Stylists are curators, creatives and fashion seers. They help celebrities and us normal fashion-loving folk make sense of the endless array of choice. Put simply, they’re geniuses – which is why we’re keen to share their wisdom with the Motley crew.
Natalie Armin is an industry-leading stylist that’s worked with the biggest names in fashion and sport. She’s grown her impressive client based over the past decade, and works all over the world. Put simply, she’s one of the best in the game. Here, Natalie tells us how she got started and what makes her aesthetic so eye-catching.
Then I started putting everything I did on myspace.
I connected with loads of photographers and people in the industry, and started off making headpieces. I put together looks using stuff I found in vintage stores, because sustainability’s always been important to me. I was good at making an outfit look expensive, before I had direct connections to the big designers. Eventually, I went freelance after living in New York and soaking in the fashion scene there.
I love that we’re celebrating different body shapes in fashion now.
I enjoy exploring how fabrics drape on the body, whatever someone’s shape is. The industry’s not been inclusive for a long time, and it’s definitely something I want to add more of to my portfolio.
A great shoot is all about the team and location.
I’ve filmed all over the world, and each place needs a different approach. Getting something that works is all about who you work with. The photography, makeup and styling will just click and there’s great energy on set. When everyone knows what they’re doing and it doesn’t feel like work, you get the material. You’ve got to be willing to try different things on the day, and take a holistic approach.
This year, I’ve done a lot of remote styling.
My job works a bit differently in lockdown. I speak to clients on Zoom, put a PDF together of what I want to use for a project, order everything online, then dial in to shoots remotely. That’s been quite unusual, but it’s given me the space to reflect on where I want to go next and what I’m missing from my repertoire. Then again, too much time can turn you into your own worst critic so it’s important to keep moving and avoid that.
The way I style jewellery has changed a lot over the years.
Back in the day, I would pile on loads of it to be really out there. But all you really need is one statement piece. I love to support up and coming designers, and I use a lot of vintage jewellery I find on trips to Paris. Often, I’ll build an outfit around the jewellery I pick. My interest in fashion was sparked by an auntie of mine, who gave me a big box of clip-on earrings. From then on I would dress myself up (in big grown-up heels) and would even have a go at styling my friends. But jewellery was where it started.
You can really see each individual Motley designer’s aesthetic come through.
Each has got a really distinct style, and giving individual talent a platform is amazing. Showcasing them as individuals is unique to the industry, plus you get the sense of their personality coming through with each collection.
To me, wardrobe must-haves have to be multifunctional.
A coat and a pair of jeans that you can dress up or down are essential. A statement piece of jewellery or a handbag are really versatile too, because you can work around them. It’s all about making it a bit easier for yourself to put different things together.
It’s all about balance.
I love a bold print or a statement piece, but it’s got to be balanced. From making suring the colour tones work to building around something big, it’s just one piece that decides what the outfit balance will be. Keep the rest simple and feature one item that really stands out.
I’m not a fan of fast fashion because of the sustainability element.
Fast fashion is a massive issue in the industry. Buying from those brands only contributes to the pointless amount of waste that’s only growing. I remember working with a brand once that had new t-shirts out that were selling fast – so they called their supplier and ordered a thousand t-shirts by Monday. You have to wonder what kind of practices make that possible.