GERARD PAR, FILM STYLIST
FIELD: FILM HOME: SEATTLE ZODIAC: CANCER
A. | What does your job entail?
If I am given the opportunity to bring as much texture and quality to a video that is great but a lot of time I am not. Sometimes there is no money, I recently did a shoot that broke down to $35 a look.
Now time is shorter than it ever is on these projects, you get one prep day and you don’t get the names until the night before so it's tunnel vision walking through all of those stores pulling clothes. Sometimes I have less than 20 minutes to style someone for a shoot and it's my first time meeting them.
A large part of my job is sales. You have to sell ideas to clients and sometimes they won’t budge. For example, I found the most high fashion jacket that was less than $400 that was just perfect for this shoot and the person just said “no,no” because all he wore was J. Crew so everything in the shoot - all six characters - had to be J. Crew and they wanted to be “fashion forward…” It is respecting the client’s boundaries while guiding them.
And it is a lot of grunt work. A lot. That’s where I have a hard time. It’s not like Rachel Zoe with a lot of assistants. No, I’m shlepping many rolling racks and putting away clothes.
You also never know what's going to show up onscreen. There was one shoot we did where you don’t really see any of the looks onscreen, it's hilarious. We were doing a shoot with 200 extras per day from Korea. A designer from Korea who had actually made the cover of Korean Vogue did the principals, we had this Korean soap opera singer come in wearing this big whisky mink coat but the director re-worked the whole thing so you could only see the two main actors.
A. | What is your daily routine?
I have my Starbucks every day, that is mandatory. I read daily zen every day to counter act all the other crap I look at. Every day I go to Barney's every day to see if there is anything on sale that I can afford or if there is a deal of the century out.
A. | What are you most proud of in your career?
I like it when you are given freedom and there is challenge there. I really liked Grassroots. We were given very little money to replicate Seattle in 1997. We did an awesome job. I recently watched something with a much bigger budget to replicate a certain time period and they are just all over the place.
A. | What is fashion? How does fashion play a role in your life?
Fashion to me is very joyous. It is caring about what you put out there in the world. I really love when I see people doing this and there is no right or wrong—I would rather see a horrible train wreck on the Red Carpet and be genuine like the old Country Music Awards but people are so over-styled now. I love people who push the envelope and say I am going to wear what I want and this is who I am. If you really think it’s working for you, more power to you.
It is a commitment to a style you want to put out there in the world. It is very celebratory.
I love the quote "Fashion is a chance to be whoever you want to be and have a playful expression and discover yourself“ by the head stylist for Ralph Lauren
It's a lot of work. Fashion is.
A. | What is unique about Seattle’s Fashion Industry?
There was a period where designers were taking a lot from New York but come on we’re not New York.
Then there was the whole grunge era in Seattle which was not transcended super well—it was definitely Marc Jacob’s downfall. I love during the grunge era, Ron and I were in Milan and Versace had Seahawks coats in their windows! They were right there in the window! You can just imagine people saying “oh this is what people in Seattle wear.”
There were pretzel ladies here. They wore these breaded pretzels and gold chains and whatever trinkets they could find and it was fabulous….I remember making a joke that high fashion was going to steal that…..Low and behold, five years later Chanel has giant pretzel necklaces on the runway.
A. | What are the biggest challenges in fashion?
The financial crisis. The lines of credit weren’t being extending in stores it was just hard and stores like Butch Blum and Baby & Co kept it going with limited resources. They did such a great job and I really admire that.
A. | Where do you feel at home?
You do a lot of collaborating in a short period of time so being on a film set becomes home.
A. | What's your vision for the future of your work?
Have more fun! I watch people who are zen in their industry that inspire me to step back more on shoots and be more zen. I want to do this as well as accept compliments.
A. | What would you recommend to yourself 20 years ago?
Have a mission statement. I am working on this now. I admire the new generation of having more opportunity to advice.
A. | Any other production advice you would like to share?
The world is your oyster.
QUOTE | THERE ARE ONLY TWO DAYS THAT DO NOT MATTER—YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW
FIELD | FILM, FASHION
ORIGIN | SEATTLE
ZODIAC | CANCER
FAVORITE ANIMAL | GERMAN SHEPHERDS—I GREW UP WITH THEM AND LOVE THEM