Julia Blank, a Singapore-based personal stylist and image consultant, is on a mission to make the world a more beautiful place. We chat to her about her styling business, Dial for Style, and her tips for dressing in our ridiculously humid climate.
What got you interested in a career as a stylist?
I think my interest came from a realisation that not everyone has an eye for style – for understanding how to look for clothes that flatter not just their figure, but their personality too. Along with this, I had a real desire to help people, so I chose to share my styling knowledge with others.
Tell me about your background in the fashion industry.
My love for nice things started when I was a little girl – my mother was definitely my role model. She instilled the importance of looking after yourself in me from a young age. Growing up my parents owned retail stores, and after university I began working in the fashion industry myself. However, I certainly didn’t become a stylist overnight! I’d say its been a long journey of self-discovery!
Tell us more about the services you offer.
As a personal stylist, my services include style consultations, wardrobe revamping, personal shopping with clients for everyday clothes or special occasions (such as weddings or gala dinners), beauty training and group image consultation workshops.
Which have been your most memorable styling projects?
Although I’ve had many interesting projects, including celebrity styling, my favourite ones have been working with ordinary people. Whether it’s a stay-at-home mum stuck in a wardrobe rut, or a business executive looking to revamp her image for a new role, I find these jobs the most personally fulfilling.
Above all, the fact that I’m able to help someone look and feel more confident is the most rewarding aspect of my job. I feel the most satisfaction after I’ve completed a style transformation, and my client starts smiling at herself and her new look in the mirror.
What are your top tips for dressing in Singapore’s humidity?
That’s one of the most common questions that I get asked! My main advice is to stay away from rubber shoes or flip-flops as they can rub against the feet, plus they rarely look flattering. Instead, invest in flat shoes with interesting details for maximum comfort and style.
Also, if you’re bored with your current wardrobe, experiment with accessories. Beautiful statement jewellery is abundant in Singapore, and is an easy and cost-effective way to give an old ensemble a new lease of life. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying a whole new outfit!
How do you balance being a full-time mum with work?
I’m a mother of two boys aged five to ten. I’ll admit, it’s not always easy to handle my career and look after your family. In the beginning, I worked part-time. I figure that maintaining my job even on a part-time basis helped me keep my sanity!
Now, I love how my boys give me compliments on my outfits. I often involve them when I’m getting dressed to go out. For instance, I might ask for their opinion on which bag or shoes go better with a certain dress, and I always ask them to explain their choice. My kids are my biggest reward in life.
Have you had any interesting clients?
I actually remember all of my clients, quite scary isn’t it! If you asked me a question about someone I worked with two or three years ago, I’d be able to tell you in detail what the job entailed. I think that’s because when I work with someone, I really take his or her issues and image concerns to heart. For me, it’s crucial for my clients to feel completely comfortable around me. So, to answer your question, all of my clients have had different needs and aspirations, but all have been equally remarkable.
What are your main goals as a stylist?
To inspire and help others achieve their own style transformation. Your personal style is extremely important and shouldn’t be undervalued – it can have a huge effect on your self-confidence, which in turn has a positive knock-on effect on other aspects of your life, from how you present yourself in the workplace to your personal relationships.
For more information or to get in touch with Julia, visit her website at julia-blank.com
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