Over two months ago, the Instagram account @StressedStylist posted its first meme. Fast forward to January 13, Lotta Volkova regrammed this post and the rest of the international fashion media took notice—well, i-D at least. The memes' allure is in its humor, making light of the daily struggles stylists and fashion editors face, like an inside joke shared by the entire internet.
While portrayals of the job have mostly been light-hearted and glamorous—picture Emily of The Devil Wears Prada carrying boxes of Hermès scarves—real life can be more challenging. Among the scariest is the fact that any and all mistakes will literally cost the the stylist. See this little scratch on the Fendi leather handbag? Damaged. A tiny scuff of earth on the sole of a Stuart Wietzman heel? Damaged. A smudge of foundation on the collar of a Balenciaga button-down? You better get that dry cleaned before you can think about returning it—but just before you do, best be sure that the cleaners won't damage it further.
Need more examples? Here, our local stylists share which @StressedStylist meme they relate to the most and why. Check these out first and decide if you still have what it takes to be one!
"I can't commit to dinners, movies, etc. because I really don't know what time [my shoots will] end. I sort of have a feeling and I can estimate, but it's still not definite. Even if it's the last layout, that layout can last for an hour or two. My longest shoot ever [lasted for more than] 24 hours!" - Maita Baello
"No fashion stylist wants to create a subpar look! I don’t think other people realize that styling isn’t just about choosing clothes and beauty looks; it’s about creating a fantasy. Regardless of the nature of the shoot, I always feel the burden of creating the right look—the anxiety is real—so yes, these are questions I always ask myself." - MJ Benitez
"Some shoots are scheduled to start at the most ungodly hour and would end super late, so it can be very draining." - Perry Tabora
"I get this ALL the time! Especially when I’m out and meet new people. Once I tell them I'm a stylist, they start asking me how's their outfit or their style. It can get annoying." - Cath Sobrevega
"When I started freelancing in 2011, I got booked for my first TVC—celebrity beauty shoot. I used my first paycheck to buy a nice, sturdy clothing steamer and some metal racks. I felt I was on the right track knowing that I put the money into my business, and look at where we are now!" - Myrhh Lao To
"'Oh, so you cut hair? Or you design clothes?' These are just some of the questions I usually get when I say I’m a stylist. I explain to them further what the job entails—that a fashion stylist is in charge of curating the overall look of the celebrity." - Joanna Garcia
"One of the most memorable shoots I've worked on was also one of the most challenging. I was sick with the flu and had my period—and we were shooting in BGC at high noon in summer. Even though I wanted to faint the entire time, there was no way I was giving up because I was working with someone I've [always wanted] to work with! In the end, the shoot turned out pretty good. It's proof that if you love your craft, you can survive just about anything!" - Ria Casco
"One time for a commercial shoot: I showed the clients a dress during the first pre prod meeting, and they liked it but wanted to see more options. After 30 to 40 dresses later, they still couldn't decide [on the final dress]. On the day of the shoot, they were choosing between two dresses. We had to do light test for both, and send [the photos] to client for approval—who was then halfway around the world. It took a while to get feedback so it delayed our shoot schedule. Guess which dress made the cut? The first [one I originally] showed them and recommended." - Sidney Yap