One of the things I find most difficult during a shoot is the right styling. Not only because I am not a jewellery and bags kind of girl but also because I really don’t know what goes together and usually just wear whatever I like. This doesn’t always work on pictures. On a picture, something that looks good in real life, doesn’t look that special. That’s why during a shoot there is always a fashion stylist. His or her job is to make sure the clothing matches the location, model and vibe of the shoot. One of the people I shot recently is a fashion stylist. Today you can read more about her and her job.
Meet Cillie Rigters. I’ve known Cillie for quite some time now. She is not only someone I enjoy having around but also someone I look up to. When I met Cillie a couple of years ago, we were both still working as hostesses. Not a job we really loved or wanted to pursue in the future but fun enough to make some good money besides all of the other things we did want to pursue. Cillie is a working mom who pursued her dream two years ago. She wanted to work as a stylist and so she decided to go to the school of Danie Bles (who works with famous Dutch people as a stylist) and learn all about styling. She ended her studies with an amazing shoot with famous Dutch model Kim Feenstra and started working as a freelancer.
An early fashionista
The first thing you notice when you meet Cillie is her impeccable sense of style. I always see her in different colours and she combines different styles effortless. She describes her style as: ”My style always changes. It really depends on my mood. One day I can be super girly and the other day I can be a total tomboy.” This pretty much sums me up too. A lot of the items that Cillie is spotted in daily, are items I also love. For example the purple pants she’s wearing during our shoot. It has been sold out for months at Asos but if it ever comes back, I will be the first to order it. So how did Cillie become a fashion stylist? ”When I graduated high school I decided to study Fashion in The Hague. It was mainly sewing and no styling at all so I decided to do something different with my life. After a while I decided to still pursue styling and started my studies at Styleschool by Danie. That’s how things started to pick up. I did a lot of free work and tried to sell my work” she tells me.
In between this period of The Hague and Styleschool, Cillie and I meet. She is super funny and open. Her down to earth charachter makes me like her even more. Cillie is someone who wants to have fun but does take her life serious. She has her own jewellery line besides all the hostess jobs and makes her own jackets. When I meet Cillie for the first time I have no clue that she wants to be a stylist but I do think that she has to do something in the fashion industry. Her style is very creative and funky. After a while she stops working as a hostess so I don’t really speak to her as often as I would like. However, when I start picking up my photography and she finishes her studies, we meet again.
Right after she finishes her studies at the Styleschool, we decide to meet up and shoot some pictures. She has just designed her own jacket and asks me to shoot it. I have just started writing about other people on my blog. This is almost a year and a half ago. Funny how things change. Cillie is a busy bee but I’m not sure what she wants to do with her life yet. A year and a half later she is a fashion stylist working with the top of the Dutch industry. I ask her how she figured out what she wants to do and she tells me: ”I tried so many different things but the fashionista within me stayed with me all the time. I wanted to do something that made me happy and the one thing that really makes me happy is fashion. I love styling, fabrics and everything that comes with it. Realizing this made the switch really easy.”
Working in the industry
So what’s it like to work in the fashion industry and how has it changed Cillie? ”I am a lot more confident working as a stylist. This is not an easy industry to work in so you need to be confident in order to maintain yourself. I find it really interesting how big and innovative the fashion industry is but yet at the same time it is not at all because sometimes new trends are actually trends from way back. When I visit my mom she tells me she used to wear the same clothes back in the day as I do today” Cillie tells me.
I love hearing about why people decide to start working as a freelancer. Cillie shares: ”I started by going to the KVK (a Dutch institution where you can register your company) and signed up. I had no idea what the outcome would be but I still decided to go for it. If others can do it, so can I. I wanted to work as a freelancer because there are no strings attached. I don’t owe anyone an explantion but myself. I love the feeling of independency and being equel to everybody else. There is no boss above you.” Now she works with the top of the Dutch industry with artists such as: Robin Martens, Timor and former Miss Netherlands Jessie Jazz. Also she works for Wanderlust Amsterdam and an upcoming Dutch movie. ”It is so weird to work with these people and yet so normal. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t dream of working with the people I work with now. But they are also normal people. Besides that my job is my passion. I have a huge passion for fashion and it makes me so happy to find an amazing new piece. I love finding items that nobody else has. So it’s not working anymore, I love what I am doing. Where I get my creativity from? I love crafting and painting but I also love sitting behind my laptop and watching new fashion shows or streetstyle from bloggers.”
Tips from a pro
Cillie has some major plans for her future: ”I would love to start my own PR agency. For starting stylists it can be really hard to borrow clothes. I experienced this too. I would love to give starting stylists the opportunity to be able to borrow clothes easier. Also I feel like everything is in Amsterdam while Rotterdam has a lot of potential.” I can’t wait to find out more but for now all I want to do is ask her for a few tips: ”As a stylist it is very important to always have your styling kit with you. You never know what can happen. Brands I love working with are: Scotch and Soda and Elisabetta Franchi. Tips for people who want to persue styling? Just start working. If you never try, you will never know!”
Cillie is such an amazing person and I can’t wait to work with her again. Stay tuned for more and be sure to watch her vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKQQLYm-jqk2g1RX95yvQM