We are thrilled to spotlight our latest Marfa Muse, stylist Annabel Hodin.
Annabel has had an incredible career in the fashion industry, with her first big break as a model coming from Anna Wintour herself. She then went into styling, working on major ad campaigns and with celebrities from The Rolling Stones to Whitney Houston. Annabel is now a personal stylist, with an exceptional eye to create and edit the wardrobes of her clients, to make them feel confident in their own signature style.
Annabel is 5ft 8 ½ wears size XS in the new Parachute Vest and Patchwork Quilt at her home in North West London.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER BACKGROUND
I have been very lucky to come from a cultured and cosmopolitan background. My mother was very glamorous and our social lives included the most exciting modern artists whom my father was writing about. Being around them inspired me to work in the creative industry doing something I loved that would make a difference. I made my own clothes getting ideas from fashion magazines and trendy boutiques. The boutiques like Joseph, Browns and Elle stocked the best of the new wave of designers and were the hub of the London social scene.
My first break came when I featured in one of Anna Wintour’s photo shoots of ‘London Originals', which was the beginning of my career as a model. I did the photo shoots and catwalk shows in London, Milan and Paris, where I met and made friends with many of the leading photographers, designers and editors.
My boyfriend was a major photographers' agent, who asked me to step in and style the shoot, when a stylist failed to turn up. It was an exciting challenge and I did well. I decided to move into styling as I was offered work with the photographers I already knew. One of the most rewarding beauty campaigns I styled on was Boots No.7, art directed by Molly Godet. Molly was an innovator and worked with the best teams of make-up (Barbara Daly & Mary Greenwell) and hair stylists (Nicky Clarke & Sam McKnight). I was just starting out but working with David Bailey, John Swannell, Terence Donovan, Clive Arrowsmith and Barry Lategan as the photographers (who were already at the forefront), gave me the chance to bring an editorial style to advertising shoots. Anthony Price, Stephen Jones, Nicky at Butler & Wilson and Esme Young at Swanky Modes all designed the looks.
Advertising campaigns, album covers, commercials and celebrity shoots followed. The most memorable were with Brian Ferry, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Whitney Houston. These were exhilarating and nerve-wracking times but great fun. Celebrities and high-powered working women, who got to know my work, asked me to find new looks for them and edit their wardrobes.
Lisa Armstrong (Fashion Director at The Telegraph) invited me to meet her and talk about what I did as one of the first personal stylists. She brought me to the attention of her readers and has continued to do so at The Telegraph. I love the way she writes.
Anna Murphy (Fashion Director at The Times) quoted me as a Times expert for sartorial advice. Her articles, especially on capsule wardrobes and how I create them, has introduced me to interesting and new clients. I am now working online as well, given the present situation as described on my website.
I find the preparation and planning to find outfits that work for clients always requires focussed research even though I know what I am doing. I am my hardest critic but that’s what makes a difference. I don’t stop working on a project until everything is right.
TALK US THROUGH THE STYLING SERVICE YOU OFFER?
As a personal stylist and wardrobe editor, I solve problems fast. Style is about proportion, coordination and colour. I put together wardrobes for my clients which make them look and feel confident, attractive and have a signature style. After an initial consultation, I edit and shop accordingly. My services are listed on my website here.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I am most proud of taking every opportunity given to me and making a success of them. I have contributed to the creation of beautiful images and have made great friends amongst the people I have worked with.
I have made a difference to how my clients look and feel and most recently helped them virtually, to feel comfortable and look stylish, while working or being at home and living under Covid restrictions. I am also proud of all the wonderful assistants I have had who have gone on to successful careers of their own. We shared a passion for fashion.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO BECOME A STYLIST?
Believe in yourself and your ideas.
Look at the work of top designers and stylists that you admire.
Take every opportunity and make as many contacts as you can.
Offer to style friends and family.
Look at the mannequins in shops.
Look at the wardrobes in films, videos and magazines.
Analyse what it is they do in terms of shaping a body.
Look at fabrics and how they move.
HOW DO YOU STYLE YOUR MARFA STANCE PIECES?
The parachute vest is perfect as an item I can throw on no matter what I am doing, where I am or what season it is. This Autumn, I will wear it with a slouchy tracksuit and sweatshirt or chunky sweater, a crisp shirt with dark boyfriend jeans and turn-ups or a leather midi skirt and a slim polo neck. I love the versatility of adding different collars or a hood and that it is aesthetically and functionally designed so that form equals function. The best designs are based on that.
I choose my core outfits to be tonally and proportionally flattering and this reversible piece in monochrome on one side and neutral stone on the other complements and goes with all my looks creating a stylish silhouette.
Photography: Zac Frackelton