This weeks Inside View guest is Way Perry, Fashion Director of bi-annual Menswear style title Man About Town alongside being a freelance stylist. Way joined Graduate Fashion Week this June on the judging panel for the Menswear Award. We caught up with him this summer to gather his advice on becoming a stylist and entering the fashion world.
Can you tell us a little about how did you began your career in fashion? Did you always set out to become a stylist?
I had always had a strong attraction to magazines and styling throughout my degree it became obvious it was my path so when I graduated from St Martins I decided to pursue styling , I assisted Greg Fay ( who was contributing Fashion Editor at The Face and ID ) and the went onto assist many stylists over five years of assisting in NYC and UK until I was Hype Editor at The Face and Fashion Editor at JACK Magazine .
Can you describe your visual aesthetic as a stylist and tell us how you developed this?
I think I have always been influenced by the mundane in a humorous and clever way. Franco Moschino is a great example of this, but then was added to something impeccably made and super chic, the mixture of humour and chic together is very powerful. Franco is a big influence, as has been Patrick Kelly, Judy Blame, Ray Petri, Buster Keaton all chic with a little bonkers .
What skills do you think young aspiring stylists need in 2019 that might not have been as important when you started out?
I think you need a digital BS detector as a lot of what we view is on social media and we need to make sure we see the actual film, meet the real person, read the actual book and buy the magazine, know your sources and do not depend on social media for your Information go as close then actual source as you can.
You've worked across editorial, celebrity and catwalk styling. What are the different skills needed when working across different mediums?
I think editorial is very much about expressing a narrative through the clothes which a lot of the time the stylist is responsible for but not acknowledged as the story teller. Catwalk you are interpreting the designers vision and helping make that vernacular reach the audience. Celebrity is a whole different ball game as it’s very much a collaboration with the talent you are dressing .
“You always need to be organised , humble and open to ideas.”
What advice do you have for someone leaving university and entering the industry on how to find their feet as a stylist
Honestly , make sure this is something you want as it’s extremely difficult, when I first started I was assisting five days a week working the other two, and had no cash for about 2 years and even then it’s was such a struggle ( I am not saying everyone will or should have the same experience , it’s is different for all).
I think assisting is essential, due to social media a lot of people think it will just happen, but if you get to work with somebody with 20 years experience how could that be a bad thing, it will only set you up for a stronger future in the business and being associated with the right editor/stylist will help you. Again everyone journey is different. Also treat people well on your way up as your will see them on your way down .