Karen Cahill [kcahill21]
What is your specialty as a stylist? fashion, salon, image, objects...?
My core is Handbag and Accessories design. I also researched trend and color direction for up coming seasons. Colors materials, shapes details. This makes for an overall strong style direction.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can see something of your work or of where you work.
In what style or trend do you classify yourself?
I like to keep with in the most forward trends while maintaining a classic style. The right accessories I find is a great way to achieve this!
What are your clients like?
I have worked with many different aged clients. It has ranged from 10-65. For the most part i have worked with women 20-45.
How did you begin to develop your talent? Have you possesed it since you were a child?
I have always been obsessed with color and material. I went to school for Art and Design. After college i fell in love with the fashion industry and have been in it since 2000.
What importance has professional training had on your career?
It has helped finely tune my innate talent and skills. It has helped me focus and direct styles that reflect not only my personal style but to that of the needs and desires of the costumer i am trying to reach.
When did you first realize you could make a living this way?
When i graduated from Syracuse University i freelanced for a few apparel and accesories companies. Right away not only did i enjoy it but my designs were very well received by my employers. I was quickly promoted in several departments i have worked for.
What people or experiences have taught you the most and helped you to arrive where you are?
I think Traveling globally and domestically have helped. For me seeing what is going on everywhere is very inspirational. Learning different cultures have helped me be a better business person as well as designer.
What is your concept of beauty? Why does it change so much from one culture to another, or from one era to another?
I think true beauty comes from an elegant confidence... and in this way its concept does not change too much from culture to culture or era to era. Although trends may change and be different, certain ideas will always be timeless. This is where the understanding of materials, color, patterns, and construction is very important. When these concepts are utilized to develop the trends of the era or culture, a timeless beauty will still come through. When women feel good about them self they automatically are more beautiful.
Do you need to love what you do, or does professionalism suffice?
To be in any creative field you really must love what you do! This love is what keeps me inspired to continue reach beyond what you have done before. To be successful i think it is necessary to also have a great sense of professionalism. This is what keeps me on track and in check to accomplish the goals I have set forth before me.
What do you do when a client requests something that you believe is not suitable for him/her?
Well this is why i was hired for my vision and expertise. I would try to figure out why it is the client is requesting this. Then try to give them several options that are more suitable that still fulfill the reasons they requested their first option. I would then back up reasons why i have chosen my to be a more successful and suitable result.
Besides advising clients, do you also educate them?
I like to educate them a little bit about my choices in styling so it makes more sense to them. However the extent of that depends on how interested they are about knowing.
Isn't there a cult of vanity in premeditated publicity and fashion poses?
Depends on how you look at it? Fashion is an industry that is consently changing after all. I think there is always going to be, and in someways is necessary to have a stir about something every season. The "it look or design" that is exclusive is a bit built into the industry to keep it alive and moving. Everyone wants the next big thing and it starts on the exclusive level and then trickles down to a mass market level. This helps bring in newness and vitality into the industry each season. How these looks are designers are picked is definitely driven by a few factors. However I think this season unlike many of the past few years we will see a lot of semi known or unknown on large scale designers come to the far front for this exact reason. I think people are getting tired of this exclusive predicament.
Your definition of "glamour"?
Glamour? Hum it is putting all the rules of beauty with that extra kick that just makes heads turn! It is also an x factor because it is also how a person is carrying them selves. Again it comes to a elegant confidence with in. Sometimes an article of clothing can just really bring it out
Please name three well-known personalities whose look you admire, and three who need to urgently change their image.
Michelle Obama- Not so much for what she has worn so far. However her inauguration outfit and ball dress have solidified her as the woman to watch. What she wears will no doubt influence designers for the next few years.
Gwen Stefani- She has a great sense of her own identity. Her style may not carry over for everyone but it is distinctly hers. She is visible fun and has been able to develop her funky style into more ladylike looks that are more age appropriate for a mom while maintaining her personality
Cate Blanchett- She always as a sophisticated elegance. She pays attention to fine details on classic looks that make her fresh and timeless all at once.
Paula Abdul - she is such a small women so she really has to make correct decisions so she is not lost in clothes and dresses. However that doesn't always mean super small which comes across as not age appropriate or bringing attention just to her chest which is not necessary
Alicia Keeys- Her styles are sometimes on and sometimes so far off it is scary!! This is mostly due to decisions of pants she has worn in the pants that bring unnecessary attention emphasis to areas that make her look unbalanced.
Amy Winehouse- Too much and i am over the whole thing. She thinks she looks different really she just has become her own cliche
Being surrounded by a different style can cause a person to feel different. Can such a feeling transform a person?
Sure!! Style is just a vehicle for personal expression. The more confident a person feels and identifies with a style that will come through in how they carry themselves and intern how others perceive them.
What trends do you see gaining momentum?
I think it will be the idea of combining old with new. As the economy slows people wont be able to buy as much so there will be more mix matching of styles and eras. I also see bright accent and patterns approaching expressing the desire for a fresh beginning.
Make a prediction: how long will the fashion of piercing and tattoos last?
Although i think it will always be around in some level. Piercings and tattoos are usually the result in fashion as a result of wanting to rebel from monotony. I don't think rebellion is what socially is going on and there for is not going to be on the for front of fashion. Rebuilding is the social front line so we are going to see a throw back to a slightly more conservative and clean look with less tattoos an piercings
What magazines or websites do you follow to keep up to date? What other types of cultural inputs serve as sources of inspiration for you?
I live in NYC so i get out the and shop and people watch! There is no where else like Manhattan that has such a diverse of cross cultures. From the people who have come to live here or just the tourist passing through. There are new things to be inspired by everyday. Also traveling and surfing the net to see who is doing what and what is going on socially which can push fashion into different directions
I would like to be more discerning when I buy clothes or furniture. What do you recommend I do to acquire this ability?
Know what & why you want something then do your research!!! If you can take your time take it! If it is an expensive piece ask questions about material and compare to other pieces that are similar. If it is an impulse purchase and there is no time to think it over, decided how much you want it and compare it to other things you might be able to by with the same amount of money and what do you want more. Is it something you really want? Is it something so unique you will never find something similar again. Does it really fit your and your life style? Will you really use it? Are you just buying it because it is on sale? Then go with your gut it is your money! Don't just buy to buy always buy with a purpose other wise you end up with allot of crap and an empty purse!
New York NY