I have been a wedding and event stylist for fourteen years. There’s not much I haven’t seen, or done, in those years. The briefs may change, but the fundamentals of design stay the same… perspective, budget, space, logistics, trends and client preference are a given, but the finer elements of design; texture, colour, comfort, flow, lighting and attention to detail are the nuances that make design work professionally. True design looks effortlessly beautiful.
We’ve all heard the saying “All the gear and no idea” and it makes me sad to see that in the event industry, this is often applicable. Advice I give my clients is that true style is not about throwing a truckload of equipment into a space and hoping that it will work. Chances are it won’t and it will cost you a small fortune and while that may work for your event stylist/hirer, it won’t for you. A professional stylist uses styling elements judiciously and with clever simplicity to transform your space.. and therein lies the difference between the professional stylists and the pretenders.
Authentic design is original, fun and sometimes even a little quirky. Inspiration can come from anywhere. My styling aesthetic is informed by many places; the colours and seasons of nature, music, the personality and needs of my clients, the latest runway collections and very often, the surreal ideas that come to me when I am lying in bed at night, just before I drift into dreams. For me, that time suspended between worlds is most creative. I keep a notepad and pen by me at all times to record those ideas lest they be forgotten by morning.
So the next time you view styling work, consider the components individually and then as a whole and ask yourself what works and what doesn’t. Would you be comfortable in the space? Does it flow? Are the details attended? Is it beautiful? Your styling should tick all of these boxes and more. True style is about creativity and flawless finish - authentic design has its foundation in originality and simplicity. As Coco Channel once quipped, “Simplicity is the key to elegance”.
Sometimes, less is indeed, more.