Five minutes with stylist Kimberly Gardner


The fashion world has changed significantly since its humble origins. From the way it’s designed and manufactured, to the fast-pace we now expect collections to be released and the onslaught of new technology advancing and improving how the industry functions. Even the idea of styling is still a relatively new term. Kimberly Gardner is a well-respected stylist who has worked with, and alongside, fashion’s elite throughout her successful career. Clients include mega-store, David Jones who she works season in season out on various catalogues and in putting together the looks for their seasonal fashion shows with Miranda Kerr. But she has also worked on countless editorials, with ad agencies, and on fashion parades from shopping centres to Australian Fashion Week.

Now Kimberly brings her expertise to the Australian Shoe Fair co-located with Fashion Exposed and the Bags & Accessories Fair. We took five with the stylist to chat about the trends we can expect for Winter 2012; how she fell into styling and why it’s much harder to break into the industry now than it was in the 80s; and her advice to budding stylists looking for a leg up in the industry.

gardner_2You have a long history working as a stylist in the Australian fashion industry, how has it changed since when you first started out? 

A lot, when I first started out the word stylist was associated with hairdressers.

How did you become a stylist? 

On my return from Italy I was approached by David Jones Qld to work on their workshops.

gardner_3What are some of the first jobs you worked on or designers you worked with? 

After 6 months in Qld I was part of a team to work nationally on the fashion launch for DJ’s, then this opened up the doors for different styles of work eg. add agencies, shoots and parades.

Who are some of your favourite designers to work with both Australian and International? 

Australian = Paula Walden and Easton Pearson. International = Chanel  And why?  Because they are extremely talented, have a great attitude and I get to play with some of the most desirable pieces.

kimberly_4What are some of the trends you predict to be big in 2012 and why? 

Winter = Urban Manourves, 70’s Chic, The Great Escape and Colour Watch.
Summer = Rainbow sherbet, Power Flowers, Roaring 20’s and ’50’s – 60’s housewife.

I think they’ll be trends because it is the past with a twist.

What are the ones you’ll be wearing? 

All of them, I get bored!

You are also known for your personal style, how would you describe it? 


What are your favourite brands to wear? 

Karen Walker, Dries Van Noten and Prada.

How difficult is it to get a start in the industry now compared to then? 

kimberly_5Extremely difficult now as every second high school student wants to be a stylist, thanks to Rachel Zoe.  When I started every one wanted to be a lawyer thanks to the 80’s power dressing.

What tips or advice / strategies do you have for stylists starting out? 

Work experience or Volunteer on as many shoots, shows etc as possible.

You are styling the Live Look Books for Fashion Exposed, can you tell us about some of the trends, looks that you will be putting together for this? 

The same winter looks as above – very exciting!

What do you have in store for 2012? 

To buy a new car as mine is 16 years old and I won’t let him go, also to find more time for my loved ones.


Don’t miss the Live Look Books at the Australian Shoe Fair from February 12-14 at Fashion Exposed.

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