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Everything you ever wanted to know from a fashion stylist
“I have the sewing kit!” Those were the words shouted across the office by a colleague last week when my black linen pencil skirt fell apart right before a big meeting. The skirt’s hem came loose at the back (exposing about four inches of Kendall Jenner-inspired leg), requiring two of my co-workers and I to sew it back together behind a cubicle wall – with duct tape (!) for added security. Left completely traumatized by the incident, I reached out to Toronto-based stylist Sansyrae St. Martin for her expert tips on preventing (and managing) future fashion disasters. Here’s St. Martin’s best advice for the fashion girl on the go.
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What fashion essential do you always carry?
“A strong safety pin! I’ve used them to MacGyver so many situations.”
How do you deal with fashion emergencies when you’re on the go?
“I try not to take things too seriously. Accidents happen and I deal with them as they come. I’ll look for the nearest store and get a new piece if necessary. Otherwise, I use these situations as a fun conversation starter…’You’ll never believe what happened to me today.'”
How do you deal with accidents like stains or the inevitable lint?
“Tide to Go or clear soap works famously. Any kind of tape will get rid of lint in a sticky situation. Be creative and when in doubt, Google quick tricks on your phone.”
What do you bring with you to every photo shoot?
”Double–sided tape, safety pins, a lint roller and chicken cutlets.”
What are you constantly doing on set to make sure your subject looks amazing?
“Steaming – wrinkles are a nightmare on camera.”
What’s your secret to putting together an amazing outfit?
“I like to focus on one statement piece per look. Keep things simple and if you introduce a colour, try and re-introduce it somewhere else on your body whether it’s your lips, nails or accessories.”
How do you decide which trends to follow each season?
”I look for the trends that suit my personality and body shape – there’s always something for everyone.”
What do you think is the most common style mistake women make?
”Ill fitting clothing is a big one. Never buy clothes that don’t wash well or are not cut properly. It makes for a very unflattering and messy look. Invest in quality, timeless pieces and have them tailored for your body. Let your accessories or fast fashion pieces be what keep you on trend.”
What’s your secret to dressing like an off-duty model?
”Models always seem to have the cool factor down – jeans, amazing sneakers and a modern cut T-shirt that speak to their personality.”
What’s your secret to dressing like a celebrity?
“Accessorize and focus on the perfect fit. Celebrities all have personal stylists who make sure all of their clothing is well-tailored.”
Do you have any stylist tips for posting fashionable Instagram photos?
”All of my favourite photos are of people having fun and enjoying life. They just happen to look fabulous while doing so. Don’t overwork the camera. Be yourself, have fun and show off your personality. Clothing should be the adjective, not the subject.”
What are two colour combinations that always look good together?
”Black and white, but there are no rules that work consistently. Every colour has so many shades and tones that any two colours can clash or be amazing – it’s just a matter of finding the right balance.”
What’s one pair of shoes that will go with any outfit?
“There’s no such thing! That’s why all women need a shoe closet.”
What’s one bag that goes with any outfit?
“A mini Birkin – or something like it.”
What’s one fashion piece you can throw on successfully no matter how much of a rush you’re in?
“A dress. It’s a complete outfit that takes zero thought to put together.”
What’s one type of jewellery you can wear with anything?
What’s the one fashion piece every woman should own?
“A really great pair of shoes that brings out your personality.”