Beauty, Fashion & Jewellery

Q&A with James Yardley – Celeb Stylist

Have you ever wondered what the life or a celebrity stylist is like? What little things run through their heads or perhaps if they prefer Snapchat or Instagram? Well wonder no more as I was lucky to be offered an insight into one fantastic stylists minds with the following interview:

James Yardley is a freelance fashion, celebrity and commercial stylist. Based in London, he assisted the renowned Frank Strachan, styling clients that included The Saturdays, JLS, Nicole Scherzinger, Kylie Minogue and The X Factor. Now working independently, James works with international and UK based-celebrities, including Rochelle Humes and Tess Daly, alongside commercial brands. He also works closely with suppliers, such as fashion store Garment Quarter, to achieve his on-point looks. We managed to squeeze in a chat with him amongst his hectic schedule…

We’d love to know how your career path progressed to get you to this stage. Could you give us an overview?

I started interning at 21 at Attitude magazine under the then Fashion Director, Frank Strachan. I was supposed to only be there for two weeks and then after two months finally left.

On my first day working at my new job Frank called me and asked if I’d like to start work as his assistant. I took a massive leap of faith, quit my new job and joined Frank the very next day.

Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion stylists?

It’s so cliché but work hard and be kind. It shines like the brightest light in this industry. There are so many people who want to work in fashion and sit at a pretty desk writing emails, but in reality it’s long hours, hard work and determination that makes you into an actual Fashion Stylist. What I mean by ‘actual Fashion Stylist’ is being one of the few who can pay their bills with it as a job, not just write it in their Instagram bio.

We imagine your job’s pretty varied, but what does a typical ‘day in the life of James Yardley’ look like?

I actually couldn’t answer this. Every day is different. Some days are sitting in front of my computer for hours sending emails, others are spent out doing appointments and loaning/buying clothes and other days are spent on set at TV/photo studios. Every day is different, some amazingly fun and some not so much.

Which celebrities have you styled? Do you have any favourites? If so, why?

I’ve styled a varied amount of celebrity clients now but I’d have to say my favourite is Rochelle Humes. She’s just a laugh and she’s become my friend after all these years too.

How do you approach styling a client for an event? Do you get to know them first, research the event or TV slot, or have an overall objective?

It’s a complete meeting of minds. Recently I styled Tess Daly for the BAFTAs and I had an overall objective in my head. I could see the dress in my head and had drawn the design, and with the help of the designer and Tess’ opinion we created the perfect gown for the event. Overall the dress made Tess feel confident, and also gained the best press of the night.

How do you approach different body types? Do you have any tips for dressing different shapes – hourglass, pear, apple, athletic?

Follow what you know, not the latest fashion trend. Respect your body and do it justice by wearing pieces you know suit you and overall give you confidence.

Do your clients ever come with preconceived ideas of what they want? How much input do they have?

The beauty of styling celebrities and not just models is they have a voice and I love that. I would never say I completely styled someone head to toe. As I previously mentioned it’s a meeting of minds and all my clients have opinions – and I work with that when I’m styling them.

Q&A with James Yardley - Celeb Stylist

You’ve picked the outfit, but what about the extras? ow impoAre accessories, shoes, hair and makeup your decision too?

In the case of working with celebrities I always voice my opinion on hair and makeup but it’s again more of a meeting of minds. We all like talking about an outfit, hair, makeup etc. and by discussing it all openly and brainstorming ideas, I believe that’s how you create a killer look!

We’ve had a peek at your Instagram and noticed you co-designed a dress for Rochelle Humes. Is that something you’re looking to do more of? What else have you designed? Any upcoming projects?

Yes, interesting you ask. I’ve done a few bespoke dress collaborations with designers for Rochelle and also Tess recently. I really enjoy the process and having an opinion so it’s definitely something I’m looking into doing. There are a few upcoming projects – stay tuned!

The industry has had a lot of media attention recently about the introduction of plus size models. We’d love to know your views on it as a stylist?

I really enjoy the fashion industry for pushing limits, and I’m all for plus-sized healthy models but I’m not for promoting obesity. There’s a limit, that’s not for me to call, obviously, but I would never support the fashion industry in promoting underweight models, so I don’t think we should be promoting over weight models either.

Tell us about your relationship with Garment Quarter – how do you work together? What do you like about working together?

I LOVE the team at Garment Quarter. I’ve had a long standing relationship with them since I was an assistant and I’ve always enjoyed the amazing selection across a varied amount of brands. There’s always something new and exciting, and something I’m dying to put one of my clients in.

Is there any reason you’d choose designer brands over high street when dressing your clients?

I personally love to mix up designer brands and high street pieces when styling my clients, however I do tend to lean towards designer brands when it comes to quality and unique cut and design. It’s something that only designer brands can offer and can’t be rivalled by the high street.

Quick-fire round – snap-decisions please!

Nickname? Yardley
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Instagram or Snapchat? Snapchat
Worst habit? Not replying on WhatsApp even when I’ve read the message…
Best habit? Saving money!
Mood right now? Excited. I finally get a holiday this week.
Last thing you ate? Protein bar
Last thing you texted? ‘Sounds magical!’ To my flatmate
Favourite saying? ‘At the end of the day…’ I love to summarise everyone’s conversations!

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This article has 53 comments

  1. Alli

    Ok, Mr. Yardley, come style me! I’m sitting here daydreaming about having a celeb stylist. What a fascinating job. I love his advice about working hard and being kind. I totally agree. To be successful, it takes dedication and hard work. Loved this interview!

  2. Jeanette

    I have never heard of the stylus that again I really don’t think I’ve heard of any celebrity stylist. Sounds like he is happy with what he does and he works hard at it. Hard work is the key to any success

  3. Heather Lawrence

    Now this is what I need! As a 40 something woman it’s time for me to trade in the tennis shoes and blue jeans for something a little more fashion forward. LOL!! I can only imagine the stuff he hears behind the scene!

  4. Pam

    Great interview. Love his advice about wearing what you feel comfortable in, instead of just trying anything and everything trendy.

  5. Michelle

    Being a celebrity stylist sounds like such a fun and rewarding job. It sounds like Mr. Yardley has worked very hard and enjoys what he does. I enjoyed reading this fascinating interview!

  6. tara pittman

    I love his stance on plus size models. We dont want people to think being unhealthy is good

  7. Jeanine

    Great Q&A! I think its refreshing to hear his take on plus size models, for sure refreshing to hear.

  8. Liz Mays

    James sounds like such a cool person. I imagine that his job is tough but being able to be creative must be rewarding.

  9. Carol Cassara

    The job of a stylist is hard, I think, only because it is so visible. And so are mistakes. He sound amazing and I’ll bet I’d like him to style ME!

  10. adriana

    This is so great! I’m super into fashion/style so this was so fun to read. He sounds amazing!

  11. Bella

    This was a very interesting interview, I really enjoyed reading it. I also try and have a variety of brands in my wardrobe.

  12. michelle mink

    Wow that is a leap of faith to quite a new job on day one. It sounds like a very interesting job to be a celebrity stylist.

  13. Melanie Smith

    That was a really good interview, I enjoyed so much reading it. Being a fashion stylists should be awesome!

  14. Nicole Escat

    I am guilty too with worst habit, sometimes I read a message and unable to reply. Most of the times, I forgot about it!

  15. Jenn

    What a fun conversation. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he styles a celebrity. I’d love him to style me for that matter. LOL!

  16. Karlyn Cruz

    I love the interview! I also like the advice, great tips! I like wearing comfortable clothes too.

  17. Helena

    That was a very enlightening interview! I checked out Tess Daly’s dress for the BAFTA’s and it was gorgeous!!!! He is definitely very talented and Frank Strachan saw it early on!

  18. Anosa

    Hard work and being kind, such lovely idea given and applicable in all jobs. Lovely interview

  19. Azlin Bloor

    That’s a great interview, with a wealth of information! What a lovely experience for the interviewer!

  20. Amer

    Lucky you! You had an opportunity to interview a cool stylist. Thanks for sharing this. Good interview.

  21. Bonnie @wemake7

    Thanks for sharing this interview. James sounds really amazing and that must have been fun interviewing him.

  22. Courtney Gillard

    Oh, James sounds like a fun person to be with. I like this interview.

  23. Ali

    His life sounds so interesting! I think I might need a little of his fashion TLC. I like that he calls out that being nice and working hard are the ways to get ahead and shine in the business. I think that is true in an profession, but some people don’t always realize that.

  24. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    At the end of the day … Hahaha that’s so me. We have some similarities.

  25. oana79

    Such a great interview and pointers in styling oneself!

  26. anna nuttall

    What a very nice interview, I will look at up her portfolio/experience. xx

  27. Elizabeth O.

    Stylists are amazing and it’s good to have them around especially if you want to improve the way you dress. They give people more confidence and I admire them for that. I think James is an awesome individual!

  28. ana

    I love Rochelle Humes her style is on point, it is great that you are both such firm friends. I like that he is committed to his job.

  29. Enricoh Alfonzo

    awesome interview and answers, really enjoyed reading them. very insightful, james sounds like a talented designer and knows what hes talking about

  30. Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green

    The life of a celeb stylist totally seems like all glitz & glam. I totally realize that it is hours and hours of hard work.

  31. Berlin

    Work hard and be kind may sound too cliche but indeed very needed to stay in any business.

  32. Life as a Convert

    I love his response regarding promoting under/over weight models. I don’t think either one is healthy. I think it’s important to see real clothes on real shapes though, so I suppose I can see a need for ALL types of models.

  33. Lalia Frolick

    Sounds like a very interesting individual! Stylists are definitely an underrated and sometimes (or maybe often!) overlooked aspect to celebrity life and culture.

  34. Courtneylynne

    What an awesome interview!!! I’m fashion obsessed and the world is definitely my runway so this was an enjoyable read 🙂

  35. Dawn McAlexander

    I love his approach to working with celebrities. Brainstorming ideas is the best way to get an overall vision of what you are looking for in a style I think.

  36. Mardene Carr

    I never heard about this person before. This was a great interview, he has a very great attitude

  37. Eileen Kelly

    I could really use him. In the winter, I sit in pjs working at my home desk. IN the summer, a bathing suit cover,lol! I love his dedication and focus. He seems like a lovely person who works so hard and achieved great things

  38. Marielle Altenor

    Can he be my personal stylist! Pretty please! I enjoyed reading this interview!

  39. Martina Williams

    I always thought that celeb stylists are the best! The way they can style a person, and the way that hair style won’t fail, how the dress will be perfect, the make up hiding all the imperfections… dreaming, dreaming! 🙂

  40. Lisa Rios

    Sounds like a great interview & it is quiet amazing he has started his career in 21 & his advice for young new fashion stylists shows the experience & maturity he has. The best thing is he sounds very straight forward with a positive attitude.

  41. Cathy Mini

    His story is inspiring! He sounds lovely to interview as well, as he is full of positive vibes.

  42. reena santos

    This is great interview! I also love the advice, great tips! I like wearing comfortable clothes that fits .

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