Meet the Stylist’s Stylist
Danielle Griffiths is a Stylist Director and has worked in the fashion industry for over 18 years with many high profile celebrities and models. Danielle is a Condé Nast visiting lecturer and author of Fashion Stylist’s Handbook. She is also mentor and coach to those entering the styling profession, as well as more experienced creatives who need their skills to evolve with the industry. In this edition of What She Does, Danielle shares with me her greatest inspirations and some insider styling tips from the top.
Who are your style icons past and present?
This constantly changes, when I was young it was Sophia Loren in Houseboat. Nowadays it is Cate Blanchett as herself or in any role that she plays.
However, it changes because my research changes, especially with the internet because we all have access to so much now. I am always inspired and running in all directions trying to visually consume as much as possible. So, who ARE my style icons? It could be the artist and feminist Valie Export with her images from the 70s/80s. It could be Mongolian women in traditional dress of the 1900s, it could be Padmé Amidala – the fictional character from Stars Wars, played by Natalie Portman or the women of the Klondike gold rush. That’s the beauty of styling, it’s the research that sends you off in so many different directions. I’m always learning!
Describe your own style in three words?
Structured, masculine (but) feminine – the tomboy in me is reluctant to leave. The Masculine/Feminine aesthetic is really easy to work in and walk in. And I’m mainly in black. When styling, I’m running round most days, collecting, carrying, dressing, editing, steaming, returning items – it’s a heavy job, so looking pretty isn’t really in my job description.
Obviously when I’m in meetings, the whole styling get-up comes out. But when working, I am probably the most un-fashion of fashion stylists.
For all the fashion IGers out there – what fail safe item of clothing or trick always works in photos?
It’s hard as most people are working on themselves on Instagram and don’t have the added advantage of someone else safety-pinning a garment back to fit their body exactly. In shoots for magazines, no matter the size of the model (unless the outfit is specifically made for her), a stylist is always safety pinning a garment to fit. I guess it comes down to the best angle for each person. We take hundreds of shots on a shoot, just to get the right angle of the model and the clothes, as well as playing with the shadows and the makeup and so on and so on…
Give us an insider styling tip that will elevate any look?
Find a good seamstress – no garment fits any body perfectly unless it is made for them.
Get the pieces you love and go to the seamstress to fit them exactly to your body shape. It could be to hem a pair of trousers, shortening sleeves, moving darts or putting weights into a skirt to make it move better.
Who’s the best celebrity client you’ve ever styled?
I’ve mainly worked in editorial or advertising, but one I loved, has to be Helena Christensen. I worked with her for a Breast Cancer shoot many years ago when I first started. She was, as you would imagine, just a lot of fun and carefree.
If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life who would it be and why?
Dries van Noten, I’ve had a fascination of all things Dries from a really young age, back when I went to Paris Fashion Week and I snuck in to see his show. I just felt he really resonated with the person I wanted to become. Still does!
What’s the most fun part of your job?
It has to be working with and coaching other stylists. As a Stylist Director, I love working out what will make a stylist succeed and getting them exactly to where they’re aspiring to be.
First piece of advice you would give for someone wanting to enter the fashion industry?
Working in fashion, you need to be aware of what’s relevant. Whether it’s a feeling or an instinct, being ‘in the know’ & ahead of the curve will only push you further to develop yourself and your career. To do this, all you need to be is curious, not just with fashion, but with the world around you. Whether that’s news, politics or world affairs, to know what’s going on in the world, will help you pull ideas from all those experiences to inspire your work.
Your ultimate wardrobe essential?
A jacket with deep pockets, otherwise it is useless!
A Gift from Danielle…
If you are a stylist or budding stylist embarking on your styling career, download Danielle’s FREE guide to finding clients here:
For more information or want to work with Danielle to elevate your styling career – book in a call:
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