To truly make it as a fashion stylist in the cutthroat world of fashion, not only do you have to have impeccable style, unique creative vision, and an expert level of knowledge of the history of fashion houses and international trends, you also need to be able to carry insanely heavy boxes, deal with complicated personalities, and have organizational skills that would put a perfectionist to shame. Nobody really warns you about the second half. That’s why few stylists truly rise to the occasion, but with Toronto Fashion Week coming up and all the spring runways now available for editorials, Kirsten Reader is one of the busiest gals in the city. Whether she’s working directly with designers or styling editorials for print magazines, the Toronto-based fashion stylist brings her own unique sense of style to everything she does. We caught up with Reader to find out more about her personal style, current obsessions and her career…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
When it comes to work I am a definite perfectionist and love to have everything planned out before I even get to set – I am even particular with how my car is packed and how the returns are done. In my personal life I am more of a free spirit. I am a huge fan of travel and love spontaneous adventures. I find my best trips and adventures happen when there is very little planning done in advance. I also am a huge hockey fan: I grew up playing it, and I will continue to stay loyal to my Leafs.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
The fashion industry is definitely a very fast paced competitive environment and a lot more hard work than people realize, with some jobs I book becoming life consuming. Those not in the industry don’t always understand that. What I love is when I am done a job and get to see the final result and how other people respond to it. It is what makes all the chaos of the job and getting it ready worthwhile.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My dog, Blackberry (yes I am still loyal to Blackberry), and coffee.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it is home. I love how the city is growing and there are always new areas and places to explore.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I love Toronto for the diversity of its restaurants. Lately I can’t stop visiting Rodney’s for oysters. I really have an oyster addiction and I love the selection there. I also can’t get enough of Weslodge’s beef tartar.
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines and why do you sport their fashions?
Rag & Bone and Mavi are my go to’s for jeans. There is always a struggle to find the right fit in jeans and these two are the best ones for me. Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang are amazing. Their style is modern yet timeless; they have become my work uniform. I also can’t live without Jenny Bird, Dannijo, Eddie Borgo, Made her Think, Pamela Love and Catbird jewellery. They are my daily accessories.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
I have learned that good skincare means less makeup is needed. I always use the Dermalogica daily microfoliant every morning and use Nude Face oil to moisturize with the Dermalogica primer, followed by a BB cream and Nars radiant concealer and Nars setting powder. I am also a huge fan of Fresh sugar lip balms. I think I own every colour.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
I love the return of the menswear trend along with cropped sweaters. I also am thrilled to see the return of grunge. I was a huge fan of the trend when it first came out and will never forget that Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis’ show that got him fired. I thought it was amazing. I am thrilled I can find so many amazing plaid pieces, though this time I love how the grunge trend has merged with punk after the inspiration from the Met exhibit, definitely one of my favourites. I also can never say no to leopard and love how it is now being looked at as a neutral and a classic.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
I love the Dr. Who facial at Gee Beauty. Not only is the spa so friendly and welcoming, but this micro facial with oxygen really does make me look like I am well rested, which unfortunately for me is rarely the case – my skin just glows. They also tailor the products they use to your skin which I love since my skin is incredibly sensitive.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
My website is kirstenreader.com, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. This is where you can really see what inspires me and what I gravitate towards style wise. You can also check out my portfoilio at judyinc.com/artists/kirsten-reader