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How To Make It In Fashion, According To Stylist Pam Quiñones

Plus, how you can look stylish on a budget!

She’s responsible for dressing some of the biggest names in the local showbiz industry, so it’s a given that Pam Quiñones knows what she’s talking about. We caught up with Qurator Studio’s creative director, whose team just won Stylists of the Year at the 2016 Zalora Style Awards, to pick her brain on all things fashion—including her advice to aspiring stylists.

How can Cosmo girls find their signature style?
A lot of people now are exposed to fashion and a lot of things related to fashion. With social media and the Internet, it’s not very difficult to find that. But I think beyond all of that, they should really know what works for them. What works for them makes them feel confident—and eventually makes them them. Really know what works for you and add to that what you prefer.

How should they approach trends and experiment with fashion?
There are a lot of runway reports that we can read in magazines. But again, it’s really a matter of knowing what works for you and what your interests are. I think it’s also good to dabble in things that you’re not interested in, something that’s out of your comfort zone. And the best time to do that is when you’re young—but there’s really no preferred time to be experimental. At the end of the day, as long as it feels authentic to who you are, then style emanates.

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What’s the one trend girls should try in 2016?
I don’t know if it’s a problem, because it doesn’t feel very new—and trends, by definition, should be very novel and something you’ve never seen before. None of the new trends are very new. I think everything has been rehashed or is a revival of trends that have been highlighted in the past.

But my favorite is denim. Now, you can really see different iterations—a certain wash, a certain style, a certain finish. I want people to actually open up to jeans, because you can wear them during the day, during the evening. Jeans have evolved!

How can a girl look stylish on a budget?
I know a lot of girls who still buy from ukay-ukays and thrift shops. When I was much younger, I was doing it all the time. I think it’s a great way of tapping into different trends—or tapping into trends that aren’t actually very trendy, meaning something you don’t really see everywhere. It’s also very socially responsible to buy vintage, and it’s very unique. It’s not often that you’ll see something that another person has.

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What classic investment pieces should every girl have?
Really comfortable high heels. Stilettos if you’re a stiletto girl, chunky stacked heels... Buy something that you can wear easily. The usual LBD, too. It’s cliché, but a trusty little black dress is always safe.

What’s a styling trick you use on your celebrity clients that CGs can apply to themselves?
All women have insecurities. So in the beginning, we always decide what they want to highlight—which part of the body she feels comfortable about or she thinks is most flattering. We try, as much as we can, to not focus on the negative things, so those are concealed. We try not to even talk about them, because at the end of the day, it’s not just about the clothing. It’s about communication and confidence. The most important part of the job is not the styling, but the communication [between the stylist and the client].

What’s your advice to girls who want to explore a career in fashion styling?
It’s a difficult, difficult, difficult job. I’ve had more than 20 interns, and I’m always working with new interns. More often than not, they have this illusion of styling, because you get to work with celebrities, beautiful clothes—but the work is crazy. We are doing more prep work; and we are working days before the shoot, on the actual shoot, and two days after the shoot. It’s a lot of legwork. It’s very difficult, but luckily, we’ve made it work. It may sound negative, but I always tell people that I don’t want to disillusion them. It’s really a difficult, difficult job.

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