I recently photographed and styled the lovely Cameroonian-born, Berlin-based musician T’Neeya for OE Stories magazine.
I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to style musicians throughout my career and I particularly enjoy working with emerging musicians like T’Neeya, who are still on that visual journey of finding out what kind of look they want to portray to their audience.
From my experience along the years, here are some tips for stylists who want to style emerging musicians for various projects e.g. editorials, live performances and so on.
1) Remember a musician is not a model, so when pulling pieces for him/her, a stylist really has to be aware of the musician’s personal preferences. This is especially the case for an emerging musician who may not have the confidence or exposure yet to be very experimental when it comes to his or her look. For example, before the Shoot Date with T’Neeya, I met up with her for lunch and it was then I discovered that some of her favourite fashion preferences were black, minimal statement jewellery and sunglasses. So during my press pick-ups, I made sure I pulled pieces with this in mind.
2) Research is key; especially when working with an emerging musician. Reason being, more often than not, they have not worked out what exact look they are going for and often need some guidance. This is where a stylist comes in and you become more of a brand/image consultant. In order to give the best advice here, I have found it really helpful to collect a bundle of inspiring shots of musicians and models along the years. And when I have First Time meetings with musicians, I often bring this collage with me to use as a reference point.
Be creative when pulling pieces together for the shoot. When working with an emerging musician, press offices are often not to so keen to lend pieces/best pieces. However, if you have built strong relationships with specific Account Managers, you will find that they are happy to lend because they know that you are a stylist who often gives them good press. But what if your musician is not a Press Size? In this cases, it is best to use the strongest pieces from the musician’s wardrobe and mix them in with items from your ‘Stylist Cupboard’. Also bear in mind that some Press Pieces are ‘Size Friendly’ e.g. bags, jewellery and shoes- so you can still work in some great ‘In Season’ press pieces into your project, if your musician is not a standard model size.
If you look at the Credits below, you will see that with this OE editorial, I used both Press pieces as well as a selection from T’Neeya’s wardrobe.
Check out what she’s up to on: facebook.com/tneeya1
Black top: Musician’s own
Printed leggings: JULIAANDBEN
Double horn necklace in gold and black: Ecole Boutique
Black biker gloves: Ecole Boutique
Spider cuff in nude and black: Ecole Boutique
Dark grey sunglasses: VAVA
Shoes: Musician’s own
Dramatica necklace in black and gold (worn as headpiece): Ecole Boutique
Dark oversized waistcoat: Isabell De Hillerin
Springbok horn pendant in black and gold: Ecole Boutique
Valentina slipover in black knit and leather: JULIAANDBEN
Gloves and cuff: Same as before
Black Shoes: Musician’s own
Black suede and leather T shirt dress: JULIAANDBEN
Suzee black patent bag: Ethel Vaughn
Black & gold necklace rope & pearls: Ecole Boutique
Yellow sunglasses: VAVA
Gloves and cuff: Same as before
Black and gold boots: Musician’s own