Sunday, May 19, 2024

Meet The Fashion Stylist – Michelle Beltrame

 Fashion Stylist from Adelaide

Michelle Beltrame has always loved fashion. She worked on brand campaigns and photoshoots over her marketing career before becoming a fashion stylist in Adelaide. Here’s her story.

What’s your earliest experience with style and fashion?

I was always drawn to personal style and fashion. From filling scrap books with styling inspiration cut from magazines, newspapers and catalogues as a teenager, through to conducting regular edits of my own wardrobe and even attending a style workshop by Trinny and Susannah – I just loved style from a young age. But then my studies, career and family took me down a different path. It took a while for me to pause, reflect and decide to pursue my passion professionally.

Models posing in studio shoots by Fashion Stylist - Adelaide - Michelle Beltrame
Images: Diana Melfi

Have you always wanted to be a stylist? What was your journey to this career?

I have always dreamt of a career in the fashion industry, however styling wasn’t something I considered, as it wasn’t as prevalent when I was initially weighing up career options post school in the late 90s.

I studied marketing and communications at university and spent the best part of 20 years building my career in that field. Over that time, I worked on brand campaigns and photoshoots, always ensuring that people in front of the camera looked and felt their best. I loved working on photoshoots and knew I would be able to transfer these experiences into my role as a fashion stylist.

When I started to consider pursuing styling professionally, I recognised that it was important to equip myself with the knowledge and skills to deliver the best results for my clients. I enrolled in a styling course and have not looked back!

Black fashion model posing
Images: Diana Melfi

What’s your favourite thing about styling?

I enjoy forming connections with my personal styling clients. I love witnessing the joy and excitement my clients express when they see their new look, a style that makes them look and feel great and which is in alignment with their personality and goals.

I also love working on commercial and creative styling projects – bringing a brief to life through fashion and working as a team with amazing creative talent.

Your advice for any aspiring stylists/anyone considering a career in styling?

I heard a great quote once that said the quickest way to fail is to not even try in the first place. Put in the hours, build your knowledge and experience, have gratitude for all opportunities and give it 100%.

Bridal fashion shoot
Images: Carolyn Do HMUA: Aleksandra Pinneri

Any styling tips that you can share?

To borrow the words from Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”

Wear what you love and what makes you feel great. What you wear can have a real psychological impact on your mood and confidence, so tune into this when selecting outfits from your wardrobe or purchasing new items. If you don’t absolutely love an item when you try it on, put it back and continue the search for something you do love.

How would you describe your personal style?

Classic, with the addition of a few key trends.

Working on photoshoots, editing my clients’ wardrobes and also running around as a mum of two, my style needs to be quite functional. I’m also finding that my current style is more minimal and paired back in comparison to what it was a year or two ago.

Black & White fashion shoot
Images: Diana Melfi HMUA: Tiffany Smith

And what do you have your eye on as your next purchase?

I have my eye on a tiered linen maxi dress from new South Australian label Linyn. The dresses are designed and made in Adelaide and in small quantities with a real focus on sustainability. When the label launched, they quickly sold out of their first run. I’m hoping to be able to snap up the dress I have my eye on in their second release.

How do you balance growing your business and all of your other commitments?

It’s definitely been a juggle, as an Adelaide fashion stylist and being a mum and also between working in a corporate marketing job early on. There have been many late nights. I absolutely love what I do and I’m passionate about my work, so it’s all worth it.

Fashion Shoot of model in gold sequins in a blue room
Image: Diana Melfi HMUA: Tiffany Smith

What’s your proudest moment as a fashion stylist?

My proudest moment would have to be having two fashion editorials I styled published in fashion journals – and both within the same month. I also can’t go past the day I styled my first ever photoshoot – I don’t think anything can match the feeling of the first shoot. It’s still one of my favourites.

What are your aspirations for your styling business?

Looking back to when I first established my Adelaide fashion styling business, my goal was to build my business and client base to the stage where styling could eventually be my sole career focus. I’ve now taken that step, and my focus is now purely on my freelance styling and personal branding business. In terms of direction, I’d also love to do some further work in the celebrity styling and special event styling space. I’m looking forward to seeing more events return in the near future.

Black & White fashion shoot
At work (L) Photo: Diana Melfi, Michelle (R) Photo: Kate Dyer

Follow Michelle on Instagram.
You might also like: Meet the Fashion Stylist – Zena Najjar

Jacqueline Miholos
Michelle spoke with Jacqui Miholos




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