Erin Walsh is recognized as one of the best stylist in the industry. Walsh’s clients range from editorial including Harper Bazaar, InStyle, and Vanity Fair, as well as Kerry Washington, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Wiig to name a few. Dove deodorant is working with Erin to promote the newest Dove Advance Care Deodorant collection. The purpose of this new deodorant collection is to inspire women to have the confidence to go sleeveless this summer with smoother underarms. Erin is providing tips and tricks to make women feel confident and powerful in sleeveless looks.
I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Erin, to talk about her career, and new collaboration with Dove.
Can we talk about one defying moment you knew you wanted to be a stylist?
Oh that’s a very easy one actually. It was on set for a photo shoot with Irvington a great fashion photographer who unfortunately died a couple of years ago, but I was lucky enough to get to work with him. It was one of my very first photo shoot’s, at the time when I joined the magazine I started working for Vouge, I wasn’t totally aware of the concept of being a fashion editor or stylist. Even though I spent much of my childhood and growing up looking at these magazines, and idolizing everything in them. It didn’t occur to me that it was a job involved in it. So it was on set it felt very magical in the moment, the studio was a very serene, quit almost religious kind of place it made sense. It was like an instant kind of click, I didn’t want to look back from there.
What challenges do you encounter with being a stylist?
I think one of the main challenges is basically trying to find a compromise between fashion, and like what you know what kind of artistic statement you make, and being comfortable in it. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to partner up with dove in the first place, because that’s really what they stick to. They promote confidence in women, I think that all comes down to how you feel in your body. For me whoever I’m working with, myself, or even people I meet I think you look best when you feel comfortable. I could say it 103 times, that is the first thing that goes into style somebody with confidence who looks like their owning what they are wearing, whether that is a summer sleeveless dress, or whatever it is. And having the confidence to wear the jewelry that goes with that. Basically it comes down to owning what you’re wearing but that goes down to personal confidence.
Why did you decide to partner with dove?
With dove I felt very privileged, because when they approached me I had already been admiring the brand for many years, because I really can’t think of another brand that actually have these sorts of initiatives with women that finds the under layer of beauty if that makes sense. So many times I see with my job people worry so much about the fashion, and that’s a huge part obviously, cause you’re putting on clothes and that’s what people see but if you don’t have the um like fashion is about the way you present yourself to the world and a huge part of that is the way you feel about yourself. If you don’t have that confidence when you walk outdoors then it really wont work quite so well for you. That’s why I was so excited to work with them, it felt very serendipitous it made sense, something I always believed in.
How would you describe your signature look?
I think I usually walk a line between classic and whimsical, if that makes sense. I have go to silhouettes and easy solutions. For me just giving the nature of my job I think a lot of white or black to probably not be distracted by what I’m wearing, but when I’m not working sometimes I’ll venture into crazier territories. But I think in general more of a 70’s kind of easy silhouette works well for me. I will experiment now and then but usually it’s rooted in some kind of clean line or clean reference. I like a lot of gold like gold jewelry usually. I like stacking it, I love experimenting with necklines, because I think your face is one of the first things that people see so like your face, and shoulders. So that was another part why I thought this initiative was great because that is kind of one of the first things people see about you are your shoulders. I’m pretty classic and feminine.
I definitely agree with the stacking and the shoulders it’s the first thing that catches my eye, so if you have something around your neckline I will notice it.
Yeah definitely If you think about confidence you look at someone’s shoulders and their arms and the way they stand, and the way they put themselves in the room you can whatever your wearing that will dictate your posture, attitude, smile on your face. It starts from a more eternal place.
What advice would you offer someone considering becoming a stylist?
Research, I feel like it’s such a lack of understanding of context. People don’t bother looking into the historical significance of what they’re wearing. I think its odd. Especially if your going to bother working in the industry, if your going to bother working in the industry you should know the background. That makes you an intelligent representative of it. I think if your going to bother being involved in something you should research and find out as much as you can about it. Doing that also gets your hands on experience, interning is so important, from what I understand it’s harder to get your foot in the door for a fashion job because it’s so much competition. Take in as much information and experience as you can, that to me is most valuable. In terms of finding internships I know fashionista offers a variety of internship listings. You can do it through fashion school, I think fashion school is great for a lot of people, for me I didn’t go to fashion school personally. I think if you find the experience you will understand. The industry is a separate thing from learning about it in the book. Like the actually hands on experience.
I’m in school right now for fashion marketing, and I believe I need the industry experience to back up what I’m learning.
Are you really, cool. The great thing for you, and people who are getting the educational background, that’s the best place you can find your library of references that could inform you. I do like that the schools have the internship programs because I think that is extremely important, having that background to get your foot in the door anywhere.
If you could pick 3 “must haves” that every woman should have what would it be?
I love that question actually because I think trends are fun to watch, but I am a firm believer in classic staples and sort of evolving them as the year and seasons go by. I would say a blazer that fits you perfectly is really important. I would say a great umm.. These are all really obvious and your going to laugh *laughs* I think that the best things are obvious that’s why you keep going back to them. And probably if you look at any stylist recommendation for this sort of thing it comes down to that, but I think a great looking white blouse for summer, it’s so many cool sleeveless ones. I’ve had lots of fun at Zara, and even Gap because they’ve done so many good interpretations of this you can have the most basic silhouette, a sleeveless white blouse and put variations on the neckline showing you know the collar bone which I think is one of the most feminine parts of the body. You can play around with classics; you can have a couple variations of a wardrobe staple so it doesn’t get boring. I think a pair of jeans that can go from dressy to casual. Its great to have a sweatpant jean or a tight legging jean, but I would have a cropped skinny jean that is more day to night, that could be worn for meeting or to get drinks whatever it is. That translates more. The thing with key pieces is having them be buyable for a variety of occasions, and also probably not so statement because it’s not something you could wear all the time.
I love the look you created for Kerry Washington at the Django London premiere what was your inspiration behind that look?
That’s actually one of my favorite fashion moments ever, with Kerry and these kinds of things I usually like to speak to her because it’s such a collaborative process, with everybody it’s a collaborative process. I think for that if you look at it literally the movie is filled with horses, so we loved that so much so we found a dress that was a symbolic representation of that. In general this is one of the things I like so much about my job, and again partnering with a company like Dove is these collaborations that inform you, and inspire you. It dictates how much more creative you will be, what kind of inspiration we could give off. You learn the most from listening, as oppose to seeking. I’m pretty lucky I work with some very talented people, companies, and magazines. I kind of try to pay it forward as much as I can, and to listen as much as possible.
How do you see your career evolving in the future?
Oh that’s a good question *laughs* I like that question. Its funny the way your career surprises you over the years. I definitely wouldn’t have predicted that I would be where I am now. I think I’m happiest when I’m doing a variety of things, working with a variety of people, projects. I get to change my hat everyday and dig into different parts of the industry, and myself. I would like to just be busy and happy and working with people and companies that I really believe in. For me life is to short definitely, and this industry is to crazy to waste your time working with people and products you don’t believe in. That’s really important to me and I hope that it continues.