Canadian Style Makers: Jessica Clark talks fashion + media

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Jessica Clark is a graduate from the fashion merchandising program at Vancouver’s Blanche MacDonald Centre. She is driven by her ambitions as a stylist, blogger and event planner, with high hopes of making a strong impression on the Canadian fashion industry. As an avid contributor on social media networks, Jessica has been able to find work and gain insight into local Western Canadian trends. She even goes as far to say that, “social media…it’s almost become a new version of street style.”

This week Vancity Buzz engages Jessica Clark, a fashion stylist and fashion blogger working between Vancouver, B.C. and Edmonton, A.B. Jessica was born in Edmonton and would spend her summers galavanting on Prince Edward Island, where her family originated.  Growing up Jessica had imagined she would one day become a singer/song writer. She now spends her days styling and creatively writing. Jessica has found her online voice on her blog titled “rotating compass“ and also on her website at www.jessicaclark.me. 

“I love fashion. I love writing. I love to be creative.”

What are your thoughts on social media, are you able to find work through this style of communication?

I honestly think Instagram has become the new Facebook and, in a way, a new blog form in itself. Most of my new contacts from the social media sphere has been because of my Instagram account, where either I or a user contacts me because they follow me or I follow them…Social media is a great way to get your voice out there globally or locally but if you can’t find a way to build the relationship with clients or followers then I feel like it becomes cyber noise that gets lost in retweets, hashtags, and likes.

What are you working on currently?

Currently I’ve been busy shooting pre-fall and fall editorials. I work also as a project manager for MadeinEDMTN and I’ve been working on our upcoming event on June 15, 2013. It’s called the Skybridge, and it’s set to be a glamorous evening with creative young and established industry professionals. We are showcasing the soul of the city in the heart of downtown Edmonton. It’s going to be a red carpet fashionable event in a glass pedway downtown, an unforgettable event for our guests…

What was the last project you completed?

The 2013 Fringe ad campaign with photographer Aaron Pederson, MUA Katie Matson and Mode Models International Braden Wright.

Tell us about your career as a stylist/fashion blogger?

I first started out modeling when I was seven. My father is a professional photographer (KJC Photography) and got me into it when I was young. As I got older I took interest in photography. About three years ago I entered into Western Canada Fashion Week’s Styling competition where I won second place. That was where the styling and blogging career really became clear to me.

It all just came together to fit the missing puzzle pieces of what I wanted to do. After that point I figured out a way to make it all start happening for me. I moved to Vancouver where I began studying fashion merchandising and marketing at Blanche MacDonald.

While I was in Vancouver, I volunteered at every fashion show I could, my first one being the Mercedes Benz Start Up show. I got offered an internship at Holt Renfrew on the special events and marketing team.

Then, I became a stylist assistant to Central Saint Martins Graduate, Yvadney Davis, who I owe so much to in my career. She really taught me how to push my boundaries and trust your creative instincts.

Wcfw was the ultimate career start for me…I began documenting my journey of working towards a career in the fashion industry and how my ups and downs can relate to other people out there. I would get emails from people just saying that what I wrote about really related to their own thoughts and worries…

I worked with TwinEngine Films at 604 Studios, who houses musicians like Carly Rae Jepsen, Dallas Smith and Nickleback. They needed a stylist for a music video for a band called Fighting For Ithaca. That was my first time ever doing film and I just so happened to be working with the same director who shot the infamous “Call me Maybe,” Ben Knechtel, who not long after won best music video of the year at the MMVA’s.

That summer I graduated from Blanche and entered into another stylist competition. I won a finalist spot in Vancouver’s Fashion Night Out judged by designer Jason Matlo.

Have you had a mentor in your career?

Mel Watts, who was my career advisor at Blanche, now friend, I’d consider her to be my biggest mentor since I started on the career path. She is one of those wise people that always have the right answer.

Have you been to NYC fashion week?

I have my ticket booked for this years NYC and London fashion week!

Jessica’s must-haves for Fall 2013?

  • Rich plum colours and reds are my top colors picks
  • Oversized strong shoulder jacket, reference Stella McCartney
  • Over the knee boots, a leather jacket, something studded and something sexy!

Do you have a your own signature look?

Hair waved. Red lipstick. High heels. Skinnys and a cream blouse.

Are you into vintage clothes?

Oh of course. I’m more into vintage accessories then clothes for myself though. My favorite spot in Edmonton is Swish Vintage, I could spend all day in that store.

All stylists, bloggers and event planners have their secret to managing their time, what are yours?

I sometimes ask myself the same thing. I’ve always been good at multitasking, there’s no real set method since things are constantly changing. I think since the years have gone by I’ve figured out what works for me, and what doesn’t. My secret is planning ahead. I always try to do things one day before I actually need to do something so I can stay ahead. I stay realistic, and focused.

What advice can you give aspiring stylists/fashion bloggers who want to get into the industry?

Network network network. Intern and volunteer as much as you can unpaid or paid every experience counts and gives you a chance to meet more people. Do your research and know what and who you’re talking about. Don’t ever go to set not knowing a photographers aesthetic. Don’t ever do a blog post about a topic without research. Don’t ever reference an era when styling if you don’t actually know then two words to describe it.

What do you think the next big trend in ladies fashions will be? 

I think the ‘rag’s to riches’ style will catch on, pairing a fancy dress with a layered textured jumper. I also think over the knee boots will be a must have for women this fall.

Who should readers be following in fashion? Who are the people that are developing cool new apparel?

Keep an eye on Canadian designer Rad Hourani, his collections are mind blowing. If you like shoes, Nicholas Kirkwood’s designs are like full fashion show all to themselves. You should be following Matthew Vin if you want to see some inspiring photography, this guy will be taking photography in Canada to a new level.

 

Written by Garth W. Jackson, connect with Garth on Twitter  @Gjaxluxe

Photographs submitted from stylist, Jessica Clark.

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