Photos by: Kin Chan(1-3), Chris Haylett, Mike Chatwin, Matthew Burditt, Kyla Hemmelgarn
Fashion Stylist Deanna Palkowski began assisting on shoots under some of Vancouver's top talent while still in high school. This early exposure to what the industry required on a professional level was instrumental in preparing her for the future. Now, only three years later, she is a sought-after stylist represented by Lizbell Agency. Sheer hard work, talent and a perfectionist nature when it comes to handling the garments and accessories she is entrusted with have earned her wide respect and an extensive resume that includes: campaigns for 212, Orange NYC, Jana and Celebrities Nightclub; local and international publications including Slave Digest, Lab Magazine, LOOK, and Fuxyz; and celebrities such as musician Miss Mercury who was featured on Gossip Girl.
Although born and raised on the North Shore, she was strongly influenced by her grandmother who was a fashion designer and seamstress in Hungary. They would look through fashion magazines together to find ideas for garments to be sewn for Palkowski. Her grandmother was also the one who taught her basic sewing and embroidery. While in private high school she actually enjoyed the ease of wearing a uniform each day, but used "Civies Days" to showcase her personal style. It was her sister who helped her get that first opportunity to assist on a shoot. The next year was spent working under a few local professionals, then at 19 she began to style creative shoots on her own.
Palkowski remembers her first solo job as if it was yesterday. "Anna Kosturova called me up and asked if I could do a test shoot with photographer Chris Haylett. I was looking at magazines in Chapters and realized he had the cover of Zink and I was shooting with him tomorrow! The model was Emma Hansen from Lizbell. It was amazing!" Haylett was so impressed with her work that he brought her on a couple months later to shoot an editorial for TLC. It ended up being the cover with a six page spread inside - her first editorial tear sheets.
A fashion stylist has huge responsibilities at every shoot. It is their job to pick-up, return and protect all the clothing and accessories used. Palkowski is so careful to be respectful of those who lend her clothing that she has even refolded the garments exactly the way she received them, including any tissue paper or packaging. "[You have to develop] a relationship with the clothing stores. It's knowing them and being honest." Each photo shoot requires research into: photographer, magazine, client, etc. She also prefers to have a team meeting ahead of time if possible. Her personal style? "Unconventually effortless, but everything with quality. Like you just rolled out of bed, but wearing a Givenchy chiffon long see-through skirt. I also try to make the ordinary pieces something more interesting, expanding people minds to try something new and make you want to wear it. That's my job."
Palkowski recently expanded her work to include personal styling. Travel to London to explore the fashion industry and add to her portfolio is also coming up in the spring. Looking back over the last three years Palkowski has some words of wisdom for those just entering the industry. "Find your own style before you think about styling as a profession, Make your vision shine through the polish, the raw, the commercial - it's the reason people will book you. Know what you're going after. Be assertive about it and commit. It's a full time job."
To see Palkowski's portfolio or for bookings please go to www.lizbellagency.com.