Tuesday, 27 April 2010

STYLISA talks to Company Magazine Art Director, Adele Chidwick

Firstly, tell us about what you do at Company Magazine?
 I'm the art director on Company magazine, my job is to create the vision of the title - from the design of the covers and the magazine, typography, styling, photoshoot art direction and concepts, commissioning creatives and managing an art team!

How did you get into the fashion industry?
I studied both graphic design and photography at college and early on knew I wanted to be an art director.  My first real job was for Marvel comics, from there I got in to the glossy magazine world, working on titles such as 'B', 'Ikea Room' 'Fabric' 'The Sunday telegraph' 'ELLE' 'Grazia' to name a few.  I've just worked my way up from junior to art director level, full time and freelance positions, monthly and weekly titles.  I think it’s really important to gain lots of experience on a variety of titles, you are then prepared for every challenge (and pace!) and can adapt your design skills and embrace new ideas with no fear! I've been really lucky to have worked on a wide range of titles and worked with some amazing talented people…

What is average day like for you?
Every day is pretty different, if I'm in the office I'll start at 9.30am with a large mug of tea :) Going through layouts with my team, allocating design work and prioritising layouts, looking through edits and picture research with my picture editor.  I'll be designing pages or maybe a cover, choosing guest fonts, pantone colours with my editor to work on our covers.  Looking at models with my beauty editor and looking at key fashion looks for my photoshoots with my fashion team.

If on a shoot its usually early, 8.30am call time and you tend to be on your feet all day, I oversee the whole shoot - looking at lighting,/crops with the photographer, discussing my ideas with the celebrity/models or readers and art directing them on set with my fashion editor.   We shoot a lot of content for the magazine, so I get to do heaps of different photo shoots working with a wide range of photographers both in the UK, Europe and America.

Company isn't just a magazine but a brand so I'll work across platforms, adding content to the website, designing posters, even new fashion magazines such as 'The High-Street Edit' which I worked on at the same time as the main title! Our next issue is out in September so in the midst of summer I'll be creating the next one…

New Fashion Magazine

I look online at new photoshoots and stories, advertising and blogs (I heart google!) and looking through inspiring titles- it’s really important to see what the trends are, what our readers are interested in and what I need to create in the magazine that’s individual and different.  I also create mood-boards for all our shoots showing the vibe I want to create.  Working on a fashion title you need to be really on trend and be doing something different!

What are the highlights of your job?
 I love coming up with ideas and that for me is the highlight of my job - seeing a random idea I've had to transform into a photoshoot and then in a magazine!  Also, building a small team and working hard on a project and it becoming successful.  It’s not just about designing pretty pages, it’s about readers buying and relating to the magazine, so I've always got the Company girl in mind in whatever I do…

Adele with Alexandra Burke

You are a big supporter of up and coming designers – have you come across
any young designers who you think have promise?

What I loved in the high-street edit is that we could champion new talent, whether it be fashion or illustration, in the next edition I want to develop this further with photographers etc too. I did a shout out on twitter and has some amazing feedback… so watch this space! I've given a lot of photographers and illustrators over the years their first real break and seeing them shooting big ad campaigns makes me really proud!

At STYLISA, we believe that style is as much about your state of mind, as it is about what you wear.  What is your interpretation of style?
 True style for me is definitely wearing something that makes you feel happy, that’s not only about what’s 'hot now', but what you love and makes you feel confident.  The way I personally dress is inspired by everyone around me, a girl walking down the street or someone in my office, a beautiful photoshoot, a celebrity or model off-duty and the catwalk shows.  My clothes are probably a mix of high fashion pieces - usually through accessories; quirky shoes, simple jewellery, a cool bag and classics; like a well cut blazer and a slouchy T. I'm pretty lucky that I can ask my fashion director' opinion on clothes I like before I buy - my very own personal stylist!

What are you favourite key looks for Spring/Summer 2010?
I'll definitely be investing in … the nude trend 'chloe' style, a pair of clogs from Topshop - at the LFW shows it was all chunky heels and clogs come autumn/winter 2010, a mini A-line skirt maybe vintage, a maxi (again a timeless piece) a pussy bow blouse, am also embracing the Mad Men Betty vibe with red hot lippie and floral dresses!

If you could give one essential style tip, what would it be?
Heart the high-street! It’s worth spending time rather than money on key pieces, Uniqlo jeans for around £20 are the best jeans I've seen around and Zara have great from catwalk to highstreet pieces, also the rings from H&M are amazing!  Also, it’s worth investing in some classics, a cute LBD from a diffusion range e.g., twenty8twelve, Marc by Marc Jacobs, see by Chloe, which you can get from ASOS.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into the world of fashion?
 I believe you can achieve whatever you want if you want it badly enough! It’s about focus and hard work, determination and believing in yourself.  Apply for work experience and say yes to 'every' opportunity!  Sounds silly but always be polite, everyone knows everyone else in this job, if you are a lovely hardworking person you'll be recommended, late for work or
unenthusiastic you won't be!

Be realistic - you are not going to earn the big bucks and it’s not all glamour especially when you start out, but its soooo worth it when you get to see your ideas become a reality!

The next issue of 'Company The high-street edit' is out in September 2010.
follow us on twitter @companymagazine @highstreetedit @adelecompanymag

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