Like many women, I have a keen interest in fashion and clothing. I’m probably too old to be a typical fashion blogger as what I look for in an outfit has changed over the years and I’m no longer satisfied to wear what I find on the high street. That’s why when I was introduced to stylist and personal shopper, Anna Nylander, I jumped at the chance to interview her! So, in true Lacey Dearie style, we took an imaginary trip to Stockholm Fashion Week (because I can’t afford to go for real) and had a chat about what it’s really like to be a stylist.
Tell us a little about what you do. I understand you’re a personal shopper and a stylist?
Yes, that’s correct and I worked as a PR consultant for more than 10 years before I started my own company. I have a Masters in Styling. As a stylist you have a focus on creating a concept for the fashion magazines whereas in my role as Personal Shopper is the other way around. There it is all about the client. We are all unique with other individual colours, shapes and styles. So in this role I want to make the client aware of her or his unique colours, shapes and style. I like to see myself as an image consultant. I have one foot in the world of fashion and the other in the business world. Here at the fashion show in Stockholm it is all about following the latest trends. We can be inspired by what they are showing here from Stockholm Fashion week and see all trends that are coming but in my role as personal shopper/image consultant you always focus on the client and see unique colours, shapes and style you have. So those two roles are the contrasts really. I like them both but I am more aware when I style a client as personal shopper now. I am not putting my style or the current trend from the fashion week on my client. It is all about taking the best out for each person.
Oooh, canapes! *grabs one* Before I stuff too many in my mouth, how important is body shape to what a person wears? Can a woman still be stylish and fashionable even if she has a few extra pounds? Or similarly, can someone with no curves at all who is naturally very skinny still look amazing? How important is body shape and how does it affect your advice?
Everyone can be stylish no matter what size or shape you have. Curvy or no curves. It is all about knowing your shape and afterwards I can suggest different outfits you will look good and when you walk through life it is important you feel confident in them. I will also interview about your lifestyle during an image consulting to understand your true style. For example, there is a big difference styling a romantic and classical woman. Many clients that I meet are lost in translation in a way. Most of them buy what they see in the fashion magazine or see here on the runway. I make them aware of their own style and shape and the best color for their skin. Also there are several criteria I look at.
What drew you to working in fashion?
Ohhhh, that has been going on for such a long time. I have been passionate about clothes since I was 2 years old and started to demand to decide what to wear each morning. Hahahaha and that took a lot of time. Before working with and in fashion I worked as a PR consultant, a communications consultant within the private sector around Europe. But something was wrong. I didn’t like at all sitting all day in front of the computer. I talked to people everywhere in the world but I never saw them face to face. What I missed was meeting people, being creative with colours and texture. In my free time I have always been drawn the fashion industry. As a very young woman, I modelled a bit when I lived in Spain. I hung out with fashion designers and had friends working for fashion magazines like Vogue and helped them out writing articles. I was fascinated by it all but did not find my role in it. It would take me a long time and courage to really follow my dreams and find my place on this earth. So I’m so excited and happy to create my own role. I feel that, for the first time in my life I have a job that gives me so much. Seeing my clients happy and excited, makes me so happy as well.
Do you think it’s better to stick to what the current trends are and adapt them to your own personal body shape and style or do you think everyone should express themselves and their personalities with clothes regardless of what the trends are?
I suggest that you look at your own body, your lifestyle. The most fashionable thing you can do is to be You. Your unique colours, style and shape. Fashion is temporary; your style is permanent.
The personal shopping side of things interests me. What approach do you take when styling someone you’ve only just met?
In my role as personal shopper or style/image consultant I start off by doing an almost 3 hour image consultation which include colour analysis and style consultation. During this meeting you will discover the palette colours that make you look great and which mix and match more readily with others. Style analysis will help you to create your own personal guide of what best suits your shape, colouring and personality. After this consultation you will know what you look good in and how best to accessorize. So I don’t start to just look at a person then directly style the person. You can say I make a deep analysis and look at your natural colours, shapes and ask about your style to really understand YOU. Because this is all about YOU and not following any trends or buying the latest thing you see in the fashion magazines.
Do you style men as well as women?
Yes, I style both women and men. I work with companies also and how they can help their employees look great and professional. I am passionate about individuals and businesses to look great, feel great and be confident.
Not everybody can afford a personal shopper or stylist. What advice would you give to those of us who have to make our own choices without professional guidance?
OK, I would just like to say that I think there is a misconception about the role personal shopper. Because it is not about going out there shopping. It’s more about making you aware what fits you, shape, colour, style etc. And when you know this, you don’t continue to buy clothes that you will never wear. For example, what is the percentage of clothes you wear today from your closet? With me, you will save your time and money, help you to look your best at all times. And, yes, stop buying clothes you are never going to wear. Yes, the 3 hours of image consulting costs an amount of money and when you take into account you will have this knowledge and use it all your life, well, then it is a great long term investment in yourself. You will get your color watch and personal style book with you also so you know what to look for in the stores. My advice though is: When you invest in a new garment I suggest you buy these garments in neutral colours so you can combine them easily with stronger colours. Neutral colours are black/grey or brown and beige. Also, when you buy a new garment ask yourself is it versatile? Can you combine it with at least 3 other garments in your wardrobe?
Oooh, look at all these models walking around backstage! They’re so glamorous! If you could style any celebrity, perhaps an actress or rock star or model, who would you choose and why?
They are not celebrities maybe but the I would love to put more colour on the politicians. Hahaha 🙂 We all need more colours in life.
Whose style to you admire?
Kate Winslet. I find her so authentic and elegant.
I love Kate Winslet too! Oh no, here’s the paparazzi coming to take photos of us! Hide! Oh, hang on, they’re just after pictures of the models. We’re safe. One last question before we go back out and watch the show. What advice do you have for anyone who would like to work as a personal shopper or stylist?
Undertake professional training, get hands on experience and invent! Invent new ways to find your customers and create your own job opportunities. And do not hesitate to contact me if you want someone to brainstorm with. I’m always intrigued by young, ambitious, passionate and forward thinking new colleagues.
If you’d like to contact Anna you can email her or check out her website. Check her out on Instagram too.