by Mo Brady
Musical theatre performers love portraying fabulous characters. From the English upper-crust at My Fair Lady’s Ascot Gavrotte to the royalty of Arendelle’s coronation day in Frozen, the characters these actors play are often chic with a keen sense of personal style. However, that comfort in fashion doesn’t always translate to the actors who are playing them.
That’s where a personal stylist comes into the picture. The role of a stylist in an artist’s life is to take their creative soul and expand it into clothing. It’s not about placing a look onto an artist, but rather drawing the artistic sensibilities out of one and into a look that expresses them more fully.
Personal stylist Frank New is the brainchild behind Man.Your.Style. A self-proclaimed “multi-hyphenate,” he is known in the fashion industry for his behind-the-scenes work at Bergdorf Goodman and New York Fashion Week. However, one of his greatest passions is bringing the imaginative energy into the wardrobes of individual artists.
“Personal styling is exactly that, it’s personal, and tailored to your personal style,” remarks New. “It is putting trust into another artist’s skills to allow them to elevate your look.”
Many artists have the desire to wear bold and memorable outfits, but don’t have confidence in their ability to pull together a look. Other artists are simply just too busy; between put-in rehearsals and running errands, they don’t have the time to explore out of their comfort zones. For either, working with a stylist like New can be the first step into expressing their creative energy through clothing.
New never tries to put a look onto another artist. Rather, he works to bring out their unique creativity sensibilities. “Knowing who you are is the key to this process,” he states. By exploring their social media presence and through one-on-one conversations, New gathers a sense of the individual and their aesthetic.
The relationship between a client and their stylist is a personal one at its core. One of the most sensitive discussions can be about a client’s comfort zone with clothing.
“Working together,” says New. “We work to explore what a client’s barriers are and what barriers we may be able to break down - together.”
Many of New’s clients come to him for help with fashion at a large public event. Some of his proudest moments as a stylist have been when he helps artists shine at events like the Tony Awards.
“I am particularly proud of dressing a dear friend about a year ago for the Tony’s, it was his first big event in the theater world and he wanted to look his best. Working together, he was beyond thrilled with his look and he rocked the red carpet confidently.”
Working with a stylist is not only for red carpet events - New helps artists present confidently at a business meeting or walk into auditions ready to book the job.
“The most important aspect of style is confidence,” states New. “You have to have own you are and be comfortable in your own skin.”
Regardless of an artist’s comfort with wardrobe, employing the talents of a stylist is an instant confidence booster. Just like working with a personal trainer or a therapist can help build a person’s self-assuredness, employing a personal stylist can help build faith in their own conviction.
“I strive for the artists I work with to feel really happy and confident in what they wear.”