Priscilla Polley: Get To Know The Girl Who Styles The Guys

Kerry Pieri
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Photo: Guy Aroch

Priscilla Polley was formerly an assistant for VPL, she’s a rock girl who has collaborated with it-kid musicians including Joanna Newsom, Coco Rosie, Bat for Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Sleigh Bells and Best Coast and her awesome approach to styling has appeared in WWD, Nylon, Die Zeit, Surface, Contributing Editor, Gravure, and Giant. She’s also the girl who styled all the six models of Jive! Jive! Jive. Get to know her below:

Tell me a little about your background. Where are you from? Did you study anywhere exciting? Places or people youve worked with? And how old you are (if youre comfortable sharing)?
I am originally from Portland Oregon, I studied music composition at Oberlin and Brandeis before moving to NYC. After I got to New York I spent 3 years working as the personal assistant to Lou Reed, followed by a year with Ian Schrager before taking a position as a styling assistant with Victoria Bartlett.

Where do currently live?
Brooklyn

What are some of your favorite editorials or projects youve worked on?
I am currently working on a two part film and still shoot with Annelise Philips, coming out in the next month or so it’s going to be amazing. It has been six months in the works.

I have loved working on the WWD Beauty magazine covers over the last few years. It has given me a chance to work with some amazing supermodels and actresses, including Coco Rocha, Isabeli Fontana, Amanda Seyfried and Emma Roberts.

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What are some of your favorite editorials of all time?
That is really an impossible question! My favorite editorials are not so much the crazy fashion excess, but the simple images that tell a story.

Whats your philosophy on styling?
That above all it must be believable the viewer needs to understand and have a connection with the image. I love anything a little wrong and unexpected all the small imperfect touches are what makes the images special to me.

Tell me your approach to Jive! Jive! Jive! ? What were some of your inspiration?
Initially, the references were in the Teddy Boy vein a little retro and 50s. But we wanted it a little dirtier than your normal Teddy Boy shoot and so I began to look at at general punk references in the UK from the mid-century through the 70s, including Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols.

Which designers were a good fit for that vision?
There were a lot of fantastic men’s collections that were really perfect for this shoot Bottega Veneta in particular had a very direct Teddy Boy reference in their F/W show. We used a lot of beautiful jewelry from Pamela Love, Aesa and Bevel. Other designers included Marc Jacobs, Burberry, John Varvatos, Cerrutti, and Loden Dager.

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Photo: Annelise Phillips

Do you often style men? How does it differ from women, outside of the obvious reasons?
Yes, I really like working with men. They are, in general, less concerned with how they look and more focused on their physicality and action in front of the camera.

What was the experience like dressing these models in particular?
All the guys were really sweet and a pleasure to work with. Shane was actually working on the shoot with Shawn Mount, and he was so amazing-looking we had to ask him to take part, and he agreed!

What was your favorite look and why?
I think Shane’s red jacket really stole the show and with his dance moves he is hard to ignore.

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Is it different for you to shoot a fashion video rather than stills? How do you change or alter your approach?
I LOVE shooting video! I am so glad that it is becoming more and more a part of our work. One major difference is that there is no re-touching, so everything must look good at all angles and fit correctly.

What is your idea of a dream shoot?
Something with a big budget, a sunny location and a team of friends.

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