Even when you think you have a handle on your own style, it can be tricky keeping track of today’s fickle trends. How do you wear colour blocking without mimicking a fruit bowl; how do you insert pops of neon bright without looking like you’re off to a rave; and how do you translate a runway trend to a street wear level? This is where the industry expert comes in handy. It’s their job to digest trends and fashion them from their elaborate catwalk counterparts to the concrete realities of our urban jungle.
To assist you in this, Premiere boutique trade event for exclusive labels enlisted the help of renowned stylist, Philip Boon who will kindly share his secrets at ‘The Stylist Says Workshop’ – an “informative, up to the minute look at modern dressing, presentation and styling in 2011 and beyond.”
Philip is fearless in fashion, especially when it comes to his personal style and encourages everyone to dress for themselves and to `never be afraid’. For an insight into this talented stylist, FEO quizzed him on what it’s like to work with Australia’s renowned fashion designers, how he made the switch from designing to the `perfect job’, his spring summer trend tips.
There is usually a colourful tale behind every talented success story, what is yours? How did you become a stylist?
I was a designer for about 8 years with a couple of lines and a few stores and I was becoming less and less happy with the balance of running the business and designing the ranges so I decided to close my business and move cities and then designed for a while for other companies, became a buyer, worked in PR etc and then was approached by an agent to see if I may be interested in a career in styling, at that time there weren’t that many in Australia, not like now with all the competition. So for me it was something I hadn’t planned but in time discovered was it was the perfect job for me, I also think its invaluable as a stylist to know how to construct clothing so my designer history proved very helpful.
You have worked with some of Australia’s most celebrated fashion designers within your styling for editorial and runway, who are some of the iconic designers, Aussie and international, you worship?
I’m lucky to say a lot are my friends for many years, one designer/couturier I’ve known and worked with is Aurelio Costarella, I’ve known Ray for about 20 years and he continues to inspire me with his talent and designs and have loved seeing his creations on so many huge stars all over the world as well as use a lot in my work. Kirrily Johnston I’ve known for a long time too and her designs are wonderful and she just gets better and better with every collection, I also really enjoy working with mostly Australian designers as I get to know them and what they are all about which you don’t with an international one so much, I love the boys at Leopold, Yoejin Bae, Gwendolyn, Richard Nylon, Trimapee and of course my wonderful friends at Madam Virtue Dean and JC.
Well my co host at Fashion Torque, Jenny Bannister and I really feel that it’s our duty to work with and encourage up and coming design talent and so we think that Gavin Lowes and Becky Chua at Neo Dia are totally the ones to watch in the future.
Who are some of your favourite Australian models? Do you have any great behind-the-scenes tales with any celebrities or models you have worked with to share with us?
I think Alice Burdeau is fab, so 70’s Jerry Hall and I just worked with Samantha Harris and I love her look.
You are doing an interview style chat called The Stylist Says every day at Premiere – boutique trade event for exclusive labels, what are some of the key tips from your experience that you hope to share with the audience? How will these help and enhance their current business model?
I think over the last twenty years I have been lucky to work in a lot of areas of fashion, from design to retail to styling and creative direction so I will be chatting about the landscape of the modern fashion industry as well as individuals and companies that I think we can all learn from, we will discuss 3 different topics each day of the trade show and how that relates back to selling fashion, which is really what we are all doing.
The coming together of like-minded people who believe in a common goal is something that I think inspires you to further your commitment to your chosen field and I think Premiere is going to create a platform for the fashion elite to show their best creations at a time that we need each other more than ever, so the Australian fashion industry may show that it’s always working towards high standards.
As a stylist, you are obviously surrounded by clothing, describe your personal style?
I suppose I have a fondness with vintage, the 60’s and 70’s aesthetic, a time when we all dressed up so I would say my style IS dressed up. I’m not a fan of casual style really when it comes to my own presentation, unless you include kaftans!
What is your personal style philosophy or motto?
Dress for yourself and never be afraid!
What are some of the key spring summer trends we should be investing in for the season?
Well I don’t know about investing as I think this is the season for having fun, the world is in all sorts of trouble so I think we need to embrace colour and make all of ourselves feel better, and it needn’t be expensive. Lots of trends coming through at the moment but I’ll leave that to The Stylist Says Workshop!
Who are your style icons?
On the stylish side, Tom Ford, YSL and on the wild side Alexander McQueen and my legendary co-host Jenny Bannister!