Guest Speaker – Katy Lassen

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Katy Lassen is a freelance fashion stylist and consultant based in London. Originally from the Lake District, Katy started her career assisting at Conde Nast titles Vogue, Glamour and GQ before joining the launch of biannual title GQ Style as Junior Fashion Editor.

A passion for womenswear persisted and Katy left to pursue work as a freelance stylist. Katy now contributes to magazines such as Sleek, Centrefold and Exit and is Fashion Director of the London based style magazine USED. Katy has consulted for several young London designers, luxury and high-street brands. She is represented by Saint Luke Artists.

Katy was inspiring today and gave a very good talk about the current style, fashion and photography industries. Fashion photography is route I may consider or perhaps now after this talk, more of a portrait route like Dean Chalkey (last weeks guest lecturer) maybe more for me. She is currently a lecturer at Espon and this was evident in the way she presented and the powerpoint she was showing us. As well as a lecturer, she is still a freelance fashion stylist. Stylists work with brands and musicians to create a look that represents their style and music, or more how they want to be seen by the public… they create an image for someone.

Stylists can work as fashion editors. At the moment there are a lot of online opportunities with brands such as ASOS and COS to name a few that Katy mentioned.

She noted that magazines like the ‘The edit archive’ have all been styled. Stylists and photographers often don’t get paid for fashion magazines/editorals at the start and the budget is only high enough to cover costs. However in the long run after lots of stories you do to make your portfolio, that promotes your commercial work, more likely to get paid jobs after a good book of work showing testing and ideas in the past that have worked aesthetically well.

Katy said straight after an editorial with cushions put together with a photographer for sleep magazine, the shoe shop ‘OFFICE’ wanted them to recreate/be inspired by the cushion shoot using the same team, then a year later by ASOS with a different photographer.

List of agencies for Styling and Photography –

  • CLM
  • Streeters
  • Art and commerce
  • Map
  • D&V
  • Art partner
  • Intrepid
  • Smile too
  • Jed root
  • Visual artists.

‘They take your money, but get you money’ – Katy Lassen

‘If you won’t work for free, someone else will’ – Katy Lassen

Being a fashion stylist/photographer, it’s all about making a team Katy says. Magazines and clients will often book your team which is very important to note. To get used to having a team round me i must that in my head at this early stage as i will probably never work on my own in the future (e.g. assistants and stylists) therefore building communication and time management skills with people around me now is crucial for my personal, professional development. I am currently working on this already by talking to the Year 2’s and helping them out in the studio and modelling for them.

Katy says the majority of time, the basis of an idea often comes from outside fashion. She always saves images in a folder for inspiration, regardless of what they are on her computer to come back to whenever she may need inspiration or an idea pops into her head. Something i should really start doing as of now. I will always think of something and ask my self ‘Where did i see that image/idea!!!?????’ ‘Was it here….’ and usually means me looking through my internet history, asking my friends if i told them about the idea before, looking through bookmarks  etc. Having a folder on my computer where i copy anything that grabs my attention will help me an awful lot in these situations.

Quick note from lecture: Fashion styling – Do as much work experience doing assisting, interning. collaberate and network.

Katy went to uni in Brighton. A year before she left uni, she decided to move to london and organisaed a placement with Vogue, no gap year, she just wanted to work as soon as possible.

She told us about a story from when she started her work experience. Went to vogue with very little knowledge, read the magazine and played with clothes. – applied naively. They wrote back saying no… So she called them and they said ‘you don’t  have enough experience for work experience’. Went to do work experience 3 weeks after uni and then tried again. They said yes for her to do assisting jobs at vogue in London.

Following that when her work experience was coming to an end, she did experience for Glamour, GQ, stylists assistant and as a freelance stylist. She said utilising your position, moving between branches is the best thing you can do. Katy then worked for just under a year with GQ Style, left and started shooting, tried to get assisting positions. She wanted to create her own work. Testing – team for portfolio = Good body of work = Started showing it to magazines and got paid work.

‘Let them eat cake’ (http://ltec-magazine.tumblr.com/) is a magazine she worked on but no longer exists – Freelance work.

2012-2013 – USED magazine, bi-annual, Katy joined as fashion director but unfortunately had no revenue and no longer exists, needed advertising.

Katy at present is now currently freelancing for international publications as well as being a lecturer. She finished off with this which i really liked and made me think a lot going into the first brief deadline, the next year and my future…

‘as a creative you’re constantly evolving.’

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