THROUGH stylists’ Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts, fashion and styling have become even more sought after jobs.
When we think of these people, we imagine them in a wonderland filled with the season’s must-have clothes, models, glamour and champagne. One of Ireland’s top stylists, Lisa Fitzpatrick, says yes, there’s glamour, but that glamour comes with hard work and a monthly trip to the chiropractor.
“I can’t express how much I love my job, but the reality is that I lug around heavy bags of clothes for a lot of the day and, as a result, my back suffers, though I wouldn’t change it for the world,” says Lisa.
Lisa has appeared on TV shows such as Xtra Factor and ITV’s This Morning show, and is a regular on homegrown shows such as Ireland AM and Xpose. From owning her own boutique in the leafy, south Dublin suburb of Foxrock, Lisa made the jump from sharing fashion secrets with her customers to sharing them with the nation.
“I love working with real woman and doing the on-air makeovers on women out there who feel they need a bit of a change in their wardrobes,” says Lisa. “It’s a great compliment that these woman want my advice.” So what does the day of a stylist entail? Is it as glitz and glamor as we imagine?
“My typical day starts when my alarm goes off for 6am, after going to bed at roughly 10pm the night before. I have 45 minutes to get ready, before heading out the door at 6.45 am, with my packed lunch and rail of clothes, to make it to the TV3 studios for 7am,” says Lisa, instantly dismissing thoughts of high glamour.
“Once I’m at the studio, I start with fitting the models, making sure the clothes fit and look camera ready. We do some teaser shots with the team and then I pop into hair and make-up, for a touch-up, because I’ve already done my make-up before I left the house,” she says.
Preparation is key to the morning running smoothly. The day before a TV slot consists of pulling clothes from the stores for the segment and then prepping and steaming them at home. Once the on-air slot is finished, Lisa is then on the move back into the city to drop back the clothes she’s borrowed for the piece.
“It’s like a Pretty Woman moment, having to give back the clothes. Inevitably, there will always be something you want to keep, but if you did that every time you’d be broke,” she says. The rest of Lisa’s morning could involve another on-camera piece, this time with Xpose. From there, her schedule can vary from client meetings to doing interviews to talking on radio shows. For the life of a stylist, no day is the same.
“I’m very lucky, because I have a great job, where I get to meet loads of interesting people and chat away to them,” Lisa says.
As a working mum-of-two, Lisa has set boundaries for work, with her window closing at 1.45pm. This gives her time to collect the children from school.
“The morning hours are very busy and I am under a lot of pressure. Pulling clothes for shoots can be very time-consuming, because you have to choose what you want to use and then go and get them released from the store. Quite often, it’s more than one store you’re going to, so you’re flying around town carrying bags and bags of clothes,” says Lisa. “But being at home with my kids, in the afternoon, is very important, because this isn’t a Monday-to-Friday job. I work most Saturdays and some Sundays, so it is full-on. Luckily, my husband takes over the duties at the weekend.”
Lisa says that being a stylist is her dream job and while she adores being on camera and styling for the red carpet (she styled Rosanna Davidson during her Miss World campaign), helping out real women, who might have found themselves at a crossroads in life, makes it worth it.
“I had gotten a lot of letters from women saying that they would love to hear my story, in regards to losing weight, and would love to meet me, so from there the Fashion Fix Workshops began,” says Lisa.
Lisa once weighed 15 stone and wore a size 20 and was consuming up to 4,000 calories a day, before she started daily workouts, and seriously watching her food intake. Over three years, she lost four and a half stone and now watches her weight during the week, but eats what she likes at the weekend.
So, her Fashion Fix Workshops aren’t just about fashion: at each event there are also expert speakers in nutrition, hair and beauty.
“It’s as much as a day out for me and I love hearing peoples stories, and when I go home I can reflect on other women’s journeys. If they can take just one or two things from the day, then it’s been worth it.”
When it comes to landing your dream job, Lisa has this advice: “Having a dream is nothing unless you action it…”
Lisa’s next Fashion Fix Workshop, with Arnotts, is taking place at Dublin’s Spencer Hotel on Saturday, September 19 — tickets are limited and are available at www.fitzpatrickstyle.com
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