Alizé Demange is a London-based stylist, curator and educator who has built up her career over 10 years. An established name in the London music and fashion scene, she is a key figure in creating the style aesthetic associated with UK music, dressing the likes of Giggs, WSTRN, and Young T and Bugsey.
In 2019 Alizé founded the online community Note to Self for young women in creative businesses to connect and grow with each other. Her interest in connecting with young creatives and sharing the knowledge she has accumulated over her established career also expands into an online fashion styling course created by Alizé, that is set to make a return on April 30th 2021.
Alizé is one of the bubbliest people I’ve met and also comes across to me as someone who knows exactly what she wants. We speak about the parties Alizé used to frequent in her early 20s, which lets me know the late 90s to early 2000s, UK garage style theme of the shoot resonates with her. Unbeknownst to me, Alizé tells me that Chaniel, one of the stylists for this shoot is one of her regular assistants, which was a welcome bit of serendipity.
Terna: What does styling another person mean to you?
Alizé: I think it’s a lot about creating a narrative, selling a story essentially. Obviously it’s quite different from editorial to talent, but because I work primarily with talent, it’s more about that. There’s a lot of impact in creating a look for talent, where their look could really change the trajectory of their career. It means a lot to me because I have a lot of power in what I can create [to] help someone figure out their style for them or with them.
Terna: How would you describe your taste?
Alizé: Every job requires something different of you. Every person is so different, it’s 50% of me and it’s 50% of them, so it’s like a collaboration and you have to kind of compromise in that. I guess my signature thing, is that I love brights, prints, odes to era of time, especially I love 70s, 90s, Y2K.
I try and interject that into my working style, but I know that a lot of my clients, they’re not my style and that’s okay. I think your personal style does drip feed into your working style, but you have to create another image for another person. It’s not me dressing myself, it’s me dressing them, and what I envision for them, but a lot of your personal style does naturally, just kind of feed in there.
Terna: Has your journey been smooth sailing? What were some moments where you had to be really resilient or bounce back?
Alizé: I don’t think it was a smooth sailing career, I don’t think anyone’s is really. It was a lot of meandering, and I think there was a lot of time where I wasn’t really sure if it was going to work for me, and I kind of had to persevere. I did take a break, I went into something else, it was still within fashion, so it wasn’t totally away from it, but it did show me how much I did want to do it. Then when I came back to it, it did work out for me after that.
I guess it’s very much a labour of love, it’s a very tough job, with long hours and a lot of stress, and at a lot of points, you’re not sure whether it’s going to pay you, if you don’t have back to back clients etc, that’s a long thing to grow. So yeah, there were many, many times, where I was like I’m not really sure whether this is for me but I didn’t really have any other options (laughs).
Terna: What do you think the future holds when it comes to London-style in music videos?
Alizé: I feel like right now because we live so much on the internet and we’re so globally linked, I don’t feel like there is particularly a style that’s intrinsic to a city or place anymore. I feel like once we set something off, it goes around the world. I think we do pick certain trends from certain places, but it does kind of homogenise now, it kind of just becomes the same thing.
Also because I’m older as well, my ear to the ground is not what it was, do you know what I mean, because I’m just not, I’m not there anymore, so it would be interesting to see what is really fresh coming from London, like the new, new thing. Especially, bouncing back off a pandemic, you’re going to see completely new trends.
Terna: How do you approach passing on what you’ve learnt as a stylist?
Alizé: I do like talking to younger people about my journey and being able to give advice whenever I can. I think it’s hard because a lot of people do want physical experience, and where I have enough interns, and you train them up, I don’t like changing them, because it’s like you get used to being in a team, it’s like a culture and everyone just is cool with each other. You can’t just have random people coming in all the time, but then it’s a shame because I know so many people need experience.
Initially, I started a masterclass which was going to be a physical day but then Covid happened, so I had to just scrap that. And then it moved into an online course which actually helped way more people because you could do it from home, at your own pace, it was cheaper, and like obviously from wherever, rather than you had to be from London to come and do the masterclass originally. I feel like that’s me passing on all my knowledge, in a very tangible and affordable way, and within that course it basically tells you exactly how to do it.
I won’t tell you how to style, I can’t tell you how to put a pair of trousers and a top together, that’s all subjective and your own natural, raw talent, but I’ll tell you how the business is formed, how you can make money from it, how you can grow your business, how you can grow your client base, your network, how you can view yourself, how you can make yourself better, and that is really my contribution (laughs).
Terna: What’s a key hack you can share when it comes to curating anything?
Alizé: For me personally, curation, I need time to just soak things in, really go with your gut on stuff. Do your research, do your referencing. For me, I don’t know, it is I sometimes. It’s just like what you just naturally go for. Don’t overthink it too much, do you know what I mean, but then also put your best effort in. I know when my work’s been lazy (laughs), I can see it, but I know when I put 110%, and I can see the difference.
Terna: How have you honed your craft and skills during your 10 year career?
Alizé: I think that’s just trial and error, and just being on set. I’ve done so many different things, been around so many different people, it’s just taught me lots of different things. By repetition obviously you’re learning, like you just start to do things with your eyes closed and it’s just literally by doing it again and again and again.
And before I had the opportunity to be on other people’s sets, I was making my own things happen, so I feel like that was a big part of helping me, like I was making my own shoots, I was getting other people to collaborate with me, because I found it hard to get work experience, so I can imagine other people [find] it even harder in a time like now. That’s what’s honed my craft, by basically making sure that I was doing it like every week.
Terna: If you weren’t a stylist what would you be doing?
Alizé: I think I’d be a teacher.
Follow Alizé on Instagram for updates on her online fashion styling course.
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