We recently caught up with FIDM Graduate Cassey Sawhill, one of LA's most talented stylists. She's put together fabulous looks for celebs, models, and actors for magazine editorials and more. Recently, she styled Shenae Grimes for the cover of TeenPROM Magazine.
Read on for the full interview. Don't miss her prom fashion tips. And for all the stuff you need to know for prom, check out promadvice.com. You'll find the best dresses, accessories and hair and makeup looks, plus hot styles for guys too!
FC: What does a stylist do?
CS: A stylist creates an overall look using wardrobe and accessories as their medium.
FC: How did you find out about styling as a career?
CS: During my second year at FIDM a stylist spoke to my career planning class about her work and my interest sparked.
FC: How did you get started?
CS: After graduating, I attended a stylist workshop at Fred Segal where I met and soon after began assisting my first stylist.
FC: What do you love about your job?
CS: The constant change and the creative, fun people I get to work with.
FC: What's the most difficult part of your job?
CS: Working with people who may not share your creative vision.
FC: What was the craziest styling job you ever had?
CS: I recently styled two Los Angeles DJs for 944 Magazine and on top of the unusual request for Colonial and Old English looks, one of them insisted on holding taxidermy ducks. I actually had to get them!
FC: What are the top 5 things you use most from your styling kit?
CS: Safety pins, double-stick tape, clamps, scissors, and the famous chicken cutlets [bra inserts]
FC: What insider information do you have for someone starting a styling kit?
CS: Go cheap. You can get most of what you need at places like the 99 Cent store and Ross.
FC: How did you feel when you saw your first shoot in print in a magazine?
CS: Proud. I wanted to lean over to the person next to me at the newsstand, point to my name, and tell them, "That's me!"
FC: To what do you attribute your love of fashion?
CS: Thrift stores. Searching through racks of junk for hours back in junior high to find unique treasures is what really taught me 'it's not what you wear but how you wear it'--a motto I still live and dress by today!
FC: What celeb has the best style?
CS: Chloe Sevigny. She can make a pototo sack look like couture.
FC: How is styling a celeb different from styling a model?
CS: With models you get to tell them what to wear. They help you tell your [fashion] story. When you style a celebrity you have to work with their likes and dislikes to create a look they go for and feel great in.
FC: You styled Shenae Grimes for the cover of TeenPROM Magazine. What was that like?
CS: Shenae has great style and knows what she likes so for me it was fun and easy. We liked all the same stuff!
FC: What is a common myth people have about styling?
CS: That it's glamorous. There is so much schlepping involved it really breaks down to about 99% hard work and 1% glamour.
FC: What advice would you give someone who wanted to become a stylist?
CS: Contact agencies and start assisting until you find someone to work under who believes in your future capabilities. Then test, test, and test some more to get your book together.
FC: You are a graduate of FIDM. How did you find out about FIDM and what went into your decision to go there?
CS: I found FIDM while researching design schools online. Being a California native I liked the idea of staying in my sunny state and once I visited the LA campus and felt the creative energy, I was in!
FC: How did you choose a major?
CS: I've always loved unique pieces and putting looks together so Fashion Design seemed like the logical choice.
FC: What was the best lesson you took away from FIDM?
CS: Work hard and get the job done right, whether your sleep or not.
FC: What's your fashon must-have of the spring?
CS: Floral sundresses and sandals! I would wear them both year 'round if I could.
FC: What are the hottest dresses out there right now for prom?
CS: Short and sassy party dresses that you can not only wear to prom, but again on a date or a girls' night out!
FC: Do you have a fashion tip for our readers who are picking out a dress for prom?
CS: Make it your own. My favorite looks are simple dresses accessorized with funky belts, chunky jewels, and killer shoes--so much of which is probably already in your closet!
FC: What are your goals for the future?
CS: I plan to begin designing as well as continuing my career as a stylist where I can make a living doing what I love.
FC: If you could have dinner with anyone in fashion history, who would it be with and what's the first thing you would say to them?
CS: Bjork. I loved the swan!
Check out the photos below to see Cassey on the set of the TeenPROM Magazine cover shoot with actress Shenae Grimes.