CREATIVE OF THE MOMENT: CHLOE STANYER
Words Madalena Hernandez
Photography Louise Mair
Styling Jack Shanks & Lula Styling
Makeup Hail Seitan
Model Innes Durrant
In an industry defined by the ‘iconic’ faces that grace the runway season after season and fuelled by celeb culture, encountering a fellow creative with a genuine, self-effacing regard for the work of behind-the-scenes teams, is a welcomed relief.
In the case of Chloe Stanyer, a 23-year-old fashion and textiles graduate from Brighton, this respect for the creative community couldn’t have been clearer. Agreeing to send me photographs of her latest shoots only on the condition that I credit everyone involved, Stanyer’s commitment to the proper accreditation of her co-creatives felt particularly poignant at a time when team spirit feels like the only thing holding the world together. As more and more of us attempt to pick up new skills as a way to pass the sudden abundance of time, this brings with it a newfound appreciation, not for the celebrities of the creative industries, but rather for the skill of those putting in the work behind-the-scenes.
Having graduated in 2019, Stanyer is ready to start making her own mark in the print design industry. But up first in this journey comes the creativity-sapping task of job applications: “anxiety can be a challenge when trying to get into this industry,” Stanyer admits, “it’s incredibly stressful and competitive”. We both let off a mutual sigh of understanding. The problem is, as Stanyer puts it, that “everyone knows that social media is the most vital way to get your work seen and to find opportunities, but there’s such an important balance to be struck between that and social media’s harmful impacts”.
“It's really important that you surround yourself with supportive friends and family!” Chloe Stanyer
The multi-disciplinary creative has harboured a deep relationship with print and textiles over the last few years, with her 2019 collection Victorian Alien Sci-Fi, paying direct homage to her personal fascination with 80s and 90s fashion and cult sci-fi. Attributing much of her inspiration to French designer and king of over-the-top fashion, Thierry Mugler, it’s clear that Mugler’s early amalgamation of upscaled cuts and shapes with sci-fi references, retains its relevance today. In the face of lockdown limitations however, I wondered how Stanyer was able to maintain her skills in this period. “I’m researching for a new print and design project at the moment,” she explains, “and whilst I haven't been able to produce prints onto fabrics during isolation, I have been able to design digital prints by using my drawing tablet on Photoshop. I also hand draw and paint on paper before scanning artwork onto my laptop where I can manipulate it to create my desired print effect”.
This temporary move away from the physical, may present designers like Stanyer with something of a welcome relief; an opportunity to hone their skills, without the stresses and exorbitant costs associated with the production process. This process is, according to Stanyer, one of the biggest challenges she faces in bringing her ideas to life: “It costs a lot to print onto fabric as prints often come out wrong, so you need to get extra fabric to be able to start over. Not to mention paying to use a print studio to access the printing facilities! It’s also hard to find the right fabrics, especially if you want to digitally print on more sustainable and second-hand materials”.
Finally, I asked Chloe to choose just one thing that she’d change within the fashion industry in her lifetime, to which she replied, “there are so many people working behind-the-scenes for fashion designers who don’t get enough credit for working on collections, so if I could change one thing, it would be for them to have more credit for their work.” Chloe’s is, I think, an ambition we can all aspire to, and one which we have the power to bring into reality every single day, by respecting and appreciating the people that we work with. As the saying goes: you’re only as good as the people behind you.
Attracted by: An 80s glam inspired collection of prints, with a cool and feminine sci-fi twist.
Made AIME's creative of the moment because of: A recognition of those working behind the creative scenes.