Celebrity stylist, Ellie Stidolph, invited us into her south London home to muse on the growing importance of sustainability in styling, the power of collaboration, and the joy of clothing with a long lifespan.
Ellie Stidolph is a London-based stylist whose enviable client list includes the likes of Jack Whitehall and Nail Horan. Ellie champions a collaboration-based approach to styling, working with each individual client to create a look that reflects their unique tastes and inspirations, while maintaining a sense of timeless style and comfort.
We visited Ellie at her home in south London to find out more about her approach to styling and sustainability, before moving on to her studio where she styled looks using her favourite Riley Studio designs.
As a stylist, where do you look for inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my clients. I really love to work collaboratively. I think I get a lot of energy from hearing what other people are into - their references. The trick is learning how to interpret that in a way that's going to suit them, in a way that's stylish and that they're going to be comfortable with.
You spend your working life creating outfits for other people. What do you like to wear to work?
As a stylist, people are probably surprised that your outfit is the furthest down the list of things that you've got to do, because the majority of your creativity is going into your client and what they're going to be wearing. So having reliable, timeless staples that you can just pull out and throw on in the morning is important. You want to be confident and comfortable in what you're wearing, because you're going to have to be wearing it all day. I've always liked workwear. I like the functionality of it. I wear quite a lot of dungarees and jumpsuits myself. It's hardwearing, it looks good and I like that uniform look.
As a stylist, you're surrounded by clothing from hundreds of different brands. What qualities made you a fan of Riley Studio?
I think that it's quite rare - probably rarer than it should be - to find the marriage of sustainability with really great style and really great fabrics, but I think that Riley Studio encompasses all three of those aspects.
How has the increased appreciation of sustainability influenced your work as a stylist?
Styling in general gives you a nagging feeling a lot of the time that what you're doing is not very sustainable. The appetite for new, for more, can sometimes weigh on you a little bit. But, I would say, I'm seeing more and more that clients are more interested in building a fantastic wardrobe. Great core pieces are becoming a lot more valued in people's wardrobes.
So would you say that short term, disposable approach to fashion is on the way out?
I would say there's starting to be a shift where people aren't feeling like they need to buy something brand new for every occasion. When you are buying carefully so that the clothes you are buying are timeless and of really good quality, they have so much more of a lifespan than you as the wearer. I've had huge joy out of putting my daughter in things that my sister and I wore when we were little. I definitely think that is a value that I would like to instil in my daughter.
You chose to style (and wear) our Organic Linen Camp Collar Shirt. What about that design caught your eye?
I'm a bit of a fabric nut; fabric makes or breaks a garment. Linen has a bit of a bad reputation for being creased. Riley Studio linen is of a thickness and quality that it rumples but it doesn't crease. It adds a texture to the fabric rather than creased lines that look like you haven't made an effort.
Special thanks to Ellie.
Video shot and edited by Issey Rider.