Remarkably romantic, somewhat dreamy - India Reed's work is likewise exceptionally storytelling. A chimeric feeling that arises comes as a result of a carefully designed atmosphere through choosing the scene, thinking through the specifics of poses for models to carry, and an identified personal background, which sets the character to the ideal mood.
India Reed is LA based fashion stylist. In the interview, we speak about India's journey as a stylist and her interest to observe and to depict people through the chosen medium. She explains, how working for a cause and having an opinion and action towards it is important to her.
I grew up as a very sassy and opinionated young girl, I was very protective of my mother and I would yell at anyone she was talking to while she held me in her arms.
Who is India?
I am a 22 year old stylist with an immense obsession with the Italian Riveria and old European music.
Tell us about your hometown and childhood. What did you enjoy the most as a child?
I am from Los Angeles, California. I grew up as a very sassy and opinionated young girl, I was very protective of my mother and I would yell at anyone she was talking to while she held me in her arms. However, I was also very happy! I enjoyed dressing up in crop tops and little shorts as a 5 year old in hopes of looking like Britney Spears.
I took that style to Milan, and I noticed that almost nobody dressed that way and that I was the unique one riding the metro. Everyone in Milan is always so well put together, and in NYC and LA, everyone is all over the place and it's kind of a mashup of a bunch of styles.
What stayed with you to this day from your adolescent years.
I think the fact of not taking anything too seriously and always live in the moment. I have also recently remembered that after watching Almost Famous, when Penny Lane says, “I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if you never take it seriously, you never get hurt, if you never get hurt, you always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” That’s something I have to constantly remind myself.
Born in LA and living and working across New York and Milan, what are the main differences you noticed concerning fashion, the type of projects available and in general the mood?
Well when I was living in New York, I was upstate so I wasn’t in the city so much, however, I saw that the fashion at my school was very homeless chic, which became an aesthetic of mine as an impressionable 18 year old. I took that style to Milan, and I noticed that almost nobody dressed that way and that I was the unique one riding the metro. Everyone in Milan is always so well put together, and in NYC and LA, everyone is all over the place and it's kind of a mashup of a bunch of styles. Luckily, through living in all places at important points of my life, I’ve been able to steal ideas from all cities and accumulate them into my own kind of style.
What do you love the most?
Wearing a comfy sundress on a warm summer night drinking a glass of wine with a cigarette in hand (preferably in italy).
I also find like to get inspiration from old French and Italian films such as “Pierrot le Fou and “La Piscine”
How did you discover what it was and how you know it was what you wanted to do?
This may sound controversial surrounding the climate of the world right now centering the fashion industry but it was when I first saw The September Issue and I was introduced to the world of Grace Coddington and styling - that’s when I knew all I wanted to be was a great editorial stylist. (In no way shape or form do I approve of the racism that has been so prevalent throughout Conde Nast, they have always been problematic) But in 7th grade, I didn’t know that vogue and Conde Nast were so racist and I watched that movie and fell in love with styling.
Who are your style icons?
I would have to say Jane Birkin.
I also find like to get inspiration from old French and Italian films such as “Pierrot le Fou and “La Piscine” (I’ve never seen “La Piscine” but I’ve seen the trailer and got major inspiration for the transformation of my summer wardrobe)
First fashion memory?
Refusing for my mother to dress me. I always dressed myself as a kid for any occasion.
What would you never wear?
Skinny jeans. NEVER again.
Go to evening look ?
An oversized blazer and matching trousers with a white tank and boots.
Whats your creative process like?
I take photos from online and in books, movies, and then plan out my outfits. But most of the time, I just look at all the clothes I have at the shoot and choose the outfits from there. It’s all about what comes to mind when I see the clothes in person.
Whats your approach when you first styling someone? Do you ask questions, get to know them better?
I usually ask what type of mood they are looking for, any specific textures or colors they want. I ask about who they are what they do, of course, yes, I always ask questions to get to know them better.
Whats the most fun part of your job?
The clothes, rearranging clothes and seeing what fits best, I love working with the photographer and seeing the image I have created in my mind come into reality.
Most challenging part of your job?
The steaming and set up before the shoot and the clean up and packing after the shoot, also, all the returns!
Favourite look that you’ve styles to date?
I really loved this look that I did for my friend’s vintage collection this past September, It was a mint green dress paired with a funeral shawl, a black hat and boots I believe! It's definitely so cool to see how it came out in front of the camera.
Just don’t think too much about making it trendy, make it your own, and make it a piece of art.
How to dictate the visual trend and be on top of the mind as a stylist without sacrificing the artistic mindset of the designer ?
Honestly I don’t think it matters about trends - just do what you want and create what you like, make things for yourself instead of trying to keep up with trends, they always come and go. However, if you are working hand and hand with a designer, of course you have to consider their pieces, just don’t think too much about making it trendy, make it your own, and make it a piece of art.
Dream designer to style for?
James Flemons. He’s a brilliant black designer from Los Angeles California, his brand is called “Phlemuns” and all of his pieces are so unique, beautiful and well made.
What inspires you?
My mother, my friends, my many crazy memories living in Europe and activism.
How does vintage play a role in your projects?
I am always thrifting, as a very young broke stylist, my best bet is vintage and thrifting to make the best outfit! Almost every shoot I have done has had thrifted and vintage pieces.
What are your plans for this year ? What are you working on right now?
My plans are hopefully to continue to assist many of the great stylists that I have met here in Los Angeles, do my photoshoots on the side with my creative friends, and start working with a nonprofit that is centered around abolishing the police and the prison system here in the US! WE must do everything and anything we can to help continue to fight systemic racism in the United States.
To view more of India's work or to get in touch with her, visit her instagram page.
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