From Fashionista to Stylista

Evolution of the “Stylist”

“There was no such thing as a stylist when Grace Coddington got her start: The girls all carried their own wigs, makeup, and jewelry, transforming themselves to suit the job. Grace seemed to have a particular knack for this, always pulling just the right piece out of her bag. As the decade came to a close, she turned that talent into a career as a fashion editor. At British Vogue, she began making the fantasy travelogues that would become her signature. ” (Source:


A Young Grace Coddington

 However, today, it seems like Rachel Zoe is a household name. Rachel Zoe is a “famous” celebrity stylist who works with celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson, and Anne Hathaway. Although she does not have any formal fashion training, she has her own recognizable style. Zoe went freelance, in the beginning giving her the opportunity to meet and work with some high-profile clients.  She also has written a book called, “Style: From A to Zoe.”  ****(I highly recommend her book)

a-to-zoe rachel_zoe

Those are the stories of 2 amazing but completely different stylists, then there’s mine.

Here’s the story of a girl who fell in love with fashion at age 12. Her style icon was her mom, and she learned everything she knows from her. She loved reading about fashion in magazines or fashion books but struggled with her own personal style. Another one of her favorite things to do was people watch; she loved seeing what people were wearing and often critiqued them in her head. Actually that’s a lie; she would tell her mom or whoever she was with about the lady with the ugly sweater, or the woman who was wearing baggy clothes yet you could tell that she had a good body, she just didn’t know how to dress for her body type.  She would have given anything to help that woman find a new wardrobe.

When it came time for her to choose a college, she wanted to major in fashion. Her style was a little more evolved at this time but still wasn’t “her own.” She attended a small school in North Carolina that had a great fashion program; however she was homesick and hated having to dress “business casual” for class everyday because the school was in the heart of a city and wanted their students to look “professional.” Retailing 101 was the only fashion class she ever attended but learned a lot from her professor. Her professor provided her students, with their first opportunity to learn about styling. On a Saturday in November, at a local Dillard’s store, a workshop on fashion was put on by a professional stylist and a woman who worked “behind the scenes” at fashion shows, making sure everything went smoothly. The students were also give a fun challenge: they were assigned a model, and had to style her from head to toe using Dillard’s resources. They also had to choose a hair and makeup look and then their models were photographed by a Vogue photographer.

The Final Product: An edgy, sophisticated  look with  feminine details

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She fell in love.

She only attended that school for one semester; as much as she loved the school’s fashion program, she wanted to be closer to home. After a brief stint at a local college, she told her parent’s she wanted to follow her dreams and work in fashion. However, in fashion, like most professions, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. She started by working at the Gap. Being a quick learner, was a great advantage and in no time her superiors recognized her talent. She utilized her fashion knowledge, and quickly became one of the top sales associates; not only could she sell but she took her time with each customer, helping them with their specific needs. It felt good to help a customer find a perfect pair of jeans, not only satisfying the customer, but herself. If the customer was happy, she was happy.

That summer, she was told about a fashion program in NYC, put on by Teen Vogue magazine, where you attended seminars put on by some of the biggest names in fashion; plus the key-note speaker was Michael Kors. She wanted to showcase her talent as a stylist in her application for the seminar. Luckily, she didn’t have to look far to find a model; her gorgeous sister would be the perfect model. Like, Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue who comes up with storylines for her editorials, this girl wanted to not only showcase a few of the latest trends but tell a story with her photographs.

Story 1- Bohemian Chic with a focus on the “Maxi-dress”

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Dress- Old Navy

Sandals- Circa Joan & David

Necklace- Rodrigo Otazu

Bracelets- Random

Sunhat- Mom’s

Look 2- Bright Colors/Color Blocking


Tee, Shorts, and Headband- J. Crew

Bracelet- Rodrigo Otazu (same bracelet worn by SJP in “Sex & The City 2)

Gold Hoops- Mom’s

Final Look- Inspired by Gossip Girl

***My sister has been told she looks like Leighton Meester AKA Blair Waldorf***

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Seersucker Blazer- BCBG

Dress- Model’s Own

Belt- Banana Republic

Handbag- Macy’s

Pearl Necklace- Vintage from my Grandmother

Shoes (not shown)- Isaac Mizrahi

Her photography skills came in handy when she took these photographs. Later on, she would be told they look professional. She sent her application in with her photographs and waited. One September day, while trying on clothes in a J. Crew fitting room, she got an email that changed her life; she had been accepted into the Teen Vogue Fashion University Class of 2011. There was screaming, cursing, jumping up and down and tears shed. She was proud of herself for the first time in a long time. Later, while attending the seminar, she would find out that over 2500 people from 20 countries had applied, and she was one of the lucky 500 accepted. All along, she had known that she was good at styling but the fact that other higher up industry professionals thought that she was good.

The seminar gave her just what she needed; it ignited that spark, that fire of passion for fashion that she never knew she needed.

What is our aspiring stylist up to now?

She is a Michael Kors’ girl by day/Fashion Blogger by night and up and coming Stylist

That girl is me.

And I am The Passionate Fashionista.

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My beautiful model/lovely sister and Me

If you have a dream or a passion, my advice to you is to follow your heart and go for your dream; yes you may never become famous (like Rachel Zoe) and you will face challenges along the way, but if you don’t pursue it, do you want to wake up one day and regret that you didn’t chase your dreams?

So reach for the stars, and follow your dreams with all your heart.

xoxo The Passionate Fashionista

(sorry for writing such a long post)


  1. Kavya Basavraj · December 13, 2012

    Your sister and you are SO beautiful Hayley. I absolutely love your Grandmother’s Vintage pearl necklace. So

    • Hayley Kornman · December 13, 2012

      Aww thank you so much! And I know; that necklace is so gorgeous, I love that it’s not just a simple strand of pearls, gives it more character 🙂

      Also, thank you for being one of my followers! It means so much to me that people actually want to read my blog.

      Take care girl, xoxo

      • Kavya Basavraj · December 13, 2012

        It is indeed a gorgeous necklace 🙂
        I think I must have seen a similar design by Lana del Ray for H&M. But the stone colour was in coral. It was so pretty. I was debating so much to buy it, but I did not 😦 Now after looking at the timeless piece your sister is wearing, I am kicking myself for not buying it. Lol 😀

        Your blog is very interesting Hayley. It is always lovely to read and I look forward to interesting posts. Keep it going.xxxx

  2. Kat · December 20, 2012

    I would love to know more about the Teen Vogue thing, if you could possibly give me a link or something with more information if I was interested in applying for upcoming years… (:

    • Hayley Kornman · December 21, 2012

      Hey girl! I think that it’s so great that you’re interested in attending Teen Vogue Fashion U. It is put on every October by Teen Vogue magazine in NYC. Visit their website to learn more about the program and you could check them out on Facebook Teen Vogue Fashion U. Their is an age range for people interested in applying; it’s 16-24. I’m 22 and hope I can attend the event for the next 2 years. I hope this helps!

      Have a good weekend,


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