashion but it takes pa­tience, per­sis­tence and flair to suc­ceed in the styling world.

West­field stylist and de­signer Danielle Symes has long had a fas­ci­na­tion with fashion.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing high school, she worked in re­tail but her bur­geon­ing eye for style and de­sign quickly rock­eted her into the spot­light as an emerg­ing South Aus­tralian tal­ent.

Now she is shar­ing that pas­sion and ex­pert knowl­edge with West­field shop­pers for the love of ap­pre­ci­ated ap­parel.

Ms Symes started as a stylist with West­field two years ago as the re­tailer ex­panded its core busi­ness into de­liv­er­ing an even more per­sonal shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

On the back of the suc­cess of Bri­tish styling pow­er­houses Trinny Woodall and Su­san­nah Con­stan­tine, the pub­lic, and in par­tic­u­lar women, be­gan seek­ing greater guid­ance in es­tab­lish­ing a tai­lor-made im­age.

Now Ms Symes is car­ry­ing that flag fur­ther.

‘‘(The clients) are very hes­i­tant at first but in the end they feel happy and more com­fort­able,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s re­ally re­ward­ing watch­ing women try some­thing new and feel em­pow­ered. You can’t un­der­es­ti­mate how much fashion and ap­pear­ance can make a dif­fer­ence in some­one’s life.’’

West­field is of­fer­ing two Ca­reerOne read­ers the chance to kick­start their ca­reers in the fashion in­dus­try by ap­ply­ing for an ul­ti­mate work ex­pe­ri­ence place­ment with the com­pany.

They will spend one week with a pro­fes­sional stylist pulling to­gether looks for clients at West­field re­tail­ers.

Ms Symes says one of the tough­est tasks of a per­sonal stylist is to earn the trust of a client.

Many fear shop­ping and try­ing on clothes, and they are un­cer­tain about what trends and shapes work for their body.

Oth­ers have formed bad fashion habits – the most com­mon of which is buy­ing clothes too big.

‘‘Al­most no­body knows their body shape. Most women know the ar­eas of their body they don’t like but they don’t know how to cover that area dis­creetly while ac­cen­tu­at­ing their strong points,’’ Ms Symes says. A ses­sion with a West­field stylist takes two hours and starts with a dis­cus­sion about body shape, daily rou­tine and bud­get.

By pe­rus­ing the va­ri­ety of West­field re­tail­ers, the stylist can help a client find sev­eral out­fits and sep­a­rates to en­rich their wardrobe and life while keep­ing ver­sa­til­ity and bud­get in mind.

‘‘It goes right through to shoes, ac­ces­sories and even make-up. It’s about cre­at­ing a whole look or im­age for some­one,’’ Ms Symes says.

Clients also can hire a stylist for an en­tire wardrobe make-over, start­ing at the client’s home, which can take up to seven hours.

Danielle Symes is a fashion stylist at West­field, which is part of the Kick Start pro­gram that helps peo­ple find em­ploy­ment.

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