Last week I had the pleasure of chatting to Christian Classen about how he got into styling, where he hopes to take his own personal brand now that he's stepped out from under celebrity stylist Kate Young's influential wing, and what it's like working with pop superstar Selena Gomez.
I’m great! It’s been a whirlwind of a month prepping for the tour. So busy, but great.
One of my grandmothers was a stylist in the 60s and taught me a lot about fashion at a young age. My other grandmother and my mother are fine artists, so I spent a lot of time painting as a child. I grew up very visually stimulated and came to discover my aesthetic early on. I started interning at 17 with stylists and now, 13 years later, here I am.
My aesthetic is who I am. I’ve always known what I’m attracted to on a rack or on a runway. Over time my style has matured and become more refined.
What did you find the hardest part of the job when first starting out?
This industry is always changing and there isn’t a handbook or a class or someone to teach you how to do your job. It’s trial and error. Sometimes it feels a bit like playing House Of Cards… but that’s part of the adventure.
Something I really love about my job is that every day is new and different. I never have to experience Groundhog Day. My most creative ideas usually come late at night, so I tend to be a night owl, and sleep in when I can. My team gets in around 9am every day. My one constant is Starbucks. We have coffee delivered daily while we pow-wow over style directions, mood boards, scheduling, etc. I’m addicted to mood boards and research. I pull hundreds of images, from architecture, to film costume, to wallpaper textiles. It’s very important for me to see a lot of visuals before delving into the actual concept of an editorial, video, performance or red carpet. I like to give the client a character. Who is this girl? What does she feel and what is her story? From there, I start to go through the runway images and begin to curate a list of looks to request.The rest of the day usually includes meetings, showroom appointments, rehearsals, fittings, and a lot of emails.
What makes you keep going on the days that may not have gone as well as you had hoped?
Read the rest of our conversation here.