We interviewed Fashion Director Kristine Kilty to find out more about how she got started and ask for any advise she would give to aspiring creatives.
What is your full name and what short course do you teach?
How did you come to work in your field/discipline?
I studied Fibre Art, which is a combination of Fine Art and Textiles. After this I moved to London to study a BA in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins, followed by numerous industry placements and an MA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins. During the MA, I realised I didn’t want to design anymore and I wasn’t sure how I could use the skills I had learnt along the way. By chance I landed a job at Vivienne Westwood, where I was exposed to styling clients and celebrities for red carpet events, where I also got to meet a lot of other stylists, journalists and creatives. I was encouraged by Gwen Stefani to follow the path to becoming a stylist. After this, I just woke up one day, no portfolio, no contacts and decided I was going to become a Fashion Director that works internationally….and made it happen with hard work and determination. And the rest is history!
Tell us about your work.
I work as a Fashion Director/Stylist, predominately working with high end luxury brands. I live in London but spend a lot of time in Paris, New York, LA and China. I am lucky enough to have a really varied client base, so I get to work on everything from fashion editorials, advertising campaigns, music videos, TV, live music performances, exhibitions, celebrity portraits and creative collaborations. I’m a stylist that works to a brief, so I can adapt my style to fit the client. My personal taste gives a nod to my background in textile design, and I love to mix as much colour, texture and print as possible!
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
The 1940’s, film, music videos from the 80’s and 90’s, people watching and art exhibitions.
To stay inspired I surround myself with people who have a different creative approach and who challenge me, such as my boyfriend Adam who’s brain is a film reference encyclopedia and he gives me great references to explore. My best friend Portia who owns POP PR, constantly introduces me to new designers and collections; and my long term creative collaborator Mike Ruiz who is one of the most talented photographers I have ever met. And of course, the students I work with at CSM keep me inspired!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am just about to return to Paris to spend a few days shooting Haute Couture.
Tell us about the work you submitted, being featured in the Central Saint Martins Short Courses exhibition.
This is a lookbook shoot that I did in China for a client called Toyouth. The brand is really well known in China and for this lookbook they wanted to change direction with the creative so it was great to do something a little different. I worked with my long term collaborator, Mike Ruiz, who is an amazing photographer/director from New York. Myself and Mike work a lot together, we constantly bounce ideas off each other and he pushes me to challenge myself creatively. When we come up with ideas we are always on the same page and trust each other’s vision.
Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?
Tough question… there is just so much brilliant work across all disciplines to mention. I recently spent the day at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and it is filled with modern art, everything from Kandinsky to Matisse. So many of the pieces that are in the permanent collection are globally recognised and presented all under one roof. It’s incredible! The Pompidou Centre currently has a great exhibition called UAM (Union of Modern Artists), which presents film, furniture, painting, sculpture, industrial design, textiles, interior design, cars and more! The centre in itself is a must-see.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?
Never give up. Never complain that you are tired. And to remember the person booking you for the job may not be a creative, they might have a corporate position, so you need to come across business focused and organised no matter how conceptual your ideas may be.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Collaborate with as many other creative’s as possible, even if it’s in a completely different discipline. By challenging yourself and working in different ways, you will push your work further.
Feeling inspired? Get started straight away – There are a couple of spaces left on Kristine’s summer school courses! Fashion Styling for Beginners, Conceptual Fashion Styling, and The Fashion Industry: Careers and Inspiration. If you want to see more of what Kristine is getting up to, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Our Summer School runs from 25 June to 14 September 2018. View all upcoming Summer School courses now! Our full course schedule is available until June 2019, so there is sure to be something for everyone. To see what students are getting up to in the classroom now, have a look at #mycsm on Instagram. You can also follow us @csmshortcourses on Instagram and Twitter. Better yet, join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the Short Course team.
The CSM Short Course Exhibition 2018 is open to the public until 5 September 2018. If you are in London come see us and check it out!
1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA