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Our Community: Fashion Stylist Anna Woodham

The Blackline team extends far beyond who you see on our website. In fact, we’re proud to work with a whole host of talented individuals, from photographers and animators, to makeup artists and stylists. Stylists like the brilliant Anna Woodham, who we’re lucky to have collaborated with on a number of projects over the years.

We caught up with Anna to learn about her journey in to the world of fashion styling, and get her top tips for those who aspire to follow her footsteps in the fashion industry.

How did you find your way into the world of fashion styling? What were those early days in the industry like for you?

I was always an avid reader of style magazines and loved flicking through the fashion pages each issue. Despite my editorial obsession, I had absolutely no idea how to get into the magazine industry so I wrote (actual handwritten letters!) to all the Fashion Directors asking how to do it. From there I was offered a work experience placement and not long after, got the role of Fashion Assistant on a women’s monthly magazine. During my time there, I was lucky enough to travel the globe; from Jamaica, Costa Rica, Thailand, New York, Cape Town and more; I felt incredibly fortunate to gain those experiences so early on in my career whilst also getting to see so much of the world.

We all have those projects that feel like a perfect fit. Can you share a couple of your favourites with us? What made them special for you? Any standout moments or memories?

I always enjoy styling celebrities, especially when you get to transform them from their ‘typical’ look. One shoot that always stays in my mind is when I shot Amanda Holden for a national newspaper supplement. It was my first job after returning from maternity leave and a great one to be thrown straight back in the deep end. I loved the simplicity of the brief I was given which was timeless classics such as denim, white shirts and trench coats, all of which felt like a totally different look to Amanda’s usual style. Sometimes a really simple concept can be the most impactful.

If you could snap your fingers and style for anyone or any brand, who would be your dream client and why?

Sometimes, the brands or people you think would be your dream job never turn out to actually be that way. My interpretation of a dream client is one that gives a concise brief, knows what they want and most importantly pays on time!

Collaboration is often at the heart of great fashion projects. Can you share a particularly rewarding collaboration you’ve had?

I will always have a soft spot for an editorial shoot I styled for Grazia Arabia, it was a very simple studio shoot; a great model, some stand-out dresses and flower props. It’s my most-commented on shoot whenever I show my portfolio to new clients. Collaborating with a like-minded team is always a really rewarding process.

Behind every stunning photo shoot lies a whirlwind of stories. Care to share some memorable moments from your experiences on set?

Oh, there’s been soooo many over the years!
There’s the time I was shooting at London Zoo on a day where it poured with rain constantly so all the animals stayed in their shelters (spot the photoshopped penguins!).

[Photo Credit: Cat Harbour]

Or the time a well-known male celebrity gave me an extensive presentation of his Hawaiian shirt collection. Another time a model put her heel through a designer dress and ripped a six-inch hole in it. Oh, and my Dictaphone once broke when I was interviewing Kim Kardashian for a fashion feature. It helps to have a cool head and a good sense of humour to do this job!

The fashion industry is always evolving. How do you stay inspired and keep your creative juices flowing amidst the constant changes and trends?

I get inspiration from everywhere; people watching, street style, colour combinations, textures, art, magazines. It’ll be interesting to see how AI develops within the fashion industry. A lot of people are understandably fearful of it but similar to when digital was introduced, everyone thought it would be the death of film but if anything, film is still preferred by many in the industry for producing the most beautiful images.

Can you walk us through your process when conceptualising and executing a fashion shoot?

A shoot idea usually begins from one of two factors; either a clothing trend or a shoot location. Over the years I’ve spotted many locations such as an abstract concrete roundabout, a steam train, a university lecture hall, a skate park; and then decided what clothing would be good to shoot there. Other times, I spotted a clothing trend coming through, be it a texture, a colour, a decade and then looked for a location to suit that style. The next stage is choosing the most suitable team to execute the story, which photographer would capture the best shots? What kind of model would suit or contrast the clothing? And which hair and make-up artists would bring something extra to the set?

"I get inspiration from everywhere; people watching, street style, colour combinations, textures, art, magazines."

Looking ahead, what goals or aspirations do you have for your career? Any exciting projects or ventures on the horizon that you can give us a sneak peek of?

I’ve been really lucky to be busy since the beginning of the year so I’m grateful to be working in what is a really challenging time for many in the industry. I’m currently taking on more writing jobs which is another aspect of the fashion industry I enjoy being commissioned for. We’ll just have to see what the rest of 2024 brings!

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