Krista Sung - Open, Willing and Able
by MARILYN R. WILSON
Photography by CHARLOTTE LIN, ALEX MACPHERSON, SHIMON KARMEL, KELLY NG, MATT HAYLETT
When it comes to vision, fashion stylist Krista Sung is unique. Experience in theatre and exposure to international fashion allows this talented artist to bring a well-honed eye to every shoot. Creative, open and organized, she is a team player who loves the collaborative process. "It's an amazing feeling when things click and all the elements come together in harmony."
Sung started styling at a very early age. "I was always excited when I received hand-me-downs from my cousin. The idea of getting 'new' clothes and making up outfits was thrilling." Playing Barbie provided another creative outlet. Clothing was put in a pile and selected piece by piece to build original looks. In high school, fashion was about putting her own spin on current trends. "I was into fashion in terms of what I wore each day. With limited funds, I always tried to be consistent with what was in style at the time." During the Grunge phase that often meant wearing her brother's old jeans and a flannel shirt.
Backpacking through Europe after high school - and later trips to Australia, South American and the United States - changed Sung's outlook. "Vancouver can have a very minimalist approach to fashion. After travelling, I came back with amazing ideas in how to approach fashion on an everyday basis." Next came the pursuit of a degree in Theatre Management, but her focus quickly changed. "You are required to take classes in different areas of study. Naturally I gravitated toward the costuming. I loved creating something from a small idea in your head, then watching it grow and come to life on stage." Four years in theatre honed skills such as creating mood and characters through apparel, and coordinating wardrobe and backdrop to blend seamlessly.
Sung's move to fashion styling came when she took a position at LURE Salon. "[Owner] Dan Nguyen knew I had a costume background and asked if I would be interested in styling shoots for LURE's promo. I jumped at the chance. I think Dan was a bit apprehensive, but I knew I could tweak and re-shape garments into new ideas." Over several shoots for the salon she learnt that passion, a great work ethic, creativity and commitment are all important elements to build success in this challenging field. Nguyen also introduced Sung to his agency - THEY Representation - who signed her to their roster in 2011.
For each assignment, Sung starts with visual images from the client plus her own research and then brain storms concepts. Next comes the time-consuming job of contacting vendors and designers to arrange wardrobe. "That's when the real works starts and it's not that glamourous. You're on a mission and there is no guarantee you're going to find exactly what you're looking for, but it always works out." While there is a basic game plan, looks are never completely pre-planned which leaves room for spontaneity. On set she is always aware of the big picture. "How does what I do fit with the lighting, location, tone and mood of the shoot?"
Sung's passion for styling is innate and her resume sports an ever growing list of magazines, commercial work, celebrity names and film. For those just starting out she offers the following words of wisdom, "You have to be willing to give everything you have to make it happen. Reach out to those you admire and never have an entitled attitude. Always be open, willing and able."
For bookings or to view her agency portfolio go to http://www.theyrep.com/artists/stylists/krista-sung. Additional work can be seen at http://www.kristasung.com.