Alex Longmore is an acclaimed fashion stylist who styles shoots for editorial, films, tv and advertisements. She is also a favourite with the A-list celebrities (from Claudia Schiffer and Jodie Kidd to Jane Seymour and Camilla Rutherford) working with them both privately and professionally for events and red carpet appearances.
She has travelled the globe working with the world’s top photographers and models and does TV work such as Lorraine on ITV and Britain’s Next Top Model as well as running her Style School to teach others how to become a stylist.
Here Alex reveals what an average day in her professional life is like:
I am woken up every morning at 7.30am by Chris Evans’ show blasting out of the radio. I make myself a drink of hot water with a slice of lemon, let my little dog Charlie Mouse out and then go back to bed for 45 minutes. I love this time in the morning to just think and process what I am going to do that day. Often this leads to daydreaming and so it’s regularly a quick rush to get in the shower, get ready and take Charlie out for his walk. Our first stop is always St Helens Café across the road from me to grab a coffee and then I take him to the park for an hour. I always use this time to make calls and it’s a really nice way to start my working day.
I’m lucky as my office is at my home, so when i’m back from the dog walk I tend to make a large Green Tea and go through my e-mails. This can sometimes take a lot of the morning up, especially if I have been shooting the day before and away from my computer. I also spend a portion of the morning going through all the current magazines. This is a throw back to my days as Style Editor of The Daily Mail, where every morning I had to come up with ideas for the Fashion Pages. It’s also a great way to keep up with trends and gives me lots of ideas for my blog and work.
Every day of my working life is very different. If I’m working with a celebrity for an editorial shoot, I will normally talk to them on the phone about what they like and don’t like about their bodies, which colours they love and I always ask them if they could look like another celebrity who would it be. It’s a random question but very telling. If the celebrity is too busy then I talk to an agent but I really insist on speaking to someone close to the talent. I then rush about getting outfits together. My brilliant assistant Saskia does all the call-ins from PR’s and I go on appointments to stores such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Browns to select the clothes. I gather all the clothes two days before the celebrity shoot and then on the day of the shoot I am normally first to go through everything with the celebrity. It helps to decide on the look for the photography and hair and make up for the day. I always get a bit nervous before the shoot day – part of me being a perfectionist I think!
I also work a lot with private clients, and shop for them gathering all their looks for the season. I was lucky enough to be taken by Louis Vuitton to Paris during Fashion Week to see their extraordinaire collection, which consisted of around six outfits. It was such a fun day, VIP all the way. That day also saw meetings with Balmain and a quick pit stop to Isabel Marant to get myself a little present. Louis Vuitton asked me to stay in Paris for the night but I had to decline as the following day I was lecturing at a University. Next time I will definitely make sure my diary isn’t full, as I adore Paris.
During London Fashion Week I’m always quite low key, and I think attending the shows is much more fun for my assistant really. I will of course go to a show if I think it’s really important. Burberry is about the only show I simply wouldn’t miss. They are so kind and look after me so well. They send a car for me, which always arrives at the show venue half an hour early. This means I miss the bun fight and can get to my seat in good time. Personally, I think Burberry is really the only show worth going too – it’s a proper show, very NYC in style.
Whenever I’m working as a Fashion TV presenter its always an early call time… but I love the buzz of this. However, I guess what I love doing the most is teaching my students at Style School (www.styleschool.co.uk). I find it so rewarding to pass on my knowledge to a future generation. When I look at them in the classroom, I always think to myself that I might be teaching the future editor of Vogue. The knowledge the pro’s I recruit teach is second to none, and the students really get hands-on learning. My favorite day is their shoot day when they put everything they have learnt into practice. I feel like I’m a mother hen with them all, and spend the whole week organising and making sure the course is fulfilling each of my student’s expectations.
After 6pm I rarely do anything that has anything to do with clothes and work. I love seeing friends for dinners, going to the movies but my most favorite thing is my pottery class on Tuesday evenings. Along the way I’ve become friends with some of the clients I style so I would be lying if I said my personal life wasn’t glamorous some of the time. There is the odd party, but really I’m quite low key and have become a bit obsessed with DVD Box Sets of late!
Alex shares her top tips for becoming a celebrity stylist
1. Gain as much work experience as you can
2. Patience is key
3. Brush up on your organisational skills
4. Make sure you have a really good CV
5. Be passionate about your skill
6. Have loads of enthusiasm
7. Be super trustworthy and discreet
8. Remember if you’re determined and work hard you will succeed – simple as that.