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The ladies over at Fashionista conducted a very excellent Q&A with veteran stylist and Us Weekly fashion director Sasha Charnin Morrison, whose new book Secrets of Stylists just launched this month. One of our favorite parts of the interview is when she talks about her first job and how, basically, she got the shit kicked out of her by her boss, and why it was all worth it.
At my first job [as a “below-junior-level assistant” to Marina Schiano at Vanity Fair], I was 21 and I thought i knew everything, but I really didn’t. I was yelled at in English and Italian. I’ve had several things thrown at me. But the big thing that tore Marina and me apart was delivering these dog biscuits to Carolina Herrera’s dog. I had a 104 degree fever and we were doing a Christmas delivery and I was putting the dog biscuit bags in the back of the car and somehow I did something wrong and put the bag in incorrectly. So the bag got a little messed up and maybe the biscuit was broken and that was it. I’ve never been yelled at that loudly. That was the last straw straw, that’s what got me out of Vanity Fair. It’s pretty funny now, though at the time I thought my career was over and that my life was ending.
I wish I had realized when I was being abused and cleaning mugs and ashtrays that I’d understood the enormity of Marina and how great she was. You need somebody who can train you to learn how not to do things at the next job.By the way, we've looked through the book and it is excellent—a real, honest insider's guide at styling secrets from the industry. Though it'll probably be a bit overwhelming and intense for a casual reader, anyone who's interested in taking an insider's behind-the-scenes at how things happen (and anyone who's interested in making things happen—i.e. working as a stylist) will definitely enjoy Morrison's work.
Besides actors–fashion people are the most dramatic people on the planet. The people that are in the top jobs sacrifice having families and getting married for fashion because they love it. It’s everything. And if you can’t see that and you don’t feel that way then the people that do feel that way don’t have time for you. The way people look at is, the job is very glamorous so you can suck it up.
· Secrets of Stylists, $24.95 at Amazon.com
· Veteran Stylist Sasha Charnin Morrison Talks Her New Book [Fashionista]