Our Style Expert Series continues with celebrity stylist, Katharine Polk. As a former designer for Badgley Mischka and stylist to celebrities like American Idol 2007 winner, Jordin Sparks, Katharine Polk knows fashion well. She was also a recent contributor for Elle Girl! Get to know Katharine a little better and then visit our Style Advice section to ask her questions. Check out Katharine's very first Polyvore set!
What inspired you to become a stylist?
For as long as I can remember I have loved fashion. I grew up on TV sets and camped out in the wardrobe rooms with the stylists since I could walk! I always thought that ‘playing’ was clothes and dressing up all day. It was too much fun to be work! I now know the time and effort that goes into any profession in order to be successful- whether it’s styling or stock trading.
After spending years in the wardrobe rooms, I decided I wanted to be a designer. My style is very simple yet classic. I found everything to be over-embellished and I was having a hard time finding garments with great quality and good design detail in a simple silhouette. After realizing this, I enrolled in fashion school (FIDM) and graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. I was offered a job as an Assistant Designer at Badgley Mischka Couture straight out of college and immediately moved to NYC from Malibu. I was given the opportunity to style for Badgley Mischka as well, and found that within the creative process of making a cohesive collection- STYLING is key and makes a collection presentable.
What's your proudest professional moment?
Funny enough, whenever asked what the highlight of my career is...I feel like I haven’t had it yet. I work hard everyday for great results and amazing images and if I’ve already had my career highlight, I should be retired ;) I hope that when I am 80 years old I can look back at a lifetime of great work as a whole.
What's next for you?
I love styling and feel that I am able to create looks that haven’t necessarily been seen before. I have the opportunity to work with new designers, photographers, and creatives every week. I love what I do and love sharing it with other people, whether it be a high fashion editorial or top 10 fashion tips! I want to take my design experience and mesh it with my eye for styling to share with the public. I hate seeing people struggling while shopping and getting dressed. I feel that there is a void in the marketplace for what I do!
What advice would you give to aspiring stylists?
You have to take initiative. Fashion is very competitive and ever changing. Find a way to use this to your advantage and create a professional path that is unique. Style is an expression of your personal vision, so you need to channel it to the public and get it seen in a new fresh way! Relationships are everything… Remember to be nice to everyone!!