In as much as we love fashion and enjoy seeing glossy editorial prints in top fashion magazines, the vivid images from fashion campaigns on our phones and computers, the sultrily sleek models beckoning at us from huge bright billboards, it is doubtful on if anyone ever stops to think of the people who work behind the scenes to bring these concepts to life.
People behind the scene who work very hard to bring great ideas together. The creation of fantastic theories well thought of, planned and then realized to please our aesthetic minds and visual senses. Needful concepts that will most likely make us lose our senses and the ability to think logical when it comes to the control of our credit cards.
Alessandra Bloom, an Italian fashion stylist, art director, and image consultant, has worked with a lot of fashion houses, brands and on editorial campaigns all over Europe.
Ale, as she is fondly called, is very passionate about her work and very vocal about the things that she believes in. We met up with Ale for coffee and she opened up on her passions, ideas and things that motivates her in the world of fashion today. She also gave us a peek into her personal life.
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This is what she has to say:
So, who exactly is Alessandra Bloom?
Ale: As you know, my name is Alessandra and I was born in Brescia on the 4th of March, in the early ‘90s. From childhood, I have always been interested in fashion. Funny enough, my parents still have videos of me dressing up my Barbie dolls and of times when I just drew items of clothing for them. I am just a person within the fashion system who has brought my passion into the job and I am happy about this because I am at the peak period of my life.
What made you decide to pursue fashion styling as a career?
Ale: Honestly, it just happened. I mean, I studied fashion design at Istituto di Moda Burgo in Milan, but fashion styling is something I believe I learned more on the go and on set. I learned things like research, mood boards, and production.
From the days I interned as a fashion designer I really liked it, but I went mental because I wanted to do more. In cases like this, you see pieces of clothing you draw or design, but the truth is they will never be yours. They are just pieces without a story, and even when they have a story, it needs fashion styling brings that story alive.
What kind of clients do you work with?
Ale: I have different kinds of clients. Some are clients who want me to follow their mood board and ideas while using their clothing or accessories, and sometimes both, with my styling. The other kind of clients assigns me the responsibility of building the entire image of their collection or brand. This means I have to give a taste to the collection by planning and creating mood boards and conceiving a storyline for the upcoming seasons. Literally. I have to bring fashion collections to life.
Do you still dabble into fashion design?
Ale: I do not draw anymore, but I consult for some clients, helping out with inspiration for their brands. One of the parts that I love the most about my job is being able to carry out research and meeting inspiring people!
Prying into your personal life, who is Alessandra like at home? When she’s lazing about in her pyjamas with no makeup on?
Ale: I clean. I am obsessed with cleaning and having everything in order; otherwise, I can not work. I wake up in the morning, and the dog needs to go for a walk, and that means my boyfriend and I are putting on jackets over our pyjamas and then going around. I have breakfast, open up my laptop to work, and it’s already time for lunch! We love cooking together. We spend a lot of time cuddling with the dog on the sofa, we also like taking strolls, shopping, and lunch or dinner dates. Just both of us and no one else.
During fashion week, my job goes to the side, and I take those days off. My friends come over, and we go for fashion shows and parties, and it’s my personal time with them. As my boyfriend is a model, he has a similar lifestyle to mine, and we both understand and complement each other. We both enjoy staying home and relaxing.
What has your career journey been like?
Ale: I’ve been in the fashion industry for the past 7 years. I started as an intern backstage at C’N’C Costume National and Calvin Klein and followed Fashion Week by working backstage as a dresser for different shows. Straight after, I worked for a year and a half at Rough magazine as a fashion producer and after, as a fashion director – this was after the editor saw my work and my collection.
Irrespectively, I was still undecided on if I should continue as a full-time fashion designer or as a fashion stylist. I already knew a lot on styling, and the whole thought process kept driving me crazy. At some point, after when I left the magazine where I worked, I became a full-time freelance fashion stylist. At the moment, I am represented by Corne Fashion Management.
How do you see yourself in terms of your goals?
Ale: Honestly, I’m happy where I see myself, but with fashion styling, it’s all about getting more prominent clients, which of course is my goal. I want to keep the clients I already have and get more significant within my small world- if I can put it that way. I love when people see and appreciate my work, so being bigger could be an excellent thing, and I would really be content with that. And then, of course, I have my personal life and will like to start a family in due time, but all at the right time.
How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Ale: It’s tough for me to separate my personal life from my job most times, primarily as a freelancer. I work on set every time, and before then, I have to prepare everything, this I do from home. If I don’t finish working, nothing really matters.
What are your thoughts on digital magazines taking over printed magazines?
Ale: I think it will never happen! Like 100 % sure! Just because as a stylist, and when I worked for printed magazines, which I’m not saying is better, the feel of buying and having a magazine in your hands can’t be replaced as it is something that can be collected. I know that digital magazines are more convenient than printed copies, but it is not the same and won’t entirely replace printed copies. I remember in 2012 when you talked about digital magazines, a lot of people were puzzled and asked what it was, but now, it’s the main thing and things are reversed and when you say you work for a printed magazine, people are like… really?!
What do you feel about the roles of fashion influencers in the fashion industry today?
Ale: I really wish that fashion could return to how it was when I started out around 2012. Yes, we did have bloggers, but they wrote about true fashion and were in the fashion industry because of their passion for fashion.
I’d have to add that in Italy, the “influencer situation” is a bit out of hand. There are a lot of random people, pretending to be influencers just because of their huge online following, without passion and without any kind of interest in the fashion industry, but sit at the front row of main fashion shows.
I agree with the fact that Instagram is a big machine and is advantageous, but probably not in Italy. Unfortunately, Italians find it difficult to separate people who actually have real fashion talent, deserve a huge following and to be seated on the first row of fashion shows from people who are just poor “idiots” and expect to be recognized just because of their numbers and nothing else.
What advice do you have for upcoming fashion stylists and people interested in this career path?
Ale: I’ll start by saying this, like every single stylist I know, I literally had a breakdown at the beginning of last year. I really wanted to give up, but I’m not that kind of person. I never give up on anything, so in my mind, I felt I had hit rock bottom, that was the moment to rise up again.
When you think that everything is going bad, that’s the moment your career is starting. Never give up!