Follow us as we walk in the footsteps of our Stylist of the Month, Edith Henry.
At Electric Frenchie we have a little obsession with all things fashionable, so when we were given the chance to learn from known-stylist, Edith Henry, we couldnt help but jump at the opportunity.
Walking into the studio, it was almost hard to recognize the Electric Frenchie clothes I have come to know by heart. True to herself, Henry does love to mix it up. In taking one piece, such as the "Let's Polka" skirt by Urban Behavior, the model was transformed from a preppy-nerd to a Stefani-rocker. It was refreshing to see the skirt pushed to different limits and also inspirational in the sense that it made me want to explore the same options in my own wardrobe. Henry isn't the typical stylist who has a niche. She sees stories and characters and creates a look that corresponds. She is beyond the normal dose of creative and miles ahead of the curve. This sense of style is both intuitive and honed from close to 20 years of experience in the fashion industry. From modeling to acting, from styling to being a make-up artist, Henry has seen it all.
Using one of her many skills, Henry applies Model Abby Richards' Make-up before the shoot.
With such a seasoned vet, we had to ask a few questions on how she got to where she is today, New York Fashion week, and her favorite upcoming trends.
Do you have a style philosophy?
Edith: I don't really think I have a specific philosophy, as I don't think one philosophy works for every person. I've been asked to define my style aesthetic in five words....
The best way I think I can describe it is "classy chic (with) edgy, unexpected flair".
Personally, I can dress conservative one day, a bit eclectic and trendy the next, have a rock n' roll flavor one day, country flair on another, then favor feminine & classic, and end the week with a chic nerd look. It really depends on how I feel. I LOVE that about fashion! I can dress to express the way I feel, or dress to instigate a certain feeling!
A former model herself, Edith gives our Frenchie girl a few pointers.
What is your creative process like when styling?
Edith: Depending on what I'm styling for, the process varies. Creating a fashion story, or dressing a model for a portfolio, or campaign, or dressing someone for a personal portrait, or "their life" makes for very unique situations that require individual inspiration and/or direction.
Sometimes it's as simple as the client or the photographer having a general idea, which they present to me, and I go out and "make it happen".
However that is not always the case. Sometimes I come up with the concept/story line and go out and "make it happen".
Sometimes a team collaborates on the idea. If it's a product, the client usually has their brand/image to consider.
It's my job to bring the concept to life, through styling.
If it's a model portfolio, or personal portrait, I "study my subject" and for models, create ensembles that bring something new to their portfolio, showcase them AND show their versatility. If it's a personal client, I get to know them a little bit, and strive to bring out and highlight who they are!
I can be inspired by one piece of clothing, a fabulous accessory, or hat. I can be inspired by an event, a memory, or a movie. I can be inspired by an emotion, the weather, nature, or a color. A song, a dance, can inspire me, a piece of art or something I read. Yes...all of these events have inspired different work of mine. Sometimes I'm simply inspired to design/create a garment myself, and then I find the right model to "showcase it" and represent it in the way I imagine.
What's next? Well, after the model is cast, I start to put the story together. Sometimes I make storyboards/mood boards. I work on wardrobe in my studio, prior to the shoot. I try to work out most of the details so I can determine what I may be lacking, and therefore need to get or make, before the actual shoot. I try and prepare as much as possible (with plenty of options of course, just in case because it frees me up for the emergencies that may need to be addressed the day of the shoot. This prework can't always happen. Sometimes I just don't have proper notice...and I make it work on the fly. That's my job.
What is your favorite category of styling (editorial vs catalog) and why?
Edith: They are so different! I enjoy the creative freedom of editorial and the story that it tells. Yet on the flip side, I also enjoy the simplicity of catalog, and the challenge of making it eye catching without losing the focus of selling the pieces.
Henry fixing the in's and out's in order to get the perfect shot.
How did you get to your career path today?
Edith:I started in this industry as a teen. I did some modeling, but when I stopped growing at 5'6 ...so did that dream! I worked in all aspects of retail for years, became an actor, AND got my degree in Interior Design so I would have something to fall back on! Good plan. While an interior designer, I also worked on my acting career. As a result of acting, I got back into Lifestyle modeling at 38. Wanting to be in the industry, but not that way, I became a certified makeup artist. I dressed a model whose makeup I was doing one day and my passion for fashion was re-lit! I realized I needed to style! And the rest they say is history!
I still do makeup, but first and foremost I'm a stylist!
Henry putting in a bit of flair to accentuate the outfit.
Did you have any mentors along the way that shaped your journey?
Edith: My journey has been shaped by a lot of people really, more indirectly than directly. So many people inspire me, and not all of them are in fashion! My husband has been a huge inspiration! He's not in fashion at all, but inspires me to and DO WHAT I LOVE. Having that support is priceless!
I drooled over many-a-fashion magazine and would spend hours online "googling" fashion images and information!
Getting started was difficult I will say. Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time trying to assist for anyone. My experience is that most of the people I contacted were very guarded with their knowledge and sources. I learned by researching and picking up the phone and pounding the pavement. I mainly learned by trial and error!
Then I hit the jackpot by connecting with CA photographer Phillip Ritchie.
We connected and worked together all the time! We created magic together and he, being in the industry for years, supported my growth and challenged me to push myself. I learned so much from him!
Checking the shot with Photographer Peter Tung, Edith Henry, and Model Abby Richards
Who is your fashion inspiration?
Edith: I ADORE Gwen Stefani. I love HER style and LOVE her designs. I think Jennifer Lopez usually looks spot on. The Fanning sisters have fabulous style. And Rachel Zoe is not only obviously an incredible pioneer in the styling world, but her fashion line is FABULOUS! Various people in this industry, and again, several outside the industry inspire me!
With Fashion Week coming up, what is on the horizon for styling?
Edith: Well, I am excited to see for myself the fashion shows so far in advance! I'm going in Feb. 2012 to see FALL/WINTER 2012. So check back with me after mid-Feb., and I can let you know what will be trending for the fall!
For Spring trends, look for COLOR!
Orange, fuchsia, bright lively colors, as well as ocean inspired blues. Floral prints, wearable peplums, crocheted pieces, as well as crisp menswear and the safari trend continues. On the accessory front, FUN sunglasses.
As a fun question, with so much traveling, what are some tips to looking put-together and chic when traveling?
Edith: I think the best way to look polished and chic is to keep the wardrobe relatively simple combining staple colors with pops of on-trend pieces, and utilize scarves and jewelry and shoes to change up the looks! Bring pieces that mix and match and can lighten the load.
We are so glad we got an insider's look on Edith Henry's story, tips, and personal style. We can't wait to apply the same tricks to our own wardrobe!
Check out the final product of some of her favorite outfits with our very own Electric Frenchie Clothes.
Preppy or Punk with Electric Frenchie's Let's Polka Skirt by Urban Behavior
Equestrian or Vintage with Electric Frenchie's Minuet Champagne and Strawberries Dress
Soft or Hard with Electric Frenchie's Confetti High Waisted A-Line Skirt by Moon Collection
We learned a lot and we hope you did too!