MAKING A STATEMENT: WE ASK STYLIST CHARLIE ELMY-BRITTON WHAT IT REALLY TAKES TO MAKE IT IN THE WORLD OF FASHION
Ask any woman what they love about fashion and the answer will generally be designer handbags or Christian Louboutin shoes. With stylists such as Rachel Zoe taking over our screens, a career in fashion would be most girls dream - ‘I’d die!’ (oh yes Rachel Zoe is actually a guilty pleasure of mine too). Most woman love to shop, imagine spending your days waltzing in and out of Chanel, Hermes or Louis Vuitton, sampling all the beautiful clothes, surely it doesn’t get much better than that?!
However, becoming a fashion stylist is hard work, there are no guides out there to help you. My understanding is that you need a keen eye for detail, an excessive appreciation for haute couture and a devoted work ethic. After all, fashion is big business these days. Luckily, having a stylist has become a little more accessible and is not just reserved for celebrities or the red carpet. More and more people are using stylists to obtain their perfect look or create a new capsule wardrobe.
I recently met up with Charlie Elmy-Britton, an up and coming stylist who has already earned her stripes in the industry, to find out what it takes to make it in the world of fashion. Not only does she have an impressive list of clients, this influential stylist also dedicates her time to starring in the best dressed lists at both Royal Ascot and Goodwood.
Tell me a bit more about your background?
My mum had two boutiques whilst I was growing up and I did all the buying with her when I was younger, that’s where my love of fashion began. In my late 20’s I decided to open my own boutique and enjoyed every second of it for 8 years. I loved the buying and helping all my customers. I was constantly being asked to help organise their wardrobes and help them with clothes and outfits for events, even if it wasn’t from stock in my own shop! This part of my business grew and escalated rather quickly, with a small child it became easier to manage this part of my role and fit in with family life, so I closed the boutique and haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to become a stylist?
I really enjoy putting outfits together and giving ladies more confidence in their appearance. I get a huge buzz when they land a job or feel ultra-special after body woes. The messages and letters I have received with thanks for helping them feel the best version of themselves make my day.
What are the new trends that you are seeing in 2018, both in fashion and accessories?
Fashion this season is great fun, lots of lovely textures, silks, sequins, cashmere. I’m especially fond of the tartan that’s out now too! Not head to toe but a little nod to it with a jacket, trouser or bag.
Who are the designers that you really admire and why?
I’m a real fan of Chanel but it’s not very accessible price wise. MaxMara is a wonderful brand and I buy a lot for my clients who are business women. It’s classic, chic and fantastic quality.
Are there any exciting future plans for C.E.B?
I have some wonderful new clients that I am starting with next year as well as a few exciting projects I can’t talk about yet.
Who is your style icon?
Grace Kelly is my style icon, chic, glamorous and timeless.
Describe your ideal client
I love it when a client comes to me with a style challenge, a change of job, a new baby, milestone or a specific event.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to start out in the industry?
It’s best to start with a deep understanding of people as well as fashion, there is a lot of psychology involved.
Are you working on any special projects?
I’ve got a few secret projects on the go, but my main focus is my clients and they keep me extremely busy.
Describe your average day?
No two days, no two shops or clients are the same. The process starts with a wardrobe weed, where we identify what’s working or what isn’t, why, how do we change it, what do we want to portray, how do we want the world to see us. Then we either go shopping together, or I go off on my own and bring an array of choices direct to the client or by post to those that are further afield. I have clients in Sussex, Essex, London and Scotland!
You will be seeing more of Charlie on The Sussex Splendour as she will be doing the styling edits!
To arrange an appointment please contact;