no. 14 Imogen
When the Australian Image Consulting Association came to us for a private perfume workshop we couldn’t help but jump at the chance to sit down and learn all about what they do and why. Step inside a day in the life of Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, Imogen.
When we think of image consultants, one immediately thinks ‘fashion advice’, but it’s so much more involved than this, isn’t it?
Absolutely it is. Image consultants are interested in helping their clients draw out their personality and express it through their style. It’s not about following the latest fashion trends. Instead, we use fashion as a tool to help you express your personality and values from the inside out, as this gives you much greater confidence and helps you to feel authentic and confident.
In respect to your industry, what would you say to the old adage “it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s inside that counts”
Absolutely what’s on the inside is the most important thing. But what you wear is a silent form of communication before you open your mouth. If you are not expressing what’s on the inside on the outside, it’s easy to be overlooked or not seen as credible as your outside is not matching and mirroring who you are on the inside.
What’s a day in the working life of an image consultant like?
What’s great for me is that it varies from day to day. Some days I spend totally online. Doing marketing and business building activities such as creating articles and content for my blog and social media followers, to educate them on how to define and improve their style so they can build a comprehensive wardrobe of clothes they love to wear (and that love them back). Or creating programs and presentations for webinars, conferences and speaking events. Spending time with the participants in my online programs and doing personal colour analysis consultations and time on Zoom doing wardrobe editing and style consultations for my clients from around the world. Other days I work with clients in person, doing wardrobe therapy or going shopping with my clients, and doing personal colour analysis and body and style analysis. We shop for only what they need, so they have a versatile mix-and-match wardrobe. Then there are the days spent teaching and mentoring aspiring and established image consultants and personal stylists both online and in-person to turn their passion into a new career.
What do you love most about your job?
I’m so passionate about the power of image to transform. Your style is integral to your identity and confidence as it’s an outward manifestation of your personality and values. Being able to help people find who they are at their core and then express it through their image is life-changing for them. Here’s an example of what one client said about how improving her image has changed her life: “I got promoted! I’d made quite a few changes, and people at work commented on how comfortable in my skin I seemed to be. I also enjoy shopping for clothes a lot more. I gained the confidence to be true to how I really wanted to dress and present myself.” I just love that my work has such a positive impact on the lives of my clients!
How does scent intercept with image?
Scent choice is an expression of your image. Image is more than just the visual – it involves all our senses; from seeing and touching, think about how your clothes feel (scratchy or uncomfortable), to sounds (jangling bracelets or fabrics that make a sound when you walk) and smell, which evokes memories and experiences, both positive and negative.
Doing the Perfume Playground workshop, it was fascinating to see just how each person chose scents that expressed something about who they are as a person. They showed off their personality – from grapefruit, which is like adding sparkles and sequins to a garment, to jasmine that provides a happy and relaxing aroma that helps to connect to people. It was fascinating to see how each of us created a unique scent that was so representative of who we are as people and our approaches to life!
Can you share one of your favourite scent memories with us?
Growing up, we had a huge apricot tree outside our front door. Every day walking up the stairs to our front door and passing the tree, you knew exactly when apricots were ripe and delicious, and I’d pluck one off the tree to eat for afternoon tea.
We loved holding your private team event recently! What was your biggest takeaway from the day?
Just how innate your signature scent really is! Learning about the different notes and how to blend them to create a scent was fascinating and so useful when thinking about different styles of scents, and I was surprised at how easy it was to decide which scents to include in my unique perfume blend.
What perfume blend did you create? And what do you think it says about your personality or approach to life?
My scent was a mix of Benzoin Resin, Chocolate and Pink Pepper. The rich and slightly smoky base of Benzoin Resin is a little mysterious, with an indulgent middle note of chocolate. Then a surprising spicy top note of pink pepper is like me and my approach to life and personality. I love getting into depth with subjects I’m passionate about and learning everything. I enjoy indulging the senses, including delicious food, soft fabrics and beautiful colours in my surroundings. And then I think a little differently and can often be a little unexpected like that peppery top note!
With more of us working from home now than ever before. How does one master the art of dressing more comfortably – yet not so comfortably that it affects mood or productivity?
Just like building a scent, you can use the same concept to build a comfortable and stylish outfit! As we are all sitting much more, it’s important to have a comfortable base (or bottom half) of your outfit. As this is unlikely to be seen, make it something that includes some stretch and comfort, such as a favourite pair of jeans. Your top is like the middle note of your perfume – it should be something that feels stylish and professional but is still comfortable and easy to wear. Use prints and patterns or different colours for variety and interest. If you’re sitting in a black desk chair, avoid wearing black as you’ll disappear into your chair on Zoom calls. Add a top-note of a statement accessory – such as a necklace or cluster of brooches, or if you’re not using earbuds, some funky earrings, as all of these provide a great focal point when you’re on-screen and are the finishing touch to your outfit.