Styling for A Simple Evening.

•  05.June.2013

Last week I shared some behind the scenes images of the initial food prep for the Clyde Oak‘s Simple Evening dinner in Raleigh, NC. As I mentioned in that post, collaborating with other creatives is something that always makes me happiest and leaves me feeling most fulfilled. Anytime you work with others it’s always important to start out with a clear vision which can often start with a moodboard (pinterest can be an awesome place to start!). This moodboard often comes from the art director (in this case Miss Megan from The Fresh Exchange) leading to a design meeting to make sure everyone on the team (director, stylist, photographer, client) is on the same page. It’s then my job as the stylist to bring that vision to life.

The sourcing and inspiration process for any event, dinner, or shoot is probably the most important part of the entire design process. It’s so important to know what sort of mood you are attempting to create, all the while considering the aesthetic, palette, other collaborators, props & decor and overall bottom line that you are trying to convey. In this particular case, it was impossible not to be inspired with design ideas, as Clyde Oak is one of those brands that just exudes natural inspiration. After touching base with Corey and Mike & Megan over our goals for the dinner I just let my mind run wild. Don’t forget to jot down ideas as they come, all the while listing out the most imperative items to be sourced and collected. In this case, I started with the basics : the number of guests, the moodboard Megan sent over, pictures of the dinner venue for inspiration and words that Corey felt described the Clyde Oak brand. All of these things together allowed me to start visualizing the details for the tabletop for our Simple Evening.

Sourcing in another state can often prove to be challenging, so it’s important to have an idea of where to start. Pick the brains of your fellow collaborators, especially those who either live in the place you are working in, or whom have other connections there. Although sourcing in an area you are unfamiliar with can likely cause a bit of anxiety as a stylist, I also find these moments the most inspiring. You don’t often have as much time to ruminate over design elements, and many of your decisions come from that “gut” place as you source a day or two before the actual event. This ultimately leads to design elements and an overall ambiance that are unique and innately inspired.

One of the most important things during the sourcing and inspiration process is to not forget to smile and have fun! It can sometimes be stressful to source, as your mind is running wild and you don’t want to forget any of the elements you set out to find. But even in the midst of picking and choosing, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Take those quiet moments to enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I’ve found that my favorite work comes from those times when I really immersed myself in the process and let my imagination run wild. It also helps if you bring along a friend or fellow collaborator with you. It can often be helpful to have someone there to bounce ideas off of or just share a chat with. Although warning : if the person you take along doesn’t enjoy these sorts of scouting trips it’s best to leave them at home, otherwise you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed & rushed.

As always, thanks for letting me share a little peek into my creative process and the joy I find in styling. Stay tuned for some additional pictures and a video of our teams prep work for our Clyde Oak Simple Evening dinner coming this Friday! Also, I’ll be sharing specific details of why I chose what details in an upcoming post of the evening itself.

For additional photos of our sourcing adventures and Megan Gilger‘s perspective on working with a stylist, head over to The Fresh Exchange today!  Also, a big thank you and virtual hug to Mike Gilger for making the sourcing and inspiration process look so pretty!

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6 Comments

05.June.2013

It’s so fascinating to hear about your process step-by-step. Thank you! You’re such a talented stylist.

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05.June.2013

I love the way you share the step-by-step process!

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You all collaborate so well together! I absolutely love the outcome. Thanks so much for sharing your process!

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Always love behind the scenes peeks, and this is no exception! Your thoughts on the process are enlightening, and what pretty photos! You’re so blessed to have worked w/such a fantastic team!

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Great tips! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now, so many many thanks for sharing!

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