LFW with Alex Stedman
Meet Alexandra Stedman, the stylish authority on living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget, AKA The Frugality. In this day and age we all know expensive taste comes at a price – but Alex has always been an advocate of keeping costs low, and the style stakes high. We had the pleasure of spending time with Alex at London Fashion Week…
Fresh from location shoots in St Lucia and Barbados, Alex has been globetrotting in the name of fashion. With barely a week at home between the two trips, and a lot of manual labour on the job, the stylist asserts that it’s not all as glamorous as it sounds: “I get to travel to amazing places for work, but I rarely get to go as a holiday-maker, as it’s often too expensive for me to go on my own!”
As a frequent fashion flyer, we thought it'd be rude not to get the inside scoop on Alex’s fave locales abroad: “I love going to Nerja in Spain for my summer holidays – great tapas and super affordable. I’ve also booked a mini break to Copenhagen this summer. I am definitely more of a city girl than a beach bum.”
Pseudo-glam traveling prospects aside, we were interested to know how Alex would describe what she does for a living:
“I kind of have two jobs. I work for magazines, as a stylist, doing editorial shoots, and shopping pages, as well as styling for commercial clients in London, and often abroad. I also have a blog, which means I’m either at home working on still-life shots, uploading content, researching, or shooting streetstyle outside.”
Now that's what we'd call a workload. But, that’s not all. This blogger-stylist also has to keep up with the pace of the industry. And when she isn’t jet setting or running around town, what does a ‘typical’ day in the life of The Stedders entail?
“I usually have a breakfast meeting in town with a PR. Also, as a blogger and Instagrammer I need as much visual content as I can get – being out and about is the best way to achieve this. I try and multitask and will often book a photographer to meet me in town to get some shots for my blog.”
“The beauty of freelancing is avoiding rush hour, I get home and continue to work until about 6/7pm (sometimes much, much later if I’m on a deadline). Then, I get up and do it all over again!”
Goodness, no wonder this little beauty cuts such a svelte figure! But all this business, albeit exhaustive, is invaluable in such a notorious industry. Alex explains her success wouldn’t exist without the support she’s been lucky to receive.
“All of my editors were behind me when I started my blog, so many PRs would read it every day. My husband was super supportive too: taking my pictures, and believing in me. My career wouldn’t be what it was now without the support I’ve had.”
A positive network of friends and family seems indispensable – any more advice for those aspiring to walk a mile in Alex’s super chic shoes?
“It is a tough industry. You have to be prepared to work hard. Styling is quite a manual job – lugging suitcases around town, returning clothes to PRs, a lot of admin and long days. You have to love what you do.”
“Blogging took me 2-3 years of weekend dedication, while working full-time, for it to become a career. Success definitely doesn’t come all at once. But, the hard workers really do stand out from the crowd.”
While shadowing this busy lady around town, it was practically impossible to get time in for an interview. Alex kindly allowed me to grace her inbox of several hundred emails with some Q’s and I asked about a typical LFW day…
“Shows, presentations, coffee, photos, more coffee, presentations, grab a snack, run to another show, run because you’re late, watch the show, take pictures, blog, tweet, snapchat, leave, another show in 10 minutes, your feet hurt, grab some water when you realise you haven’t had any all day, worry about your outfit, watch show, head to party, leave after 10 minutes, go to another party, chat to PRs, tweet some more, go to last party, get home shattered. Then blog about it all.”
Evidently, fashion week is not for the faint hearted. How does one prepare?
“I try and buy a few new things to wear, and obviously you need to be aware of the dates, in advance, to request tickets. This season I was abroad shooting the week before, so I did very limited planning!”
And yet, she still looked amazing! To her sleek ensemble of louche tailoring, and sports-informed outerwear, Alex incorporated a hero piece, our cream oversized knit.
“I love a chunky jumper, they can really make an outfit – and this keeps me so warm. I have dressed it up with a wide leg trouser and embellished bomber jacket to make it a little more formal. Generally, my style is tomboyish and classic, with a twist. I love to try new trends but always in my own way, and mostly with flats.”
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