Insight: 'Always Be Kind, Listen to Your Gut and Find Out What Makes Your Work You' - A Conversation with Celebrity Stylist Natasha Colvin
Featuring Natasha Colvin (@natasha.colvin) in the Valentina (Black)
What sparked your interest in fashion and styling? Have you always wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Ever since I can remember, I knew I wanted to be in the fashion / media space. My Dad used to launch magazines, Maxim being one of them…growing up, at like 6 years old, I was choosing the covers of Maxim Magazine at the dinner table. I was fascinated by my Dad’s world and that was definitely a huge part of it. He is and has always been my biggest cheerleader, harshest critic and my role model.
And I have always been obsessed with fashion; growing up, I wore what I liked regardless of what everyone else was wearing. I remember wearing my ski pants to school when I was in 1st grade. And in 2nd grade I would wear skirts over my jeans almost every day. Kids would make fun of me but I didn’t mind. I’ve always moved to the beat of my own drum and been very confident in myself.
You have assisted some of the most reputable fashion stylists of today, how did it all start?
I interned for Patti Wilson while studying at NYU, I was 20 I think. I didn’t even know what a stylist was, let alone who Patti was. She taught me a ton (the old school way of doing everything), brought me on Vogue sets and I fell in love with everything about it. The rest is history. I will never forget how kind and graceful she was to me.
What is the most challenging part of being a stylist?
The 24/7, 365 nature of the job. My career is my life and I have had to make a lot sacrifices along the way. But I wouldn’t want it any other way - I love it :)
Do you have any particular source of inspiration for your own style? Who is your fashion icon?
I would say that a lot of designers inspire me with their collections and lookbooks - Commission NY, The Row, Peter Do, Kwaidan Editions, Balenciaga, EYTYS to name a few. But generally my style is everything oversized, a mix of masculine and feminine, a mix of vintage and high-end.
I don’t necessarily have a fashion icon. But whenever I make looks I want them to be timeless, not trendy. My client, Meadow, and I are constantly sending photos to each other of Kate Moss - her style back in the day was extremely timeless and chic.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to work as a stylist?
Oh I have so much advice - some that I wish I knew when I was starting out! I am still learning so much but I think these are important:
- What you see on Instagram is just the final product. A lot of want-to-be-stylists don’t realize the hard work that comes with the job: both mental and physical.
- Always be kind to everyone, this industry needs that and people will remember you for it.
- Never stop learning and always be open to constructive feedback.
- Follow up, follow up, follow up. I have sent 100’s of emails, 100’s of follow ups. Most people don’t answer. But those one or two that do respond might change your life.
- The industry is extremely competitive…there are so many talented people fighting for the same dreams as you. Find out what makes your work you and use that to your benefit. Don’t try to make your work just like everyone else’s.
- Grow thick skin and don’t take anything personally. I’m often told that I’m too young to be doing certain things. I could easily let that stop me or put me down, but I don’t!
- Take risks and listen to your gut. I quit my full time assisting job at 22, everyone told me it was a really bad idea. I have worked for myself ever since and I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I hadn’t made that decision.
- Loyalty is everything.
What's next for you?
More editorial - I have so many ideas and moodboards in my head that I need to bring to life. I’m only 25 and I have big dreams. And a lot to learn along the way!
Natasha's Round of Speed Dating with DMY
1. What is your go-to drink?
Omg I’m so boring. Sparkling water…I stopped drinking four years ago. I like to keep my mind clear.
2. What was the last thing you Googled?
Paris Fashion Week Schedule.
3. What was the last book you read?
I Will Teach You How To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi haha.
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
José Ignacio, Uruguay. And I will live there one day!
5. What is your favourite TV show?
House of Cards, Designated Survivor…I was an FBI agent in my past life.
6. What would be your ideal date?
Does a trip to London count as a date? My family is from the UK and London just feels like home. Being there makes me so happy.
7. What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Great British Bake off…I’m obsessed! I bake every weekend now.
8. What’s the best and worst purchase you’ve ever made?
Best: All of my vintage jackets and blazers. They are my uniform.
Worst: A white keyboard I bought to re-learn piano. Three years later and it is still in the box under my bed.
9. What was your first concert?
Hillary Duff <3
10. Make a party playlist with only 3 songs: