Helen Barbieri is a New York-based stylist. She has worked with a multitude of artists, actors and musicians including Adele, Taylor Swift, Jessica Szohr, Sean Lennon, Jessica Simpson, The Ting Tings and Passion Pit. Helen’s work has been published in top circulation publications, including Rolling Stone, Zink, and Capitol File, and has been featured on NBC’s Tonight Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet, among others. She enjoys petting strangers’ dogs and decorating her Brooklyn apartment.
Q: Can you talk about your job as a stylist a little bit? I know you make people look good, but what goes into it?
First, I speak with the client and find out more specifics about the job, like talent sizes, direction and concept of the project, how many looks to prepare and the wardrobe budget. Then, the marathon shopping begins! Most prep consists of a combination of showroom appointments, store shopping and vintage rentals. For editorial shoots, I use style.com, an essential resource for stylists, and choose looks from designer runway collections and request to borrow them. Once looks and accessories are confirmed, we take inventory and shop for any additional needs. Everything then gets packed up and hauled over to the set. The reward is seeing the final transformation take place with the talent of hair and make-up artists and, of course, the photographer.
Q: You come from a family of artists. How has that influenced your style?
Art surrounded me daily growing up and I was always encouraged to imagine and create in all different mediums. My parents are both painters and I grew up experimenting with oil paint, acrylic and watercolor on canvases that my dad would set up for me in his studio, where we would paint together. This allowed me to feel connected to colors, texture and composition at an early age, and to start exploring my own creative process.
Q: You've worked with a lot of musicians. What are some of the differences between working with musicians versus actors or models?
A: Musicians often provide references and concepts about a look they want to achieve. It’s an exciting challenge to interpret their vision and facilitate a fresh new image that expresses their mood and style. Sometimes it takes some coaxing to deviate from an exact image, say, The Band and the iconic image from their album cover, The Weight—that reference has come up more than once! But we usually manage to avoid the clichés and come to a new place creatively.
Q: It's great living in NYC--you can just hop on the train and see something cool! Any spring trends on your radar?
A: Currently, I’m into pastels, bright pops of color, and mixing pattern and print. Also, I can’t get enough of 1920’s glam. Check out some examples of my favorite looks below.
Q: Our contest is open to teen fashion enthusiasts who are competing for a chance to style an outfit in the Sisterhood of Night movie. What would YOU wear to a secret Sisterhood meeting in the woods?
A: I would wear something mysterious and tough with a hint of leather.
This Band of Outsiders look would be perfect.
See more of Helen's work at www.helenbarbieri.com.