On one well-manicured hand, Lara Lupish is editor-in-chief and creative director of Newcastle produced luxury fashion magazine, Façon.
On the other hand, she has successfully forged an international career as a celebrity stylist, dressing some of the most beautiful and noteworthy people in the world.
To most of us – who struggle to put together an outfit for Sunday brunch – this may sound a little terrifying, exhilarating and…confusing.
We sat down with Lara to get a behind-the-scenes take on celebrity styling.
What does the job of a celebrity stylist entail? Essentially selecting amazing clothes and accesories for my clients for red carpet, stage or tv apperances or magazine cover shoots. Firstly, I have meetings with the client or the magazine and then off I go to “pull” product for a fitting. Next is the fun part, meeting the designers or going to the fashion PR showrooms and selecting peices . I love looking at all of the new collections and picking precious jewells. Next is the fitting. This usually takes a number of hours and some time to set up. I love the client to walk into the room and be ‘wowed’ by the racks of clothes and also the tables of shoes and jewellery. Then it’s a matter of getting it right , styling wise….but when you have some amazing peices to work with it’s just fun and easy.
What career opportunities are there for budding stylists in australia? There are alot of opportunities. But, it is a very tough and competitive business. You have to expect 1 “yes to 10 “no’s.” There are many different areas of styling from fashion editing in-house for magazines, to freelance magazine work, to red capret, tv, costume design for film and music videos. The skill set generally covers all aspects, but i would say film is more specialised.
What skills are paramount to be a successful stylist in australia? Is it something one can learn or is it a case of “you either have it, or you don’t”? I think you either have it or you don’t. It’s a very demanding job. Not glamourous , even if you are shooting on a tropical island for a fashion campaign, it’s up at 4a.m, standing in the sun all day, running up and down the beach for more “options” etc. I think you need to be able to handle “no” quite well and still be able to persevere. Of course, a good eye is essential as is a strong work ethic and confidence in putting outfits together. You need to believe in what you are trying to achieve in a look. This also helps you gain confidence from your clients, magazine editors and also advertising agencies.
What celebrities have you worked with and do you have an all time favourite? All time favourite is Sir Ian Mckellen…so much fun! Sexiest is Dannii Minogue and also the loveliest, coolest person. I’ve also really enjoyed working with Delta Goodrem, Naomi Watts, Megan Gale, Jennifer Hawkins, Ricki Lee, Sonia Kruger, most aussie celebs i think.
Have you ever been star struck and if so, by whom? Michael Hutchence, a long time ago! Eddie Vedder when I worked in seattle. Heath Ledger… Can you see a pattern here? Haha. Mel B from spice girls – i loved her!!!
Do you have a “pinch-me” moment in your career that really stands out? When I saw my first cover on the news stands. When I met Hugh Jackman on set in Canada. My girlfiend was working on x-men, so she invited me to set and introduced me, and there he was Wolverine!
How about a “cringe-worthy” moment? Any spectacular wardrobe malfunctions? When I was the costume designer for an indie film being shot on Vancouver Island, Canada and I realised that the costume for the scene coming up that afternoon with Sir Ian Mckellen wasn’t on the island but in Vancouver at the film offices. Luckily my husband was on the production team and I rang him crying (because i was terrified i’d made such a big mistake). He had to put it on a seaplane that landed in the bay next to us and one of the wardrobe team drove in the snow to get it. It was hanging happily in Sir Ian’s trailer, ready for dressing 15 minutes before he was on for his scene. I’ve never had such high blood pressure in my life!
What career advice would you give budding stylists? Never give up. Always be polite. Get used to not having “sick days,” they don’t exist in this biz. Over prepare for everything.
What is the best career advice you’ve received? Well, it’s actually life advice and it came from my grandmother, “if you’re going to do something , do it properly or don’t do it at all.”
Go-to outfit for Sunday brunch? Boyfriend jeans, white tee and a balmain black jacket.