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Behind the Scenes Diary – fcMenswear Shoot S/S 2011



To watch the ‘Behind the Scenes’ video Click Here


Behind the test shots and make-up touch ups, there’s always one person trying to hold it all together. This person, despite broken buttons and ripped hem lines, always stays positive and laughs in the face of wardrobe malfunctions. This person is the fashion stylist.

I was lucky enough to be asked to style the official Fashion Capital menswear photo shoot, and although I was excited of the prospect (styling not been my number one money maker in life), I knew that with great power came great responsibility. What would I do if every look I pulled turned out to resemble a dreadful 70’s through-back? What if I couldn’t get inspired? I knew I could ask myself these questions all day or I could go in there with guns blazing (not literally). So I did, and massively enjoyed the entire day.

Here’s my diary from the day this Buyer, turned into a Stylist.

A day in the life of a Fashion Capital Stylist



9:00am – Introductions

It’s an early start! We arrive at the West London studio (and home of the Fashion Capital boutique) in W1 with coffee in hand and ready for a busy day. Today is the official SS11 photo shoot for Fashion Capital Menswear. I am quickly introduced to the very nice Olly, who will not only be modeling today, but also fronting the entire campaign as ‘The Face’ of FC Menswear. It is Olly who I am to style for the day, and after we realize that we are carrying the same back-pack (a look very much on trend), we have a quick laugh, finish our coffees and had inside.


9:30am – Plan of Action

With introductions done we waste no time getting to work. FC ‘Head of Menswear’ Christopher O’Reilly and I sit down among the early morning chaos for a quick chat about what we want to achieve from each shoot – I can already tell that it’s going to be a busy day! He’s after 5 looks, merging a casual ‘day at the beach’ look right the way up to high glamour evening wear. With Olly sitting down for hair and make-up, I crack on pulling looks.



Shoot schedule: Model Olly reviews the day’s shoot list as Karin receives final touches to her make-up

10:00am – Treasure Hunt

Although we’re running slightly behind time I’m confident that I can give everything Christopher wants. I quickly find myself huddled in a corner of the studio sifting through bags of men’s designer clothes. My work at ASOS has made me an expert at finding samples quickly so I collect a number of initial looks quicker than I first think possible. After some swift editing and checking sizes my first look is complete – it’s a mixture of French Riviera and Brighton Pier in the sun, I’m confident it is a look that will work.

10:30am – 1:00pm – The First and Second Shoots

The agenda – a number of beach and day looks including a number of androgynous stills of our female model, Karin.



The team review shots taken for the first Fashion Capital Menswear shoot.

1:00pm – No Rest for the Wicked

It’s lunchtime, sadly, not for me. As I stuff the remainder of cheese and tomato sandwich in my mouth (thanks to our photographer, James G’s mum) I desperately sift through more boxes of clothes trying to find a number of evening looks. I was really hoping for a three-piece suit to complete our look, but decided that we needed a more contemporary look for our logo and evening shoot. I literally jump for joy when I come across a number of silk neckerchiefs and pocket squares, perfect for any modern man’s wardrobe ‘these are definitely going in’, I think to myself.

2-3:00pm – The Third and Fourth Shoots

The agenda – more formal looks, moving into evening wear.

3:30pm –  A Hair Raising Moment

It’s getting close to the final shoot where we’ll photograph the logo and official brand image for Fashion Capital. I’m excited about what Olly is wearing but there’s something not quite right! It’s almost like that feeling when you’ve left the house and just know you’ve forgotten something (that something nearly always turns out to be your key). Once Olly is dressed I look at his outfit; the brogues are great, the chinos compliment the shirt perfectly and the neckerchief adds the perfect modern edge. Then it hits me, it’s the hair! Although Olly has wonderful locks I knew that we needed a much sleeker look. After 30 minutes hair-spraying it was complete, and we were good to go.



Model Olly reveals a new sleek look whilst Karin opts for a high glamour look.

4:00pm – The Logo

Any reader worth their salt knows the unmistakable stride of the FC menswear logo. It’s this logo which is powering a fashion generation; it’s this logo that we need to emulate today – no pressure! With Olly dressed and officially looking the part we begin our final shoot of the day. I knew with attention spans whimpering and cocktail hour drawing ever closer, we needed to get this done soon. We tried a number of techniques to achieve the famous stride but it was Olly’s dance skills that came to rescue after we tried a back and forth step routine. Of course as stylist for the day it was my job to tweak every lose button and fallen hair strand – a job not so easy when the subject is constantly in motion.

5:00pm – Clean Up

So that was it! We had our shots, had gone through about thirty bottles of hairspray and fake tan but we were there. The first Fashion Capital Menswear shoot was completed and now all that was left to do was clean up and head home, if you can call Soho House home. 

By James O Emmerson

Contact – menswear@fashioncapital.co.uk