In this week’s Chit Chat Tuesday interview we speak with stylist Maria Montane and find out why she likes working in the kid’s fashion space and which are her favourite brands.
How did you get into kids’ styling? Is it much different than working with adults?
It is different of course. You need to have the patience and a good connection or synergy.
Why have you started to focus more on children’s styling?
I love working with kids. I like their honesty, the fact that they always tell you what they like and don’t, or simply ask why? Why did you decide to put that look together that way? Sometimes they help me to create the most stunning looks!
Kids are not afraid of mixing and matching different clothing pieces or combining colours and textures. I learn a lot about them and also they help me to expand my creativity. Kids take risks and leave me thinking about when we stop doing things because we are afraid of the result.
What do you love most about working in the kids’ fashion space? What is the biggest challenge?
Kids brands are always innovating, and I just love the environment and the unity most of the brands have. You can see that in the fashion fairs were the brands get together and support each other. Even though they are competitors, you can see they wish the best to one another in the field, especially during these uncertain times!
There’re always challenges while shooting kids you don’t know the mood they will be in. Sometimes the models are NOT interested at all to have photos and that’s a problem, haha and that’s where you have to use your special powers to convince them 😀
Above image from Just Like Dad feature, a remote project to celebrate Father’ Day on Junior Style.
I know this is a very difficult question to answer but I have to ask it – what are your favourite childrenswear brands?
I have a lot! And I’m so so happy that I have the pleasure to work with them frequently, and they have adult sizes too!
Little Creative Factory and their amazing campaigns, very dreamy, almost like books and inspirations are always wow!
Tia Cibani and all the different materials and fabrics they have each season, oh and their beautiful headpieces.
Summer in May, my latest discovery for comfy and cosy clothes, so much needed for the lockdowns of 2020!
Lorna Murray for statement hats. Perfect all the time.
And Long Live The Queen as they are always on point with their colour palette.
What’s the most exciting shoot you have done to date?
Probably the ones that I created during the pandemic. Of course, face to face interaction is always great but I feel very proud of the ones I styled and directed from the distance. The results are stunning and I had the chance to work with brands and models worldwide. Time difference and language was a big barrier but once you see the final result, everything is worth it.
Are there any trends that just get on your nerves?
I feel that when a trend arrives we always have our doubts about it. Puffy shoulders, tie-die, neons…I think of those because probably are the ones that I didn’t like… but as everything… with good styling, we can make them look cool. I’ll just say: don’t try too hard to follow trends. They come and go easy! Just have fun and play with them, if they stick to you fine, if not, let them go.
What inspires you?
From a simple walk to the park, all people passing by, having a regular day, to a planned trip. Listening to different music, going to museums and scrolling thru Tumblr and websites.
Children inspire me a lot with their original combinations and ways of thinking. They say the funniest thoughts and prompt you to think out of the box.
Which photographers/stylists do you most admire?
I admire hard-working people, from my super talented mom photographers like Alexandrena Parker, Manuela Franjou or Theresa Balderas, to multi-tasking brand owners that are juggling between family, homeschooling and developing their coming campaigns for their brand like Cristina Fernandez (LCF), Paula Mendez (Summer in May) and Tia Cibani.
Images from Unplugged Memories styled by Maria & shot by Manuela Franjou – on Junior Style
Do you have a ‘uniform’? Top three womenswear designers you actually do/would wear?
I don’t! I would say that I like to wear layers and accessories. I do have a big collection of silk- satin scarves. That’s kind of my souvenir when I travel. I like to use them as headpieces or around my neck. And of course sunglasses! Any shape and colour.
But talking about clothes, nope! I’m not all black or jeans. Actually, I don’t wear jeans! To me, they’re not comfy! I’m a skirt or a dress person.
I’m all about comfy sweatshirts right now. And Summer in May has a super cool ombré one that I can’t wait to get.
Pleats are my happy place. From skirts to dresses and I just got the most stunning dress from Tia Cibani.
And cosy sweaters in pastel colours, like the ones from Fish and Kids.
What would be your dream gig?
I accomplished a very big one that is working for Disney. I would love to style a movie or a TV show. I think it’s very interesting and challenging at the same time and it’s something I would enjoy a lot!
What are you reading and listening to right now?
I’m reading an amazing book I purchased weeks ago. Accidentally – Wes Anderson. It’s an illustrative book of really cute places very Wes Anderson’s look, and they explain where you can find them and a little description of the place.
So it feels like travelling, considering that we have been without going to airports since the beginning of the year. It’s nice to read something that makes you feel this way.
Quotes to live by: what are your favourites?
‘Walk slowly; drink lots of water.
Haruki Murakami, After Dark
Between the time the last train leaves and the first train arrives, the place changes: it’s not the same as in daytime.
Haruki Murakami, After Dark
People with places to go and people with no place to go; people with a purpose and people with no purpose; people trying to hold time back and people trying to urge it forward. Haruki Murakami, After Dark
What is a professional goal you are working towards?
I’m working in a secret project… I’ll partner with my coworker stylist and we will create an accessory line for kids… but we can’t say more yet!!
What’s coming up for you next?
I don’t even know! That’s the exciting part of a freelancer haha. This year challenged us all but I have plans to live somewhere else, maybe Canada or Spain. New York is great and I call it my home but maybe in a couple of years I would like to have the experience of moving to a different country.
Further styling work by Maria Montane.
Photography by Diana Tamayo – Editorial published in Babiekins
First Image photography by Theresa Balderas, second image for an editorial published by Milk Magazine
Maria is a fashion stylist living in NYC and Mexico. To keep up to date with Maria Montane and her new projects follow on Instagram @mariamontane_
Photography supplied by Maria Montane – All rights reserved.
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Please do not reproduce without permission.