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so you wanna be a stylist? @stressedstylist proves it’s not as easy as it seems

With the help of some beautiful memes.

Georgie Wright

Image via Instagram

According to popular culture, being a stylist is kinda easy. It involves sage nodding and grunting, bulldog clips, supermodels, matcha lattes and fashion models. It’s glamour, not grit that makes us come back to stylists -- it’s alternative sunglasses on a cold grey day, it’s oversized everything, it’s fabulous, it’s fashion with an F. The reality is the opposite. There’s lost couriers, missing samples, hundreds of thousands of pounds of couture being sent hundreds of thousands of miles across the ocean. There’s schlepping suitcases of Dr Martens up five flights of stairs to a Parisian attic shoot, there’s miscellaneous deodorant(?) stains, there’s locking yourself in the fashion cupboard until 1am to return everything by yesterday. Sure, when you get to the top of styling circles there are legions of Instagram followers, Killamanjaro-esque piles of free press gifts and loyal assistants to do all the menial tasks for you. But it’s long, competitive, typically underpaid road to the summit, my friends. And when the going gets tough, what do the tough get doing? They make memes.

Enter @stressedstylist, beloved Instagram account of the entire i-D fashion team for its unparalleled relatability. “I love memes (I mean who doesn’t)”, says the account’s anonymous creator, “but I noticed there weren’t any accounts on Instagram specifically about the fashion world or styling that I could relate to 100%.” So -- like all good business people and mememakers alike -- after noticing the niche gap in the market, she plugged it. “I get lots of messages from stylists saying that my memes perfectly describe their life,” she explains. “They share them in their stories or repost them, and tag people they work with. It’s so cool I’ve been also followed by fashion editors I admire such as Jane How or [i-D’s Senior Fashion Editor at large] Julia Sarr-Jamois!”

So, what exactly does the life of a fashion intern, assistant, editor and everything in between entail? Hear it from the mouth of the @stressedstylist themselves.

"Sometimes it seems like the role of a stylist is totally unknown outside the industry. Even when you take the time to explain what your job is not many people understand, they either confuse you with the fashion designer or the photographer (I think my parents still have no idea)."

"It’s so upsetting to get more and more total looks requests from brands, it kills the creativity. Literally the job of a stylist is to create looks inspired by a certain theme/mood, but a total look was already created by someone else and often can't be adapted to the story you’re working on... so you reluctantly have to give it up."

"Seriously stylists get asked this so many times, but what exactly do you expect us to say? If there’s one thing I learned in fashion is that there is no universal “good taste", what looks amazing to you might look terrible to me and vice versa. Wear whatever you like the most, if you’re happy I’m happy!"

"We always work with collections like 6 months in advance from when they actually will be available in shops, so we shoot spring fashion during winter. Most brands or magazines don’t have the budget to fly an entire team to a warm place… so you just have to make the most of the (very cold) location you get."

"There really are no hours in fashion shoots… when you finish you finish, and it might as well be 11pm."