Annie Aldworth has been a stylist and photo producer in Toronto for 20+ years. She’s worked with some great fashion photographers on some outstanding brands and for all the big city retailers. I got together with her for drinks and biz chat.
modacarta: When and how did you get started as a stylist?
Annie Aldworth: In my last year of Fashion at Ryerson University, we had a co-op stint where I met Marilyn Toombes, a freelance stylist. I asked her what a stylist was and from her description, I knew I had found my career. She was a wonderful mentor.
mc: What brands/retailers have you worked for?
AA: When I started out I did a lot of catalog work for Eaton’s, Hudson’s Bay, then gradually moved on to more editorial work for WedLuxe and advertising work for Sporting Life. I have also done Pro bono work for the Herbie Fund. They published The Oceania Magazine.
mc: What’s changed about the business?
AA: When I was starting in the business the client (brand or retailer) directed the look and the clothes were super styled – extremely severe. We had to stuff everything to create a smooth appearance – they didn’t let anything drape or flow. Now it is far more free – the client still directs but the styling of clothing is freer garments flow. To gain recognition a stylist needs to have a presence on social media. Frequent posting photos of your work especially on Instagram.
mc: Tools of the trade?
AA: One of the most important things a stylist must be able to do, is notice what no one else will. Every small detail. You have to be open minded but focus on a finished look.
mc: Is there a photo or image that you saw that you never forgot? That really made an impression on you?
AA: Not one particular image but collectively the work of Avedon. He made beautiful pictures. There was an elegance to all his images. Very graphic.
mc: What’s a trick of the trade to taking a good photo?
AA: Holding a white card at chest level to reflect light onto your face. We call it ”Phil”
Read Part 2 with Annie on Fashion, the Costume Institute at the MET and style.
Annie – personal photo
3 images from Annie’s portfolio