May 25, 2012
Fashion Office With The Coveteur: Petra Flannery
Explain your job in one sentence please: I am a fashion stylist; I style celebrities, ad campaigns, editorials, and any shoots related to fashion. What is a typical workday like for you? A typical workday is running business out of my studio, going through Style.com, connecting with fashion houses, and requesting looks for clients. Many days also include actual fittings with clients or photo shoots. What is your go-to work outfit? Skinny jeans (usually J Brand), The Row tank, a cardigan, and Chanel ballet flats. I love to mix in jewelry, like my favorite Neil Lane vintage gold necklace. How did you get this job? Did you always know you wanted it? I always loved fashion. My first career was working for Elite Models. Through my days at Elite, I managed models careers, worked with photographers, and booked editorials. Styling became a natural progression for me. I have always been a creative person. What did you do before you started your company/freelance career? When I started styling I used my background in the modeling field to put everything together. I worked hard establishing my work in editorials and making my way as an emerging stylist. Living in Los Angeles gave me the platform for a career as a celebrity stylist. Once I built a name for myself, I opened up my studio and started to grow as a company. What's the best part of your job? The worst? The best part of my job is being around creative people: clients, designers, photographers, directors, et cetera. I love the art of dressing and the characters it involves to make something right. I love working with tailors. The worst part is not being able to schedule personal things/trips without knowing you might have to change your plans. Inevitably something work-related always comes up. But you just learn to work with it. You have to have the passion to style and just be dedicated. How important is having a fashionable/chic work area? It is very important to have a fashionable work area. It feels good to come to work and be in a clean, chic environment. When things get too cluttered it is hard for me to concentrate. Flowers, books, and candles are all inspiring for creativity. Do you email or use the phone more? I love talking to people. If it were up to me I would do the majority of my work via phone. But people respond faster to email, its just the way of life we live in. You learn to adapt to this. Also, emails do make it easier when it comes to requesting clothes and scheduling appointments. You always have a reference point. What surprises you the most about your career? What surprises me most is the amount of time and people it takes to get the job done. There are so many events that celebrities attend now and it has really become a business from all aspects. It involves designers, fashion PR companies, assistants, tailors, you name it...it takes a village. What changes do you make to your look if you have to go to dinner or drinks immediately after work? When I go out immediately after work, I always add a heel and makeup if I didnt wear it that day (which is mostly the case). Sometimes I add a jacket, depending on where I am headed. What items do you think every working girl should own (clothing and accessories)? Every working girl should have a great blazer that works for both day and night. Usually a great blazer is all about the fit, and might be more cropped or shorter in the sleeve length. A great handbag is very important too. It can really define a look and helps for those last-minute outings after work. Do you use a Mac or a PC? (or Blackberry or iPhone?) I use a Mac and a Blackberry. What do you listen to when you're working? Occasionally I have music playing, but for the most part I keep a quiet background. We are always talking and moving around so we entertain ourselves. What do you try to teach your interns/assistants? I try to teach my assistants the details of this job. I expect a lot because to do this job properly you have to be precise. I try to teach them to think ahead. Listen, pay attention, and be one step ahead. I am a Capricorn so I probably drive them nuts. Hopefully, by example, they are learning the fun side of it too. Have you fulfilled your career goal or do you still have more to achieve? I still have more to achieve. I think you always have to keep striving to do better and create goals of success. One thing I know, though, is to always be grateful and remember where success comes from. In order to achieve the next step you have to build, so keep your basic foundation strong and whatever comes next will be a happy addition. What advice would you give to someone who wants to emulate your career path? The advice I would give to someone that wants to style is to work hard. Make sure you love the job, because you will eat, sleep, and breathe it. Make sure you apprentice long enough to learn the protocol of the business. You always want to maintain a level of respect and professionalism in this business. It will make you stand out amongst the rest.