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Strictly Styling - Annabel Kerman

Annabel is a fashion journalist and stylist with 25 years industry experience.  Starting her career in women’s glossies, She moved to The Sunday Mirror where she held the role of fashion director for twelve years, also styling television shows including Strictly Come Dancing, and red carpet events.  She relocated to Singapore for 4 years as fashion editor of luxury glossy World Travel Magazine.  Now UK based, she contributes to publications, blogs, and works with clients with an interest in sustainability and diversity, recently as fashion editor for Frank Magazine, rewriting the narrative of the 40+ woman.  She styles celebrities on screen and editorially, consults clients privately, lectures and runs workshops on fashion writing and styling.

You are a Fashion Journalist & Stylist, did you always want to work in Fashion?


I came into fashion from an arts background.  I have a degree in costume and theatre design but as soon as I did work experience at a fashion magazine I was converted. I think training in costume has directed my attitude to fashion: I don’t really think about ‘It’ brands, or the ‘rules’ of styling, for me it’s more about saying something interesting with clothes.


You were Tess Daly's Stylist on Strictly for 8 seasons, Tell us about your Career Highlights.


I loved my Strictly days - My mum is still sad that I don’t work on it!   I left when I moved to Singapore as fashion editor of World Travel Magazine. It was an experience working with such high end brands in a totally different environment. I was also fashion director at the Sunday Mirror for many years, which was an amazing time- I was so young and only  in hindsight appreciate how lucky I was to travel and shoot all over the world.  

Who or what inspires your own personal style, do you have any favourite designers?


I’m influenced by the 1950’s: headscarf, nipped in waist, red lips; the Hollywood icons of the era. I am always impressed by minimal, neutral dressing, but can never achieve it myself.  Shopping wise I love trawling vintage, including online at By Elleven!  Recently i’ve also developed the Vinted bug. (I LOVE a bargain.) Tallulah and Hope is a favourite independent- the embroidery has an Americana feel.  If I’m treating myself I buy smaller designers like Ganni at online boutiques like Matches.  


What is your go-to look or style mantra?


If I’m ever without a headscarf I actually get palpitations. The same with oversized sunglasses. Leopard print, Breton stripes and converse high tops are probably my most regular wardrobe go to’s.  My style mantra? Whatever makes you feel happy, otherwise what’s the point? Also never let anyone tell you that you should or shouldn’t wear anything.

Fast or Slow Fashion? 


I have always used a lot of vintage and preloved in shoots and styling, as a creative and affordable alternative to fast fashion.  These days there are so many ways to do this, it’s essential we make changes.  I’m not a total purist, but i wear everything I buy for a long time, which I think is a good way to start being sustainable.  This Autumn I’m going back to my costume roots and attempting to make some clothes. 


Tell us about a typical (working) day in the life of Annabel Kerman 


Sometimes I will be styling or prepping a magazine fashion shoot, celebrity appearance or tv show.  If not I am at my desk writing, for publications and also my own blog which I started this year. I recently guest lectured at Conde Nast College of Fashion in fashion writing which was great fun. Other days I do personal style consulting, on zoom or at client’s homes, and also run groups styling workshops for brands.


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