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Tips for Working Consultants

editors note: We recently asked our working graduates to guest blog. We asked them to share tips and advice for stylists.  This week our guest blogger is Janene Stone, Certified Fashion Stylist, Hong Kong Hi -  if anyone would be interested in working with a contact in Hong Kong - I am Australian and prices of products in Australia are not cheap. Thus, over the years people have whatsapped me with a picture of what they want and I scout around to find that product at a cheaper price. The client pays for the mail [shipping] and my 10% of the cost of the item. It really is an easy fun way to shop. As an example my Mum has not bought her Lancome skincare in Australia for years because I pick it up much cheaper here.

In fact, I half expected name brand items to be cheaper in the U.S. but after a recent trip to San Francisco I returned to Hong Kong with nothing because nothing was cheaper than Hong Kong.
Shopping by whatsapp is convenient and does not include any overheads. In a way I have become somewhat of a resourcer for people who own wedding dress shops and have even been asked to source wetsuits!
PS Whatsapp is a free download which also allows you to phone; it is the only way Asian people communicate.


Online Shopping Versus Personal Shopping A Primer for Personal Shoppers

by Gillian Armour, Certified Elite Personal Shopper

Recently there has been an uptick in students certifying with us as Professional Personal Shoppers. It’s my unscientific opinion that the trend goes hand in hand with the rise in spending online. Women (and men), feeling comfortable with the online experience, are shopping more and more with their digits and devices. The smart ones, recognizing that there are pitfalls, are turning to image consultants BEFORE they make the common shopping mistakes (some discussed below) - hence our enrollment goes up!

I got to thinking about the technology shift in shopping when I was interviewed by a fashion writer for input about the differences between online shopping and the in-person Personal Shopper experience. The following is my take on the trends happening in online shopping and what this means for...

Online Shopping V Personal Shopping by Gillian Armour PDF

Looking Bad to Feel Bad?

© by Gillian Armour, AICI CIP Recently I Googled “fashion tips” and 10,000,000 links came up. That’s TEN MILLION! I did this to see how much fashion information was readily accessible on the internet by just typing in 11 letters!!

Why is it, considering that how we look and dress is the most important visual message we give to others, there are still women and men who dress horribly? Is it really a modern truism that most of us prefer to send the message that we don’t care enough about ourselves to bother looking nice? There is a very thin line between casual and careless. I personally think society is screaming for a fashion intervention!

It’s super scary to think that “sweatshirts” are now the fashion designers’ basic line item. Have you searched for “sweatshirt” on Saks Fifth Avenue’s or Neiman Marcus’ site lately? I just did and found couture designers Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Jason Wu, Lanvin and more offering SWEATSHIRTS! Some made out of chiffon, leather, silk and even rabbit skin! This, I think, is a direct consequence of the laid back casual lifestyle driven by the technophiles and their hoodie wearing founders! But is this where we as women who do care about how we look want to go?

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For too long women have been on the receiving end of fashion design trends and fads (less so for men who have their own dress codes) attempting to brainwash them into thinking that fast and casual fashion is fashion. It’s not fashion. It’s just cheap clothing. And cheap clothing does not fit well, does not flatter, does nothing for your style personality. Sweatshirts with a fancy name attached are still sweatshirts. They are still shapeless and send casual (careless?) messages of sport not beauty. Do we always have to follow ‘fashion’ rather than learning what truly flatters our unique, individual shape and style?

These days true fashion statements are about as rare as the Papuan Bird of Paradise and when we do see them (fashion week, Harajuku, celebrities) we ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaw’. And the reason we respond so well to these fashion peacocks is because they remind us of beauty, of attraction, of our basic human goodness. We like to see men and women looking good; deep down all of us want to send positive visual messages to others. We just don’t know how and yet, and yet it is really as simple as typing in those 11 letters!

Learning, as always, is the key, learning how to sort through the ten million “fashion tips” links to find true fashion for you rather than the casual/careless ‘filler’. And of course this is where an image consultant comes in.

About that intervention – I think it’s time we rallied and started a new trend and call it DRESSING UP. I, for one, am in the mood these days to welcome the chance to look great, and in fact, I encourage it in my clients. I love to get them in the dress up mode and watch as their self-esteem rockets. That’s what clothes and appearance are all about – looking good to feel good not looking bad to feel bad.

Fashion Design Essay

With very little effort, say a new pair of dark wash jeans for a guy or a simple dress for a lady can easily help someone stand out from the sea of yoga pants and bike shorts.

History of Fashion in Indonesia

We received a very interesting article from one of our students this week detailing Indonesia's history in fashion design. We enjoyed it so much that we wanted to share it with you, our amazing readers. Please share with us your thoughts on this article in the comments. See link below. What is fashion design

Fashion Design in My Own Words

A recent student essay by Ellen Marlow, in her own words. My love affair for fashion design began at an early age, never missing an episode of “Style with Elsa Klensch,” which aired from 1980-2000 on CNN. Learning about the foundations of fashion design and watching the elegant runway models gracefully glide across the catwalk every Saturday morning on “Style,” I quickly developed an affinity for all of the sub-specialties that comprise image consulting. Much to my dismay, my hometown of Nashville did not offer many shopping choices for young women at that time. Little variety and even fewer options for petite sizes were available at retail stores in Nashville; therefore, over the past 10 years, I have traveled to Atlanta and New York City frequently to complete my wardrobe.

Tennessee recently appeared on the fashion map with the arrival of the first Nordstrom store, September 2011, in Nashville. Nordstrom is the first department store offering haute couture in Tennessee. Subsequently, Oscar de la Renta debuted his Fall 2012 collection in Nashville along with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in January 2012. Combining the beauty of Oscar de la Renta’s collection along with the auditory elegance of classical music was a brilliant display of visual and performance art.

Nashville Music City, USA has long been regarded as “Music City, USA” and is home to many singers, songwriters, and various celebrities because of the southern charm. Many country music fans arrive at Nashville International Airport wearing Wrangler jeans, cowboy hats and boots, mistakenly assuming all Nashvillians wear country western attire on a daily basis! Therefore, Nashville is not NYC or L.A., and typically not listed as a “fashion capital.” It is my hope that Nashville will continue to be discovered by fashion designers to a city that is “a diamond in the rough.” It is rugged and dirty at times, but underneath the surface lies a gem. . . one of a kind, multi-faceted, beautiful group of people who make Nashville an amazing place to live.