Stevie Dance is a woman with undeniable momentum. The Australian born stylist and fashion editor started her career at RUSSH Magazine where she rose from journalist to Fashion Editor to Editor before moving to New York to pursue a full time career as a freelance stylist. Her work has since appeared in Harper’s Bazaar (US) Japanese Vogue, Chinese Vogue, Elle (US) and The New York Times’ magazine, Oyster, V, Vogue and Teen Vogue. She is now a Fashion Director for Katie Grand’s POP magazine, the Contributing Fashion Editor for Vogue Australia, runs her brainchild blog Shop Ghost, and was just in Sydney to launch her latest creative collaboration: teaming with Topshop Australia as the first Australian curator of the brand’s “Edited By” series. We caught Stevie just as she was about to hop a plane to New York to discuss the collaborative nature of fashion, the partnership with Topshop and her advice to aspiring stylists.
Hi Stevie, welcome back to Sydney. I guess a nomadic life is part of your job, so is your concept of ‘home’ fairly fluid or would you say firmly it’s New York or Sydney?
It’s fluid. Home is wherever my family is, friends included. It’s wherever I sleep. I like to think of Sydney and New York as just a teleport away from one another, but New York for now is where I am most. I have done a few stints there but have been there pretty much full time for the last three years.
You seem to be a fan of dressing down when it comes to your personal style. Was that part of what drew you to working with a high street brand like Topshop?
I am pretty basic yeah. That is what happens when you are on set and on your feet most days. I’m happy that way. I don’t necessarily think of Topshop as this high street brand, per se. I think of it more as this brilliant world with its own aesthetic that a whole bunch of people can find a voice in. That is what drew me to working with them. Their vision, the risks they take, their appreciation and support of great young designer collaborations like Jordan Askill and JW Anderson. They show Topshop Unique on the catwalk at London Fashion Week. They offer their customers a free styling with their personal shopping service, but most of all, their clothes are on trend and actually what you want to wear.
The fashion world is such a collaborative one. Who out there do you dream of collaborating with? Is there anyone who you are dying to style?
For me it is all about the photographers. I”d love to work with Bruce Weber, maybe I could style his brilliant clan of dogs.
Who are your favourite models and celebrities to work with?
So far, they have all been great, but there have been some special moments. We went to Memphis with Lindsey Wixson and ate ice cream and hung at Sun Studios and set off fireworks at the drive in. Lindsey laughs all the time. So you can imagine that was great. Shooting with Tony Ward at his studio in LA was an editorial that changed the way I envision the process.
Tony Ward styled by Stevie, first ever RUSSH cover model for the June 2010 issue:
How is POP going? Again, it has a running theme of collaboration throughout the content, blending so many different creative mediums and not solely fashion. How do you bring all the elements of inspiration together without doing your head in?
Well that is the beauty of collaboration. You throw your ideas into the fire and see what burns. It never does my head in. It’s why I love my work.
You’ve had such success as a stylist from such a young start. What are the most important skills aspiring stylists need, and what advice can you offer them?
Take any chance you can to be on set, work the hardest, keep your eyes open.
What are 3 items every woman should have in her wardrobe?
Good white cotton knickers and t-shirts.
A blue shirt.
A pair of hoops.
Oh that’s five. Sorry…
What are 3 things everyone should have in their life?
Stevie’s hand picked Topshop edit will be available in the ‘Edited By’ shop-within-a-shop at the Sydney and Chapel Street, Melbourne, stores until Sunday 14 April.