Your chance to tell others what not to wear
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.