Patti Wilson is a singular force. With her legendary creativity (not to mention energy) she has become a major player in the competitive world of styling. In One Management’s latest interview, Christopher Michael gets to the bottom of what motivates and inspires the talented Ms. Wilson.
Q. A born and raised New Yorker, and someone who defies all the cruel politics of fashion by managing to work with everyone from Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson and everyone in between. However, it seems you never fail to support the next generation of new talent. Be thy Designer, Photographer or even Model. What then is it that draws you to working with someone? Clearly, you are not only following trends.
If I follow anything I follow talent! I have been so fortunate to be working with so many people who I admire. And that’s what I love about them, their unique abilities & talents. To me, variety is what makes fashion interesting.
Q. I’ve been on set with you enough times to see that you love what you do. In fact, I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen you NOT doing something, this seems to be quite a tell tale sign actually, considering that every season I’m in awe of just how it’s humanly possible to do what you do after going over your shoot schedule, do you ever get Tired???
Never. Styling is like an out of body experience for me-and I kind of like that state! If anything it’s the politics that makes it tiring!
Q. As mentioned above, you have always been a great supporter of new talent and next generations. Who do you think is one of the most impressive arrivals on the Fashion Scene in the past 10 years? Be it Designer, Photographer, Model or even Magazine?
10 years, that’s a long time, so much happened.
But off the top of my head. I love what Ricardo Tisci has done at Givenchy. How he’s taking it to a totally new level. And that’s not to mention all the new designers lately that have been coming up and getting the recognition they deserve. It’s them and all the new young photographers that are making the fashion scene even more exciting!
Q. Being born and raised in New York, have you ever gotten tired of this fast paced city and thought about taking on the more slow pace of Europe for a period? Or is your love for this City an eternal flame that forever burns in honor of your passion for the trade?
New York is what keeps me going!
But without Paris in my life, I would die!!!.
Q. I know that in the past you’ve attributed your start in this business to Edward Enninful, and remain close to him to this day; what other stylists do you think have had a major impact on your career? Either in the form of inspiration or helped in your journey?
Edward had been a great inspiration and friend to me. Another person I would like to mention is Franca Sozzani. Working for Italian Vogue has certainly taken my career into a different realm.
Q. I think, or imagine rather, that even after a ton of Covers, everyone has the favorite piece of their career to date, or perhaps their 3 favorites. What would be those 3 favorites for you?
I have a few images that I love, but my favorite story is always the one that I am working on next. It has to be in order to push forward!!!
Q. You’ve watched the industry make yet another big shift in the past 2 or 3 seasons and start using the big names again in models; do you find yourself preferring the young faces of the season over the more Iconic women while on set? Or do you find equal inspiration in working with both depending on the project?
Nothing is better than a model that knows how to model. There is a science to it. It’s more than just a pretty face looking into a camera.
The iconic models, as you call them, have a Model quality to them. They bring something extra to the shoot. Movement, a mood, a feeling, attitude….it comes with experience and passion for the industry!!!
But then again a fresh young girl can bring something special as well. Being a great model is intuitive and instinctive.
If you have it, you have it. No matter who you are. Like Daphne Guinness, she rocked my world with her allure, passion and knowledge.
Q. If you were to give one word of advice to anyone starting in the business today, what would that advice be?
You need to love what you do and you’ll be fine!!!