'Fashion' versus 'Wardrobe' Styling: What's the difference?

5:53 PM

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Prior to assisting blogger friend Aisa on her fashion styling stints, I've already done occasional work on wardrobe styling for indie films and short features. Notice that I've been very specific with the terms fashion styling and wardrobe styling for films. Is there really a difference? YES. 

Although the core values of styling can be similar in both, as I got to experience each, I realized that the two differ in goal and practice.

Usually, fashion styling commonly dwells more on doing photo shoots or runway shows. The job involves picking out clothes and other accessories for published editorials, advertising campaigns, music videos, concerts, and any public appearances made by celebrities and other public personalities. The particular looks that a stylist would put up is usually based on the theme of the project or the image of the [celebrity or brand] client. The work of a fashion stylist normally features either high-fashion (involving designer samples) or trendy (what's currently in) looks.

Meanwhile, wardrobe styling mostly entails selecting apparels for either real-life or fictional characters in film, television series/soap opera or theater. The looks don't necessarily need to be high-fashion or trendy; unless the personality of the character calls for it (e.g. Gossip Girl, Sex in the City). All the clothes chosen for each character should also be true to the setting, period, genre of the movie and are well-researched based on the script (e.g. Rock of Ages, Gladiator, Hugo). In wardrobe styling, you have to think about dressing up for a certain role that is crucial to character development, distinction, scenes and sequences, dialogues, the film's continuity and all other details that don't concern fashion or aesthetic. It involves 50% styling but 100% wardrobe managing of a whole cast (who aren't just a size 0), moving around, in various shapes and sizes.

If you're interested to get into the world of wardrobe styling for films and would want to know more, I'll be talking about it this coming Saturday, June 23, 2012. Some of my peers from my film organization in UP organized a basic workshop for wardrobe and make-up for students and we're inviting you to come! Support us and sign up here (click the link).

I'm nervous but definitely excited. See you!

Photos grabbed from Fashion Media PH, TV.com and All Movie Photo


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  1. Wardrobe styling seems so interesting, and I'm saying this as a lover of movies. I really tend to take note of what the characters wear in films and how it ties up to the setting and genre. Interesting. :)

  2. Wow! Goodluck with the talk Melai!! If only i'm free this sat! Hope it will go well! :)


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