Tell us about your background; how did you first become interested styling? Ever since I was a teenager, I had fun with fashion. It was my hobby, my passion, and my means of expression. My father used to travel a lot and he would always buy me magazines and fashion books from around the world. When mom gave me a sewing machine, I mastered it immediately and started creating my own garments. I then went on to studying a basic design course during my senior year in high school.
By the time I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to study fashion. From that point on, everything fell into place. My life revolved around fashion. By my last year at Universidad de Palermo, I started working as assistant to a fashion stylist.
“Ever since I was a teenager, I had fun with fashion. It was my hobby, my passion, and my means of expression. My father used to travel a lot and he would always buy me magazines and fashion books from around the world. When mom gave me a sewing machine, I mastered it immediately and started creating my own garments.”
I decided later on that I wanted to work for myself, which brings me to the point I am today: being my own boss
Is there a particular mood you’re drawn to within your work, a personal aesthetic? I have always been infatuated with 1990s fashion, so I tend to move back and forth between grunginess and the sleek minimalism of Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang. I have have been told that this decade nostalgia is showcased in my work.
Where and from whom do you draw inspiration? Inspiration may come to me in any form – designer collections, old films, books, an article that is well-written (I’m a big fan of the English tongue). I sometimes find it in my city’s architecture, so a fashion story may spark from a building and it will develop into a character which is embodied by the model and expressed through the fashion.
Some of the artists that have inspired me in the past are Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Van Gogh and Lewis Carroll, to name a few.
What interests you the most about this line of work? The imagery. Having the chance to tell a story, be it personal or related to a client’s needs, is what I’m most fond of.
I also enjoy working as a team with fellow creatives whose work I admire.
How do you scout locations for a shoot, or develop a particular aesthetic for a project? I always start a project with a scrapbook. After I’ve locked down the script — meaning there are no more changes — I’ll comb through it and determine where I want to shoot. It helps to break down each image and jot down all the locations that come to mind, or else start looking for new sceneries that will fit the story.
I try to cast my stories with models who have a lot of character, and the same applies to locations. I’d never go with generic locations like a bookstore or a restaurant. Instead, I’ll go with settings that will be memorable, such as a quaint landscape or a suburban home. It all depends on the character I am trying to portray.
What is your typical manner for composing a scene – including model, atmosphere, styling? When composing a scene, I tend to work hand in hand with the photographer or filmmaker. And it actually all comes down to the brief that is the idea.
Scrapbook in hand, I’ll be an extra eye behind the camera lens. This is why I try to work with colleagues who have similar references and sensibilities. That way, I can focus on the styling, and they will bring something completely fresh to it, kind of speaking what’s in my mind but in a much improved way.
What has been your most exciting project to date? This year I started working for CAUDAL, and it has so far been very fulfilling.
Each story is shot during a trip, which is fun and challenging at the same time. Having a few days to do the job, in peaceful sites and with a good work flow, has allowed me to put something together, then deconstruct it over and over, until there is a certain unanimous decision that one point has been reached (the image or scene we’d been looking for). It’s like an unspoken moment of clarity in the whole process.
The work I’ve done with them is my most favorite, and the memories I keep from the trips are longlasting – and documented!
To learn more, visit Florencia Thomas.