I first met Clare about 10 years ago. I was going through a ‘post baby style slump’ and she helped me out of it. Clare helped me to get my mojo back so to speak and we have remained friends ever since. You can read more about how Clare helped me here. Clare continues to help women globally find their sense of style and can be regularly found on her Facebook group giving away style secrets and top trends to look out for. Find out more about this amazing stylist in her interview below and how she splits her time between London and Ibiza.
1: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ever since I can remember I have been into fashion. It started out making clothes for my Barbie dolls to then becoming very ‘experimental’ as a teenager with my style.
By the age of 16 I knew I wanted to go into fashion and so I left school and went to college to do a diploma in Fashion.
It was during this course that I discovered all the different fields within the fashion industry and was found that I was really attracted to the media side of fashion.
A good job too, because as my tutor often used to say, I was “diabolical” at making clothes!
It was with the help of my college tutor I found the perfect fashion degree to study which had the very fancy title of ‘Fashion Promotion & Illustration’ and was all about fashion in the media place.
The year I applied there were 300 applicants and only 65 spaces available. I was given an unconditional offer.
That was really the start of my fashion career, I’ve never had any other job other than being a stylist and I have certainly never worked in any other industry apart from fashion. (Unless you count being a waitress when I was 15!)
But aside from my very conventional route into styling, the really interesting thing about me is that whilst I lived in London from the moment I became a fully fledged fashion student, I actually left the Big Smoke 5 years ago and moved to Ibiza with my husband!
I still frequently head back to London to check out the shops, but I will never return to living there full time again.
I just love living on this beautiful sunny world famous island – especially as my daughter was born here 6 months ago.
2: You used to work as and editorial and celebrity stylist can you tell us how you got into that?
I was a fashion student in the late 1990s when the magazine industry blew up.
As part of my degree we had to do work experience and I chose to work for a Fashion PR company, however after 1 week there I realised I absolutely hated it!
I spotted this young stylist coming into the PR office, looking a bit overwhelmed and chaotic and thought to myself; “She needs an assistant!”
I then went onto plead her to take me on for work experience and after my work experience ended she asked me to become her paid assistant.
This meant that throughout my final year at uni I was already working as an assistant stylist and building my contact list so that not long after I graduated the assistant photographers I had got to know were just becoming photographers in their own right and asking me to style their shoots for them.
My first ever styling job, where I was the actual stylist was front cover for Timeout.
This was a massive deal and basically catapulted me onto a lot of industry’s radar to the point where I was called by Glamour Magazine to come and work for them as assistant to a rather ‘difficult’ fashion editor.
Even though it was effectively stepping down going back to being an assistant, I could see the bigger
picture of working for such an establishment as Glamour.
Sure enough it put my name firmly on the map. I travelled the world for fashion shoots and I got to sit FROW at the shows.
After 2 years of being at Glamour, I was headhunted by an agent who thought I was ready to relaunch my career as a stylist. Her promise was that if I left Glamour on the Friday, she’d have me fully booked by the Monday.
It took me a further 6 months to pluck up the courage to leave Glamour, but when I did she held firm to her word and I was fully booked by the Monday and began working for a whole plethora of publications, commercials and TV shows such as Grazia, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, BBC and Channel 4.
3: Which Celebrity you have loved styling and working with and why?
Without doubt the most fascinating celebrity I have ever worked with.
She knew ‘Rene Zellweger’ was a business and that her image was part of the business brand.
It was the first time I had met anyone who really understood their own personal branding and was completely intune with the message she wanted to communicate about herself.
It wasn’t just about styling her in something cool, she kept saying to me “I want to wear something that I feel me in”.
Little did I know that this experience was going to be the fuel to my business a few years later.
4: Can you tell us a little more about your business now and why you moved away from doing what you did?
I fell into personal styling by pure accident.
Having built a really solid career as a fashion and celebrity stylist for magazines, I began working on C4’s ’10 Years Younger’ with then presenter Nicky Hambleton-Jones.
She ran her own personal styling business and during the height of her TV fame, she asked me if I would like to take over styling her personal clients.
It was my first experience of working with real women and I absolutely loved how rewarding it was to be able to deliver such a deep impact on someone’s life in an area that had been frustrated the hell out them for years, yet I knew exactly what they should do to remedy it.
The more clients I saw, the more I loved the buzz of helping a woman transform her style and what had started out as taking clients shopping or going to their houses to reimagine their wardrobes over the weekend when I wasn’t on fashion shoots soon I began turning down magazine jobs in order to do personal styling.
By the time I was 28 I had become a contributing fashion editor on ASOS magazine and was fed up of schlepping about the place with heavy suitcases in tow. I had achieved all my magazine goals and was ready to go after my next goal with was to commit fulltime to becoming a personal stylist and build my own business. Miss Dress officially launched in March 2009.
What started out as a very simple personal styling business where I would meet clients, face to face for either wardrobe or shopping sessions, has been overhauled once online shopping became the preferred method for women to want to shop.
Plus I made the dramatic move from London to Ibiza in 2013 which meant I needed to embrace the digital revolution.
Now Miss Dress is a purely online styling business where I take women from all over the world on a transformational journey through one of my three group styling programmes I run at various times of the year.
Each of programmes is built upon my 5-Step Styling Formula: a method I have perfected after restyling over 1000 women’s wardrobes that shows how to build a signature style; create a wardrobe to match; whilst knowing all there is to know for constantly maintaining and evolving it over a lifetime.
Since I went exclusively online, all my programmes to date have been complete sell-outs and have brought massive changes in the women’s lives as a result of finally nailing their style.
5: What is your ultimate goal and vision for your business?
I don’t really set goals beyond 12 months, because business moves so fast now adays that to be successful you’ve got to be open to taking onboard the latest digital revolution to expand your business.
Right now I’m looking at turning my 5-Step Styling System into a self-paced online programme which means I’ll be able to help hundreds of women simultaneously no matter where they live in the world.
6: What part of your job do you love the most?
I absolutely love showing up in The Miss Dress Private Facebook Community everyday. It is such an inspiration to see hundreds of women from all over the world unite over style and I am truly honoured to be the founder of this special online place.
But of course it goes without saying that my absolute favourite part is helping my clients pull together their looks. The instant change in the way they stand, the way they smile when I show them a new way to dress, it is SO rewarding.
7: How would you describe your style?
To describe my style, I use my 5-Word Style Manifesto which is my revolutionary way of helping women nail a signature style that truly defines her best self and helps her be in control of the message she sends out to the rest of the world.
My 5 words I choose to express about myself through my wardrobe are:
8: What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
My going away dress. Bizarrely I love this more than my wedding dress. It’s by a designer called Allegra Hicks and has a real seventies vibe to it that’s a style I’m not normally drawn to it.
I haven’t worn it ages, but it’s one of those dresses that I can see myself wearing in another 10 years time and will definitely pass down to my daughter.
9: What would you never be caught dead wearing?
Leggings. They are the root of all evil in many a good woman’s wardrobe.
10: What are your wardrobe top tips for SS19?
- A snake print dress, blouse or skirt (even better if you can team it with leopard print accessories)
- A wide belt to add around the waist of your oversized blazer
- A primary bright blazer to wear with white t-shirt and cropped jeans
- A tonal beige outfit (lots of inspo on this blog post here)
- A boiler suit feminised with a pair of heels
- A bias cut satin slip skirt to become your new day to evening piece
I hope that you have enjoyed this interview. Clare is very active on Facebook and shares many tips and videos on styling. Her facebook community is full of women all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. A great place to share fashion finds and ask questions about style. Go take a look.
As always please let me know if you have any thoughts or feedback,
Love Chet x