Today on the blog we have the pleasure of speaking to stylist Astrid Blake. After spending years developing her own luxury nightwear brand she has now relocated back to the North East and is looking forward to working more in the region. Find out about her highlights and inspirations…
What do you enjoy most about being a Stylist? 
As a stylist I love being able to take a vision and bring it to life. I work initially using mood boards, collecting inspiration then translate it from a concept using styling, creative direction and real imagery to tell the story.  I like the synergy of working collaboratively with a team; photographers and hair and makeup artists all aiming towards the client’s vision. Sometimes I feel like it is like taking a dream and making it real.
What is your career highlight to date? 
Styling and producing my own shoots for my luxury lifestyle brand Alice & Astrid has been a vital part in the collection’s success and been sold into some of the worlds’s top stores including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Liberty London. This was a highlight and achievement I am very proud of! A product can be amazing, great quality and add value, but it also needs a way to show off the story behind it and get it’s soul across – styling and creative direction can help achieve this.
What would your dream job be? 
I have relocated back to the North East. I am a big fan of the North of England and the countryside, local business and people – we have so much to offer. I love natural light’s effect and want to highlight the local beauty and work more within the region. It would be great to collaborate with heritage brands.
What advice would you give to an aspiring stylist wanting to start working in the industry? 
As well as using all social media channels to promote yourself, style and work I would indorse networking opportunities, meeting and talking to people in areas that are related to what you would like to do. When I was a student in London studying Interior Design, I also worked in an interiors shop where I met stylists face to face looking for props for shoots who became useful contacts. Working and skill sharing with other people starting out; photographers, makeup and hair artists, new faces to create some shots, everyone can benefit from and gain as much experience as possible.
Who is your inspiration for being in this industry? 
When I thought about this question there were many stylists and photographers who’s work I admire which came to mind – the creative director at large of American Vogue: Grace Coddington- I love her storytelling! Visionary photographer Tim Walker’s uniquely British aesthetic is another. I am also lucky to have such a creative mother, she is Norwegian and always making things, spinning wool, dying it, knitting and weaving. She also had a good eye for fashion, I still have some of her Scandinavian clothing from the 60’s and 70’s. She instilled the idea of Hygge which we have all heard of now – I grew up with it!
My family has a farming background. It may seem unusual, but I think there is something that links a farmer and a stylist as you have to have an eye for detail (rearing livestock) and be constantly looking and assessing, forward thinking and planning, hardworking and making the best of what you have.
Lastly and most importantly, I find inspiration from nature.