Reader worked with Bates for two of his fashion shows, lookbooks, and the short film Check Mate, which featured all of his 2015 menswear collection. The short film opened the fashion show, and the lookbooks were designed to promote the brand. As lead stylist, Reader had to work seamlessly with Bates, the creative director, and the client, as well as remembering the goal of gaining fans and new customers.
“Fashion videos are a fun new approach to promote fashion aside from stills, and this one had a great story line and concept that made it tell a story with the wardrobe yet with no dialogue,” described Reader. “It was a great short fashion film.”
Reader knew that she wanted to work with Bates. Both of them have an appreciation for what the other does and can bring to the table, making an extraordinary team. They also worked with award winning photographer/director Ramin Deravian for the project, which only added to its success.
“I had enjoyed Christopher’s designs and thought it would be great to collaborate with the designer to promote is designs for him,” said Reader. “There is something great about collaborating with the artist themselves to help realize their vision.”
Bates had seen Reader’s work and knew he wanted to collaborate with her for the project.
“I have worked with Christopher and pulled his collections to dress many of my male clients including some of the members of Walk off The Earth for the Junos red carpet,” she said. “He reached out as he felt I had a great understanding of what he would be looking to achieve with his collection while providing some outside views.”
Bates, who was included in the list of Canada’s 100 most influential people, truly believes that without Reader, his line would not have achieved the success that it did.
“Kirsten’s leading and critical role of stylist helped me create looks that enhanced the brand imaging,” said Bates. “She falls into a rare breed of artists that can stick true to her vision and show marketability at the same time. Her artistry and adaptability gives her the ability to work with celebrities and fuse runway pieces with unique wardrobes in a way that is successfully wearable from red carpet events to personal appearances.”
The shoot was one day at the Trump Hotel in Toronto, where they had access to an exclusive private residence penthouse that had yet to be completed in construction, but it did not come without some challenges.
“Fashion videos do present a bit more difficulty compared to stills as the wardrobe has to look perfect from every angle. We can’t cheat it with pins and clamps like a still shot so the attention to detail is that much more focused,” said Reader. “I also had to style the female model in wardrobe that complimented but didn’t detract from Christopher’s collection.”
“We also had to create strong and new looks that influenced the way designs were viewed by the media,” added Bates.
Bates has the highest faith in Reader and believes she overcame any challenges that may have been presented to her with ease.
“She has created strong looks and unique perspectives on styling for both still and motion that allowed for outreach for brands in ways not thought of before,” he said. “She has an incredible understanding of wardrobes and her innovation shines through it.”
As for Reader, the overall process was definitely a positive experience.
“The team was a lot of fun to work with,” she said. “Christopher has great amount of energy and enthusiasm all day long that really keeps the day feeling fun and you almost forget you are working.”