LFW with Alex Stedman
Meet Alexandra Stedman, the chic authority on living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget - AKA Stylist and Editor of The Frugality. These days, we all know expensive taste comes at a price – but Alex has always been about keeping costs low and the style stakes high. We had a great time with her at London Fashion Week…
Fresh from location shoots in St Lucia and Barbados, Alex has been globetrotting for fashion. With hardly a week at home between the two trips and a lot of physical work on the job, the stylist says it’s not all as glamorous as it sounds: “I get to travel to amazing places for work, but I rarely get to go for vacation - it’s often too pricey for me to go on my own!”
Since she's a frequent fashion flyer, we had to get the inside scoop on Alex’s fave overseas spots: “I love Nerja in Spain for summer vacation – great tapas and super affordable. I also booked a mini-break in Copenhagen this summer. I'm definitely more of a city girl than a beach bum!”
Pseudo-glam travel aside, we wanted to know how Alex describes what she does for a living:
“I kind of have two jobs: I work as a stylist for magazines, doing editorial shoots and shopping pages, as well as styling for commercial clients in London and overseas. I also have a blog, which means I’m either at home working on still-life shots, uploading content, researching, or shooting street style 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. So when she isn’t jetsetting or running around town, what does a ‘typical’ day in the life of The Stedders look like?
“I usually have a PR breakfast meeting in town. 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 do it. I try to multitask, often booking 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 keep working until about 6-7pm (sometimes much, much later if I’m on a deadline). Then, I get up and do it all over again!”
No wonder this little beauty is in such great shape! While all this business is exhausting, it's priceless in such a tough industry. Alex explains her success wouldn’t exist without the support she’s had.
“All 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 is without the support I’ve had.”
A positive network of friends and family seems really important – any more advice for those hoping 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 a really physical 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 working weekends, with a full-time job, for it to become a career. Success definitely isn't overnight. But the hard workers really do stand out from the crowd.”
While shadowing this busy girl around town, it was practically impossible to get time for an interview. Alex was nice enough to let me swamp her inbox with a few hundred emails' worth of 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 realize 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 wiped out. Then blog about it all!”
Obviously, Fashion Week is not for the faint-hearted. How do you prep?
“I try to buy a few new things to wear. And obviously you need to know the dates in advance, to request tickets. This season I was shooting overseas the week before, so I did very limited planning!”
Yet she still looked amazing! To her chic outfit of on-trend tailoring and sports-inspired outerwear, Alex added a workhorse piece: our cream oversized knit.
“I love chunky sweaters! They can really make an outfit – and this one keeps me so warm. I dressed it up with wide-leg pants and an embellished bomber jacket to make it a little more formal. Generally, my style is tomboyish and classic, with a twist. I love trying new trends - but always in my own way, and mostly with flats.”
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