In Chapter 7 of 13, fashion stylist Lulu Chen answers "Based on your experience what’s the best approach to building a commercial stylist portfolio?" Chen shares how collaborative test shoots create early career fashion portfolios. Chen highlights collaboration as a cornerstone component bringing together young industry talent - often assistant-level staff - to do test shoots. These shoots help all parties develop individual styles and tastes that over time get refined into individual portfolios.
Erik Michielsen: Based on your experience what’s the best approach to building a commercial stylist portfolio?
Lulu Chen: Well as an assistant you meet other assistants on photo shoots and you develop friendships and you figure out who has the same aesthetic as you or same style and you do test shoots, which contribute to building your portfolio. Building a test shoot is basically the same thing as a regular shoot but on a smaller scale. When young talent comes together and contributes to a test shoot, they are exploring their style; they’re developing their tastes and they’re trying to develop a portfolio. So this is the time for them to be creative and to work together and to really collaborate because everyone is putting in their time and money and effort. It’s not necessarily something they got commissioned to do and so it really is about the collaboration.