Interview with NZNTM Key Stylist Kylie Cooke
Kylie Cooke began her fashion career working for Chris and Helen Cherry in 1994. In the late 90s, a change of direction saw Kylie move into film and television production. In 2002, Kylie returned to her fashion roots and became a freelance stylist. Since then she has worked on numerous fashion campaigns, runway shows for Australian and New Zealand Fashion Weeks, and has maintained a strong presence in the film and television industry working on commercials, short films and music videos. Having worked on the show last year, Kylie returns to New Zealand’s Next Top Model this year as key stylist. I caught up with Kylie to find out why she’s so excited about the return of the popular TV series, and tried to get a little bit of goss on what we can expect from season two!
You have worked as a stylist on everything from NZFW runway shows to music videos and ad campaigns. What is your favourite part about your job?
Each project has exciting aspects but for me the most exciting part of my work is the opportunity to share my creativity and the process of collaboration whether it is with a designer, a director, a photographer or a client. The magic happens when the process is given space to evolve organically and everyone is getting the chance to contribute in their respective areas of expertise.
What is it about working on the new season of NZNTM that you are most excited about?
I’m excited about this season on many levels. I think I’m most excited (and at the same time daunted) by the scale of the project. As a freelance stylist the chance to work on such a chunky project with so much creative freedom is A-maz –ing!
Can you please describe for our readers what your job as key stylist on the show entails?
My role as the key stylist on the show is to take care of the host and judges’ on screen looks. To collaborate creatively on the photographic shoots with the photographers, makeup artist, hair team, producers and our additional stylist so that each photo shoot is banging!
We are so excited about the premiere of season 2. Do you have an early favourite you are tipping to take out the title?
Now that would be telling & I prefer a little mystery.
Last season we saw the girls go under some pretty dramatic transformations. Can we expect to see the same again this season?
Absolutely! The Servilles team in collaboration with our makeup artist always do an amazing job in altering the girls’ looks, enhancing them in a way that is beneficial to potential future modelling careers.
Who are your favourite NZ designers?
My favourite NZ designers would have to be Zambesi for the enduring nature of their designs, Karen Walker for some tomboy fun, Cybele for the ever exciting and unique prints each season and Kate Sylvester because she always does a great frock! And I always fall in love with something by Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb).
Describe your personal style.
My personal style, well, I’m not afraid of colour, I enjoy a little cartoonish fun and I like to mix it up. For me style is all an extension of my personality and therefore it changes depending on how I’m feeling. It’s a mixed bag at any given time. Mostly it’s about discovering what works for you and sticking with it, feeling good and having fun with it. I try not to take it all too seriously!
What part of New Zealand do you think has the fiercest fashion sense?
Every city and town has an element of fierceness, there are individuals everywhere.
Do you have any fashion tips/secrets you can share with our readers?
Discover what works best for your body, if you’re not sure, talk to friends whose style and taste you admire. It’s all about accentuating the positive and disguising the negative. When you find the winning formula, do variations using colour different palettes and stick with it.
Organise your wardrobe so you can see everything clearly. I have a dressing room with my clothes rack sorted from shortest to longest items… trousers, shirts, dresses etc all grouped together. It totally makes getting dressed a whole lot easier. Make sure you have the basics covered: A great coat/ trench, a classic blazer, well cut trousers & jeans to suit your body shape, quality cotton t-shirts and quality footwear.
New Zealand’s Next Top Model cycle 2 premieres Friday August 6th. Joining host Sara Tetro for Cycle 2 are last year’s judges, photographer Chris Sisarich and international fashion model Colin Mathura-Jeffree. They’ll be joined by a special guest judge, who’ll be selected from all areas of the fashion and modelling industry, each week. Once again the girls will attend a variety of tutorials and partake in a number of challenges, all designed to hone their modelling skills. Each week a stunning photo shoot will be their last chance to impress the judges and save themselves from elimination. In the end… only one will remain… and only one will be New Zealand’s Next Top Model.
By Natalie Cosgrove