The art of style

Surrounded by fabrics and couture from an early age, it was inevitable that Melbourne stylist, Stephanie Gaspodini would carve a creative path, inspired by the beauty of fabric.

From playing in store-front windows to working with some of Melbourne’s top creatives, Stephanie has come a long way.

Inspired by her unique take on styling with embellished fabrics and vintage pieces, we caught up with Stephanie to learn about the art of style, her creative journey and how she has carved a path among a competitive industry.

Tell us about yourself and journey to becoming a stylist

My creative journey started from an early age. My mother is a couture designer which meant I grew up surrounded by fabric and beautiful gowns, often playing with the mannequins in shop windows on a Saturday morning. Mum had a studio at home and I often spent most of my afternoons, after school watching her work. Since I can remember, fabric has always excited me and is often my starting point when creating concepts.

Growing up I was always a very curious and creative individual, and while I always gravitated to creative outlets, I initially found myself teaching. While it was a rewarding career, something didn’t feel right; I knew it wasn’t my calling. At the time I had also come out of a very difficult relationship and felt paralysed – I knew I needed to make a drastic change, reset and take control of my future. Fearful, yet filled with excitement, I made the move to London. It was an amazing experience that brought me to where I am today.  I got to experience the diversity and inclusive nature of one of the world’s largest metropolises and it was there that I fell in love with fashion all over again.

Upon my return home, I enrolled in a styling course and have never looked back.

Left: Mikaela in the flared sleeve shirt

Who inspires you?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing or person that inspires me. I find that inspiration comes in all forms and often when you’re least expecting it. It’s the experiences throughout my life that have transformed me and made me a stronger person, giving me the confidence to take risks and challenge not only my own limitations, but those of the fashion industry.

If I had to be specific, I would have to say that great storytelling inspires me most; I love the passion, laughter and emotions that come with it.

Erykah Badu is my all-time favourite storyteller and creative. She is such an amazing artist and activist who is constantly evolving and reinventing herself. I admire her authenticity and ability to express deep messages within her music.

How would you describe your style in three words?

Timeless, feminine and effortless.

What are three items everyone should have in their wardrobe?

Every woman should have at least one tailored blazer to throw on over a variety of looks.

A plain, white t-shirt is a must; it is the most versatile item of clothing you will ever own. You can layer it under sweaters or over a tank top, tuck it into a skirt or let it hang over a pair of denim jeans.

Lastly, you can’t go wrong with a pair of dark-wash denim jeans. They work for a number of events and body shapes!

Timeless layers styled by Stephanie featuring the flared sleeve shirt

What can we expect to see this and next season?

Definitely lots of vibrant playful designs with hints of subdued neutrals.

Suiting, especially jackets with embroidery and over sized trench coats worn as dresses.

Primary colour palette with yellow and blue dominating.

Mixed printed and embellished textiles ranging from novelty fruits, animal print to palm fronds, with orange, red, and rust add earthy vibes to this creative and colorful trend.

I predict that the 70’s will make a comeback in a big way, with a heavy focus on tailored denim ensembles.

Lastly, metalics will continue trending.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.

What advice would you give to young creatives looking to break into the industry?

Be prepared. As a creative, your portfolio is a representation of you and what you are capable of producing. When putting it together, remember to only show your best work. Sometimes, as creatives it can be tempting to showcase all your work, however I would advise against this. Only show the work that truly represents you as a stylist. It’s much better to have a small, amazing portfolio than a large mediocre one.

Think outside the box – try different media and work with different creatives. I always try to challenge myself with every shoot I do. There is nothing interesting about a safe portfolio. Be bold and take risks – clients will appreciate it!

Be receptive to feedback. Take it all in, reflect on it, decide on what’s useful and then act. Remember, there is no failure, only feedback.

Take every opportunity you can get including volunteering as it’s a great way to network and show others how dedicated and passionate you are about the industry.

Create your own opportunities: write briefs, contact modelling agencies and photographers and get shooting!

Finally, always work hard and be nice to everyone.

Left: Behind the scenes of a shoot with Stephanie

Details

Photographer: Jess LaFrankie
Creative/Art director: Russell Neill
Stylist: Stephanie Gaspodini
Makeup: Nicole Georgiou
Model: Mikaela Jade Schreuder

February 11, 2018
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