wednesday, february 29, 2012
*** INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT - ROBERT BALLEW STYLE HERO ***
LISA JOHNSON MAKEUP ARTIST
MEET MY FRIEND, ROBERT BALLEW = STYLIST EXTRAORDINAIRE - BACK FRESH OFF THE RUNWAY FROM NYFW 2012 - I INTERVIEWED HIM FOR REAL PEOPLE STYLING TIPS! CHECK OUT HIS WEBSITE AND BLOG FOR INCREDIBLE WARDROBE TIPS ON A DAILY BASIS at www.robertballew.com - He's truly amazing!
Robert Ballew is the internationally printed, bi-coastal freelance Wardrobe Stylist-Costumer best known for his ability to create, develop and execute successful national and international print, runway and film assignments. Sharing his time between Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Las Vegas, Robert has developed an impressive cadre of photographers, wardrobe stylists, makeup and hair stylists, fashion designers and fashion PR firms within the industry.
Robert's approach to revealing style and confidence in real people has taken on a brand new layer as the "stylist at large" at Bloomingdale's Lenox Square, Atlanta, Georgia. Creating a “Styling Experience” for their guests. "I have been selected to invigorate their Dress Department and bring a whole new level of personal shopping service to you."
This newest layer to Robert Ballew – Style Hero will deliver an unprecedented level of service that will set your experience at Bloomingdales apart from other retailers. "In addition to working with you on dress selection for your business, evening, special occasion and social events, I am available for your entire “Find Style – Find Confidence” wardrobe experience. We will have every department at our finger tips to select foundation garments, core closet pieces and shoes and accessories that fit your lifestyle."
How long have you been a wardrobe stylist and how did you get into the industry?
My career in the industry started in retail, setting visual standards for stores such as Armani Exchange, DKNY, and Old Navy. Needing a break from the retail lifestyle, I jumped into interior design creating stylish atmospheres and furniture for wealthy clientele. Years later my eye for style and design brought me right back to the fashion industry. A model friend of my was updating his portfolio and asked for my assistance. We just happened to be the about the same size, so I tapped into my closet. Tearing images from catalogs, steaming and iron each piece, I rolled into the shoot. The photographer looked at what I had pulled and organized and asked "Where have you been? I have been interviewing wardrobe stylist for three months." I worked for him for six months after that.
What are some of the major fashion dilemmas you have helped your clientele with?
Rolls and bulges are always the biggest and amazingly enough the easiest to fix. With the proper under garment foundation and shape wear ANYONE can be "Red carpet" ready. I could be a spokes person for shape wear, I even wear them.
With plus size women - what are your best tips for a chic wardrobe?
Never get hung up on fashion or trends. They don't work for everyone, no matter the size, and they don't last that long anyway. Explore and find the right style for you. Searching for flattering and forgiving pieces is the best place to start. Then layer in your signature accessories, bringing happy fun colors to your look.
You recently traveled to New York Fashion Week for the Fall-Winter 2012 collections - what are some of your favorite designer influences you see from the runway that can translate to everyday?
For both men and women, oversized houndstooth, herringbone and even damask designs/prints as seen in Reem Acra, Nanette Lepore and Simon Spurr.
You are also known for your fabulous prop styling - what does this type of work entail and how do you transit between wardrobe and prop styling?
I utilize my interior design skills to prop out the sets. I ask lots of questions of the creative director and the photographer, learning what they want to focus on. I don't want a stark surrounding (unless specified) but I don't the set to demand attention away from the subject either.
Then styling the subject, I use my love for architecture to bring the subjects wardrobe together. I see them as shapes balanced on top of each other. My job is to accent the best features and create a cohesion among the group of shapes.
Do you have any sage words of advice for my "Over 40 Woman" clientele who are wanting to revamp their closet and look?
What is lurking in your closet… way in the back? Is it on a hanger from younger days gone by? Or brand new folded nice and pristine in tissue or a box? Does it still have the tag on it… orthem? Why are you holding on to them? Are you waiting to get skinny… again? Maybe you made the purchase to use as incentive. Many of us think these are valid reasons to hang on to what we used to wear or be.
So lets peek into your mental closet. What of the past are you holding onto? A loved one may have suggested you are a little on the heavy-side, need to go on a diet, have acne or your hair is a rats-nest. OR maybe you don’t need help, you do this all on your own to yourself? You have held on to these words, much like those clothes… The challenge with this way of thinking is that it gives you “concrete feet,” anchoring you in your path; not moving forward. You are stuck, looking forward, but rerunning the past in your head. Even punishing yourself, because you are not what you think you should be. TIME TO STOP IT!!! Time to forgive yourself. Ultimately it is up to you to give yourself some grace.
This will take a bit of effort on your part. A decision to look at yourself in the mirror, today… inside and out. Go ahead… Give yourself a smile. Accept who you are right now at this moment. You may not like what you see today or tomorrow even, but it is a decision to be gracious to yourself today at whatever weight, shape, hair color or skin type you are.
In an economy in flux (to put it lightly!) what advice do you have for budget conscious clients?
Stay true to your own style. Don't get caught up in the label game or sale frenzies for that matter. Many people think buying and wearing one single label is the fashionable thing to do... sounds like "Garanimals" to me. To mix your labels takes a lot of creativity. I am known for wearing a a Hugo Boss jacket, Nice Collective trousers, a Nordstrom shirt, that I had tailored, a tie from Target and a vest from H&M, with my Dolce & Gabbana shoes. Spend your hard earned money on core and special pieces, less money on trends.
In parting - what is your favorite personal piece of clothing?
Oh that is a tough one. I must say shoes are my favorites and even apart of my signature style. My black pointy Dolce & Gabbana shoes, specifically, make me walk tall even with just denim and a tee shirt. Once you find your style, you will find your confidence.
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03/25/2012 - M Dandy
Great stylist article and site.
03/10/2012 - Teri
This is great information. I'm always wondering what on earth to wear. I need to get back to basics! Great article and stylist information!
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