A Stylist’s Behind the Scenes Story: Style Weekly’s Black Book of Style

BBOS teaser collageA little sneak peek that was released on Twitter yesterday morning

Tonight is the launch party for Style Weekly’s annual Black Book of Style, a yearly guide that features advertisements from some of the best boutiques and retailers in Richmond along with fun fashion spreads. I styled the fashion spreads in last year’s book and again this year. I thought it would be fun to share a behind the scenes look at what exactly goes into a photo shoot. Hint: it’s not all fun and games.

2/25/15, 10:58 AM – Twitter message. Dana: “Are you available for some guerilla styling/shooting in the next week or so?”

2/25/15, 11:05 AM – Twitter message: Sydney: “What do you have in mind? Dates, details?”  Internal dialogue – “OMG. I am SO swapped with projects in all my jobs there is NO way I can do a shoot right now.”

2/25/15, 12:36 PM – Twitter message. Sydney: “Can you let me know: how many looks? Shoot date/time? How many models and who?” [My OCD kicks into high gear as I try to get as many details as I can to wrap my head around the project.]


2/28/15, 9:04 AM – Twitter message. Dana: “I’m going to Saks to pull trendy looks on Monday. Can you find time to do some vintage pulls by this Saturday?”

[Immediately sits down and emails all my contacts at consignment and vintage stores to see who wants to lend looks.]

[Waits all day for one response. Sends follow up emails Sunday. Receives one response. Sends additional follow up emails Monday. Set to pull on Wednesday. A stores declines. Frantically sends cold-emails to stores I’ve never worked with before. Thankfully get two in – thanks Halycon and Addison!) – and arrange to go by later to see what we can use.]

sw mood boardMood Board #1. I made five of these buggers.

3/4/15, 5:00 – 7:00 AM. Making mood boards in the wee hours of the morning is always fun, but I need to be prepared and I can’t do that without mood boards. Send to Dana and a vintage contact so they can get an idea.

3/4/15, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Pull clothes. Or rather, pull clothes from some stores, ID clothes from others and make arrangements to go back for pick ups on Friday. Make a pit stop at a store that wanted to lend last minute.

sw prep collageThe looks and pieces I pulled from Alice McQueen Consignment, Yesterday’s Heroes Vintage, Addison Handmade and Vintage, Ashby, CCH.

3/5/15, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Unload clothes, log in details, merchandise and organize racks. Walk intern through driving in a snow storm and give stern instructions to drive slowly or stay home (seriously, fashion isn’t worth the risk). Intern came and we spent four hours grouping looks, writing credits and planning for the shoot.

3/6/15, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Pick up remaining clothes. Steam everything. Pack up in garment bags. Organize styling kit.

3/6/15, 10:18 PM -Twitter Message. Dana: “I forgot to ask Patrick to bring his own dark socks…”


3/7/15, 5:29 AM – Twitter Message. Sydney. “Does Scott have a pair you can grab?”

3/7/15, 7:59 AM – Twitter Message. Dana. “Nope, besides his shoe size is a 12.5-13. They’d be leg warmers!”

—-PAUSE—-INTERNAL FREAK OUT. DID SHE JUST SAY THAT THE MODEL’S SHOE SIZE IS A 12.5-13??? BECAUSE I DEFINITETLY PULLED SHOES ALL IN SIZES 8.5 -10 OMG THIS WILL NOT WILL NOT WILL NOT WORK. [RUNS TO HUSBAND’S CLOSET AND FRANTICALLY STARTS PULLING OUT SHOES.] “HE WILL JUST HAVE TO SQUEEZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” —-PAUSE—– Wait. I think she means her husband’s shoes are too big for Patrick. Meaning his shoe size and what I pulled IS correct. Oh thank God. It’s too early for this.

BBOS preview 6Drinking thermos coffee with a back seat (and trunk) full of clothes

3/7/15, 8:48 AM – Arrive on “set” AKA the parking lot of our first location. Set up car as styling studio since we are on the move with no home base.

3/7/15, 8:50 AM – Twitter Message. Dana. “I’m driving w/$10,000 in car”

3/7/15, 8:51 AM – Twitter Message. Sydney. “Go slow.”

BBOS preview 5Yes. This actually happened. Thank goodness for Photoshop right? Also: #embarrassing and #genius all at the same time.

3/7/15, 9:30 AM – First look. Pair of $500 Vince shoes. Out comes the painter’s tape. First look done. Remove painters tape. Realize it was not enough (who makes shoes with white soles???) and have also run out of tape (clearly didn’t check the stylist’s kit well enough). New rule: models will not wear shoes until it’s time to shoot. And then, and only after stepping on a pile of napkins we found (we work glamorously no?) can you stand in the shoe. Future crisis avoided. #thanksnapkins

 3/7/15, 10:50 ish AM – getting ready to leave the first location. Christina mentions maybe she should check the dressing room to make sure we got everything. Comes out with a $600 sweater and a whole outfit. #thanksstylist

BBOS preview 3 Shooting at LaDiff

3/7/15, 11: 15 AM. Location 2. Nothing like crashing a home furniture store, albetit a VERY upscale one for a photo shoot.

BBOS preview 7Final looks at The Rogue Gentlemen

3/7/15, 12:00 PM. Location 3. My favorite looks of the day featuring an amazing vintage bib necklace with an amazing outfit full of color. Patrick’s outfit is ALL vintage, second hand and is a super great look. Also, this is how you plan a shoot. The last look should always, always be in a bar. It just makes good sense right?

sw cocktailI asked for “not very alcoholic-y” and got this. Not sure what it was, but it was good.

3/7/15, 1:00 PM. COCKTAILS! Richard Gere’s lower abs. Don’t know what that is? You might just have to come out tonight for the launch party then.

3/7/15, 1:27 PM – 4:32 PM. All over Richmond. Return all clothes. 5 stops. This is what they don’t tell you about when you sign up for fashion school.


The Rogue Gentlemen

618 N. 1st St. Richmond, VA 23219 – 5 PM

Be there or be Richard Gere.

TRG RGPhoto via The Rogue Gentlemen Facebook page


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