Pascal Alhani Art Director & Stylist; Toronto + London
What does your work as a stylist and art director entail? And where do you find inspiration?
You begin with a concept from the creative director and your job as the AD is to inspire the overall execution of an idea, bringing all the elements together. Addressing lighting, photography, h&m, fashion styling, mood and working on-set with the team to bring the concept to fruition. Many times the process usually entails working ahead of time with the creative team, developing the treatment and choosing the right artists to execute the brief, whether it's for a fashion editorial or commercial ad.
My inspiration comes from everywhere really, life, music, art, especially photography and editorials I love, and most importantly my instinct. I have always had a good eye and imagination so this plays a huge role in my executions. Obviously the needs of a commercial client vs a creative editorial have different end goals but the process for me is still the same.
When I work as a stylist, the journey isn't too different, I am inspired and work from my experience in life, photography, fine art, designers and music. Everything I experience in my creative world inspires all my work as a art director and as a fashion stylist.
What is the best part about fashion and personal style in our socially sharing (obsessed) world?
This one's tricky for me! I absolutely do find people and style I really admire and that I am drawn to on social media, but I guess being selective is key. There are so many copy cats, clutter and not to mention rubbish on instagram, I actually love it when I find someone that shares the similar aesthetics or a post/account that really inspires me. Like most things in life, take it in moderation, taking the time to find the gems. Social media is a fantastic business tool for a lot of companies and artists, that goes without saying. It's actually really remarkable how much it can enhance your profile or business, but having thousands of followers doesn't always equate to great style or taste, but we already know that!
What are a couple trends you are loving, and any you wish would die?
Trends I am loving, plaids on plaids, ankle socks with heels or sandals (always secretly loved this one but never really wear it on myself, has a very 90's grunge/punk vibe I like), the comeback of neon injected into looks really unexpectedly = my faves.
Trends I wish would die = palazzo pants in the wrong prints, let's stick to snake print or black for these! — Pascal
When in London where can we find you, eating, shopping & hanging out?
I eat a vegan diet so unfortunately that means trying out markets and vegan events like Camden Market in London, but beware being crushed by people, Camden is tourist stop #1. I do find Toronto has a better selection of vegan restaurants vs. London.
I always make a stop at Selfridges because I love the story behind it, and it really is a part of London and Oxford Street, not to mention the sales if you hit it up at the perfect time. I've spent loads of time over the last 10 years in East London, and stayed in a flat there quite often. My friend has owned a gallery and Air BnB for many years so I spent many nights there and around the Dalston area. But since marrying my Brit husband we spend most of our time at galleries, concerts and exploring the quiet spots in London vs, the bars and all-nighters. I need my 8 hours of zzzz. My fave spots include, Barbican, Design Museum and always the V&A museum.
Can you describe your favorite neighborhood in London, and why you love it?
I haven't decided yet.! Not sure I ever will decide. It's too big and after years of travel I still haven't picked a favorite! So many areas to cater to your daily mood and cravings.
What is the difference between Toronto style and London style?
The difference between London & Toronto style is a tough one to answer, as I am a loyalist to both cities. London is a mecca of fashion and music, enough said. So many of my inspirations throughout my entire life came out of the UK. Bowie, McQueen, Britpop. London has so many people, and I guess when you see style that is great it really sticks out amongst all the commuters. For those Brits who love fashion it's imbedded in them like DNA, because of the likes of Alexander McQueen and more currently Charles Jeffrey. Between the fashion & art coming together, Londoners are fearless.
Name a few brands or designers you are loving at the moment?
Charles Jeffrey, (hello, Londoner!) Stella McCartney because she's cruelty-free, with a splash of Balenciaga here and there!
If the fashion gods gave you three wishes (and their credit card) what would you order online?
1. Something by Charles Jeffrey
2. Still not over Balenciagas over the knee knife boots, seems like you could roll out of bed with an over-sized t-shirt and look fab wearing these.
3. Something Stella McCartney because she's cruelty-free and that's a good thing.
"When I work as a stylist, the journey isn't too different, I am inspired and work from my experience in life, photography, fine art, designers and music" — Pascal