Fashion Stylist of 20 Years Lays It All Out

Fashion Stylist of 20 Years Lays It All Out

Former punk rocker Galadriel Masterson is a well-seasoned fashion stylist and true New Yorker.  She shares her story of how she made it in one of the most competitive industries, all while holding onto her wildly enthusiastic love for life, health, and the people she surrounds herself with.


LUCIE BEATRIX: How long have you been a stylist?  

GALADRIEL MASTERSON: I have been in the biz for 20 years. Mama got started in the ‘90’s.

How did you get started? 

I began in fashion by trying everything. I assisted stylists. I worked in a showroom. I worked in Barney’s press office, and I worked for a fashion show producer, Kevin Krier. We produced shows all over the world and worked with Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Todd Oldham— to name a few. I was a baby flying first class and being told by Carine Rotfield to put down that croissant or I would get fat…it was an awesome education! Kevin taught me how to deal with any type of personality with humor and detail. He also taught me that if the call time is 9 am, then I am there at 8:45 am, already ‘ and ready to work!

What is your favorite thing about the job? 

I love being freelance and working with a different crew every week. I love laughing, chatting, and getting deep with the models as we have a lot of one on one time throughout the day.

When and why did you get into health/fitness?

I was raised pretty healthy pulling veggies out of the garden, picking berries off the bush. But, in 1992 I picked up my first book on food as medicine and my voracious appetite to learn about holistic health was awoken! I don’t believe in diets as temporary changes bring temporary results— and trust me I’m an expert— I was basically on a zillion diff diets from 1972 to 2011. My goal in becoming a holistic health coach is to inspire and teach people how to look and feel fucking gorgeous! Health is fun and I love helping people understand what their bodies are asking for and dissecting cravings and eating as much as they want if the right foods!

What tools do you use stay calm and grounded in such a crazy industry?

What keeps me calm in our craycray is humor. I try to laugh sing n’ dance my way through prep days and shoot days. Also when my work day is done, I don’t do more fashion things.  I have a wife and two dogs and I volunteer for Curly Tail Pug Rescue and trust me, my frickin’ homework keeps me verrrry bizbiz in the evenings.

What is the hardest thing about styling? 

The hardest thing about styling is what an incredibly physical job.  It is hauling all the wardrobe and supplies. My assistants and I always joke when prepping a big job that we should have done hair or makeup instead! Ha!

If you could change one thing about the fashion world, what would it be? 

I would love to see the freelance side of our biz unionize therefore establishing things like maternity leave, knowing when your work day will end or being paid overtime, having people better trained to work with children and teens, etc.

Who do you look up to? 

I really look up to all the freelancing working moms in this business they are the strongest most resilient people in the industry and they take a lot of shit while maintaining utter professionalism.

Describe a time in your life where you were presented with a great obstacle, and how you turned things around.

In 2007 I had my worst year of biz as several clients went in-house. My ego and my finances were in the gutter. I lived on savings and credit cards and went into significant debt. As I crawled out of that year, I developed tremendous gratitude for earning and working regardless of the project. I also began educating myself extensively and putting into practice how to build financial security as a freelancer which is something I educate my assistants in right along with the rest of THE DEVIL WEARS ZARA training!

What kind of advice do you have for someone looking into pursuing a career as a fashion stylist? 

I get asked a lot how a young stylist should break in this biz and I feel assisting for many years is the paid education you need and pathway to success. Look up every agency and check out their stylists.  Then find them through their websites or social networks and send them a letter telling them why you wanna work specifically for that individual and why.  Follow up a few times, too.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I will still be helping all my lil’ super models squeeze their size 10 feet into a size 9 Jimmy Choo, but I will also have built a successful side biz teaching said super models how to stay slender without compromising their health and need for nutrients that give energy and beauty!  In about 15 years, I will be living upstate fulltime and only health coaching.

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